Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Spreading Freedom and Pavement

To make yesterday's point more directly: our President and his neocon policy gurus think we are exporting democracy. We are also, and more effectively, exporting individual self-determination, consumerism and growing energy consumption.

People in free countries fill the ballot box only rarely and inconsistently. They fill cash registers with their votes daily and universally. Who gains power under this system?

Whether you regard the spread of unbridled capitalism as a victory for freedom depends on your perspective. For individual people improving their lives in the here and now, it looks like progress — especially once the suicide bombings slow to a trickle. Third world countries have advanced environmental degradation on their own pretty well, and economic growth will doubtless improve some areas, such as water treatment. But looking at the long-term prospects for the planet and humanity, it is difficult not to envision growth as impending doom.

No wonder the far right views both Al Qaida and the Sierra Club as enemies.

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