Sunday, August 3, 2003

The anti-globalization protesters in Montreal badly missed the chance to make their case. While they shouted about the evils of the global economy - "sweatshops," "corporate imperialism," "cultural genocide," and the rest - all of this has been entirely negative.
Instead, they ought to have cited as role models those countries that have completely turned their backs upon the global economy. Two such poster nations for the anti-globalization movement come immediately to mind. North Korea for one. Burma for the other.
Both function entirely outside the global economy, not merely in terms of almost no trade and incoming investment, but equally in terms of no cultural and political contact with the outside world, with foreign publications and broadcasts banned, and with almost no visitors allowed in to contaminate the people.
These two countries, and a few others such as Iraq, while run by Saddam Hussein, and Cuba (in part there because of the U.S. embargo), are as close as it's possible to get to fulfilling the anti-globalizers' dream. Except that everywhere that dream is actually applied, the result is a nightmare of economic backwardness and political repression.
I'm mocking of course. But only to show the complexity of the issue

No comments: