So the Hokkaido G8 has food security, climate changes and oil prices in a prominent place of its agenda.

Bush has made accountability a major theme for this year's G8 meetings, arguing that "we need people who not only make promises, but write checks, for the sake of human rights and human dignity, and for the sake of peace." The G8 includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.

G8 leaders are expected to address an array of political, security and economic issues when they meet for three days. "We expect that they will discuss a broad range of issues, including development, Africa, food security, trade and investment policy, energy security, climate change and issues relating to the global economy, including oil prices.

Obviously, we expect the very same people who became insanely rich thanks to these "issues" 1 to clean up their profitable mess and save the world.

We expect politicians whose career and position is entirely built upon terror to fight it.
We expect governments driven by ruthless corporate interests to regulate for a planet-sustainable economy, which may require profit margin reductions or even degrowth 2.
We expect oil companies, mercenary armies, reconstruction contractors and weapon manufacturers, which rather than bribing the elected people representatives like they used to do in the past, nowadays have their executives directly placed in key government roles as an obscene parody of democracy, to shoot themselves in their feet.

Just like expecting anti-virus vendors to push technologies and approaches making our information systems really safer, or Microsoft to promote open (web) standards...

Notes

[1] An interesting and very well documented paper titled Who benefits from GM crops: the rise in pesticide use explains clearly how technologies advertised as a remedy against world hunger are, in reality, making the problem far worse.

[2] The linked article is the first Google Search result in English for "Degrowth", and likely a good introductory resource. While both Italian and French Wikipedia sites have articles about this topic, I could not find anything on the English site. Why?

9 Responses to “Who Wants Security?”

  1. #1 Peter Lairo says:

    I just added software programmers to Hollywood stars who should better not use their "prominence" to espouse their political views. Better to stick with what you know. ;-)

  2. #2 Giorgio says:

    @Peter Lairo:
    BTW, are you really a fellow Pastafarian?

  3. #3 Peter Lairo says:

    BTW, are you really a fellow Pastafarian?

    Of course. It's the only true religion ... just like all other religions. ;-)

  4. #4 laszlo says:

    [2] The linked article is the first Google Search result in English for 'Degrowth', and likely a good introductory resource. While both Italian and French Wikipedia sites have articles about this topic, I could not find anything on the English site. Why?

    Because in English it's commonly called 'uneconomic growth' instead of 'economic degrowth''? On the other hand the selection of a negative rather than a neutral term for the same thing says enough about the general attitude towards it in the Anglosphere.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uneconomic_growth

  5. #5 Giorgio says:

    @laszlo:
    thanks for the hint, and yes, I agree that the lexical choice is quite eloquent.

  6. #6 dave says:

    You're being mislead by the fact that the Wikipedia article is using English economic jargon. "Degrowth", as described in the article you linked to, refers to an economic path which contracts traditional monetary measures, but increases broader well being. "Uneconomic growth" refers to the opposite -- an economic path which increases traditional monetary measures, but decreases broader well being. So it's a negative word, but it describes the _opposite_ process.

    There is a specific effort in modern English-speaking economics to constantly point out that economics is about well being, for which money is only rarely a good substitute measure. The phrase "economic growth" is used when you want to talk about broader well being rather than just money. The article you linked to is talking about what an English-speaking economist would call "monetary degrowth" -- thus "economic degrowth" as the alternate name for what's in the Wikipedia article.

    So the phrase makes a strong lexical point, but exactly the opposite of the one you thought.

  7. #7 Giorgio says:

    @dave:
    By reading the Wikipedia article and your clarification, "uneconomic growth" is a process in which monetary growth becomes not "economically sustainable", and therefore makes "monetary degrowth" needed.
    But then, is there an English Wikipedia entry talking about this kind of "necessary" degrowth, or slow down (décroissance), as suggested by Georgescu-Roegen's "entropy law"?

  8. #8 Michael says:

    Compare what Laszlo (above) points to with this: Copy the Italian version to the clipboard and pass it through Google Translate (or use the URL if you prefer). There are significant differences in wording to a native English speaker (spin?). It's a useful technique for finding out what's going on outside the 'anglosphere'.

  9. #9 Marc Diethelm says:

    > Who Wants Security?

    Recent examples of people with too much power changing the law, so their crimes cannot be prosecuted: Berlusconi, US Telcos, Bush administration. And never forget Reagan and the Contras!

    > I just added software programmers to Hollywood stars who should better not use their "prominence" to espouse their political views. Better to stick with what you know. ;-)

    Completely disagree. Power attracts the corruptible. Absolute power attracts the absolutely corruptible. Best not to leave it to them, or else you'll end up with famine, trade wars, pollution, corruption, corporate crime, global warming, war mongering, insurgency, inflated prices, loss of liberty, unprecedented mass extinction, illiteracy, monopolies, inequality and arms races. Oh wait. Too late! Maybe if I 'stick to what I know' the problems will go away... ;-)

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