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Re: <eyebeam><blast> MAI '98

2 messages, from Saskia Sassen and Stephen Linhart.

Saskia Sassen <sassen@columbia.edu> writes:

On the MAI and globalization. I would agree with those who don't see
much good coming out of it.  One of the issues that matters to me in
this is that MAI, along with WTO, and NAFTA, the IMF (which has undegone
quite an evolution since its creation at Bretton Woods), represent a
massive allocation of private and public resources to create systems of
governance that make the emegence of global capital markets and global
commodities, etc. markets operable and advantageous. National
governments, by the way, are participants, through their reconceived
central banks and ministrys of finance, etc. What we are not seeing is a
large effort and resource allocation to create governance systems that
are concerned with broader "public interest"
issuies--internationalization of labor standards, environemtnal
protection, child labor, massive poverty, etc. In principle, the
creation of cross-border frameworks is not necessarily bad. The problem
is that all the efforts and resources have gone for the advantage of the
top. One political challenge is to see how the creation of these
cross-border spaces --or new strategic geography of economic power--
offers operational openings for cross-border polticis in defense of some
of the issues above (for labor activists, enrionmental activists,
various feminist struggles, etc.  The only alternative to globalization
should not be the defense of national states. 

saskia sassen  


Stephen Linhart <Stephen123@aol.com> writes:

Brian Holmes wrote:

>There is also great interest in legislation to ensure that 80 to 
>90% won't become 100%. Most of this legislation simply involves giving a 
>financial advantage (an "unfair" advantage, in MAI logic) to small 
>producers and distributors. That's not exactly censorship.

Are you saying MAI prohibits funding or subsidies for the arts?  Please
be specific if you can.  If so, I may agree with you on this point
although I still support free trade and oppose institutional French
regulation of language and culture.

I wrote:

>Economic globalization also plays important roles in deterring war,
>protection minority cultures within nations, protecting the poorest, and
>protecting the environment of poor countries.

Andy Best replied:

>Please give an example of where "economic globalization" HAS done any of
>these things!

I don't want to get in a political fight about this so I won't dispute
the thrust of your argument.  I will just give 2 examples of what I'm
talking about so you can have some understanding of my point of view if
you want to.

1) The G7 have spent hundreds of millions of dollars cleaning up
Chernobyl. That's one sort of advantage of economic globalization.

2) The world did eventually intervene against 'ethnic cleansing' in
Bosnia and is spending the money to rebuild the economies there.  That's
another sort of advantage of economic globalization.

- Stephen
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