Many of us went to see John Prendregast on Darfur with the Houston World Affairs Council. One of the strategies he mentioned was economic pressure on China because China strongly supports the Darfur government.
Specifically Prendergast mentioned an initiative called the “genocide Olympics“ which was an attempt to tie the next China Olympics to their complicity with the government of Darfur. It appears to be working. From the New York Times:
Darfur Collides With Olympics, and China Yields
WASHINGTON, April 12 “” For the past two years, China has protected the Sudanese
government as the United States and Britain have pushed for United
Nations Security Council sanctions against Sudan for the violence in Darfur.
(full article on Genocide Olympics Progress with China)
Now this is China. So seeing the press in the US may make them reverse directions just as a show of power. But one can hope.
The money quote on modern education:
… a small group of us came to the
realization that schools need to start serving the tension between
ego-centered, personalized, individualistic society and globalized
society. There used to be scales – people would be part of local
communities, broader communities, nation-states, etc. Networked society
is altering the relationships between people and communities are
suffering because of the lack of cohesion, social norms, etc. When we
think about education (especially when we talk about its role in
relation to civic life), we need to stop damning technology and start
engaging with the shifts that have occurred in the architecture of
This is the first time I felt challenged to look at education from an ego-centered tension between personalized and globalized society. Interesting.
Of course the problem may be, not sure, buy may be serving tension between areas implies an awareness of the boundaries. And that isn’t easy.
On a related note, be sure to read CAE’s posts on the attention economy and organizations.
You can’t discuss child labor without also discussing globalization, marketing and collective action. I really do try to keep this blog on marketing, public relations and social software. But sometimes those topics are a bit bigger. You can’t discuss public relations without knowing that Ferdinand Marcos was created by a PR Practitioner. You can’t discuss Bernays or Ivy Lee without also discussing pre-war Germany and McCarthyism.
As a trackback to this post by Katie she points out this article "Child workers refuse to quit jobs" and questions "what should we do?". As Katie notes, destroying StarBucks is not the solution.
I think (and this is me exaggerating a bit) that most Americans view child labor as kids being made to work in mills and sweatshops instead of staying home and playing Playstation and getting an education. Like their lives at home would be so much better if only someone blew up Starbucks.
In reality, it seems that many would stay home and watch their siblings die from lack of medicine and food, see their parent(s) struggle to find work that is not there for them and would have no school to attend because there simply is none to go to.
I was thinking, when reading this newsbit, that a problem I have with obie-noxious outspoken protesting go-against-the-grainers is that they have many, many complaints against… well, sometimes everything… but no solutions.
What is known is making donations of goods through NGOs is not the solution. Pure free-trade-zones also cause problems because they do not contributed tax back to the local society and create an uneven playing field, thereby encouraging the creation of more free-trade-zones in other countries which also don’t contribute to the local society. Capitalism with limits (reasonable taxes to solve collective action problems for example) actually does improve the lives of the many. The question is where are those limits?
May I suggest four books that relate:
- NOLOGO, Naomi Klein (despite being sensational at times, a tremendous concise history of marketing is included as a bonus)
- The World is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman
- George Soros on Globalization (bad writing style, but he makes some good points about the anti-globalization process being co-opted and solving the right problems with the right groups)
- Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Mancur Olson
As for me, I have studied the topics of PR, collective action, social software and politics to the point that I no longer believe I have any answers. But I definitely DO believe in the wisdom of crowds and therefore distributed authoring. So back to programming the systems to help others solve the problem collectively….