- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Borgful in Swannville

Posted by: Quincunx on December 04, 1999 at 00:22:14:

In Reply to: Feckless in Seattle. posted by borg on December 03, 1999 at 15:53:04:

The Free Marketeers Twisting of Reality

A satire on a satire by Qx

Greg Swann writes: "Eat the rich!" the Class Clown shouted at the fringes of the protest. "Eat the rich today! Cook 'em up hot with Brazilian charcoal on a Chinese hibachi!"

These were jokes, if you have to be told. He was in Seattle, a
humorless place on its best day. And this was its worst day, the
opening day of the World Trade Organization talks. The city was
infested with Concerned Protesters, the most stolidly humorless
species ever identified.

Ahh...another silly attempt at mischaracterizing protestors (unless Greg Swann agrees with them. If anybody really has shallow humor it is the pro-WTO crowd.

GS: "A while ago I went up to this gaggle of girls, very serious,
: very militant. I stumbled up to them, coughing and wheezing, and
: said, 'The teargas! cough-cough It's made... choke-choke In
: Korea!' Man, I thought they were going to wet their pants!" He
: laughed hard from the throat.

: "I mean," he went on, "what a prize herd of sheep! They stand
: here in shoes made by shoeless Malaysians, wearing goose-down
: coats assembled in the frigid climes of Honduras, slurping down
: overpriced espresso from Africa, and they proceed to lecture the
: world on world trade. And _they_ are the alternative. You can
: [buy] everything in the world super-cheap, or you can submit yourself
: to the dictatorship of the stooges. Some choice!"

Qx: Pretty subjective observation and more likely than not Greg Swann has been thinking hard into the early morning hours to dream up a reason (any reason) to dig his rhetorical claws into the anti-WTO protests. This class clown hasn't done much more then serve as a stooge for Greg Swann.

: "Stooges?" I asked. Wind 'em up, turn 'em loose. That's my
: contribution to the global economy.

: "Stooges," the Class Clown replied. "These morons don't know why
: they're here. 'Make noise, not sense!'--it's not a joke, it's a
: strategy. They're sheep bleating what they've been taught to
: bleat--environment, poverty, globalcorporatefascistgreed. What
: are they _actually_ protesting? Only a _very_ few of them know,
: and they're not talking. But it's obvious as soon as you think
: about it. They're not protesting global trade, they're protesting
: the _result_ of global trade: The global shortage of communists."

So the clown has lost it altogether. By jumping to a silly conclusion with a silly argument it is kind of inevitable ain't it?

: I must have winced, because he said. "No. Wait. Just think. What
: is the greatest enemy communism has ever known? Ronald Reagan?
: The Star Wars missile shield? Televised interviews with political
: prisoners? Massacres at Red Square and Tianamen Square? None of
: that. The greatest enemy of communism, the thing that is killing
: it dead forever, goes under dozens of names, but it is known to
: Americans by four little symbols: '401k'."

: He laughed again. "Stockholders of the world, unite!" he shouted.
: "You have nothing to lose but your investments!" To me he said,
: "It's not just the stockholders, of course, although practically
: everyone in a America is a stockholder now. But even the poor
: have it knocked. Five years ago, you could walk into a K-Mart,
: lay down a hundred dollars and walk out with a 10-speed mountain
: bike. Today it's a 21-speed bike with top-quality Japanese brakes
: and gears--and the price is eighty dollars. Not just a better
: bike, a _much_ better bike, for twenty dollars less.

So Greg's clown has decided that shopping bargains make the planet a better place to live in. Quite the bubble Greg.

: "And it's the same for the shoeless Malaysians. Their children
: have to work beside them, boo hoo, but those are children who
: would have died in infancy without the wealth provided by the
: shoe factory. Everyone in the world is richer, and, for once in
: the history of the world, almost everyone in the world knows why.
: Gotta do something to stem this global communist shortage." He
: gestured at the milling protesters. "Voila!"

So what Greg's clown tells us is that he is classically conditioned to capitalist ideology and it's promise of the Big Rock Candy Mountain. By claiming that the "wealth of the shoe factory" prevented their dying in infancy the clown shows just how far away he is from personal contact with human suffering and if he stays this way he may never learn to really empathize. That's what much of the anti-WTO protest is about. Seeing the humanity in others and not being a person of the lie and viewing humans as units of production.

: "Still, it's funny. Can you imagine being dumb enough to protest
: trade in a city _crawling_ with stock-option millionaires? How do
: you get a Seattle Yuppie to work as hard as a Malaysian? You say,
: 'pre-IPO'." He laughed and I joined him.

Qx: As Greg and his clown chortle away there are others who view this more realistically

: "You want to see this?" the Class Clown asked. "I'll show you how
: it's done. 'Better clothing, cheaper shoes, global trade is bad
: for you!' Like that. 'Safer cars, cleaner food, global trade is
: bad for you!'"

Qx:It's most likely that this never even happened. Especially with the protestors. Greg Swann drops the ball on this one and can't get the cahones up to say anything outright except disguise his childish obsession with the market in veiled humor. In this case very limp satire. That is the humorous element in all of this.

: The protesters nearby picked up on the refrain and shouted it
: back to him with enthusiasm.

: He called: "Precious metals, priceless jewels!"

Qx: This gets me to wondering where Greg Swann is coming from in regards to hyping the global mining industry.Does he find it funny it's a huge rip-off for the vast majority of people? Or is he simply enthralled by shopping bargains? Doesn't he know that diamonds are a junta's best friend?

img src="http://www.oneworld.org/ni/issue279/Images/eye5.jpg"image=center

Maybe Greg Swann just doesn't get it

(skipping the bad writing)

GS: I left him there. He was having his own fun, and, besides, I
wanted to watch people protest global trade by looting Japanese

Qx: and that just about wraps it up for Greg Swann. Claiming to be full of humor and claiming that protestors in Seattle have none he probably goes back to his religious websitein order to sooth his soul.

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