existing civilisations discovered?Posted: 2013-08-15
From the flood of postings in the blogosphere we would be tempted to conclude that the world constitutes only the ‘Five Eyes’ (US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), Japan and Europe, and that political, social and economic issues are exclusive to any or all of these.
But all is not lost as we enlist the services of other intrepid blogs to boldly go forth and discover other civilisations (and economies) where there are real people, no longer ‘almost-people’. Such people would include those in the Caribbean and Latin America in ‘far away places with strange sounding names’ – like Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, and Venezuela.
An Article of Faith for many in our ‘community of civilised nations’ of the ‘US backyard’ is that any mention of any such exotic names in the US corporate media is usually no more than breathless and vitriolic regurgitation of the government’s pronouncement on behalf of US corporate interests, and is therefore to be dismissed as false and malicious. Such regurgitation usually occurs whenever ‘those folk of the backyard’ show the audacity to declare and implement policy that benefits their own citizens, especially the socially vulnerable. And when such policy does yield increasing economic and social development, and alleviating poverty and ignorance and social inequality in the process, it reflects poorly on the benevolence of the Washington Consensus – and that is anti-American.
One exceptional, uncompromising blog, CEPR, exposes utter, contemptuous disregard for national sovereignty and individual privacy by the self-anointed proseletyser of capitalism, democracy and individual freedoms. Glenn Greenwald in his recent testimony to the Brazilian Senate would provide some of the detailed evidence of espionage against the government, private sector and individuals of Brazil and other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Greenwald mentioned that he has information regarding instances of NSA surveillance of the Organization of American States (OAS) and secret intelligence documents on economic agreements with Latin American nations. He explained that this type of surveillance has helped the U.S. to make the agreements appear more appealing to Latin American countries. Brazil’s concern about this economic espionage is particularly understandable given that it is the U.S.’s largest trading partner in South America.
The same blog even has a standalone section on Haiti, truly commendable. If only the UN were to be minimally decent in acknowledging its guilt in the spread of cholera there and to atone for its misdeeds in a country so abused. This Haiti section seeks to fill gaps on information and analysis on this country.
On matters of trade and economic development is Dani Rodrik’s weblog with this sample post, ‘What the BRICS could do.’ Such postings, even if infrequent, do have reference, not fleeting, value.
Emergent Economics is another. This blog looks beyond the mainly parochial issues so prominent in the Western MSM and blogs, with many issues owing their prominence to constant repetition by their advocates . A sample post looks at Argentina and how that country seeks to address its economic problems in the context of the chaotic world economy, ‘What would a healthy economy look like after the global crisis?‘
Another post from that blog examines the role of politics in trade, ‘Trade is about politics, not just economics‘. Rejection of the FTAA/ALCA had its origins in that political and economic epiphany among some Latin countries of ‘timeo danaos et dona ferentes’, despite the disquiet of some North-fixated anglo-phone countries. For countries of the Caribbean and Latin America, the rejection yielded many benefits, among which were other trade initiatives that have contributed to social and economic development among participants. (Exposure of NSA spying would further validate the decision on the FTAA/ALCA.)
A case study. In a trade dispute, the WTO had ruled in favour of the tiny, tiny, tiny country of Antigua and Barbuda against the United States. Well, the WTO can rule all it wants…
Conversable Economist is another blog that occasionally ventures further afield from the recurrent Western macroeconomic and political issues. One nice excursion into theory, ‘A Lobster Supply and Demand Story‘.
And another post of continuing and pressing importance, especially for those developing countries where wanton destruction of swamps and mangroves is considered a sign of development, of heading to ‘First World’ status, ‘Climate Change Strategies (Including Mangroves)‘.
Blogs as these now offer readers substantive information and incisive analysis, and even the opportunity to conduct refreshing, independent research and to engage in critical analysis of issues.
Impending news on the god of misinformation and disinformation we await, and will rejoice accordingly.