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Globalism

Revolution in Seattle (12/99)

The failure of the WTO Ministerial meeting in Seattle was a historic watershed, in more than one way. Firstly, it has demonstrated that globalization is not an inevitable phenomena which must be accepted at all costs but a political project which can be responded to politically.

Fifty thousand citizens from all walks of life and all parts of the world were responding politically when they protested peacefully on the streets of Seattle for four days to ensure that there would be no new round of trade negotiations for accelerating and expanding the process of globalization. read more

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Globalism

The WTO’s Rigged Game (9/99)

Should countries have the right to set health and safety standards for the food their citizens eat? Should they be allowed to exclude foreign-produced foods that don’t meet national standards? Or should these questions be decided by the World Trade Organization (WTO)?

Like it or not, these issues are being decided right now. In the latest trade dispute between the world’s two largest trading partners, the US placed sanctions worth about $117 million on European goods in late July. The goal is to force the Europeans to import US beef that is raised with growth hormones. read more

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Globalism

World Bank: Knowledge Gaps (12/98)

Salesmen used to make a living selling enormously expensive multi-volume encyclopedias which would tell you everything you needed to know about everything. Then came the vastly cheaper pocket-size CD ROM. And now there’s the Internet, for the price of a telephone call. Suddenly, knowledge seems cheap and accessible.

If we’re to believe the World Bank’s recent report, Knowledge and Development, after several millennia of human intellectual endeavor, we’ve come of age. In fact, the Bank has taken to calling itself the "knowledge bank," as if it were the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Yellow Pages rolled into one – a kind of modern version of that optimistic Victorian institution, the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. It’s the proud possessor of "an unparalleled reservoir of knowledge … accumulated over the past 50 years in more than 100 countries." And thanks to the Internet, it can finally share this reservoir with the rest of us. read more

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Globalism

Cracks in the Covert Iceberg (5/98)

For almost two decades, the US government claimed that it bankrolled the overthrow of Afghanistan’s revolutionary regime only in response to the invasion of Soviet troops in the final days of the 1970s. But early this year, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Carter’s national security advisor at the time, finally admitted that covert US intervention began long before the USSR sent in troops. "That secret operation was an excellent idea," he explained. "The effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap." read more