what we should keep in mind about the wto protest in seattle is that it was a wto protest in seattle.
that is, not only the wto, but also the wto protest, represented first world interests. specifically, it represented american interests. the protest serves as an extension of power through the simulation of conflict. what i mean is that the wto and the protest both operate within a system of first world expansion interests, and this expansion is accomplished through a spectacle of conflict. am i saying that people should not protest, should be silent? absolutely not. what i am saying is that when we protest we must have an acute awareness of how this protest will be used. the wto negotiations ‘collapsed’, but there is more than one result of this conflict. these results are what we need to examine and anticipate.
what are the results for the corporations?
the continued operation under the existing rules of the wto. the continued operation under governments in their existing form. an expansion of interests through self-regulation, concurrent with industry deregulation in the name of competition. ‘this deregulation, by allowing insurance, banks, and brokers to operate under one roof, therefore decreasing their overhead costs, will allow savings to be passed on to consumers.’ does anyone believe this? industry deregulation is simply a symptom of corporations more powerful than governments. deregulation allows corporations to operate on a scale larger than governments. mega-conglomerates of media and financial institutions are necessary in order to preserve american interests through the extension of corporate power based in the united states. remember that the cold war was an economic war, the spoils of which are economic colonization. deregulation allows for the massive deployment of propaganda and products on an international scale. yeah, you can send a couple hand-crafted wooden chairs to russia through your web page but who would want them. they could make those for themselves. the products and services which makes the united states a superpower are the products and services which provide a capital investment which no one else can match. this is the reason for deregulation, to ensure unmatched corporate capital bases. the united states is the world bank, brokering investments and taking a cut through the use of unmatched funds. the united states no longer needs a weapons war to drain economies of their wealth. american interests are strong enough worldwide to provide the backbone of economic infrastructure. what are the essential industries of an american based corporate colonization? media and finance. industries which have both been heavily deregulated since the end of the cold war. the government won the cold war through the strength and extension of a global american economy. but government colonization is frowned upon these days. luckily, and not by chance, it is also unnecessary for continued american colonization. colonial expansion is now afforded to corporations under the banner of free trade. the institutions which the government relied upon for its wealth during the cold war are now claiming the power which they gave. its kind of like what the united states always does, give weapons to the guys they believe will further their interest and then crush them when they turn on the us because they finally figure out the us was only using them to further american interests. but the government can not continue the expansion of an economic warfare without weapons. the american government has met its ‘moral’ (financial) limit. or has it?.
capitalism and democracy have been bundled into the phrase democratic capitalism and sold as if any restrictions on corporations are restrictions on our freedom to choose and, therefore, democracy. ‘global capitalism is inevitable and this is good because democracy will follow.’ is this true? what are the choices which are not being presented to us? did we all lose the cold war? (fooled for the last time by the either/or). capitalism is based on growth, what happens when it has fully extended itself? will this ever happen? can governments control corporations larger than themselves? can people control corporations through their buying power if they are informed? how could people be informed if the media is what we need to be informed of? is a desire for information simply the extension of an information economy? does a belief in first world education necessarily extend the fundamental capitalistic belief in a relationship between wealth and knowledge, and therefore a ‘you get what you deserve’ value system? is not an information economy based on massive data mines financed by corporate capital? – the information which information have-nots possess is the information on their self – their buying habits, their desires, their sizes and health, their protests and weaknesses, their recorded entity, their objectification with which they can be limited. their bank account. we are consumers eagerly lined up for personalization, security, and prosthetics so that we may be strip mined of our information, tied to our reification and therefore bankrupt.
what are the results for the protesters?
was this really a victory for the protesters? where is the counter-plan? the structure which is to take place after the revolution?
there is the issue of united states environmental laws being overturned by the wto inside the united states, but to limit the dispute to this would be nationalist and protectionist. there are larger more global issues such as human and labor rights, environmental pollution, non-democratic governments. these are all good issues to be concerned with, however what it results in is the expansion of the first world beyond a unified vision of capitalism into a unified vision of a pseudo-christian pseudo-democratic capitalistic belief system. the continued expansion of first-world countries as the moral police and truth-makers of the world. (be careful what you wish for.) why do you think that the protest in seattle got so much media coverage? why do you think clinton was so eager to hop on the bandwagon? it is an inflation of interests. beyond free trade we have moral trade. the conflict yields a governmental, moral, social, and cultural expansion. more (a)moral colonization. manifest destiny.
are we really up to this? are our morals worth passing along? (the only form of regulation we could attain would be entirely corrupt, what with trillions of dollars at stake.) can we pretend that we do not have overly populated jails and housing projects, high murder rates, the death penalty, a miserable education and foster care system for our children, an extreme and widening gap between the rich and poor, as well as environmental pollution and consumption of most of the world’s resources?
we do need our government to protect us from corporations. corporations do not represent any form of society, welfare, or community. government is our strongest weapon against corporations. but we must be careful what sort of power we give to our government also. we must protect our rights without trampling over everyone else’s. does the expansion of corporations have to mean the expansion of our moral system? we need to examine our own democracy and the belief that democracy is alive and well because of our freedom to choose a product. where the power structure lies is not in what you choose, but in the choices that have been presented to you. the things not listed on the menu are quickly dismissed as non-choices, choices already weeded out by supply and demand. ‘democratic choices’ which have already been made. these are the choices we must look at. choices like non-ownership, community ownership, public ownership, elective ownership, pulsating ownership, revolving ownership…. choices like modified capitalism, information-based capitalism, regulated capitalism, welfare capitalism… choices like elective democracy, elective citizenship, consumer rights… i am not saying these are the answers, but i am saying that there must be options other than the american form(s) of democratic capitalism. these forms must be allowed to exist. this world can not support a world which consumes (resources, governments, people) the way the united state does. do we really think that new forms of governments, of society, can ever sprout out of the united states? we must encourage new forms. we must limit the expansion of american profiteering , but we also must limit the expansion of the united states ad other countries as moral police. economic colonization must include moral colonization, or else we have amoral colonization. is this colonization inevitable? if so, how can it be modified, limited, changed?
we need to examine our goals. we must understand what the result will be, what will be left with when we do not attain our goals. (after all, this is why communism doesn’t work). that is, we have to make clear goals which account for their failure.
an internet that promotes non-commercial interests and solidarity:
united states bill of rights:
united states declaration of independence:
united nations bill of rights:
the electronic frontier and the bill of rights: