Skip to comments.ECO RADICALS SHAMED IN DALLAS (After Freep Report)
Posted on 05/30/2002 2:21:35 PM PDT by Ms. AntiFeminazi
Wow! Where do I begin? This has been a memorable couple of days.
First and foremost, I must thank everyone who participated in this counter-protest. Thank you for asking Freepers to participate. The most remarkable thing about this entire counter-protest has been the way several different conservative organizations worked together as a single unified front to fight off this attack on our city and state. The left has already trashed Austin and Houston, and we will not let them take Dallas too.
Thank you to the following people with whom I had the honor of serving both yesterday and today:
Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) - Carol Jones and Peggy Venable
American Land Rights Association (ALRA) - Mike Hardiman and Chuck Cushman
Congress Of Racial Equality (CORE) - Niger Innis and Cyril Boynes
Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) - David Rothbard and Steve Watson
Paragon Foundation - Jay Zane Walley
Free Republic Network (FRN)- Patricia Meagher
Committee for the Defense of Free Enterprise (CDFE)
The Leadership Institute
and to each and every person who spent even 5 minutes on this project. It was worth it.
Now to the report:
Tuesday a.m. I got up early and picked up some last minute items for the meetings - copies, signs, etc. I made it to the Bradford by 9 a.m. and spent the next couple of hours meeting with the leaders of each of the above listed organizations plus a few others. From 11-1:30, sauropod and I loaded up in the "bus" (my car), and headed all over the high-volume commuter traffic lanes to confirm the three billboards we had purchased for Wednesday morning's ExxonMobil shareholder meeting.
MAF pointing to sign at Central (I-75) and Royal Ln
|OIL FUELS TEXAS PROGRESS
RADICALS DESTROY TEXAS BUSINESS
DONT MESS WITH TEXAS OIL
We also had billboards at I-35 and Beltline in Carrollton, and at the last south exit on the Tollway just before entering downtown. I never made it to the tollway to check, so if anyone saw that billboard, please let me know.
At 2 p.m., we gathered at the Bradford for a 2-hour training session on the evenings events. We had a room with 40 chairs reserved and were pleasantly surprised when there werent enough seats. I counted 48 at the meeting at one point. Some brief introductions were made and Carol Jones (CSE), Mike Hardiman (ALRA), Peggy Venable (CSE), and Chuck Cushman (ALRA) gave guidance on the Mock Trial counter-protest. We handed out maps, talking points, flyers, press releases, cameras, and costumes! LOTS of costumes! (more on that later with pictures!)
Once we closed the meeting, we loaded up in 5 supersized vans and went to Tinas for dinner. Tina opened her house to us fixed the meal herself in addition to handling many other details of the project, such as reserving billboards, printing 100+ yard signs, helping Carol with the hotel arrangements, reserving parking for us at the Meyerson, renting the vans etc. THANK YOU TINA!
Tina our host holding one of the 100 yard signs she had made
Carol Jones (the woman who got it all done!) and Bill Peacock
As you can see from the pictures below, dinner was no little task for Tina.
Once again we loaded up the 5 vans and headed to the Mock Trial at the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson. When we got there, Niger Innis and Cyril Boynes of CORE and Jay Zane Walley (Paragon Foundation and our very own c-b 1) and friends met us. We had 48 in our group. We cant get a definite headcount on their side, but Niger and Lloyd Christmas both counted 6 to 8 in the courtroom.
Niger Innis of CORE had sent a request to the trial organizers a few weeks earlier asking to be allowed to testify at the Mock Trial. He was rejected.
It was a pleasure talking with you yesterday. I had been in contact with your colleague, Scott Crow, and he told me I should call you. I've attached an official request, for my organization to give testimony at your upcoming trial on May 28th, to this e-mail.
Their reply was as follows:
dear niger, i am so sorry to take so long to reply to your request. i'm in dallas and things are very crazy, exxonmobil has hired to folks to counter protest our events, we have representatives arriving from different countries, and i lost one of our key staff people early last week. unfortunately the mock trial has already been scripted out and we've had to turn away some folks who are very connected to ExxonMobil, so unfortunately we're not able to accommodate your request.
hope that you will come to dallas any way and meet with some of the impacted community reps and that we can build solidarity with your organization.
again apologies for my tardiness.
202 413 2897.
Cyril Boynes, Special Advisor for International Affairs, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), had already prepared his testimony on behalf of the Peoples and governments of the Peoples Republics of Chad and Cameroon. He gave me his copy and I will post it on another thread later today. Cyril will be seen and heard here. The left will not keep us quiet. The truth will prevail.
Once we arrived on campus, we tried to enter the Mock Trial.
Our signs were a very big hit to passerbys. Thank you Registered!
We were met by campus security and told to leave the campus. We couldnt understand why we were being asked to leave when the trial had been advertised on the internet and was open to the public. We were then escorted out of the building and proceeded to the front of the building where our kangaroos and signs would be seen. We had 15 disposable cameras and the one I had with some very good pictures of the kangaroos doing their thing ended up with someone else. I should be getting many more and some better pictures later this week.
Our happy Kangaroos and ReJoyce!
Chuck Cushman (ALRA) teaching Barney Fife about free speech
Another member of our group, Wanda, sat inside during the trial and took notes. She said that the courtroom displayed a very large United Nations flag and NO United States flag. She said when court was called to order, the presiding judge stated that the International Criminal Court proceeding was under way. She had many more details that Im having trouble remembering at the moment, but I will be posting her report once she has finished it.
After the Mock Trial, we headed back to the hotel for a sign-making party with cake and ice cream. We made hundreds of signs. Im sorry I dont have more pictures of them, but Im sure more will turn up later in the week. All signs were 2-sided and we filled up 2 vans with them. They were all very creative!
We all were up and out by 6 a.m. the next morning to head to the Meyerson Center where the shareholders meeting was held. When we arrived, there were already a few leftist protestors and a few police. More police arrived within the next hour. By 7:30 a.m., we had 98 counter-protestors with more than 2 signs each ready to go. The eco-radicals had about a handful of people.
Then the infamous van showed up with u-haul in tow
Earlier in the morning, we had been asked not to plant the yard signs in previously friendly territory. I cant help but think the local news had something to do with that. For 5 days prior to this event, local news had been showing clips of Seattle when reporting about the upcoming Wednesday meeting. They should know Texans dont scare so easily. However, once the ExxonMobil shareholders saw us, they sent down a spokesperson to grant us permission to put our signs anywhere we wanted along the front of the building and blockades. We had literally hundreds of handmade and preprinted signs. Another thing to note is that we had free access to the trees, benches and water fountains outside the Meyerson Center. The leftists were in a bare parking lot with no trees or water. By mid-morning, they were looking so dehydrated and tired, we offered some of our sandwiches and water to them. They refused because the sandwiches had meat on them (ham and turkey).
Dare I mention restrooms after the embarrassing porta-potty threads? We were not allowed to use the restrooms inside the Meyerson Center. This is understandable considering the increased security since 9-1-1. However, the proprietors of two nearby buildings sent people down to tell us that we were welcome to use their facilities as much as we needed them. They were appreciative that we were out their defending capitalism. Thank you.
Now a couple of pictures of them:
Hypocrisy at its finest. I wonder if she realizes that the profits the eco-terrorist realized from bottled water are produced in part by the use of petroleum resin for the plastic bottles?
Huh? Notice ole money bags with a gas mask on. It must be sad to be afraid to breathe.
Im sorry I didnt get more close-ups of the opposition. I had 3 cameras and had started one early Wednesday morning, but I gave my cameras to those who had access to better pictures than I could get and I dont have the pictures back yet. I will post them as I get them, but Im sure it will be a few days.
More pictures of us:
The Grinch That Stole Capitalism
Why Greenpeace? Why?
Visualize Whirled Peas
OIL Black Gold, Texas Tea
I love the smell of CRUDE in the morning
DONT MESS WITH TEXAS!
This is what Freeping is all about, imo.
Outstanding job---FReepers love you, and the rest of the patriots who "DID DALLAS"!!1
You guys ROCK!! KUDOS from all us Florida FReepers!!! Old Glory and I can't wait to see you all at the next FReep, conference, or fund raising event.
Hahahahahaha. lololololol. Thanks for the pings ladies. I wish you could have been here for this one. You must be rubbing off on me. lol. I look forward to the next time we meet too. Stay well. :-)
Until recently, I did not know how to reconcile this logically. For example, when I hear someone saying something like this:
We dislike the present system - capitalist order, in which most of us are alienated, class divided, nationally suspicious, consuming wildly and suffering unnecessarily. The present capitalist order, in which a small capitalist minority exploits the working people, is something we cannot tolerate.I see a communist. But the person I quoted there would vehomently deny this, and claim to despise Marxists. That is because the person I quoted is actually an anarchist.
We want a modern society free of exploitation and oppression - no longer divided into exploiters and exploited. We want a modern society in which free people, organized in communities, will produce only what they really need and will have more free time to enjoy life. It will be egalitarian society where the power to make decisions is in the hands of all people. All decisions will be reached by the participation of all affected by them.
NO ONE will have the *right* to make political decisions for others. The responsibility to implement previously decided matters in daily life, when impossible or impractical to be shared by all, will be in the hands of delegates representing their communities and not their own unique opinions. These delegates will not be professionals but common people who continue to do their regular work as before. Their only benefit will be the trust of their communities.
All individuals whose decisions and regular work are relevant to the freedom or wellbeing of others, will do it according to the community guidelines and will be at all times accountable to their community.
Anyhow, to people like me, these folks are indistinguishable from communists because of their anti-capitalist views and their desire for communal decisions and perspectives. However, they see themselves as very much anti-statists and foes of Marxists. Call it a far-left cat fight. I also think that we on Free Republic see a lot of the anarchists, who think that their anti-state views make them natural allies to conservatives, or rather make them think that avid conservatives are ripe to be picked off by their propaganda.
Thinking about Anarchism
Anarchism and Marxism
MARXISM and Anarchism have been the two major theories of revolutionary socialism since the middle of the last century. Yet since then they have constantly been at loggerheads. In this article Conor McLoughlin examines and compares the two to see do they, in fact, have anything in common.
Firstly it is essential to define both sets of ideas. What is anarchism? What is Marxism? For the moment I have decided to ignore all the latter-day disciples of both sets of ideas. So I will not talk about the various Stalinist, Leninist and social democratic developments of Marx's ideas. These have already been well dealt with in previous issues of this paper. Instead I wish to concentrate on the basic ideas of Marx and Engels.
BACK TO BASICS
For the anarchist point of view I will use the writings of Bakunin. He was Marx's consistent opponent and his basic arguments are accepted by most anarchists. Neither Marx or Bakunin were ever entirely consistent and the latter's writings are very fragmentary, however this seems to me to be the fairest method of comparison.
A lot of people who call themselves anarchists will probably be extremely annoyed when I say that the most striking thing is how much we have in common with Marxism. Both anarchists and Marxists are materialists. Both believe that the ideas in peoples' heads are shaped by the social and economic conditions in which we live. We see that ideas evolve and change through action. Thought leads to action and action provokes thought.
WHO CAN GET RID OF CAPITALISM
Both sides accept Marx's theory that labour creates value and that in production much of this is creamed off by the capitalist as profit, leaving a fraction as wages. Also shared is the view that only the working class by, virtue of their role in production, have the power to destroy capitalism.
Further, it is in their interest to do so. Workers have the power to create a classless society and would benefit from it's creation. Both Anarchists and revolutionary Marxists accept that only revolution can achieve this and that it must be international to succeed.
Marx's 'Capital' is a wide ranging, well researched and referenced assault on the capitalist system. In his own words a synthesis; incorporating a range of ideas from right-wing economists like Weber, Ricardo and Adam Smith to revolutionaries like Proudhon and the Irishman William Thompson. Anarchists accepted and welcomed this critique. In fact Bakunin had begun a translation of the book into Russian (no mean feat if you've ever seen the size of this particular work).
Lets be friends?
So why don't we all just shake hands and let bygones be bygones?
Firstly there has always been a major disagreement on the nature of the state. By State we do not mean the country we live in. It is best described as the 'executive committee' of the ruling class, the mechanism that allows a minority to rule. Ultimately it defends its power through its monopoly of force, its powers of repression to protect the bosses' rule against challenges from below.
Anarchists have always seen it as non-essential for a classless society. However it is vital to the bosses in all forms of class society. It intervenes massively in the running of most average capitalist countries and in some cases may even embody the whole of the ruling class in a kind of collective exploitation (as in the former Stalinist bloc).
Marx and Engels, on the other hand have always been ambiguous about the State. At several stages they stressed that it was a neutral body which could be used by workers in revolution. In 1848, after the Paris uprising, they drafted the 'Communist Manifesto'. In this they repeatedly speak of "The Worker's State" which was to nationalise and centralise all production, finance, transport and communication. There is no mention of how the workers would be able to control "their state".
WORKERS POWER OR DICTATORSHIP OVER WORKERS?
However in 'The Civil War in France', written after the 1871 Paris Commune, Marx toyed with the idea of replacing the State with "Communal Power" and "the self-government of producers", though without mentioning exactly how this was to come about. By the time of the publication of 'The Critique of the Gotha Programme' in 1875 he was back to the ambiguous concept of "dictatorship of the proletariat".
In contrast Bakunin consistently and vigorously attacked the idea of a revolutionary role for the State. He predicted the tyranny of Leninism with uncanny accuracy in 'State and Anarchism' written in 1873;
"The new social order (of Marx) should not be organised by the free association of peoples' organisations or unions, local and regional, from the bottom up in accordance with the demands and instincts of the people, but by the dictatorial power of the learned minority which presumes to express the will of the people."
In Russia in 1917 the Bolsheviks attempted to implement Marx's basic programme. As part and parcel of state controlled nationalisation from above, they closed down factory committees and soviets. All other left-wing parties were smashed. The result was the squalid form of State Capitalism which survived until the late 1980s. Bakunin was, unfortunately, all too correct in his predictions.
At a deeper level there are ambiguities at the very heart of Marxism. In his early works like "Thesis on Feurbach" or "The Holy Family" people are seen as being active in changing history. However in his later works history and economics take over and are seen to sweep us along with them.
There are shades of this thinking in 'Capital'. In this he puts forward the idea that capitalism would become a fetter on the further development of production and would be shuffled off in an unspecified way. He puts up the vague idea that capitalism would become so big and so planned that socialism, purely in terms of efficiency, would be the next logical step. Capitalism would "rationalise itself out of existence" as he put it in his 'Grundrisse' notebooks for 'Capital'.
This is very deterministic thinking. It removes workers from the stage as consciously moulding and changing the world. Socialism becomes a matter of waiting for capitalism to "mature". This was the reason for some Marxists like the German Social Democrats believing there was no need for a revolution.
Marx, and then Engels after his death, did follow this through to it's logical conclusion. They flirted with the idea of bringing about socialism through social democracy and the ballot. In 1869 they supported the German Social Democratic Party's line of forming alliances with right-wing parties.
Bakunin poured scorn on these ideas. He described the democratic state as: "State Centralisation and the actual submission of the sovereign people to the intellectual governing minority".
SOCIALISM BY ELECTING 166 TDs?
Soon after the Paris Commune Marx and Engels broke with the Social Democratic Party. But in 1895 the ageing Engels was back to his old tricks again and put the accent on using the ballot box to get into power to change society, (in his introduction to a new edition of 'The Communist Manifesto'). Marx also claimed, at one stage that it was possible to introduce socialism through the ballot box in advanced capitalist countries like Britain and America.
It appears that, except for a brief period around 1871, Marx and Engels never gave any serious consideration to the idea of workers managing society. Even then they didn't look into to the matter in any detail. In contrast Proudhon (with whom we would have our differences), Bakunin and Kropotkin did. Marx saw this as very much being a long-term aim.
Bakunin's rejection of Marx's determinism also gave him an insight into the role that small peasants could play in a revolutionary situation. Marx saw the peasants as a reactionary class who would generally not support workers. Bakunin believed that peasants could be revolutionary where they were influenced by revolutionary ideas. He put forward an excellent programme for the peasants in his work 'Letters to a Frenchman in the present Crisis' (1871).
His basic idea was to hand the land over unconditionally to small peasants. and to do away with conscription, taxes, rents and mortgages. With the abolition of the State and by this the loss of inheritance rights the individual would be the only guarantor of his/her property. With a large amount of land suddenly becoming available and with anarchist propaganda pouring in from the city and from landless workers, a programme of voluntary collectivisation would soon suggest itself. This is exactly what happened in Spain in 1936 and the Ukraine in 1921. These ideas might still have relevance in many developing countries.
VOLUNTARY OR NOT AT ALL
He also warned about the dangers of forced collectivisation - it would have to be voluntary: "collectivism could only be imposed on slaves and that kind of collectivisation would be the negation of humanity".
So there are important and major differences between anarchists and Marxists. Marx was no libertarian and took a very deterministic view of history and class struggle. His disciples from Lenin to Stalin and Mao picked up and expanded on Marx's bad ideas to come up with their theories of 'the party before all else', the rationale for their dictatorships.
On the other hand Marx and Engels have unfairly been demonised by a lot of anarchists. Most anarchists accept the much of the economic analysis put forward in 'Capital'. These ideas are a synthesis putting together the results of hundreds of years of research and struggle. As such they are not, properly speaking, the property of Marxists. One can accept a materialist method of analysis and Marx's critique of capitalism without accepting the politics of Marx and Engels. These ideas are not the property of theorists, either Marxist or Anarchist. They really belong to all the workers of the world and it is our job to spread them.
I also found this of particular interest, from the first page linked above:
How much of things like that do you see here?
III. Fallacies of the "Anti-Globalization" MovementI can't go on. I must go on. Samuel Beckett
- We are not so foolish to claim that we can resolve these debates and answer the all above questions in this issue of Midnight Notes. The "One No!" is still something of an ideal at the moment. It will have to be defined on the basis of a wide ranging anti-capitalist discussion and practice. But we can note that within the field of Yeses there are certain logical contradictions, especially in the anti-globalization struggle.
- After providing some leadership to the movement in 1995 and 1996, the anti- globalization campaign, which had its strongest voice in the International Forum on Globalization, has now reached something of a stalemate. This stalemate cannot be evaded for long by opportunistic rhetorical ploys, for it becomes evident whenever issues of immigration, capital flight, and "hot money" are debated--and they all are being debated heatedly in the U.S. right now.
- These phenomena are essential aspects of "globalization", for they pose the question of the costs (and gains) for workers and capitalists respectively of the mobility of their labor power and capital. If we simplify a bit, we can see that "globalization", as it is now experienced, is the regime in which capital (in monetary or even physical form) can be moved across national boundaries at very low cost, while workers still must pay high costs in moving from nation state to nation state (especially in the form of lower wages, because they do not have full legal status in the state of their arrival).
This asymmetry between the movement costs of capital and labor power makes it possible for capitalists to continually bid down wages, for if workers in a certain nation state refuse to work at wage W, then capital can be moved (at little cost) to nation states where the prevailing wage is substantially lower than W. Hence, capital becomes "global", while workers are stuck with the nation state whose only function is to police them and their desires.
- There have been two main anti-globalization strategies that can be categorized by the costs of locomotion. The first is the "localist" strategy, which would make the cost of motion of both capital and labor very high. This strategy, associated with Korten and others, emphasizes the restrictions to capital's movement. It suggests a policy of "local control" of investment capital, with high penalties for withdrawing capital and tough restrictions on the kind of markets localized capital must produce for ("if you produce here, then you should sell here"). This strategy presupposes that the restriction on capital's mobility and the restriction on its markets will create an incentive for capitalists to accept a high wage solution in the negotiations between themselves and workers. (Since, from the capitalists' viewpoint, if your customers will be your workers, then they must have enough effective demand for your commodities to be sold.) This is a "sub-national" Keynesian strategy.
- The proponents of this strategy often do not mention, however, the "secret" side of localism: the restriction on the inflow of workers. This restriction is the inverse of the mercantilist restriction on labor mobility, which saw the doom of profit in a tight labor market caused by emigration. For if the capitalists can sufficiently lower the costs of the movement of labor, and the conditions of labor around the planet can be made abysmal enough, then capitalists can import laborers (as something like "mail order" workers), in the way it has been done throughout U.S. history. This would make it easy to create divisions among workers and force them to bid down wages within any locality or community. Consequently, unless these proponents of localism make both the outward movement of capital and the inward movement of workers very costly, the high wage solution will elude them. This strategy would also largely leave unchanged, and even stabilize the present hierarchy of national wages.
- The proponents of the other main anti-globalization strategy see in the free mobility of capital and the restriction of the movement of workers the cause of the dramatic lowering of wages internationally ("the race to the bottom", as Jeremy Brecher and Tim Costello call it) (Brecher and Costello 1994). Their solution is to lift restrictions and penalties on the movement of workers from nation state to nation state. They would use the growing supra- national coordinating bodies (e.g., the WTO, ILO, WB, IMF, UN) that have, up until now, been largely built to organize the free flow of capital throughout the planet (under the confusing banner of "free trade") as sites for struggle for global workers' rights. Their demands and slogans include a "global minimum wage" and "workers' rights are universal human rights". They would use the supra-national institutions now under construction the way pro-worker activists had used the post-WWII nation state in Western Europe and North America to impose the right to unionize, restrictions on exploitation, and a high wage policy on capitalists. Those who support this strategy are "supra- national Keynesians".
- This approach is, of course, diametrically opposed to the "localist" one. Instead of pushing for the restriction of the movement of capital, it proposes the lowering of the costs of workers' locomotion and demands an "even playing field" for workers internationally, especially in the guarantee of universal rights and benefits for workers independent of their origin. Implicit in this strategy is the increasing homogenization of global wages (and hence a reduction of wages of those workers on the top of the hierarchy). This parenthetical consequence is its "secret" when being advocated in regions of high relative wages.
- The tensions between these two approaches remain unnoticed partly because neither strategy has been fully endorsed by the anti-globalization movement. Consequently, this movement seems to be trying to operate both strategies at the same time, i.e., to demand a uniform framework of workers rights and benefits (universalism) while implicitly accepting restrictions on workers' movements (localism). Its internal tensions are often interpreted as between human rights and communitarian presuppositions, or between "sameness" and "difference", in postmodern philosophical parlance. But at their root is a logical contradiction that inevitably hinders the confidence of the movement.
- Capitalist ideologues have been quick to perceive the tensions between the "localist" and "universalist" (between the "sub-" and "supra-national Keynesian") strategies and have devised a most cynical response: appeal to "nativism" as far as workers are concerned, and appeal to "globalism" as far as capital is concerned (under the rubrics of "freedom of trade", "progress", etc.) Thus all the monsters of the capitalist past are revived and sanctioned (e.g., racism and slavery) in the context of a neoliberal ideology of "efficiency", "technological rationality", and "global values". The reason why this cynical approach has been so successful up until now is that it has been able to use the "secret" sides of both anti-globalization strategies: for the localists must logically accept the restriction of immigration, while the universalists must logically accept the reduction of wages at the top. These three approaches largely exhaust the possibilities of pairing the high or low mobility of capital with the high or low mobility of labor power, unless, of course, the rules of the game are questioned and transcended to a point when profits cease being the "final determinant" of human action, work, communication and thought.
- One of the main political points of this issue is to convince you of two things: (1) the logical stalemate of the two major anti-globalization strategies and (2) the rules of class conflict and wage negotiation defined by contemporary capitalism inevitably lead to working class defeat. Where can we go from here? Once we know we can't go on, we must go on.
Are they communists? Strictly speaking, no, but they are close enough, and the fact that the label annoys them is just fine by me.
Basil Said " we outnumbered them so badly. This is the first time I have seen us be able to do that! I sure hope it is a sign of things to come!"
It has been a few years since the March For Justice and the gaathering in the DC hotel lobby where many learned that we are not alone, there are lots of really good guys out there and together we can try to make a difference. Perhaps this was a first where Freepers out numbered the creepers. I would hope that there are lurkers here who will learn by example and join the effort when there is an opportunity.
They are not for anything, only against everything capitalist. Where are their solutions? They have none. If capitalism and free enterprise are destroyed, what then?
The proponents of the other main anti-globalization strategy see in the free mobility of capital and the restriction of the movement of workers the cause of the dramatic lowering of wages internationally ("the race to the bottom", as Jeremy Brecher and Tim Costello call it) (Brecher and Costello 1994). Their solution is to lift restrictions and penalties on the movement of workers from nation state to nation state. They would use the growing supra- national coordinating bodies (e.g., the WTO, ILO, WB, IMF, UN) that have, up until now, been largely built to organize the free flow of capital throughout the planet (under the confusing banner of "free trade") as sites for struggle for global workers' rights. Their demands and slogans include a "global minimum wage" and "workers' rights are universal human rights". They would use the supra-national institutions now under construction the way pro-worker activists had used the post-WWII nation state in Western Europe and North America to impose the right to unionize, restrictions on exploitation, and a high wage policy on capitalists. Those who support this strategy are "supra- national Keynesians".
This approach is, of course, diametrically opposed to the "localist" one. Instead of pushing for the restriction of the movement of capital, it proposes the lowering of the costs of workers' locomotion and demands an "even playing field" for workers internationally, especially in the guarantee of universal rights and benefits for workers independent of their origin. Implicit in this strategy is the increasing homogenization of global wages (and hence a reduction of wages of those workers on the top of the hierarchy). This parenthetical consequence is its "secret" when being advocated in regions of high relative wages.
They were contradicting themselves...again.
A lesson in Dallas
An anti-corporate lynch mob showed up in Dallas for the ExxonMobil shareholders meeting. Their language was intemperate, their historical comparisons absurd, and their demands on a major oil company could be reduced to one word: surrender.
Ever since radical mobs with a violent and thoroughly anti-capitalist agenda stormed Seattle, many in our media have treated the parade of anti-corporate hooligans with kid gloves, awarding them instant idealism on the front pages, giving their spokesmen precious airtime for their soundbites, and presenting them without any notice of an ideological bone in their bodies. At best they are dreamers; at worst, confused.
To see what these people are really like, see CNSNews.com reporter Marc Morano's report from the scene of the leftists' "mock trial" of ExxonMobil in Dallas. Prosecutor David Cobb, the local Green Party candidate for Attorney General of Texas, compared the oil giant to Adolf Hitler's dictatorship. "Just as the Nazi party had to take over the democratically elected
government in Germany to achieve its goals, so, too, did ExxonMobil take over aspects of our democratically elected government to achieve its ends."
Ask yourself this question: In all the news reports about the Green Party you've watched on the networks, have you ever (END ITAL) seen their political agenda described this way? You haven't, because to report on the reality of the Green Party's agenda is to shatter the illusion so painstakingly promoted by its sympathizers.
The ExxonMobil meeting wasn't just a magnet for anarchists outside the meeting, but also for more mainstream liberal activists inside the meeting, like established green groups and the gay left. On the Web site of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, one small preview reported on their efforts: "Social activists, ranging from environmental, alternative energy and social policy proponents, will present shareholders with eight proposals."
Why can't reporters in America find the term "leftist" ... or the more appropriate, "radical leftist" ... in their dictionaries? They're not helping their readers understand politics with vague and meaningless terms like "social policy proponents."
The leftists demanded that ExxonMobil divert its oil revenues into alternative-fuel schemes like solar energy -- still uneconomical after all these years -- and offer domestic-partner benefits for homosexual employees, which presumably has something to do with environmental issues. When these liberal proposals were rejected by almost 80 percent of the shareholders, the Star-Telegram didn't report the liberals were routed. Heavens, no. They told a warm story about high-fiving activists convinced that doubling their vote from 10 to 20 percent meant that a shareholder-endorsed socialist utopia was not far behind.
Too many reporters arrive at a business story with the prospective idea that there are only two sides, the Marxist caricature of Capital versus Labor -- the stuffed-shirt, bottom-line titans of Profit opposed to the scruffy, lovable humanitarians of Not for Profit. But the events in Dallas proved the presence of conservative protesters and journalists can ensure that left-wing militants and liberals alike can be refuted within (somewhat) and without the mainstream press.
When supposedly skeptical journalists go soft on the left, we need reporters like Marc Morano who can question them on hypocrisy -- as in Dallas, when he asked a group of "green" radicals why they showed up at an oil-bashing rally in a big Ford Econoline van. And we need a little army of conservative protesters in every big city when a business is targeted for "idealism." Show them there's another side: everyday people who love freedom, love America, and appreciate the bounty of goods and services that free enterprise provides.