seattle: (a)moral colonization wade tillett on Wed, 29 Dec 1999 21:18:35 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> seattle: (a)moral colonization

what we should keep in mind about the wto protest in seattle isthat it was a wto protest in seattle.that is, not only the wto, but also the wto protest, representedfirst world interests. specifically, it represented americaninterests. the protest serves as an extension of power throughthe simulation of conflict. what i mean is that the wto and theprotest both operate within a system of first world expansioninterests, and this expansion is accomplished through aspectacle of conflict. am i saying that people should not protest,should be silent? absolutely not. what i am saying is that whenwe protest we must have an acute awareness of how thisprotest will be used. the wto negotiations ‘collapsed’, but thereis more than one result of this conflict. these results are whatwe need to examine and anticipate.what are the results for the corporations?the continued operation under the existing rules of the wto. thecontinued operation under governments in their existing expansion of interests through self-regulation, concurrentwith industry deregulation in the name of competition. ‘thisderegulation, by allowing insurance, banks, and brokers tooperate under one roof, therefore decreasing their overheadcosts, will allow savings to be passed on to consumers.’ doesanyone believe this? industry deregulation is simply a symptomof corporations more powerful than governments. deregulationallows corporations to operate on a scale larger thangovernments. mega-conglomerates of media and financialinstitutions are necessary in order to preserve americaninterests through the extension of corporate power based in theunited states. remember that the cold war was an economicwar, the spoils of which are economic colonization.deregulation allows for the massive deployment of propagandaand products on an international scale. yeah, you can send acouple hand-crafted wooden chairs to russia through yourweb page but who would want them. they could make those forthemselves. the products and services which makes the unitedstates a superpower are the products and services whichprovide a capital investment which no one else can match. thisis the reason for deregulation, to ensure unmatched corporatecapital bases. the united states is the world bank, brokeringinvestments and taking a cut through the use of unmatchedfunds. the united states no longer needs a weapons war to draineconomies of their wealth. american interests are strongenough worldwide to provide the backbone of economicinfrastructure. what are the essential industries of an americanbased corporate colonization? media and finance. industrieswhich have both been heavily deregulated since the end of thecold war. the government won the cold war through thestrength and extension of a global american economy. butgovernment colonization is frowned upon these days. luckily,and not by chance, it is also unnecessary for continuedamerican colonization. colonial expansion is now afforded tocorporations under the banner of free trade. the institutionswhich the government relied upon for its wealth during the coldwar are now claiming the power which they gave. its kind oflike what the united states always does, give weapons to theguys they believe will further their interest and then crush themwhen they turn on the us because they finally figure out the uswas only using them to further american interests. but thegovernment can not continue the expansion of an economicwarfare without weapons. the american government has metits ‘moral’ (financial) limit. or has it?.capitalism and democracy have been bundled into the phrasedemocratic capitalism and sold as if any restrictions oncorporations are restrictions on our freedom to choose and,therefore, democracy. ‘global capitalism is inevitable and this isgood because democracy will follow.’ is this true? what are thechoices which are not being presented to us? did we all lose thecold war? (fooled for the last time by the either/or). capitalismis based on growth, what happens when it has fully extendeditself? will this ever happen? can governments controlcorporations larger than themselves? can people controlcorporations through their buying power if they are informed?how could people be informed if the media is what we need tobe informed of? is a desire for information simply the extensionof an information economy? does a belief in first worldeducation necessarily extend the fundamental capitalistic beliefin a relationship between wealth and knowledge, and thereforea ‘you get what you deserve’ value system? is not aninformation economy based on massive data mines financed bycorporate capital? – the information which informationhave-nots possess is the information on their self – theirbuying habits, their desires, their sizes and health, their protestsand weaknesses, their recorded entity, their objectificationwith which they can be limited. their bank account. we areconsumers eagerly lined up for personalization, security, andprosthetics 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 thecounter-plan? the structure which is to take place after therevolution?there is the issue of united states environmental laws beingoverturned by the wto inside the united states, but to limit thedispute to this would be nationalist and protectionist. there arelarger more global issues such as human and labor rights,environmental pollution, non-democratic governments. theseare all good issues to be concerned with, however what itresults in is the expansion of the first world beyond a unifiedvision of capitalism into a unified vision of a pseudo-christianpseudo-democratic capitalistic belief system. the continuedexpansion of first-world countries as the moral police andtruth-makers of the world. (be careful what you wish for.) whydo you think that the protest in seattle got so much mediacoverage? why do you think clinton was so eager to hop on thebandwagon? it is an inflation of interests. beyond free trade wehave 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 entirelycorrupt, what with trillions of dollars at stake.) can we pretendthat we do not have overly populated jails and housing projects,high murder rates, the death penalty, a miserable education andfoster care system for our children, an extreme and wideninggap between the rich and poor, as well as environmentalpollution 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, orcommunity. government is our strongest weapon againstcorporations. but we must be careful what sort of power wegive to our government also. we must protect our rights withouttrampling over everyone else’s. does the expansion ofcorporations have to mean the expansion of our moral system?we need to examine our own democracy and the belief thatdemocracy is alive and well because of our freedom to choosea product. where the power structure lies is not in what youchoose, but in the choices that have been presented to you. thethings not listed on the menu are quickly dismissed asnon-choices, choices already weeded out by supply anddemand. ‘democratic choices’ which have already been made.these are the choices we must look at. choices likenon-ownership, community ownership, public ownership,elective ownership, pulsating ownership, revolvingownership…. choices like modified capitalism,information-based capitalism, regulated capitalism, welfarecapitalism… choices like elective democracy, electivecitizenship, consumer rights… i am not saying these are theanswers, but i am saying that there must be options other thanthe american form(s) of democratic capitalism. these formsmust be allowed to exist. this world can not support a worldwhich consumes (resources, governments, people) the waythe united state does. do we really think that new forms ofgovernments, of society, can ever sprout out of the unitedstates? we must encourage new forms. we must limit theexpansion of american profiteering , but we also must limit theexpansion of the united states ad other countries as moralpolice. economic colonization must include moral colonization,or else we have amoral colonization. is this colonizationinevitable? if so, how can it be modified, limited, changed?we need to examine our goals. we must understand what theresult will be, what will be left with when we do not attain ourgoals. (after all, this is why communism doesn’t work). that is,we have to make clear goals which account for their internet that promotes non-commercial interests andsolidarity: states bill of rights: states declaration of independence: nations bill of rights: electronic frontier and the bill of rights: distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission# <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,# collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets# more info: and “info nettime-l” in the msg body# archive: contact: