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April 01, 2004

Anti-Globalization Efforts Flagging

The Economist has a humorous article on how the anti-globalization crowd is failing.

The yearly protest in London may not occur this year, and the Economist is on top of the case.

First, internet debate suggests that the fragile alliance between, on the one hand, communists and what is deliciously described as the “official” anarchist movement and, on the other, “direct actionists” has broken down. The former think the latter have no ideology (“petit-bourgeois/muddle-headed types”), the latter think the former don't know how to party (“insipid leftist culture”). Second, the police have learnt how to manage the protests. Third, Iraq means there are bigger issues on people's minds than the evils of Starbucks. In which case, why not meld anti-capitalist with anti-war protests, as happened last year? Because, fourth, apathy has spread among the ranks. Discussion papers include sad references to “disappointing and poorly-attended meetings” and “sheer lack of turnout”.

Maybe they're starting to notice that everyone else at these protests is just freakin' stupid. But the Economist finishes them off with some snide advice.

Given that the anti-globalisation movement has lent ideas to capitalism—at the mushier end of corporate social responsibility, for instance, where fear and conscience meet to try to placate the mob—capitalism should surely return the favour in anti-globalisation's dark days. There are plenty of modern management techniques which the movement could employ to reinvigorate itself. Has, it, for instance, tried benchmarking itself against comparable movements? If street protest is too arduous for the membership, should it not think of outsourcing its more strenuous activities to the immigrants who already do most of Britain's tougher jobs? Taking that argument further, if domestic apathy is the problem, perhaps the answer is offshoring. A Mayday protest organised in, say, Libya or North Korea would really make a splash.

Exactly. The problem with anarchists is that just can't get fucking organized... :)

April 1, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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