The story of Dubai

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Joost
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The story of Dubai

#1 Post by Joost » 20 Apr 2009 13:32

A tale of modern day slavery and what is perhaps the largest-scale con-trick in the history of mankind.

A long read, but very much worth reading.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/co ... 64368.html

It's all quite bizarre, really, and seems to be taken straight out of a dystopian novel... :shock:
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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#2 Post by Sleeping Dragon » 20 Apr 2009 18:12

they're right about one thing, though: this phenomenon exists in every western country to some extent.

it was very common here a number of years ago. now it's still around but since the media made a frenzy about human rights, supervision on employers is far more strict. basically, they now bribe the authorities to allow them to operate and are requiered to maintain some basic conditions for workers. somewhere above the standards of zoo animals.

assholes are everywhere and human trafficing is there if you just care to look for it.
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#3 Post by Kankra » 20 Apr 2009 20:49

Thanks for the link, a very disturbing read.
Sleeping Dragon wrote:they're right about one thing, though: this phenomenon exists in every western country to some extent.
Neither did the article hint at such things happening in any Western country at all, nor do I agree with you. Such a thing as descibed in the article(s) is unthinkable in Germany, and I am willing to bet it happens in not a single big European country.

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#4 Post by Wicked Child » 20 Apr 2009 21:29

Kankra wrote:Thanks for the link, a very disturbing read.
Sleeping Dragon wrote:they're right about one thing, though: this phenomenon exists in every western country to some extent.
Neither did the article hint at such things happening in any Western country at all, nor do I agree with you. Such a thing as descibed in the article(s) is unthinkable in Germany, and I am willing to bet it happens in not a single big European country.
Here we go again. :roll:
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#5 Post by Joost » 20 Apr 2009 21:37

Well, in this case I agree with Martin.

In fact, I think many of the things described in that article are pretty much unique for Dubai.

Exploitation and living on debt are common in all of the world, but nowhere is it nearly as degenerate as it is in Dubai. The city was built in an economic bubble, and now the economic bubble is bursting, it won't be surprising if, in a few years, there won't be much left of it except for some empty skyscrapers.

I can't imagine a thing like that happnening to New York or London or Paris, or Tokyo, or Rio de Janeiro or Mexico City or Mumbai or any other large city. All those other cities have grown more-or-less organically, and have real economic involvement in them, whereas Dubai just has... construction work and some hotels and 'rich' (= people with ridiculously negative saldos that are allowed to get away with it while living the good life) people speculating with money that they don't have.

The thing that makes Dubai so bizarre and unique, is that it can only live by the grace of exploitation, exactly because of the lack of any real economic activity.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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#6 Post by Belgarion » 20 Apr 2009 23:48

I especially like what was written about the British rule on Dubai. You can't find better slavers than the British in the whole world.

-What about the slave class?
-That's what we came for! It's great!

:roll:

The article was very informative (though, maybe exaggerated on some parts, like, they take away your passport and never give it back etc.), and it surely is a good report on how the unreal, oil-based economies of the world function and are doomed to fail in the long run.
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#7 Post by Joost » 20 Apr 2009 23:55

Belgarion wrote:The article was very informative (though, maybe exaggerated on some parts, like, they take away your passport and never give it back etc.), and it surely is a good report on how the unreal, oil-based economies of the world function and are doomed to fail in the long run.
But the weird thing about Dubai is that it isn't really oil-based (unlike some of the other Emirates, such as Abu Dhabi). It was at one point, but the amount of oil available to Dubai just was rather limited.

Dubai right now is rather based on... well, on thin air, pretty much. And because of that it's not doomed to fail in the long run, but rather doomed to fail right after the first time it faces a serious crisis (i.e.: right now).
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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#8 Post by Belgarion » 21 Apr 2009 00:00

Joost wrote:But the weird thing about Dubai is that it isn't really oil-based (unlike some of the other Emirates, such as Abu Dhabi). It was at one point, but the amount of oil available to Dubai just was rather limited.

Dubai right now is rather based on... well, on thin air, pretty much. And because of that it's not doomed to fail in the long run, but rather doomed to fail right after the first time it faces a serious crisis (i.e.: right now).
That's right, but I was actually referring to this part of the article:

"And today? Sheikh Mohammed turned Dubai into Creditopolis, a city built entirely on debt. Dubai owes 107 percent of its entire GDP. It would be bust already, if the neighbouring oil-soaked state of Abu Dhabi hadn't pulled out its chequebook. Mohammed says this will constrict freedom even further. "Now Abu Dhabi calls the tunes – and they are much more conservative and restrictive than even Dubai..."

So the Abu Dhabi sheiks seem to be the real pupeteers in this picture, ergo the economy of Dubai is indirectly controlled by the oil-rich Abu Dhabi.
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#9 Post by Joost » 21 Apr 2009 00:01

Roads in Dubai.

I sense a discrepancy between the number of cars on the road, and the number of lanes the road has. :lol:
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

::.: Homepage .::. last.fm .::. Facebook .::. Flickr :.::

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#10 Post by Joost » 21 Apr 2009 00:06

Belgarion wrote:
Joost wrote:But the weird thing about Dubai is that it isn't really oil-based (unlike some of the other Emirates, such as Abu Dhabi). It was at one point, but the amount of oil available to Dubai just was rather limited.

Dubai right now is rather based on... well, on thin air, pretty much. And because of that it's not doomed to fail in the long run, but rather doomed to fail right after the first time it faces a serious crisis (i.e.: right now).
That's right, but I was actually referring to this part of the article:

"And today? Sheikh Mohammed turned Dubai into Creditopolis, a city built entirely on debt. Dubai owes 107 percent of its entire GDP. It would be bust already, if the neighbouring oil-soaked state of Abu Dhabi hadn't pulled out its chequebook. Mohammed says this will constrict freedom even further. "Now Abu Dhabi calls the tunes – and they are much more conservative and restrictive than even Dubai..."

So the Abu Dhabi sheiks seem to be the real pupeteers in this picture, ergo the economy of Dubai is indirectly controlled by the oil-rich Abu Dhabi.
Ah okay, now I get it. Thanks for the clarification!
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

::.: Homepage .::. last.fm .::. Facebook .::. Flickr :.::

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#11 Post by Belgarion » 21 Apr 2009 00:07

Joost wrote:Roads in Dubai.

I sense a discrepancy between the number of cars on the road, and the number of lanes the road has. :lol:
They planned ahead. 8)

Oh wait, there is no ahead. :P
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#12 Post by Sleeping Dragon » 21 Apr 2009 07:23

Kankra wrote:Thanks for the link, a very disturbing read.
Sleeping Dragon wrote:they're right about one thing, though: this phenomenon exists in every western country to some extent.
Neither did the article hint at such things happening in any Western country at all, nor do I agree with you. Such a thing as descibed in the article(s) is unthinkable in Germany, and I am willing to bet it happens in not a single big European country.
read more, ask more, take a better look.
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#13 Post by t.a.j. » 21 Apr 2009 08:00

During the industrial revolution, when most of our cities were build, that was done by people worse off than slaves. Modernity was build on the broken back of the worker and we should remember that. The stories are similar, by circumstances they are made to leave their rural homes behind and go to the cities, never to come back. Surely, their passports were not taken away, not that they had any, but by purely economic factors, they could not escape from their lot.

These days, in germany at least it's mostly happening in the shadows, unskilled immigrant labor, crime and prostitution. It's probably worse in less strict and regulated states and keep in mind the situation of illegal immigrants and the working poor in the US. Dubai is certainly a very extreme case, where the glamour and glory was heaved up so quickly that compared to it, the desperate situation of those who do the work has not had time to change. But this also lays bare the driving force behind all such grandeur: the exploitation of the powerless, whether through physical force, economic oppression or law makes little difference.
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#14 Post by t.a.j. » 21 Apr 2009 08:04

Joost wrote:Roads in Dubai.

I sense a discrepancy between the number of cars on the road, and the number of lanes the road has. :lol:
Why? One lane - one car!
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#15 Post by Kankra » 21 Apr 2009 08:55

Sleeping Dragon wrote:
Kankra wrote:Thanks for the link, a very disturbing read.
Sleeping Dragon wrote:they're right about one thing, though: this phenomenon exists in every western country to some extent.
Neither did the article hint at such things happening in any Western country at all, nor do I agree with you. Such a thing as descibed in the article(s) is unthinkable in Germany, and I am willing to bet it happens in not a single big European country.
read more, ask more, take a better look.
I'll explain it to you in excruciating detail for one last time, going through the points the article makes in order of appearance.

- People going to jail for not being able to pay minor debts - nope
- Lack of translators at court - you're entitled to that here
- Forbidden to leave country without passport - nope, talk to your consulate
- Having to live in your car with no money whatsoever - nope, you can get support from the government
- People luring workers from elsewhere by false promises in an organised manner - nope
- a construct of having to pay for work visas, then being trapped in the country - nope
- Employers taking your passport to enslave you - illegal und unheard of here
- Inhumane work conditions - illegal and certain to be reported and acted upon by the police
- Inhumane accomodation - illegal, same as above
- Jailing people for going on a strike - illegal, does not happen
- complicity of the authorities in all of the above - certainly unthinkable, since it'd kick up a shitstorm in the public and media
- citiziens pampered by the governemnt with no alternative for employment unless they comply with political oppression - we have something called capitalism and democracy
- illegal to be gay, and punishable by 10 years in prison - ridiculous
- maids held as slaves - illegal and certain to be reported and acted upon by the police
- environmental pollution on a large scale damaging people's health - unthinkable here, would kick up a shitstorm in public and media, government would sue the shit out of the offenders
- generally living on debt in a mainly uninhabitable area of the world - nope

No doubt bad things happened in the past, but that's not the point. We're talking about the present.
Sleeping Dragon wrote:read more, ask more, take a better look.
Shut up more?

I have no clue what your effing problem is. There is an article about atrocious things happening in Dubai, and the first thing you happen to spew out is that similar things happen in the Western world. Whats the fucking point? Even IF similar things happened or are happening elsewhere (to a lesser extent, you even said it!), why is that your first comment? What point does it have relativising the issues? Does it make them less atrocious, or less alarming, or less anything? Let me answer that, in case you don't get that it's a rhetorical question: NO. Your comment is useless. Grats.

Try to make a point next time, and dont talk out of your ass? You're not from Europe, so don't assume shit about it? Don't try to belittle or lecture me about things I say about my own country and of which you have no clue?

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#16 Post by Draugwen » 21 Apr 2009 13:04

t.a.j. wrote:These days, in germany at least it's mostly happening in the shadows, unskilled immigrant labor, crime and prostitution.
One of the big - and very substantial - differences to Dubai would then be that Germany doesn't depend on what's happening in the shadows. But if, hypothetically, you sent all those slaves in Dubai back home everything would collapse.
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#17 Post by Joost » 21 Apr 2009 13:08

Kankra wrote:You're not from Europe
Tihi, now that's a statement both the UEFA and the Eurovision Song Contest would dispute. :lol:

But just as a clarification, I think he was referring to the following quote from the article
Perhaps Dubai disturbed me so much, I am thinking, because here, the entire global supply chain is condensed. Many of my goods are made by semi-enslaved populations desperate for a chance 2,000 miles away; is the only difference that here, they are merely two miles away, and you sometimes get to glimpse their faces? Dubai is Market Fundamentalist Globalisation in One City.
suggesting that what is going on in Dubai condensed in one city, is exacty the same thing that is what's going on on a worldwide scale, just condensed to a single city. We Westerners hide our exploitation in poor countries, keeping our own countries nice and clean. Of course that does not mean we are innocent of exploitation.

The West is able to enjoy its current high luxurious standards, with fairly small amounts of hard laborious work to do, exactly because all large companies have delegated that work to poorer countries such as India and China.

Have you ever noticed how much of your stuff has this funny little text "Made in China" on it? (I just checked some of my electronic equipment... speakers, external HD, USB sticks, recharger of batteries, and the tripod for my camera: it ALL has 'Made in China' on it, except for one of the USB sticks which has 'Made in Taiwan' (which, in a sense, is China too) on it.)

Large parts of the West live on debt on a massive scale. At least the United States does.

It's nice to wash your hands in innocence, yes, especially if all the confronting stuff is hidden from your clear sight.
Last edited by Joost on 21 Apr 2009 13:27, edited 2 times in total.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

::.: Homepage .::. last.fm .::. Facebook .::. Flickr :.::

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#18 Post by Joost » 21 Apr 2009 13:20

Draugwen wrote:
t.a.j. wrote:These days, in germany at least it's mostly happening in the shadows, unskilled immigrant labor, crime and prostitution.
One of the big - and very substantial - differences to Dubai would then be that Germany doesn't depend on what's happening in the shadows. But if, hypothetically, you sent all those slaves in Dubai back home everything would collapse.
Western civilization would be in big trouble if our slave labour satellite world — India and China and other Asian countries — would suddenly decide to tell us to fuck off.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

::.: Homepage .::. last.fm .::. Facebook .::. Flickr :.::

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#19 Post by Orodaran » 21 Apr 2009 21:13

Read it too, in the end... quite some stories told there, and I must say that while I never really thought about it, it's not that surprising either.... the pharaohs are around again after all - slaves built the Great Pyramid, and slaves built the tallest building of the world (the Burj Dubaj or how it's called)...
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#20 Post by Sleeping Dragon » 21 Apr 2009 21:15

*fart*
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#21 Post by Kankra » 22 Apr 2009 08:53

Sleeping Dragon wrote:*fart*
Grats, you just improved your output.
Joost wrote:
Kankra wrote:You're not from Europe
Tihi, now that's a statement both the UEFA and the Eurovision Song Contest would dispute.
He said he'd have to travel to Europe to go to Wacken, so I'm in the clear bout dat.
Joost wrote:suggesting that what is going on in Dubai condensed in one city, is exacty the same thing that is what's going on on a worldwide scale, just condensed to a single city. We Westerners hide our exploitation in poor countries, keeping our own countries nice and clean. Of course that does not mean we are innocent of exploitation.
*I* did not authorise slave labour. Nor do I think my government did, or actively install sweatshops or factories in 3rd world countries. We're seeing capitalism at work, in conjunction with a separation of the world into developed and less developed regions. Yes, we could stop buying goods that originate from "exploitation", as you put it. But then again, we "could" do so many things, in a perfect world where everything mattered and everybody cared.
Joost wrote:Have you ever noticed how much of your stuff has this funny little text "Made in China" on it? (I just checked some of my electronic equipment... speakers, external HD, USB sticks, recharger of batteries, and the tripod for my camera: it ALL has 'Made in China' on it, except for one of the USB sticks which has 'Made in Taiwan' (which, in a sense, is China too) on it.)

Large parts of the West live on debt on a massive scale. At least the United States does.

It's nice to wash your hands in innocence, yes, especially if all the confronting stuff is hidden from your clear sight.
It's all politically correct and super lovely to blame us for buying these goods and not wasting a thought on the poor Chinese sweat shop workers and slave labourers when we go to the supermarket lalala. But it's downright ridiculous to put the blame mainly on our shoulders, and to take it out of context. Again, we could stop buying that stuff, surely. But then again, the system and the people who oppress the slave labourers and workers are the first in line for blame. I will not argue against the western world profitting greatly from the oppression in other regions; that's understood.

But the conditions in other countries, especially the large ones such as China or India, are not in our hands, are they? They're strong nations who wouldn't let us interfere, since (at least China) the government is profitting from it as well.

I do hope that these regions develop fast so that the people there can live well off their work. If that means things are going to be more expensive, then so be it. I hope it helps us developing into a society where people won't buy a new car every 2 years, and where things are built to last, and not artificially cheapened so as to break quickly so you have to buy it anew soonishly. Considering our natural ressources, we're on a downward spiral anyway.

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#22 Post by Joost » 22 Apr 2009 11:29

Kankra wrote:It's all politically correct and super lovely to blame us for buying these goods and not wasting a thought on the poor Chinese sweat shop workers and slave labourers when we go to the supermarket lalala. But it's downright ridiculous to put the blame mainly on our shoulders, and to take it out of context.
Most of these 'Made in China' things I have have Western (or Japanese, but for me Japan is definitely a part of the 'first world' — a developed country) brand names on them, not Chinese brand names. So it's Western companies who actively take part in this. I think it makes perfect sense to at least blame those (Western) companies for allowing their products to be made using (semi-)slave labour.

Also, I wasn't (for the most part, I admit the final sentence was quite judgemental though :P) playing the blame game but just making an analysis of western society as a whole, and explaining your misunderstanding with Ohad (Sleeping Dragon). The article did claim that a similar process to what is going on in Dubai is going on in western capitalism at a whole, but at a much larger scale. Did that get through clearly, at least?
I do hope that these regions develop fast so that the people there can live well off their work. If that means things are going to be more expensive, then so be it. I hope it helps us developing into a society where people won't buy a new car every 2 years, and where things are built to last, and not artificially cheapened so as to break quickly so you have to buy it anew soonishly. Considering our natural ressources, we're on a downward spiral anyway
Now this is a thing I entirely agree with. The only way I see this can be achieved is by letting other purposes (ecological, humanitarian ones) prevail over economical purposes more often. And the only way that can be achieved, I think, is by introducing restrictions to capitalism (now I'm not advocating East-German style old-fashioned communism, far from it — just capitalism with a lot more restrictions than we have now, especially when it comes to large multinational corporations). Free trade is a nice idea, but it's not the ultimate concept which should be the first foundational stone of all our society.

And Martin, I'm quite fed up with your over-eager use of the term "politically correct" as an accusation. It's quite annoying really and it's more of an easy way out preventing you from having to use real arguments, than anything else. Plus, you're in fact misapplying the term more often than not (if you want me to elaborate on this, please tell me, but I won't do so right now as it's all quite tangential to the issue at hand).
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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#23 Post by Wicked Child » 22 Apr 2009 14:21

Kankra wrote:Nor do I think my government did, or actively install sweatshops or factories in 3rd world countries.
You're from germany right? Volkswagen, Bosch...? Do you know how much workers of these factories in Brazil get paid for an hour?
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#24 Post by Joost » 22 Apr 2009 14:43

Wicked Child wrote:
Kankra wrote:Nor do I think my government did, or actively install sweatshops or factories in 3rd world countries.
You're from germany right? Volkswagen, Bosch...? Do you know how much workers of these factories in Brazil get paid for an hour?
Well, technically speaking those companies aren't his government, of course. Nonetheless, his government (like all European governments, including my own) is not taking much measures to prevent companies from doing so – which I think European governments should do. (It's still tricky though: it happened a few times that activists managed to achieve that sweatshops in certain countries were closed, only to 'achieve' that the people who worked there either ended up in prostitution instead, or starved to death.)
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
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#25 Post by Kankra » 22 Apr 2009 14:59

Joost wrote:So it's Western companies who actively take part in this. I think it makes perfect sense to at least blame those (Western) companies for allowing their products to be made using (semi-)slave labour.
I agree with that. I just wonder how high the percentage is of branches, or factories, which were created by Western companies and who offer worse work conditions than locally-owned companies.

Yea ok, let's say f.e. Adidas let young children work for long hours and (for our standards) awful pay with bad safety conditions (for our standards) in Bangladesh. This is a consequence of globalisation - the profit range is bigger when the products are produced for little cost in third world countries, and sold expensively in first world countries. This is undeniably the way to create the higest profit while staying legal. Produce where it's cheap, sell where it's expensive - this is a very old fundamental motto.

However, from a less involved and more rational point of view: nobody forces the Bangladeshi children to work in Adidas' factory. At least not directly (unless done illegally). Of course there is a strong pressure, either from the parents, the economical situatiuon, or whomever, but then again, are there better jobs? Better ways of earning money? Then those children, if they're oppressed anyway, would be pressed to work there instead, no? Adidas, even while being assholes, bring jobs to the region that are apparenly better than the other available jobs. (I realise that this argumentation fails to address the illegal sweatshops). On wikipedia there is a discussion about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweatshop

But before this goes out of hand, in my opinion the majority of products a nation consumes should be produced in the nation itself. This way, the nation's work conditions are a guaranteed part of the price of the products, and also products will be assigned a proper worth related to the effort to create them, and abominations such as Dubai wouldnt exist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness says:
The term itself and its usage are controversial. The term "political correctness" is used almost exclusively in a pejorative sense
And that's the way I admit to use it.
Political correctness is a term applied to language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged or other identity groups.
There is nothing wrong with avoiding to offend people. But as soon as PC doesnt come naturally, it just serves to restrict, or cushion, opinions. imo the term "PC" is superfluous anyway. You can put things diplomatically if your opinion, or the situation, is controversial. PC does not offer anything beyond that except obfuscation.
Wicked Child wrote:You're from germany right? Volkswagen, Bosch...? Do you know how much workers of these factories in Brazil get paid for an hour?
Hey, Brazilian workers, take up other jobs if you think the wages from VW or Bosch is not high enough? What's your problem? Should VW pay Brazilians the same wage as Germans? Then VW could just as well employ Germans.

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#26 Post by Wicked Child » 22 Apr 2009 15:08

Kankra wrote:
Sleeping Dragon wrote:
Kankra wrote:Thanks for the link, a very disturbing read.
Neither did the article hint at such things happening in any Western country at all, nor do I agree with you. Such a thing as descibed in the article(s) is unthinkable in Germany, and I am willing to bet it happens in not a single big European country.
read more, ask more, take a better look.
I'll explain it to you in excruciating detail for one last time, going through the points the article makes in order of appearance.

- People going to jail for not being able to pay minor debts - nope
- Lack of translators at court - you're entitled to that here
- Forbidden to leave country without passport - nope, talk to your consulate
- Having to live in your car with no money whatsoever - nope, you can get support from the government
- People luring workers from elsewhere by false promises in an organised manner - nope
- a construct of having to pay for work visas, then being trapped in the country - nope
- Employers taking your passport to enslave you - illegal und unheard of here
- Inhumane work conditions - illegal and certain to be reported and acted upon by the police
- Inhumane accomodation - illegal, same as above
- Jailing people for going on a strike - illegal, does not happen
- complicity of the authorities in all of the above - certainly unthinkable, since it'd kick up a shitstorm in the public and media
- citiziens pampered by the governemnt with no alternative for employment unless they comply with political oppression - we have something called capitalism and democracy
- illegal to be gay, and punishable by 10 years in prison - ridiculous
- maids held as slaves - illegal and certain to be reported and acted upon by the police
- environmental pollution on a large scale damaging people's health - unthinkable here, would kick up a shitstorm in public and media, government would sue the shit out of the offenders
- generally living on debt in a mainly uninhabitable area of the world - nope

No doubt bad things happened in the past, but that's not the point. We're talking about the present.
First, it is not about Germany. Although you keep using your country as example (which is acceptable) you are using these examples to talk for the 'Western World'... again!

So let me answer to your questions:

- People going to jail for not being able to pay minor debts - Yeah, pretty much. As t.a.j. said, not specifically jail, but something even worse. Live on the streets of New York, or Sao Paulo, could do a great example.
- Lack of translators at court - Depends on which language.
- Forbidden to leave country without passport - Well, don't know how it works for tourists in Brazil, but as long as you can't afford a hundred dollars to get your passport, imagine if you could afford an international trip. -- You can't leave the country -- And that's not only Brazil. Imagine a homeless from USA.
- Having to live in your car with no money whatsoever - If you have no money, no job, no family, no education.. I'd say you'd be so lucky to have a car to live in.
- People luring workers from elsewhere by false promises in an organised manner - Pretty common.
- a construct of having to pay for work visas, then being trapped in the country - totally common for immigrants.
- Employers taking your passport to enslave you - illegal und unheard of here - In the sexual business it is quite often. A lot of 3rd world girls get trapped in major European countries, like France, for an example.
- Inhumane work conditions - Miners are a pretty recent example. And you were pretty naive about police stuff.
Inhumane accomodation - An example could be false managers that get 14 to 16 year old kids, promising a brilliant future on european's soccer teams putting them to live on abandoned accomodations.
Jailing people for going on a strike - Yeah, right. Usually, the police uses "energic force" and "resolves" the "problem" right away.
- complicity of the authorities in all of the above - HA HA HA.
- citiziens pampered by the governemnt with no alternative for employment unless they comply with political oppression - ...
- illegal to be gay, and punishable by 10 years in prison - Yeah, there is no law that says that. But if you can't allow gay people to merry you're kinda "limiting" his freedom aren't you?
- maids held as slaves - Again, sexual business.
- environmental pollution on a large scale damaging people's health - Well, most part of the world, the media are the transnational corporation themselves, so they wouldn't care. What you say about New York?
generally living on debt in a mainly uninhabitable area of the world - common.

You know.. You were speaking only for your country, I know. Even if it everything you said was true (which is quite questionable) your reply to Sleeping Dragon only served to make you sound ridiculously naive.

Kankra wrote:
Sleeping Dragon wrote:read more, ask more, take a better look.
There is an article about atrocious things happening in Dubai, and the first thing you happen to spew out is that similar things happen in the Western world. Whats the fucking point? Even IF similar things happened or are happening elsewhere (to a lesser extent, you even said it!), why is that your first comment? What point does it have relativising the issues?
From what I understood, the point is quite simple: The western media's intention is one: Fill our heads with the non-aligned countrie's mistakes so we can forget our own, so they can get our support for the maintenance of the system in which we are apparently living free.
Kankra wrote:Does it make them less atrocious, or less alarming, or less anything? Let me answer that, in case you don't get that it's a rhetorical question: NO. Your comment is useless. Grats.
It was useful to remind us that we don't live in a perfect world. And what about yours? To remind us (or to convince us) that Germeny is cool?
It's not less alarming, nor less atrocious. It's just what we see everyday. A Sheik or a western President doesn't change the fact.
Kankra wrote:Try to make a point next time, and dont talk out of your ass? You're not from Europe, so don't assume shit about it? Don't try to belittle or lecture me about things I say about my own country and of which you have no clue?
Again, your country is not the whole World. And from your line of thought I can assume you just need to shut up from talking about Eastern world, because you don't live there? NO. I won't do that, so you shouldn't.
You're going to hell. But not the cool one, that's where I'll go.
You go to the crappy hell.

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#27 Post by Wicked Child » 22 Apr 2009 15:18

Kankra wrote:
Wicked Child wrote:You're from germany right? Volkswagen, Bosch...? Do you know how much workers of these factories in Brazil get paid for an hour?
Hey, Brazilian workers, take up other jobs if you think the wages from VW or Bosch is not high enough? What's your problem? Should VW pay Brazilians the same wage as Germans? Then VW could just as well employ Germans.
You're funny man. :lol:
You're totally 'getting out of context'. You said that your country DIDN'T do this. I just pointed out that Germany, as many others, does that so as their pay-checks are just as ridiculous (and inhuman) as the chinese companies ones.
But, yes, if Brazil had the opportunity to do so, they'd probably do too. That's capitalism, with all it's faults.
You're going to hell. But not the cool one, that's where I'll go.
You go to the crappy hell.

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#28 Post by Traveller in Time » 22 Apr 2009 15:24

Totally agree what Joost says.

We are a big part of the problem but not facing it. Of course we can't change the world alone, but keeping the wheel running isn't helping.

We say nice words but in fact spreading dirt. That's the most disgusting thing you can do.
And we even dare to think that we are founders of freedom, democracy and so on.

Look at the pirates at somalia, kidanpping ships. Why do people use violence? Because they have no other possibilities. I am sure they would like to have a normal job without harming people. No healthy person would harm another one just for his fun.
But illegal fishing and pollution destroyed their last chance to survive.

And what do we do know sending battle ships to defend our property. Where were the battle ships to defend their property?
Sorry about my bad english, but the good one is on vacation!

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#29 Post by Joost » 22 Apr 2009 15:34

Kankra wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness says:
The term itself and its usage are controversial. The term "political correctness" is used almost exclusively in a pejorative sense
And that's the way I admit to use it.
Political correctness is a term applied to language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offense to gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged or other identity groups.
There is nothing wrong with avoiding to offend people.
Well, I haven't exactly gone out of my way to avoid offending people. I just have given my opinion, and moreover, I have provided it in a somewhat provocative way. Who exactly am I avoiding to offend?
But as soon as PC doesnt come naturally, it just serves to restrict, or cushion, opinions.
How exactly am I, or is anyone in this discussion, trying to cushion my opinions? Care to give an example?
imo the term "PC" is superfluous anyway.
The term PC has been abused a lot to ridicule leftist views in an attempt to avoid having to resort to actual argumentation. That's my problem with it. It's more of a straw man than anything, the underlying thought being:

"Those damned lefties sound oh-so-damned altruistic and accepting of anyone and everything, they just CAN'T mean it, can they? There must be some underlying different view they actually hold, which they seem to be hiding somehow. Ergo, they are guilty of political correctness."

At least, that's the only way I can interpret the overusage of this term these days. It is a straw man because it puts up an, often incorrect, interpretation of what others really claim or think. Maybe for once you should start assuming that the people you discuss with actually mean the things they write. I would call that common courtesy.

I'm not oh-so-damned altruistic and accepting of everyone and everything. I am highly critical of everyone and everything. I think it's idiotic and barbaric that slave labour occurs in Dubai, and I think it's idiotic and barbaric that slave labour occurs anywhere else. Also I think Western countries are not quite innocent here, either, because they're not taking the maximum possible measures to prevent this from happening. The fact that other people are making worse errors than you are, does not make an excuse for your errors. It's as simple as that. And I fail to see any political correctness here. Accusations of political correctness in situations like these are just lame and cowardly, because they are seldomly followed by any actual criticism of what was actually claimed.
You can put things diplomatically if your opinion, or the situation, is controversial. PC does not offer anything beyond that except obfuscation.
I don't like obfuscation, in fact people more than accused me of, well, providing my views in quite a blunt and direct manner.
Last edited by Joost on 22 Apr 2009 15:55, edited 1 time in total.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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#30 Post by Joost » 22 Apr 2009 15:48

About the situation in my own country, the Netherlands, with workers from Poland, you can read the following article:

http://www.cym.ie/documents/polish_work ... rlands.pdf

It's maybe not as bad as in the situation in Dubai, but it's not exactly what I would call proper treatment of foreign workers either. The article is from 2004, before Poland joined the EU, so maybe things have improved since then, then again, maybe they haven't.

Then consider the fact that in the HDI index, the Netherlands ranks as the #6 country of the world. Chances are it's worse or at least similar in almost every other country.

Really, it's not much of a stretch or an exaggeration of any kind to say that exploitation exists everywhere. The fact that you or the people you get along with aren't exploited, doesn't mean that nobody in the country where you live is.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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#31 Post by Joost » 22 Apr 2009 16:06

environmental pollution on a large scale damaging people's health
Well, let's have a look at a map showing air pollution (produced by ESA), shall we? Western Europe isn't exactly doing brilliant when it comes to air quality, it appears.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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#32 Post by Kankra » 23 Apr 2009 08:01

Wicked Child wrote:First, it is not about Germany. Although you keep using your country as example (which is acceptable) you are using these examples to talk for the 'Western World'... again!
No, dude. No no no. You're utterly wrong. Learn to read?

Joost: /link article about Dubai
Sleeping Dragon: this phenomenon exists in every western country to some extent
I: The main points in the article don't happen in Germany in significant number, thus your statement about "in every western country" is wrong.
You: ...

Did I make myself clear? Or is there anything unclear about disproving a general statement by disproving a subset of the statement?
Even if it everything you said was true (which is quite questionable) your reply to Sleeping Dragon only served to make you sound ridiculously naive.
No, you make yourself look as if didnt even remotely try to follow my train of thought.
From what I understood, the point is quite simple: The western media's intention is one: Fill our heads with the non-aligned countrie's mistakes so we can forget our own, so they can get our support for the maintenance of the system in which we are apparently living free.
Welcome to the world of conspiracy theories. I have no intention discussing with somebody like that because it's pointless. Yea sure, the western media is all controlled by men in expensive suits. That single reporter that wrote the article in the Guardian probably was told what to write. :roll: 9/11 was orchestrated by Bush. Moon landing was fake. Jews poison wells.

And it's funny. Very very funny. I am a THOUSAND times more interested in bad things happening (and talking about it) in Germany than in Dubai or some other remote hellhole. It's so funny you are presuming things about me that are so ridiculously wrong.
It was useful to remind us that we don't live in a perfect world. And what about yours? To remind us (or to convince us) that Germeny is cool?
I dont want to convince you. Germany sucks imo. But at least there is very little of what's been depicted in the article about Dubai, and other countries suck more. Yet some numbnuts don't get tired of pretending everything's as bad in every country.
Again, your country is not the whole World. And from your line of thought I can assume you just need to shut up from talking about Eastern world, because you don't live there? NO. I won't do that, so you shouldn't.
I don't know why I am still discussing with you. There is a FAT FUCKING article about Dubai up there. We read it. Then we talked about it. Then you (or who?) assume shit about an entirely different country under my nose. Did I assume shit about Brazil against your statements? Did I pretend I know what's going on in Brazil? Did I doubt your word about the conditions Brazil? I think not.
You're funny man. Laughing
You're totally 'getting out of context'. You said that your country DIDN'T do this. I just pointed out that Germany, as many others, does that so as their pay-checks are just as ridiculous (and inhuman) as the chinese companies ones.
But, yes, if Brazil had the opportunity to do so, they'd probably do too. That's capitalism, with all it's faults.
No, you can't read for shit.

I said my country (my country? the companies of my country, much rather. since when is a country a homogenous entity?) most likely don't partake in large scale illegal sweat shops or slave labour.

Inhumane pay checks. Woo ha. Alright, post the average income of a Brazilian VW employee. And then post the average income of a Brazilian man. Let's see the numbers. I am curious.
Well, let's have a look at a map showing air pollution (produced by ESA), shall we? Western Europe isn't exactly doing brilliant when it comes to air quality, it appears.
Yes, but if a single company or a government was causing this, there would be a shitstorm in the news about it. That pollution is caused by the sum of traffic and industry and consumers. It sucks, but my point is that nobody can single-handedly pour tons of feces into a body of water and get away with it, as it was depicted in Dubai. Of course there is pollution here as well - I am not denying this. Just the car traffic causes enough pollution to annoy the hell out of me.
Really, it's not much of a stretch or an exaggeration of any kind to say that exploitation exists everywhere. The fact that you or the people you get along with aren't exploited, doesn't mean that nobody in the country where you live is.
In my opinion I get exploited every day by being paid too little.
:lol: You can, by just not drawing a line, call a lot of things "exploitation". Statement: The workers from Italy and Turkey in the 50s and 60s in Germany were exploited. Yet: they weren't confined to the country, they kept their passports, they were free to leave the country (unless they signed a work contract), etc. Did they have it worse than German workers? Definitely. But they still came here because it was worse in South Italy or Anatolia. Especially the workers from Poland you mention, they have a choice. There were lots of stories about Polish workers leaving Iceland because of the economical crisis. Also, there is a trend of Polish workers working less in Germany and more in other European countries due to the lower wages in Germany. All this shows a CHOICE. And being able to change their mind. This is what the guys in Dubai didn't have, and I thougth that was the major point about the article?
How exactly am I, or is anyone in this discussion, trying to cushion my opinions? Care to give an example?
I was referring to your pointing out that the Western consumers aren't innocent of the slave labour anywhere else because they're profitting from it. This is a fact, yes, but what does it matter except of shifting some of the blame of it all onto the Western customers? It's political correct to point it out, but it just cushions the fact that the significant wrongdoings happen in the thirld world countries, and that should be punished and corrected. The careless behaviour of the consumers isn't ideal, but no Dutch family mother buying a Chinese kitchen tool can seriously be held responsible for the situation of the workers in China.
And we even dare to think that we are founders of freedom, democracy and so on.
We aren't. Democracy (in its early form) stems from Old Greece. Freedom is a fundamental concept and cannot be founded. However, the visions that the creators of the US constitution had has to be one of the most applaudable of the last centuries. The US government under Bush didnt share this vision, obviously, but having this vision deeply rooted in a nation/culture is preferrable over not having any such vision.
And what do we do know sending battle ships to defend our property. Where were the battle ships to defend their property?
You see, this is the thing with the Somalian pirates. Wicked Child claims the western media is feeding is stuff to distract from our mistakes. Yet whenever I hear about the Somalian pirates in the radio, the radio guys never get tired to point out it were European fisher ships destroying the base of the Somalian fishers, thus turning them into desperate pirates.

Those Europeans should have been fined or jailed.

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#33 Post by Joost » 23 Apr 2009 09:46

Kankra wrote:
From what I understood, the point is quite simple: The western media's intention is one: Fill our heads with the non-aligned countrie's mistakes so we can forget our own, so they can get our support for the maintenance of the system in which we are apparently living free.
Welcome to the world of conspiracy theories. I have no intention discussing with somebody like that because it's pointless. Yea sure, the western media is all controlled by men in expensive suits. That single reporter that wrote the article in the Guardian probably was told what to write. :roll: 9/11 was orchestrated by Bush. Moon landing was fake. Jews poison wells.
Oh come on, another straw man... You are misrepresenting your opponents argument completely. He says "Media influence the minds of the people", and you read that as "governments influence the media, the people, and partake in large scale conspiracies". And connect his argument to all kinds of ridiculous stuff that is in no way entailed by it. :roll:
How exactly am I, or is anyone in this discussion, trying to cushion my opinions? Care to give an example?
I was referring to your pointing out that the Western consumers aren't innocent of the slave labour anywhere else because they're profitting from it. This is a fact, yes, but what does it matter except of shifting some of the blame of it all onto the Western customers? It's political correct to point it out, but it just cushions the fact that the significant wrongdoings happen in the thirld world countries, and that should be punished and corrected. The careless behaviour of the consumers isn't ideal, but no Dutch family mother buying a Chinese kitchen tool can seriously be held responsible for the situation of the workers in China.
Have you actually read my previous remarks on this topic at all? I said that the companies who treated their workers like this should be held responsible. As you said yourself a country isn't a homogenous entity, and if Nike treats their workers in China badly, I am holding Nike responsible for this to a significantly larger degree than the Chinese government. And that's just what I think, I don't see how I am trying to cushion my opinions at all because, well, I don't.

Also, you are subtly changing the earlier definition of political correctness of "cushioning of your opinions not to offend other people" to "cushioning moral facts that I think important and you don't". I'm not cushioning my opinion, I am just giving it. And you are not addressing my opinion due to it allegedly being 'politically correct' as a result of ignoring an (in your view) important fact, even though I actually did take that into consideration. Do you see now that I did not cushion anything, but just have a different opinion than the one you happen to have?
And we even dare to think that we are founders of freedom, democracy and so on.
We aren't. Democracy (in its early form) stems from Old Greece. Freedom is a fundamental concept and cannot be founded. However, the visions that the creators of the US constitution had has to be one of the most applaudable of the last centuries. The US government under Bush didnt share this vision, obviously, but having this vision deeply rooted in a nation/culture is preferrable over not having any such vision.
Oh, I don't think that this is so obvious at all. In my eyes the US government under Bush did share this vision, but just was a tad bit overeager to try to enforce it on the rest of the world. Even though some things happened under Bush that limited freedoms to some degree (e.g. the Patriot act), I think it goes too far to say that that administration didn't share the ideals of democracy and freedom.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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#34 Post by Kankra » 23 Apr 2009 12:44

Oh, I don't think that this is so obvious at all. In my eyes the US government under Bush did share this vision, but just was a tad bit overeager to try to enforce it on the rest of the world. Even though some things happened under Bush that limited freedoms to some degree (e.g. the Patriot act), I think it goes too far to say that that administration didn't share the ideals of democracy and freedom.
Iraq was pawned off to the big companies such as Haliburton etc. The rebuilding of Iraq, or the aftermath of the war, was a gigantic economical stimulus for a huge variety of US companies (not entirely restricted to US tho). There also was a lot of nepotism going on in the Bush administration and the Iraq aftermath, as well as not picking the best man for any job, but picking buddies with the same vision. IF the people who orchestrated that had the intention of bringing freedom, then they did all they could to cut down the number of possible interpretations of that freedom in their administration to the least number. You could turn it this or that way, whether it's freedom in their minds or not, but in the end this freedom is so warped that I fail to recognise the vision of the founding fathers in it.
Oh come on, another straw man... You are misrepresenting your opponents argument completely. He says "Media influence the minds of the people", and you read that as "governments influence the media, the people, and partake in large scale conspiracies". And connect his argument to all kinds of ridiculous stuff that is in no way entailed by it.
I am not. Yes, the moon landing stuff OF COURSE is ridiculous. I knew that he didnt say that, isnt that obvious? The examples serve to portray other conspiracy theories. And YOU are not exploring his statement thoroughly enough at all: The western media's intention is one: Fill our heads with the non-aligned countrie's mistakes so we can forget our own, so they can get our support for the maintenance of the system in which we are apparently living free.

From his very words this infers that
(1) all of western media have the same intention, ergo are controlled by another enity or are the controller themselves (how else would they all have the same intention?)
(2) all of western media are misleading the population
(3) media does that to maintain the "system" (what else is the system than the government, or an even more nebulous force inside one country?)
(4) all of western media has an interest to misrepresent perceived enemy countries and cover up the government's / system's flaw

If that's not conspirational, I dunno what is. :roll: It even has the taste of the GDR propaganda, arguing in the vein of class struggle, black and white world view, clash of political systems in which all elements inside a system are synchronized for a common goal inherent in the system/ruling class.

Attributing a common intention to the Western media is enough to invalidate his entire statement. Hell, even implying all media have an intention is silly.
Have you actually read my previous remarks on this topic at all? I said that the companies who treated their workers
You said: We Westerners hide our exploitation in poor countries, keeping our own countries nice and clean. Of course that does not mean we are innocent of exploitation. [...] The West is able to enjoy its current high luxurious standards, with fairly small amounts of hard laborious work to do [...]

If that "We (Westerners)" only means the companies, and not the consumers, then nevermind what I've written. But you asked me to give you an example and I went back to the statement that made me start with the PC discussion. Yes, you said later on you want companies held responsible, but you wanted the example that made me start the pc stuff, and I had to go back for that.
And you are not addressing my opinion due to it allegedly being 'politically correct' as a result of ignoring an (in your view) important fact
Which is this specific important fact that you're mentioning here?

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#35 Post by Joost » 23 Apr 2009 14:19

Kankra wrote:You said: We Westerners hide our exploitation in poor countries, keeping our own countries nice and clean. Of course that does not mean we are innocent of exploitation. [...] The West is able to enjoy its current high luxurious standards, with fairly small amounts of hard laborious work to do [...]

If that "We (Westerners)" only means the companies, and not the consumers, then nevermind what I've written.
It's the companies who do the hiding, and the population who has the exploitation hidden from them.

But probably my ultimate point is that our economical system is, in my opinion, quite dependent on exploitation. (I am digressing now, but there are interesting economical theories about this. This article from the NY Times is an interesting read. If a theory like this turns out to be true (and I think that is far from unlikely), it probably follows that our expectations of ever-ongoing economical growth can only exist by the grace of exploitation in economical zones outside our own.)

Few people are willing to get politically or otherwise informed to do something about this exploitation by companies of our countries, because few people are aware of it.



As far as the conspiracy theory stuff goes, I don't want to get into that too deeply, as it's not really relevant to the main points of the discussion. Still, I think you might be taking Wicked Child too literally: I don't think he means to say literally all media in the Western world have the same intentions – that is, indeed, an obviously false statement. On the other hand, you shouldn't go too far to say that all media in the Western World are impartial and free from political agendas and propaganda – there are numerous counterexamples here, the reaction of all major media in the US after the start of the Iraq war being one of them.

And mind you, claiming that the invasion of Iraq was only due to ulterior motives, is also a conspiracy theory. It's a hypothesis that claims that the government and people/companies loosely connected to it (Haliburton, etc.) acted on some secret agenda that was hidden from the public – and that's exactly what a conspiracy theory is. Actually, it's a conspiracy theory that I believe to be true to some degree, but still a conspiracy theory. Still, I think there was not one single reason to invade Iraq: economical motives most probably were present, but I am quite sure that the intention to spread western values of democracy and freedom was also one of them. It may not have succeeded to well, but it probably was an underlying motivation.
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#36 Post by Kankra » 23 Apr 2009 14:32

Still, I think you might be taking Wicked Child too literally
This may very well be.
On the other hand, you shouldn't go too far to say that all media in the Western World are impartial and free from political agendas and propaganda
Fox News :x And many others. Yea, I agree.
And mind you, claiming that the invasion of Iraq was only due to ulterior motives, is also a conspiracy.
I didnt want to imply that. I was referring to the aftermath and the rebuild of the infractructure after the war. The way how in a downright criminal manner the ressources were wasted there gives a good insight how the administration went to work.
This is quite interesting. I however see the failure more fundamentally. Capitalism is crap. We allegedly have a better living standard than years ago, but we still have to work 40 hours a week 50 years of our life. The main improvements were health care, nutrition, etc. But the real luxury - time - is as sparse as ever, if not sparser. Today, for the middle class, even founding a family is a luxury. How is that an increase in living standard? Increasingly single men/women have to uproot themselves, to be suited to the modern jobs that apperantly want to send you all over the glove, but never home. Electronical devices are outdated faster than ever. Things are produced cheaply and break incredibly fast. Instead of working in their home town, people commute to work daily or have to fly around the globe - because they can.

We're able today to produce enough the base supply for so many people with so little effort, and yet we push each other to have and own and consume more and better and more expensive products. It's a race with no winners. People ought to strive to work the least amount of time for their base supply, instead they work much more for stuff they wouldnt really need.

If that's mainly a consequence of capitalism, or the society at whole... however, I feel there can be no improvement from the fundamental flaws. Greed, ignorance, envy, excess.
Last edited by Kankra on 23 Apr 2009 14:50, edited 1 time in total.

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#37 Post by Wicked Child » 23 Apr 2009 14:33

Kankra wrote:Inhumane pay checks. Woo ha. Alright, post the average income of a Brazilian VW employee. And then post the average income of a Brazilian man. Let's see the numbers. I am curious.
Since these numbers are not published on the media or whatever, I can say for the company I work in. This company is from the Automotive Industry also, but it's a north-american one. The workers on the production line, they get an average salary of U$450 per month. The minimum salary in Brazil is aprox U$206. But that won't help you to discover the conditions either. Any number I give you here you would just say "oh, it's not THAT inhuman".
Kankra wrote:Welcome to the world of conspiracy theories. I have no intention discussing with somebody like that because it's pointless. Yea sure, the western media is all controlled by men in expensive suits. That single reporter that wrote the article in the Guardian probably was told what to write. 9/11 was orchestrated by Bush. Moon landing was fake. Jews poison wells.
You know what's cool? In the other thread when I showed you textbooks definitions I have studied and learned you said it was blablabla.. Now, you say that I am talking about conspiracy theories? What do you want, then? Anything I say will probably be labeled by you somehow.
Kankra wrote:And YOU are not exploring his statement thoroughly enough at all: The western media's intention is one: Fill our heads with the non-aligned countrie's mistakes so we can forget our own, so they can get our support for the maintenance of the system in which we are apparently living free.

From his very words this infers that
(1) all of western media have the same intention, ergo are controlled by another enity or are the controller themselves (how else would they all have the same intention?)
Do you know something about Agenda Setting? I won't quote Wikipedia so you won't say I'm blablabla... So, the intention had this meaning on my post. The agenda meaning. I mentioned no control by any other else freaking entity.
Kankra wrote:(2) all of western media are misleading the population
If you take into account that the media are nothing but transnational corporation which are benefited by capitalism, ergo having huge interests on what kind of government is ruling their "territories", it's not hard to believe on that line of thought. But that's another discussion.
I didn't say that all western media does that wither. I cared to say it's western in the case of the article about Dubai.
Kankra wrote:(3) media does that to maintain the "system" (what else is the system than the government, or an even more nebulous force inside one country?)
That's totally the opposite, in fact. On the neoliberal system, by the words of the biggest neoliberal ever, Margareth Thatcher, "the state must be reduced to a point where you can drown him in a bath tub". So, the system ARE the transnational corps. So, what maintains this system on the oublic opinion is the corporative media. Of course I said that very superficially, because it is another discussion.
Kankra wrote:(4) all of western media has an interest to misrepresent perceived enemy countries and cover up the government's / system's flaws.
All of the western or Eastern corporative media tends to deffend corporations' interest, whenever it's convenient to them. I never said they will unconditionally cover up government's flaws. It's all about on what interests do they have.
Kankra wrote:If that's not conspirational, I dunno what is. It even has the taste of the GDR propaganda, arguing in the vein of class struggle, black and white world view, clash of political systems in which all elements inside a system are synchronized for a common goal inherent in the system/ruling class.
You call it conspirational, and I call you naive. All powers work independently from media, right.
Kankra wrote:Attributing a common intention to the Western media is enough to invalidate his entire statement. Hell, even implying all media have an intention is silly.
Ivalidate based on what?
And silly? My college Semiotic professor doesn't agree with you. In fact, one of the agenda setting statements is that there is a synchronized way of spreading information and also the words that are consensus to use. These are social phenomenons, that can - or not - be used counciously by the holders of information to reach the more convenient results to them (elections are a pretty common example on those books).

The FOX phenomenon is a good case.

edit: edited to a civil manner :)
Last edited by Wicked Child on 23 Apr 2009 14:52, edited 2 times in total.
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#38 Post by Joost » 23 Apr 2009 14:37

Maybe everyone here (including myself, I know I haven't been behaving perfectly here either :P) can from now on start discussing things in a bit more civil manner? It seems to be getting a bit out of hand, even though the topic here is quite worth discussing.

Calling each other 'retards' or 'unable to read' or '4 year olds' are all things that I don't consider to be 'discussing in a civil manner'. Everyone here should be able to get their points across without such remarks.
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#39 Post by Joost » 23 Apr 2009 14:51

Wicked Child wrote:All of the western (or eastern) corporative media tends to deffend corporations' interest, whenever it's convenient to them. I never said they will unconditionally cover up government's flaws. It's all about on what interests do they have.
Just want to remark here that not all major media in all Western Countries are corporate.

The public broadcasting system in the Netherlands is an interesting counterexample. There are three public channels, and they are mostly divided between several (independent, non-commercial) broadcasting associations. In principle, everyone can decide to found a public broadcasting association, and if you are able to gather enough members, you will get subsidized broadcasting time on one of the three public channels. They are not censored by the government (so criticism of the government on our public channels is common), and they get their money from government subsidies and membership fees rather than from corporations. And because there are more than 10 different broadcasting associations, different opinions will be voiced on the public channels, ranging from socialist to liberal to fundamentalist Christian (yes, we do have a fundamentalist Christian broadcasting association :lol: ).

Most Western European countries have public television channels, but in general they tend to be more directly connected to the government than they are here. As far as I know, the system with different public broadcasting associations that exists in the Netherlands is quite unique. (Some people want to get rid of it though, claiming that it is outdated.)
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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#40 Post by Wicked Child » 23 Apr 2009 15:00

Joost wrote:
Wicked Child wrote:All of the western (or eastern) corporative media tends to deffend corporations' interest, whenever it's convenient to them. I never said they will unconditionally cover up government's flaws. It's all about on what interests do they have.
Just want to remark here that not all major media in all Western Countries are corporate.

The public broadcasting system in the Netherlands is an interesting counterexample. There are three public channels, and they are mostly divided between several (independent, non-commercial) broadcasting associations. In principle, everyone can decide to found a public broadcasting association, and if you are able to gather enough members, you will get subsidized broadcasting time on one of the three public channels. They are not censored by the government (so criticism of the government on our public channels is common), and they get their money from government subsidies and membership fees rather than from corporations. And because there are more than 10 different broadcasting associations, different opinions will be voiced on the public channels, ranging from socialist to liberal to fundamentalist Christian (yes, we do have a fundamentalist Christian broadcasting association :lol: ).

Most Western European countries have public television channels, but in general they tend to be more directly connected to the government than they are here. As far as I know, the system with different public broadcasting associations that exists in the Netherlands is quite unique. (Some people want to get rid of it though, claiming that it is outdated.)
Well, Netherlands is one unique country :lol: Now, that's an old struggle from the democratic politicians in Brazil. Here we have just one public boradcast channel that is restricted to jus ONE state of the whole country. And it oppers ona frequency that doesn't even reach the whole state. It is a step forward, though.
In our Constitution we have the right to found a broadcasting as well, but when poor communities does that, the governments use to violently repress the communities, shutting down the broadcasting, taking their equipment, and jailing the "responsibles". The corporative media here likes to say they're pirate broadcastings.

So, oftenly I may sound paranoic, but where I live I have to. :wink:

But I think it would be ideal for all countries to follow Netherland's example.
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#41 Post by Kankra » 23 Apr 2009 15:11

Since these numbers are not published on the media or whatever, I can say for the company I work in. This company is from the Automotive Industry also, but it's a north-american one. The workers on the production line, they get an average salary of U$450 per month. The minimum salary in Brazil is aprox U$206. But that won't help you to discover the conditions either. Any number I give you here you would just say "oh, it's not THAT inhuman".
So whats your gripe? Bad safety measaures? Unpaid extra hours? Firing people who go on strike? How does this constitute as "slave labour" if the wage isn't the factor?
What do you want, then? Anything I say will probably be labeled by you somehow.
When you present an opinion that has conspirational elements, I label it as close to conspiracy theories.... How... is ... that so unexpected or out of the question?
Do you know something about Agenda Setting? I won't quote Wikipedia so you won't say I'm blablabla... So, the intention had this meaning on my post. The agenda meaning. I mentioned no control by any other else freaking entity.
Yea, I quoted wikipedia earlier as well. Quote away, I dont care. So ok, I looked up agenda setting, and yes, that I can agree with instead of "intention". Different kind of medias though tend to set different spotlights. While most main newspapers in Germany have the same topics, there are many other sources of information setting other, less well-watched spotlights. Additional to that, as many kinds of media are companies depending on income, they tend to write what the readers are interested in, not what they (in an ideal world) should be interested in.
If you take into account that the media are nothing but transnational corporation which are benefited by capitalism, ergo having huge interests on what kind of government is ruling their "territories"
In a working media landscape, it's a balance. There are some papers supporting one political party, but then there will be others supporting the other parties. And there is also a demand for papers that portray the parties neutrally. And since there is a demand for all that, there is mostly always a company or media filling the niche.
All of the western or Eastern corporative media tends to deffend corporations' interest, whenever it's convenient to them. I never said they will unconditionally cover up government's flaws. It's all about on what interests do they have.
And whenever it's convenient to these media, they will attack a corporation's interest - if it will draw readers. A German company poisoning the water of a river in India with their factory? Be sure there will be more than one German newspaper writing about it.
All powers work independently from media, right.
I didnt say that. It was you who opened up with the opposite.
And silly? My college Semiotic professor doesn't agree with you.
Ergo I dont agree with your professor :roll: I could agree on most media having an agenda setting suitable to the perceived role of the media.

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#42 Post by t.a.j. » 23 Apr 2009 15:29

Kankra wrote: And whenever it's convenient to these media, they will attack a corporation's interest - if it will draw readers. A German company poisoning the water of a river in India with their factory? Be sure there will be more than one German newspaper writing about it.
Emphasis on convenient. Usually it works like this: through some circumstance, such as an engaged journalist, propaganda initiative or pure accident a topic gets into the circulation of the media circus. If people within the circus react to it - because they think it's hot stuff that everyone will be talking about soon - then it will be communicated to the public in some paper, news program, whatever. Then there is some time span, wherein a critical mass of social status and standing within the media - not so much how many, but who - can gather around the topic. If the critical mass is reached, the topic becomes part of the buzz. If the time passes before that happens - which can be anything from minutes to months - then it will not be.

A germany company can spend decades happily poisoning south cambodian rice fields without it ever being mention by the mainstream media, if enough of the status and standing do not consider it buzz worthy. But once something like that gets into the circus, no manner of influence is likely to keep it from being talked about everywhere. The trick to manipulate the system is to make the things you want to stay out of the spotlight seem small and unimportant while at the same time keep a good amount of the people with the media power from every finding it buzzworthy.
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#43 Post by Wicked Child » 23 Apr 2009 16:16

Kankra wrote:Additional to that, as many kinds of media are companies depending on income, they tend to write what the readers are interested in, not what they (in an ideal world) should be interested in.
Now, that is another Communication Theory. It says that the cultural industry produces what the society wants to, ok. Another theory, though, posterior to this one, stated that once you control the information, you set up what is going to be the "trend" and then people will demand this trend more and more. It's kind of an interesting discussion.
Kankra wrote:
Wicked Child wrote:If you take into account that the media are nothing but transnational corporation which are benefited by capitalism, ergo having huge interests on what kind of government is ruling their "territories"
In a working media landscape, it's a balance. There are some papers supporting one political party, but then there will be others supporting the other parties. And there is also a demand for papers that portray the parties neutrally. And since there is a demand for all that, there is mostly always a company or media filling the niche.
As I said before, I think my country has the most corrupt media ever. That balance scenario you mentioned.. we don't have it in here. Now with the internet access, independent blogs and sites are trying to make this balance, but still it's very hard to find deversity of opinions here. In an interview I saw with Patch Adams, he says the same about USA. Now, Europe may have this ideal media, but still, commercial interests are behind all corporative media companies.
Kankra wrote:
Wicked Child wrote:All of the western or Eastern corporative media tends to deffend corporations' interest, whenever it's convenient to them. I never said they will unconditionally cover up government's flaws. It's all about on what interests do they have.
And whenever it's convenient to these media, they will attack a corporation's interest - if it will draw readers. A German company poisoning the water of a river in India with their factory? Be sure there will be more than one German newspaper writing about it.
I can agree that they would attack corporation's interests when it's convenient. But how convenient? If you understand convenience as simply "making news", then I'm saying the opposite. I'm quite saying here that journalism is the LAST of the media interests. Funny, huh?
And not conspirational.. Imagine that this company that is poisoning the rivers is a major advertiser or shareholder of this TV company. They definetely wouldn't be on the headlines. But there are other TV companies. Yeah. But most cases they're ALL are profiting from "evil doers" advertising, once they're commercial TV. AND, besides it, even if there are public non-commercial broadcastings, like Joost said, most people always prefer to watch the entertainment that is being showed on commercial TV.
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#44 Post by Traveller in Time » 23 Apr 2009 17:42

@Kankra: I recommend you to watch Monitor on the channel ARD, there you see what is going on in germany and that there are many german companies doing evil stuff...

Maybe it is not always the company itself but mostly their suppliers and they don't care about the working conditions there. But come on they should know that the products they buy/get can be only so cheap because workers are not well paid and they definitely do know about that fact! Or are they just stupid? :roll:

Ever wondered how KIK can sell T-Shirts for 2 or 3 euros?

I think the biggest perversion is that companies spend millions for commercials to convince people to buy their products, but on the other hand treating people like slaves.
Best commercial would be to treat people like humans.

Once my economics professor said: We let calculate our structural engineering in India, they work for 3 euros an hour, but we said that is slavery so we paid them 7 euros and we still save money and time (because of time difference calculations are mostly made during our night time).

We need more ethic/social thinking in companies and economics that's all!
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#45 Post by Mahoora » 24 Apr 2009 17:33

Great article, I just hate Dubai!! a lot of young people from Syria goes there to get a better life, and they do to some extent! but all of them has almost the same reaction: it's a fake city or it's not even a city it's a lego!!. maybe arab workers are not living in the same shit of the Philipiniens or Indians but there's a lot of work discrimination against them as well. the westerner who works the same amount and quality as a Syrian for an example takes more than a double of the salary! :roll: Also, what pisses of the most is that those Emeiraties were nomads and after they got all the money (because of wester efforts not by theirs) they think that they rule the worls but really they still modern nomads!! they pretend to have a culture but they have nothing cuz money can't do you anything but it's doesn't provide a culture or a history :?
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#46 Post by Hagen von Tronje » 20 May 2009 16:14

I don't wish to get entangled in general discussions on exploitational economy or anything, just wish to comment on the phenomenon Dubai in particular:
Joost wrote:Well, in this case I agree with Martin.
Exploitation and living on debt are common in all of the world, but nowhere is it nearly as degenerate as it is in Dubai. The city was built in an economic bubble, and now the economic bubble is bursting, it won't be surprising if, in a few years, there won't be much left of it except for some empty skyscrapers.
I am wondering the same thing about Dubai. All these weird projects for financial centers and tourist attractions custom-tailored for the world elite. How can someone think of building something like an alpine ski centre in such a place?!? Are they really that shrewd planners or is this one giant mis-calculation?

What actually baffles me about this exploitation is the fact that Indians, Pakistani and other South-Asians actually constitute around 60% of Dubai's population, as opposed to only 27% Arabs.

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