O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

sexta-feira, abril 16, 2004

Rise and fall of anti-capitalist movement

Um excelente artigo no The Scotsman.

A number of factors are at work - and the most important is a battle of ideas which is now raging but did not exist during the "Battle of Seattle". Then, the required text was the bestselling No Logo, by Naomi Klein, a Canadian journalist who argued that big companies and their brands were exploiting the world?s poor by introducing sweatshop labour.

She hit a zeitgeist. By 2000, shops had globalised: holidaymakers had been going abroad to see Gap, Zara and Starbucks line up on high streets the world over. Shoppers were regularly turning the labels of their new clothes to see the names of faraway countries, even on the wares of self-proclaimed patriots such as Marks & Spencer. They smelt a rat - and Klein gleefully pointed them to it.

And opposing Klein?s interpretation was - no-one. It became received wisdom that globalisation meant exploitation and that multinational companies were profiting on child labour, aided and abetted by the World Bank etc.


But the main force in the pro-globalisation battle comes from an even more unlikely quarter: Sweden. The country with the highest taxes in Europe has produced Johan Norberg, 30, a former anarchist who has scored an international success with his book, In Defence of Globalisation. [nota: o título do livro é "In Defence of Global Capitalism"]


Unlike No Logo, it is entirely based on facts - drawing from the United Nations? own data to show that the overseas low-wage factories have made more progress against world poverty in the last 50 years than in the last 500.

The facts he produces speak for themselves: when UN inspectors visited a town where a Nike sweatshop had been closed after protests from the United States, it found that former employees were working as prostitutes.

Such people worked in sweatshops because the alternative was even worse. Where globalised companies had been allowed to stay, their logo was the perfect form of policing. Standards rose, wealth was created.

posted by Miguel Noronha 11:23 da manhã

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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