Wednesday, November 20, 2002

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Good riddance

A French farmer-turned anti-globalization celebrity, José Bové is going to jail for various attacks on genetically-modified crop fields in France. Bové is better known as the farmer who attacked a MacDonald's, earning the praise of French president Jacques Chirac.

Activists have hailed Bové as a leader of the fight against globalization (click here for an example). I've always found this absurd. Bové's decision to attack the MacDonald's in the first place was due to a U.S. decision, during a typical trade spat with the EU, to raise tariffs against French luxury goods. This had a devastating impact on Bové's livelihood, as "someone who supplies sheep's milk to makers of Roquefort cheese," according to the New York Times. In other words, the initial incident that triggered Bové's "protest" was a lack of globalization, not its acceleration.

The fact that Bové and other protestors concluded that the cure for Bové's ills was to halt the free flow of goods and services across borders even further is a testimony to the blinkered logic of the anti-globalization movement.

posted by Dan on 11.20.02 at 11:35 AM