Democracy vs Globalized Capitalism

| | Comments (0)
By Noah Carpenter. December 2007.

Latin America saw a resurgence in Centre-Left candidates in the democratic elections of 2006. In Ecuador Rafael Correa took office, Nicaragua saw Daniel Ortega regain the presidency, in 2005 Evo Morales became the first indigenous president of his country, Hugo Chavez was re-elected to the chagrin of the Bush administration, Chile elected Michelle Bachelet, Peru elected Alan Garcia, in Uruguay Tabare  Ramon Vazquez Rosas took office, and in Brazil Luiz Ignacio Lula de Silva one in the second round of votes. Even though all of the candidates are left leaning they all have somewhat varied approaches to what they promise to bring to the table during their presidency. Chavez and Morales being the most socialistic and radical of the group, and others such as Bachelet, Lula de Silva, and Garcia favoring more socially democratic views when it comes to the market place (ODI). The common threads that do hold these Presidents and their voters together is their severe dissatisfaction with neoliberal free market economic policies that have been implemented under the “Washington Consensus” during the 1980’s and 90’s.  People in Latin America have watched as the divide between rich and poor has grown tremendously over the years, some statistics labeling South America as the most unequal in the world. With trickle down economics failing to provide better lives and more jobs it seems that the people of the Southern Hemisphere are ready to try something new. Coupled with the Bush administration’s priorities, or some would say distractions, in the Middle East and the rising discontent among the marginalized, the 2006 elections became the time for change. What are some of the mechanisms for change that the people of Latin America have used to wrestle power away from the economic elites?


Habeas Corpus

| | Comments (0)
Reid Pearson

Constitutional rights are the essence of our country. Our founding fathers provided us with a document designed to uphold all the personal freedoms they believed a country should possess. As Americans, we have grown to expect that these rights will never change. This is a devastating error of our judgment. Living in the United States, it is foolish and irresponsible to sit back and trust that the rights we’ve been given will never alter. Being part of a democracy means that constant action, observation, and attention is especially important. In 2006, one of our constitutional rights was taken from us and many were too blind to see it. With a majority vote and the President’s signature, habeas corpus was no longer a right for all peoples. The stripping of Habeas Corpus was a dangerous step in our democracy and now we must stand up for our rights.

Social Change, Culture, and Economy

| | Comments (0)

By Jeff Shelton

The means by which a group of human beings choose to sustain their lives is a basic corner stone to the doctrines of survival. The methods or methods used play a major role and some would argue the main role in the making and passing of culture. If we look at culture as the ways and means by which a group of people survive and grow as a society we can easily see that the economic system that is used is a key block in the social structure. What happens when a society changes its economic base or when the economic model is changed for them by force or coercion?

Technology and Cultural Genocide

| | Comments (0)

By: Samantha Steerman

So here we are. It's 2007. The cold war has ended. There are technological advances every day. The world is connected by the Internet. Previously sheltered countries are now able to see what is going on in the rest of the world. People in India, Pakistan, Israel, Germany, etc. know what movie stars and fashions are popular in
America, Great Britain, France, and Japan.

Capitalism is not a success

| | Comments (0)
By: Noah

“Capitalism is not a success. It is not intelligent, it is not beautiful, it is not true, it is not virtuous and it doesn’t deliver the goods. In short we dislike it and we are beginning to despise it. But when we wonder what to put in its place we are extremely perplexed.” John Maynard Keynes (Albert, Judging Economics) Contemporary alternatives such as centrally planned socialism as well as market socialism have both been attempted with the later possibly being the more successful of the two. Even though their goals were more equitable distribution neither provides a totally egalitarian society. In the centrally planned systems there was clear division between the planners and the workers, which immediately created class conflict. In the market socialist economies private ownership of the means to production were eliminated but the force of markets still exists as well as a division of labor between the coordinator class and the working class. (Albert, Market Socialism) So if we decide that either of the latter options are not the answers to overcome the capitalistic machine and that the capitalistic system is not successful in providing equity among all its citizens where can we turn for hope?  The answer could possibly be found in what is known as Parecon (participatory economics), which is an economic system that is based on the democratic participation of every citizen in both their working life and their life as a consumer.