Prattle in Seattle: The WTO Quiz

If the World Trade Organization battle in Seattle proved anything, it clearly separated the namby-pamby politically correct Third World apologist whiners from the progress at any price, free-enterprise-forever, iron-willed, global capitalist tools. See if you can match the astute observers of current affairs (A-H) with their observations (1-8).

A. William Grieder/The Nation; B. John Vidal (mistakenly issued a delegate pass, in) In These Times; C. From the editors of Storm Warning; D. Matthew Stadler/The Stranger; E. Walter Truett Anderson/Pacific News Service; F. Debra Goldman/Adweek; G. Nancy Drew/The Stranger; H. Charles Krauthammer/Time

1. “The anti-globalism movement now flexing its muscles in Seattle itself represents a form of globalism.”

2. “[Our] ‘I Am a Dangerous Terrorist’ WTO baseball caps are a big hit. . . . However, proud owners of the soon-to-be-collectibles might want to take note of the label: Made in Bangladesh. Yikes.”

3. “In one of those moments that leave you wondering where their heads are, the WTO Director-General Mike Moore said: ‘This city, what a magnificent place. If only the world could be like Seattle.’ We agree. If the rest of the world greets the attempts of the imperialists to push institutions and policies like the WTO, MAI, IMF, etc. like was done in Seattle, the future of the WTO will be very dim to say the least.”

4. “The WTO, I had assumed, was already a doomed institution. It lacks the legal authority to police the domain it grandiosely claims to govern. Nor are its founding sponsors going to allow genuine reform, since accepting the legitimacy of labor and environmental rights, social obligations and national sovereignty would destroy the WTO’s usefulness for global business and finance.”

5. “Contrary to received wisdom, we aren’t what we buy. We have values and desires that are satisfied at the cash register, but also clash with it . . . Which is why I suspect many sippers of Starbucks latte felt a twinge of sympathy when they heard one of its Seattle storefronts had been trashed.”

6. “It turns out that the best cure for the poverty the left so agonized about [in years past] is precisely what the left is demonstrating against today–capitalism and trade.”

7. “After 40 minutes, several countries are visibly suffering. Ireland is reclining alarmingly. The only sign of life is a Latin American delegation where the minister could well be in love with his adviser. Her eyes flash. They lean together and cannot stop whispering.”

8. “To walk downtown [Seattle] now is to face–block after block–one’s own poverty. Even the middle class does not belong in much of this emporium. Walk there without money, walk there among a group of teenagers, walk there black or poor, and you’ll know whose downtown it is. Even those who are not excluded, not belittled or alienated by the ownership of downtown, feel embarrassment at the ostentation of this temporary, fleeting wealth. Drifting past the locked, gated entrance to Pacific Place on my bike that day, I wondered why vandals did not damage the city every day of the year.”

Answers: A4, B7, C3, D8, E1, F5, G2, H6

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