Monday, December 9, 2002

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THE ZAPATISTAS IN THEIR FULL KNOW-NOTHING GLORY: I've consistently railed about the idiotarian views of the anti-globalization movement, but this story on the Mexican rainforest encapsulates exactly why these views are so pernicious. The Mexican rainforest is disappearing in Chiapas because of poverty-stricken farmers "whose only path from starvation lies in slashing and burning the jungle to plant a patch of corn." Whose fault is this? The Times trots out the usual suspects -- uncaring governments and multinational corporations -- but that dog won't hunt. Multinationals support rainforest preservation, the Mexican government has announced plans to invest in regional infrastructure to prevent this ecological degradation, and USAID is quietly funding a program for poor farmers to cultivate alternative crops.

No, the chief culprits are the Zapatistas, who denounce the usual suspects, but also "shopkeepers trying to develop eco-tourism" in Chiapas as "fools trying to change our lives so that we will cease being what we are: indigenous peasants with our own ideas and culture."

I think it's time to rename this strand of "thinking" from "the anti-globalization movement" to "global Know-Nothings."

posted by Dan on 12.09.02 at 10:07 AM