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Alternatives aplenty

by Cyrille
Wed Nov 2nd, 2011 at 06:52:26 AM EST

It's now out in the open: Paul Krugman is flirting with Tara.

However, Robin Wells (Paul Krugman's partner) need not worry. Tara is actually the impersonation of our rallying cry, There Are Real Alternatives, and of course the arch-nemesis of Margaret Thatcher's frightening offspring, TINA (There Is No Alternative).

front-paged by afew

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What we stand for: Quasi-Rawlsian ethics

by Cyrille
Sat Oct 2nd, 2010 at 09:17:02 AM EST

Recently, in a diary called Paris by Sven Triloqvist, poemless made the point that some people come to ET and struggle to understand what It is about. Why I find that this patchwork tendency also has an endearing feel to it, I must admit that I have struggled to get people to read ET regularly. And we may sometimes not even explicitly mention some points that we take for granted within our community -but which may be lost on a new reader.

So, I thought I would try to find and word some major tendencies that shape ET. I realize that the "we" in the title can seem presumptuous -after all, it is only I who write. But there are two reasons for it. First, I endeavour to identify common lines of thought -ones that, while we can find an individual frequent contributor who disagrees about any one of them, would probably be each be shared by the great majority of us, and a majority of them should be shared by any one of us. Second, I hope that ensuing discussions will make it that eventually it will be "we" writing.
I was initially going to have all topics into one diary, but quickly saw that it would be way too long -besides, I probably am not settled on the list yet.

So here goes with a first instalment: Quasi-Rawlsian ethics

for your weekend reading - Nomad

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What we stand for: Qualitativism

by Cyrille
Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 05:27:29 PM EST

As I explained in my earlier diary What we stand for: Quasi-Rawlsian ethics, I am trying to clarify our identity by highlighting common positions that we, as a group, overwhelmingly share.

I was going to touch about today's subject in a diary about the quest for sustainability, but comments by JakeS convinced me that it needed to stand on its own, as its roots were not merely -nay, not mostly, in the need for sustainability.

JakeS explained our not being productivists in those words: "There is a level of economic activity that would satisfy us, and it is for most of us somewhat below the current level of economic activity in The WestTM - or at least not greatly beyond it."

This is certainly a fair description of us as a group. To risk new words, I'd venture that we are exponents of Qualitativism vs Productivism and Consumerism

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Elwan blogging

by Cyrille
Sat Feb 6th, 2010 at 07:34:03 AM EST

Elwan Liam Oulom Karim Viossat was born on Saturday the 30th of January at 17h51, in St Thomas Hospital. He weighed 2.950kg and was 53cm tall.

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Moving to London (and how you could help me)

by Cyrille
Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 04:10:49 PM EST

Hello all.

As some of you know, my wife and I should move to London this January. I say should because the current environment seems to make companies a bit more cautious than they used to be. So Mouna's transfer details are not yet known, and mostly, my move has been made conditional to my finding a mission in the UK.

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Stop Blair! - the lamest of rebuttals from the WSJE

by Cyrille
Fri Feb 8th, 2008 at 06:27:27 AM EST

Right, that just about does it. The Wall Street Journal Europe breaks even the lowest standards of journalism in its apology of Blair. Let's go through it, and bring your noseclip.

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Cynicism unconcealed

by Cyrille
Tue Dec 18th, 2007 at 04:35:37 PM EST

AP: Kadhafi: Dassault invite Yade à "s'occuper de ses affaires" AP: Ghadafi: Dassault invites Yade to "mind her own business"
PARIS - Serge Dassault a estimé mardi qu'il "fallait savoir ce que l'on veut" après la polémique concernant la venue du colonel Moammar Kadhafi en visite officielle en France et conseillé à la secrétaire d'Etat aux Droits de l'Homme Rama Yade -qui s'était publiquement émue de la venue du chef d'Etat libyen- de "s'occuper de ses affaires". PARIS - Serge Dassault reckoned on tuesday that "we must decide what we want" after the polemic around the visit in France of colonel Muhammar Ghadafi and advised secretary of State for Human Rights Rama Yade, who expressed her reservations against the visit of the Lybian head of State, to "mind her own business".


I am told Sarkozy launched some sort of media operation to neutralize this, so to the Front Page with it - Diary rescue by Migeru

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Sarkozy and EU preference

by Cyrille
Tue Nov 13th, 2007 at 07:45:48 AM EST

Right, this is my first attempt at a post so bear with me, I fear it may not be optimal...

Nicolas Sarkozy réclame une "véritable préférence communautaire"

STRASBOURG (AP) - Nicolas Sarkozy a réclamé mardi devant le Parlement européen un débat sur "ce que doit être une véritable préférence communautaire". "L'Europe ne veut pas du protectionnisme mais l'Europe doit réclamer la réciprocité", a-t-il dit, dénonçant le "laisser-faire absolu". "L'Europe est attachée à la concurrence, mais l'Europe ne peut pas être seule au monde à en faire une religion". STRASBOURG (AP) - "Nicolas Sarkozy on tuesday, in front of the European parliement, requested a debate on "what must be a genuine EU preference". "Europe does not want protectionism but Europe should claim reciprocity," he said, denouncing "absolute laissez-faire." "Europe is keen on competition but cannot be alone in the world to make it a religion".

Well... Are we? I realise that some at the Commission may be seen as high priests of deregulation (which, by the way, is not the same as competition), but the Commission is not the whole of Europe. Europe having a religious competition stance? I have my doubts...Besides, there IS some EU preference going on. Now that does not mean that it would necessarily be useless to debate how much there should be, and how. But the bit about Europe alone in the world to make it a religion is a strawman -and a typical Sarkozyan one at that, in the campaign it was always about France being the "only country in the world/Europe to..."

"Nous devons être capables de faire autant pour nous protéger que ce que font les autres", a estimé le président français. "Si les autres régions du monde ont le droit de se défendre contre les dumpings, pourquoi l'Europe devrait les subir?", a-t-il lancé. "Si des nations défendent leurs agriculteurs, pourquoi l'Europe devrait-elle renoncer à défendre les siens?". "We must be able to do as much to protect ourselves as others do", reckoned the French president. "If other regions in the world are allowed to defend against dumpings, why should Europe face them?", he claimed. "If nations defend their farmers, why should Europe give up on defending its own?"

Now that really is disgraceful. I guess farmers in Africa are indeed unfairly defended by their governments. And of course, the one area where the EU has never done anything is agriculture. We all know that. Again, the same rethoric, implying something blatantly false to stimulate an outrage that has little reason to be.

Now if you ask me, I'm all for some kind of protection. But not based on nationality -on production standards, mostly environmental impact to be precise. Then, maybe African products will not be able to price out the French farmers in France, but the obscene event where European products can starve African farmers will at least be over. There is NO sense in burning fuel to export wheat produced with lots of chemicals to countries which have no competitive advantage in anything else to employ priced out local farmers.

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