Re: NEWS: Genoa riots

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Mon Jul 23 2001 - 02:41:07 MDT

On Sun, Jul 22, 2001 at 12:54:12PM -0700, Spike Jones wrote:
> Tiberius Gracchus wrote:
> Seriously, why would anyone be *against* bringing in money
> and jobs. Are you serious, that some populations dont *want*
> money and jobs in the neighborhood? Why? spike

I think the main reason is that a lot of people know less aboiut
economics than California governors.

Imagine that you believe economics is not a science or field or research
but just a rationalization for the rich to get richer. Imagine that you
do not know how to interpret or get statistics to check your opinions
and frankly don't care. Imagine that you have this self-consistent
belief system that tells you things are in general run by small selfish
elites oppressing you and everybody else, that the market is the tool
for these elites and that trade and globalization, being apparently what
these selfish elites like, makes you worse off. If you held this belief
system you would of course see evidence for it in all news - if people
buy coffee at Starbucks, then they have been suckered by advertisment
manipulations, if the Argentinian economy is not doing well then it must
be the will of the Powers That Be showing how cruel they are, and so on.

Then add in a number of groups with strong self-interest: farmers that
do not wish to see any outside competition or decrease in agricultural
support, unions that do not wish to encounter restructuring of their own
industries and foreign competition, xenophobes that do not like the idea
of open borders and intellectuals (of whatever stated party color) that
have again found a forum where they can be taken seriously. These groups
will of course argue for the above belief system - sometimes knowing the
flaws of the model, more often even making themselves believe it. They
also employ whatever channels will produce results, both lobbying
politicians and supporting friendly demagogues.

There is no need to assume secret cabals of ex-stasi or KGB agents
behind the scenes. It is more a matter of a lot of well-meaning people
who have a faulty model of how world economy works being partially
influenced by some self-serving groups with compelling arguments.

If you add in a couple of "professional" rioters and anarchists (whose
allegiance seems to be to experiencing the heady mixture of community,
danger and fighting, with the above belief system sometimes just thrown
in as a justification) you will have a recipe for riot. But even without
the violence the above memeset is destructive; in many ways the
peaceful majority of the anti-globalisation movement is more dangerous.

Remember Greg's Extro talk - if you look at the protesters and the
organisations represented, you will see a strong predominance of the
guardians, romantics and mystics.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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