cj#507> Globalization and Human Rights

1996-03-21

Richard Moore

               Globalization and Human Rights

                      Richard K. Moore
                       21 March 1996


        Under nationalist imperialism -- the pluralistic global
regime of the past few hundred years -- the third-world
population has been relegated to serf status, while first world
citizens have enjoyed a growth (albeit uneven) in human rights
(and in prosperity).

        Under the approaching-adulthood globalist system -- whose
birth trauma was WWII, and whose father was Uncle Sam --  we have
now begun to see a leveling downwards not only of first-world
prosperity, but of human rights as well.  This should be no
surprise.

        When nation states were serving as the home-base safe-
houses of the capitalist elite, and national power determined the
scope of trading domination, then a satisfied citizenry (enabling
the cultivation of national-identity patriotism) was needed by
the elite in order to carry out the periodic wars that served to
adjust their gangland boundaries.  Thus democracy has been
tolerated because it facilitates the assembly of motivated
citizen-armies whenever their services are required.

        But now things have changed.  Multinational corporations
have distributed their bases of support holographically
throughout the globe, and they now foresee their growth as coming
from consolidation of a well-ordered globalist system, rather
than from continuing territory squabbles among themselves, played
out under colored pennants as first-world national rivalries.
You might say the Old West has settled down, and the Bankers are
taking over from the Marshals.

        Furthermore, technology advances have created a situation
whereby the well-ordered functioning of the globalist regime can
be maintained -- when embargo or armed massacre is still required
-- by hi-tech weapons systems operated increasingly by remote
specialists, with no need for large imperialist armies.

        Hence there's no elite benefit to be derived from the
continued toleration of democracy and human rights, and uppity
first-world citizens have become a non-offset liability to
corporate hegemony.  No longer needed to buttress national power,
they must now be put in their place.  That "place", of course, is
to serve as producer-consumer cogs in the globalist corporate
money machine, a role long familiar to their third-world
brethren.

        We could catalog at length the backsliding on human
rights that has occurred recently in the first world, including
the "Anti Terrorism" Bill now before Congress.  But the point
comes home most poignantly when we can see third-world non-rights
being imported directly into the first world, as in the American
Reporter article below.

        Only a few weeks ago, Britain expelled an Iranian
political journalist, at the request of Iran.  The Tories openly
admitted that this was a conscious trade-off of human rights
against the value of an impending weapons order.  Thus a
corporate profit opportunity in the global market is openly
proclaimed to be of greater importance than the maintenance of
human rights and democratic values.  Below, we see Chirac echoing
this same new first-world policy on human-rights standards.

        I cannot avoid speculating that these announcements were
_intended_ to proclaim historic shifts in public policy: normally
such political victims are demonized, and their deportation
rationalized on other grounds, or the story is simply hushed up.
But now Major and Chirac are making public spectacles of the
events, and are _not_ trying to claim that the dissidents were
undesirable aliens.

        It is notable that the two third-world countries whose
human-rights policies are being imported are _notoriously_
repressive: Iran and China.  Chirac and Major, in effect, are
standing up in the public square and saying:

        "Here's what I think about your rights, folks: you have
the same rights as those prisoners over there (pointing to Iran
and China in chains), unless you're contributing to corporate
profits.  So shut up, get back to work, and don't make any
trouble."

        It is further notable that in both cases the victims were
whistle-blowers: people telling the truth about human rights in
Iran and China, respectively.  And who were they telling this
truth to?  Why first-world citizens, of course.  Thus Chirac and
Major, on their village soapboxes, are also saying:

        "And another thing: I'm tired of you folks worrying about
human-rights conditions.  Starting today I'm going to whittle
away at your information sources, beginning with the most
vulnerable spokespersons."

        These announcements are classic examples of subliminal-
message carriers.  Most people probably took in the unspoken
points, and resigned themselves to lower expectations, without
necessarily noticing that the historic shift even occurred.


-rkm

________________________________________________________________

American Reporter
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH:  FRANCE
+
from Human Rights Watch
Washington, D.C.
3/16-17/96
paris
free

                FRANCE EXPELS CHINESE CRITICS OF ORPHANAGE DEATHS
                               Human Rights Watch

        WASHINGTON -- The French government's decision to prevent two
prominent critics of China's orphanage system from entering France was a
transparent effort to smooth relations with Beijing, Human Rights

Watch/Asia, the New York-based human rights organization charged today.
        The charge came in response to news that Dr. Zhang Shuyun and Ai
Ming, a former staff member and inmate respectively of the Shanghai
Children's Welfare Institute, were expelled from France after traveling to
Paris where they had gone to attend an Amnesty International meeting.

        The move by French authorities came as the European Union debated
whether or not to withdraw from a commitment to jointly sponsor with the
U.S. a resolution on China at the U.N. Human Rights Commission, which will
convene in Geneva next Monday. France has reportedly been lobbying its EU
partners to drop the resolution, as the government of Jacques Chirac
prepares for Chinese Premier Li Peng's arrival in Paris on April 10.

        Dr. Zhang and Ai Ming were key sources for a report published by
Human Rights Watch/Asia, Death by Default: A Policy of Fatal Neglect in
China's State Orphanages in January. They boarded the Chunnel train in
London with documents stating clearly that they were entitled to travel to
twelve other European countries, including France, without a visa, under
the terms of a Council of Europe Convention.

        However, when they arrived in Paris, they were detained briefly by
the police who insisted that a visa was required, and they were then
deported.  Dr. Zhang and Ai Ming plan to make another attempt to go to
Paris on Wednesday.

        "Unless the Chirac government allows Dr. Zhang and Ai Ming to speak
freely and openly about abuses they witnessed in a Chinese orphanage, it
will be responsible for a human rights violation itself," said Sidney
Jones, executive director of Human Rights Watch/Asia. "It looks very much
like the government is using the expulsion of two critics as a way of
currying favor with China."

        President Chirac and Li Peng met at the EU-ASEAN summit in Bangkok
on March 1-2, and since then France has taken the lead in trying to
negotiate an agreement with Beijing to make some gestures on human rights
in exchange for an agreement by the EU to move away from sponsoring a
China resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

        A final decision by the EU on the resolution -- expected weeks ago
-- has been postponed until a meeting of EU foreign ministers on March 25,
one week after the Commission formally convenes.

                               -30-

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    Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
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