Re: Made in China

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Tue Apr 17 2001 - 11:50:23 MDT wrote:
> You know, I sincerely hope that this compassionless guy who sees nothing wrong with foriegn sweatshops doesn't in any way represent what most extropians think. Talk about reason without emotion, geez. Some of us think that human beings have these things called rights, not just the ones in the first amendment, but also ones like liberty, the pursuit of happiness, etc.

Assuming that I am the 'compassionless guy' being referred to, I will

Humans DO in fact have rights, which includes being free to choose who
and what you work for, under what standards you wish. Groups that want
to impose developed nation level labor and environmental standards on
undeveloped and developing nations are not just totally ignorant of
economics and technological development, they seek to confiscate the
right of the people of developed and developing nations to decide for
themselves what labor and environmental standards they wish to have in
their own sovereign nations. Talk about imperialistic hubris and
hegemonic arrogance.

The Free Trade Area of the Americas treaty being negotiated right now
has a requirement that all paticipatory nations be democratic nations,
so that there is no chance of despotic governments exploiting the labor
of the citizenry.

This whole argument is essentially a chicken/egg thing, where I am
saying you need development before enlightened labor standards can be
imposed. I work from a 'individuals and societies practice the morals
they can afford' standpoint. They may have high ideals and WANT higher
standards, but they must accept lower ones based on what their economy
can handle without choking off growth. In my opinion, those that oppose
this sort of rational viewpoint may indeed have the best interests of
those people in mind, but they are simply not thinking it through
completely, while I am sure there are others of a demagogic nature who
want to prevent people from becoming wealthy enough to not need a
socialist revolution.

> I'm sure you think that's very backward and overly-romanticized of me to say that. But I think people deserve to have a chance to do more than the same tedium over and over all thier lives, always at the mercy of thier employers if they say anything or disobey. I mean, isn't that why the west abandoned serfdom and industrialized agriculture, so we *wouldn't* have to work our asses off all the time just to survive?

Sorry, the 'sweatshop' phenomenon exhibited itself hundreds of years
after the abandonment of serfdom, in the heart of our free market
industrial age.

If we did what you claim to 'so we wouldn't have to work our asses off',
then why is it that most families work more hours a week than they did
hundreds and thousands of years ago?

> Grow a heart, for pete's sake.

I've got one, thanks. I prefer to do my thinking with my head, that's
what it's for.

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