Verdejost on Sun, 13 Feb 2000 22:30:34 +0100


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Re: AW: Syndicate: Re: easy labels and things


Following up Saman and Peter:

Yes, the international trend is selling off public/socialist properties, and 
for (at least evidenced in Italy and other places I have lived in) there is a 
good case to be mounted for inefficiency, modes of corruption, etc. in such 
publicly owned and operated systems.  The former Soviet Union and its 
satellites provide further rather daming evidence. (There is also a very 
evident argument for the selling off going to chums of the new folks in 
power; or in the US, my country, certain businesses related to armaments, 
oil, agriculture, etc. being tacitly in bed with the govt. and effectively 
"socialist" in the strident anti-socialist US of A).  

OK, so that's all true, at least in my book.

Canada is kind of following the historical trend, in general and in detail: 
the selloffs happen because the inefficiencies were there, and the selloffs 
go to cronies of the new right in power because, well that's the way the 
world works.  Alas. 

Austria is indeed the whipping boy of the moment, making dubious governments 
throughout europe (and elsewhere) pleased to take easy moralistic stances, 
while wallowing in their own highly questionable circumstances (need we point 
to the tip of the Kohl iceberg in righteous Germany?  To the somewhat long 
known corruption, but getting more and more visible of Mitterand's France?  
Of still eyes deep in Mani Puliti realities of Italy?  Spain???  
Switzerland????? and so on and on, nevermind smaller fry easy to kcik around 
like Belgium?).  Let's face it, the whole damned place is awash in corruption 
of all sorts.  Some of this is the byproduct of E vs W now dead politics (at 
least that's the excuse the culpable raise).  But basically it is the product 
of human normalcy using institutionalised masks to hide itself.  The most 
currently obvious one is the "corporate veil" by which most nation states 
bequeth a kind of innocence to those who operate corporations:  a person is 
not the corporation and is not accountable as a person (sound familiar: I was 
following orders...), and when the institution the person is corporately 
attached to is found, oh, say poisoning others, the persons who are the 
corporation are mystically exempt from accountability.  Sound familiar?  I 
was following orders.  The new orders come from corporatised globalized 
institutions which write the rules to exempt themselves from accountability.  
Sound familiar??  

See earlier post re the real problems.  These people in established political 
systems are not interested in, and most often not even aware (except 
sometimes in negative senses) of what the problems are, and most certainly 
they are not interested in solving them outside narrow focussed mind-sets. 
(I.e., if environmental pressures make costs in X prohibitive they "solve" 
the problem by moving to some desperate place in which toxicity is acceptable 
in exchange for "money" "jobs" etc.: Bophal, or I suspect the current cyanide 
blue Danube....).

More politics along traditional lines - including simple left/right, 
right/wrong, polarized simplicities will merely beget more of the same.  On a 
supposedly "radical"  (it means linguistically "to go to the roots") list 
like this one would like to see something that addressed the more complex 
realities than jumping in to damn the Austrians because they elected a 
populist demagogue who tapped their anxieties, just like LePen does in 
France, Bossi does in N Italy and others do elsewhere.  Austria is indeed a 
small provincial place, like Belgium, and while it is indeed awash in its own 
corruptions (see earlier post), the scale and reality is nowhere near what 
has happened in, oh, Italy, Germany, France (how about America?) etc.  But 
since Haider is so crude it is easy to pile on and for others to pretend they 
are squeeky clean.

Example:  the Oscar's AMERICAN Academy of Motion Pictures (rather 
disproportionately composed of Jewish people as the film industry is) without 
bothering to do something like look at it, banned the Austrian film up for 
Best Foregin Film.  As it happens the film is (I am told, haven't seen it) a 
leftish look at immigrant problems in Austria.  Ah, but being super 
righteous, the ever so "liberal" Academy kicked it out without a glance, it 
obviously being the product of neo-Nazi Austrians.  Now of course if anyone 
were to - as I just did - say something like that Hwd has a disproportionate 
number of X, one will promptly be accused of anti-semitism (like Brando was), 
and if one took another step and noted that the politics expressed, like the 
Academy dismissal without a look of a film from a left perspective about 
immigrant problems in Austia, were a bit tilted in an odd way, then one would 
get really creamed for saying there seemed to be a bias.  

Ah, but in the current climate of fashionable political correctness, very 
aging epithet labelling (NAZI, fascist, commie/red, etc.) there are certain 
things one can say and others one cannot say, at least not without a stiff 
price.  Most of those whom I am familiar with who have a ready easy label to 
toss on someone else usually fit the description all too well themselves: 
saying someone is negative label XY or Z is a handy way to attempt to 
disregard what that someone might be saying (however distasteful), and 
constitutes a mode of would-be censorship.  Recently I read a little 
newspaper item in which Haider, commenting on the hysteria with which he was 
greeted, rather succinctly and clearly articulated that he, and his 
popularity, were based on particularly Austrian circumstances with which it 
was evident the outside complainers were not exactly familiar.  Like most 
politicians he gots some facts/figures a bit off in his favor (he said 
Austria had the highest percentage of immigrants in Europe, but Switzerland - 
another hotbed of current right wingism - and Belgium are a bit ahead, so 
said the paper).  As written earlier, Austria is just leading the way on what 
will become (as if it isn't already) a leading issue in European politics - 
immigration: how to control it, contain it, something it.  It won't likely be 
addressed in a rational manner, like discussing the realities of contemporary 
technology, economics, etc., but probably in more elemental "tribal" terms 
(my culture is better than your culture, skin color, etc.)  That's how real 
humans usually act.  And react.  Alas.

None of the above excuses the corruption and nature of Austrian "leftists" 
who have ruled their particular roost for some decades and deserve to be 
kicked out.  Too bad the kicking has to come from a rightwinger like Haider.  
Would have been much nicer if the left had been able to clean its own nest, 
but people being people, it filled with greedy short-sighted people who made 
a mess of their own reality (and got wealthy some of them, along the way).  
Next door Italy with recently dead crumby two-bit crook Craxi (socialist!), 
or France with Mitterand (socialist!), Spain etc., all are on very thin ice 
to comment on Haider and Austria.  They were all utterly corrupt, as is the 
not long ago wonderful world of Kohl's Germany....

I am philosophically an anarchist, so none of this is new news to me.  Power 
corrupts, etc....

ciao

jon
roma

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