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June 16, 2002

Trade matters Nick Denton continues to be an invaluable source of links to information about trade hypocrisy. From nickdenton.org, here’s a link to a punchy Economist piece arguing that the most effective way rich countries could fight world hunger would be to stop subsidizing First World farmers, thus giving poorer countries a chance to accumulate capital by selling us food. And from the same source, here’s an article in today’s New York Times about the worldwide impact of our recent grotesque (and bipartisan) $180 billion Welfare For Rich Agribusiness bill.

Sometimes somebody else puts it so crisply that it’s impossible to improve on it. Writes Nick: “There’s something wrong when it’s easier to crash a plane into New York than ship rice to the US.” [10:17 AM]

Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Trade matters:

Karl Marx ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 12:26 AM:

I just do not understand it. You have political democracy--you have the allegiance of the army to the constitutional democratic order--why do you let the plutocrats boss you around? Even your own bourgois economists tell you that the artificial creation of monopolies through trade restrictions is destructive!

Yours in struggle,

Karl Marx

Ezra Pound ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 12:33 AM:

And moreover, the ant's a centaur in his dragon world. Pull down thy vanity! I say, pull down!

Sigmund Freud ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 12:36 AM:

Is this the room for the meeting of weird old guys with beards?

Friedrich Nietzsche ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 12:39 AM:

It is, but we don't need your kind in here, if you get my drift and I think you do.

Right, Karl ol' buddy?

Karl Marx ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 12:40 AM:

What do you mean "we", goyische boychik?

Basho ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 07:57 AM:

When you have rice, I'll give it to you.
When you have no rice, I'll take it from you.

Siddartha Gautama ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 08:05 AM:

Basho: I knew you'd say that. After all, rice is the Staff of Life in Asia...

Henny Youngman ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 08:07 AM:

Take my rice, please.

Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 08:16 AM:

There is no rice, and also no lack of it. There is no repletion, no starvation, and also no absense of them; free trade is tariff and tariff, trade; exploitation is foreign aid and foreign aid, exploitation.

Shipped, shipped, shipped beyond, shipped altogether beyond!

Mikhail Bakunin ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 12:41 PM:

In answer to your original question, Karl, let me refer you to your own Revolution and Counter-Revolution -- in particular, Chapter IX, on Panslavism and the Schleswig-Holstein war.
"They had everywhere revived the old national animosities, which heretofore had prevented any common understanding and action... They had accustomed the people to scenes of civil war and repression by the military."

(Need I bring up Deputy Solicitor General Clement's argument yesterday in the Hamdi case?)

"[T]he regular army... was placed in a position to regain public favor by victories over the foreigner. But we repeat: these armies, strengthened by the Liberals ... no sooner had recovered their self-confidence and their discipline in some degree, than they turned themselves against the Liberals, and restored to power men of the old system."


Ed Gruberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 01:44 PM:

"The best defense is a good offense, you know who said that? Mel, the cook on 'Alice'."

Ineffable and Unpronounceable ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 02:35 PM:



Karl Marx ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 07:21 PM:

First, I would like to say to Ineffable and Unpronounceable: "Begone! This is the adulthood of humanity! We no longer need the opium dreams that have created you and your kind!

"We now make our own history! And soon we will make it under circumstances of our own choosing!"

Next, I would like to reply to Mikhail Bakunin, who as usual--the idiot! the objective tool of reactionary scum! the purveyor of anarchist fantasies that distract the people from the project of realizing socialism in a really existing manner!--misses the point completely.

The agricultural tariffs and subsidies are not part of the struggle between capitalism and socialism. They are part of the struggle between large-scale agrarian capital on the one hand and industrial and post-industrial capital, and the petit bourgeoisie on the other. And in this the ideologists of the bourgeoisie are all assembled against the agrarians. They have no arguments on their side, they can only paint a romanticized picture of the idiocy of rural life. Indeed, do you think those who will profit from the farm bill have ever picked a strawberry in the California sun, or harvested sugar cane in Florida, or even driven a plow in South Dakota?

Words fail me. If the bourgeoisie cannot even maintain its own rights against agrarian monopolists, it must be a feeble and sickly class indeed. Why, then, is there no socialism in the United States?

Ineffable and Unpronounceable ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2002, 07:37 PM: