Anti-Globalization and “Coolloud.org” (3)

From Sun’s point of view, the “Anti-Sweatshop Movement” for the garment workers in the Americas is a representative example of embodying a kind of transnational labour-activist-media cooperation against the power of economic globalization. All movement partakers understood that it was necessary to expose the unjust unfavourable to the workers and to reveal how the garment corporations were profiteering from the global capitalist apparatus. The collective resisting actions exercised by the movement participants could effectively pressure the corporations to do more for the employees’ living standard improvement because the actions would result in a decline of the reputation of the garment brands: consumers had a fair opportunity to decide whether they bought the clothes products when realizing that their buying would become an “indirect support” of the corporations’ exploitation on the garment workers unveiled by the independent media.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

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Anti-Globalization and “Coolloud.org” (2)

In Chapter Two, we have discussed some tactics used by most global capitalists for strengthening their power in the world market and reaching the goal of profit maximization through economic globalization. This is a typical one: for reducing the cost of production, the heads of Taiwanese garment factories invested their capitals in the so-called “developing countries” in the Americas. The manufacturing workers hired by them were unable to improve their lives because the wages were too low to be paid. The factors of such negative situation of the workers were obvious that all can be traced back to the businessmen’s exploitation. Also, the exploited were hard to get substantial help from the authorities because of the globalization of the laissez-faire (non-interference) economic development pushed by world superpowers. For demanding the wage level increase, the labourers carried out a series of demonstrations at that time. Of course, these resisting actions attracted local as well as global citizens to pay more attention to the serious issue related to economic globalization. In the globalized world, social activism groups and independent media are actively working together across the border, willing to support any grassroots actions for human rights and economic freedom by taking part in them and by reporting the ongoing of the social movements, unveiling the greediness of the capitalists and asking more support from different peoples around the world.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

Anti-Globalization and “Coolloud.org”

Besides reporting local labour movements, “Coolloud.org” has been participating in the running of global social activism. To carry out an interactive connection between global social movements and local independent media practice can effectively develop a concrete social power to question and challenge the monopolization of socio-economic resources contributed by the huge capitalist Establishment with a global perspective.

“From 2001 to 2002, we were participating in the running of a global labour movement: many Taiwanese businessmen invested their money in textile industry in Central and South Americas. They exploited the factory workers in the regions and suppressed the activities of local labour unions there. The relative news of the workers’ situation spread to the U.S. and other countries. After that, the ‘Anti-Sweatshop Movement’ broke out globally. This movement aimed to persuade people to boycott the famous garment brands, such as ‘Nike’, ‘Puma’, etc. In Taiwan, ‘Coolloud.org’ carried out a series of works on investigating the financial details of the garment manufacturing factories in the Americas that gave concrete pressure on the bosses to do something ‘constructive’ for the workers. In this case, we actually realized a ‘trio-cooperation (with laborers, movement supporters as well as independent media workers)’ for a labour movement globally. [1]

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] Ibid.

The Social Background of the Beginning of the Media (8)

According to Sun’s words, “Coolloud.org” has no intention to produce the “exclusive”. This situation actually reflects that there is a fundamental problem of the negative impact of today’s media industry on the development of human intelligence: (general) media have the absolute power to control the distribution of knowledge if people completely rely on media for new information without reflection. The media are deciding what we should/can know (or not) in a particular moment. Sun, in the above paragraph, has offered a good example of this: for the boss of the can-food factory in Xizhi it could be no benefit of letting more people know the details about the confrontation between him and his employees because the exploited would probably gain more support that was opposed to his interest. The key is the media’s cooperation for helping the employer conceal (not unveil) the happening. No media covering the strike reflects that there is a collapse tendency of the professionalism of general media in Taiwan, showing that the media are working distant from taking the social responsibility to give out a true picture of the daily life of people, evidencing their orientation of conforming to capitalists’ interest and the important role of independent media in facilitating the people’s right to know.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The Social Background of the Beginning of the Media (7)

“We have no intention to distinguish ourselves from general media through our journalistic practice. In fact, there is no media to concentrate on reporting labour and social movements. Because of this, our news reports usually become the ‘exclusive’.” [1]

“We had delivered, for example, the news of a labour strike carried out by can-food workers in Xizhi (汐止), Taipei. This strike was going on for about 100 days; however, no media covered it. The striking was the second-longest labour resistance in the history of Taiwan labour movement.” [2]

Here, “Coolloud.org” plays a main role in fostering the progression of Taiwanese social movement because it sticks with its industrious media works in society. Thanks to the mainstream having less interest in delivering the news of social incidents and of people’s livelihood, the reporting of the independent media is usually to have its “exclusive” nature.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] The content of the passage is extracted from the “Sun’s interview”.

[2] Ibid.

Abstract: Anarchy and Globalisation – The Significance of Anarchy in the Development of Global Politics, Economy and Community

Anarchy is an important humanist thought of revealing political power is always making people believe in its absoluteness through history making. Anarchy opposes all forms of domination, because domination is the very root of the alienation of human life contributed by the ruling top, whatever the form of the power, the oligarchic, aristocratic, communistic, democratic, is. Contrary to the political philosophies endorsed by the absolute, anarchy argues the so-called “government” is the only Establishment serving the vested interest blocs on earth. From the ancient to the globalised eras, the essence of the power is never changed: through the “wars” in every aspect of human civilization: the religious, economic, racial, etc., the power can have the “holy” pretext to accumulate its dominative energy by monopolising all kinds of natural and human resources to solidify its absoluteness against the empty “enemy”.

This study contains, first, the discussions on the origins of the anarchist thinking – Laozi’s Taoism, Zeno of Citium’s anarchistic thinking and Jesus Christ’s libertarianism. Secondly, P. Kropotkin and P. J. Proudhon’s socio-economic anarchisms will be analysed and reviewed. The relationship between anarchy and today’s globalised world is to be thirdly examined with U. Beck’s theory on globalisation and the perspective of anti-globalisation movement. In conclusion, we argue an anarchistic nature of human life is already existed, waiting for us to find out our unique answer to the civilisation problems “with our hands”.

Keywords: anarchy, anarchism, globalization

CONTENTS

The Social Background of the Beginning of the Media (6)

In politico-economic aspect, the blooming of the democratic politics and economic achievement (e.g. the “Ten Major Construction Projects十大建設”[1]) caused most Taiwanese people to believe in the positive image of the state development and to ignore the seriousness of social problem deterioration. The inner pressure of the society was exploding: in 1999, many social incidents occurred in Taiwan. The incidents aroused common people to think more about their real relationship with the problematical society. Under this social circumstance, “Coolloud.org”, as a social movement information centre, had a good opportunity to further its activistic power, attracting and accumulating people’s concern and attention to the happenings. The series of the incidents facilitated the evolution of “Coolloud.org” as a new media especially for social movement in the vicissitude period. Since then, “Coolloud.org” has started its local activism earlier than the eminent rise of the “independent media” in the West.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] “During the 1970s, the (Taiwan) governmental implemented the Ten Major Construction Projects, including the North-South Freeway (中山高速公路), Suao Harbour (蘇澳港), Taichung Harbour (台中港), railway electrification (鐵路電氣化), the Taoyuan International Airport (桃園國際機場), and the North-Link Railway (北迴鐵路) (fig. 6.3). These projects affected the distribution of population. The North-South Freeway and railway electrification projects link all the major cities along the west coast of Taiwan, shorten travel times between the north and the south, and promote Taiwan’s economic and social development. The North-link Railway gives the eastern part of the island better access to the Taipei Metropolitan Area, facilitating eastern out-migration. Taichung Harbour facilitates the import and export of materials and products for Taichung’s industrial development.” See: Lo, Fu-chen, Yeung, Yue-man (1996). Emerging World Cities in Pacific Asia. Tokyo: United Nations University. p. 194.

The Social Background of the Beginning of the Media (5)

“In the 1990s, there was a deteriorating tendency of the development of social movement in Taiwan. However, 1999 was a special year – it was the last year before the presidential election in 2000. A wave of local social movement at the time had been forming that was contributed by a series of happenings: the resistance of sex workers in Taipei city against the illegalization of prostitution (廢娼) obtaining a two-year buffer period for job seeking; the Idn-News (自立晚報) to cease to be run; the rise of Anti-Building Reservoir Movement in Meinong (美濃); a huge street protest held by Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信) employees; Legislative Yuan giving a formal endorsement of the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant (核四) and the ‘921 Earthquake’, etc. These social and political incidents occurring in the whole year actually fostered the growth of ‘Coolloud.org’. At the end of this year, we had become a media which had a clear perspective on social movement and activism that was different from other media. After that, we only knew the term ‘independent media’ from the ‘Anti-WTO Movement’ in Seattle in 1999.” [1]

Sun argues that the development of social movement on the Island was relatively stagnant in the 1990s. This observation is quite right. The stagnation mentioned was connected with the political climate and economic development of Taiwanese society at that time.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] The content of the passage is extracted from the “Sun’s interview”.

The Social Background of the Beginning of the Media (4)

Every person should have their own idea and judgment on the meaningfulness of social movement. If people discover that particular media do not take the responsibility for delivering the reality of the happening with conscience for their judgment formation, they would simply change their tune, searching for other alternatives which are offering correspondent reporting; or, the distorted made by the “mainstream” would on the contrary ignite people to support the social movement development wrongly reported (by actively attending the occasion for example). Through this practice, the voluntary supporters have an opportunity to build up a relatively deeper understanding on the actual development of a particular movement. This “for-the-reality” motive force can be further developed: some would try to tell others what they have known, heard and experienced in the action process by establishing a public media platform for free information delivering. This desire of idea sharing is a pure social instinct of seeking the real and receiving recognition that can be practiced by every individual, originating the practice of independent media movement in society.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The Social Background of the Beginning of the Media (3)

For example, they can “adjust” the news content and distort the actual aim of particular social movement with their partial understanding for “specific purpose”[1]. In the above case, Sun, as one of the news audience, did not agree with the reporting attitude of mainstream media toward the labour movement, arguing that the negative description of the bus drivers’ strike (e.g. an “act of violence”) reported by the media is irresponsible that would seriously affect common people’s thinking on the social incident. Also, it is imaginable that if these media have intention to smear the bus drivers’ action, they can exaggerate the possible negative influence of the strike on people’s living in their reports, emphasizing the drivers are “exploiting” the rights of bus passengers and “corrupting” the traffic in the striking areas, etc.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] Here is an example showing what a partial reporting is. Please see the BBC News “Lib Dems refuse to back motion praising PM’s EU stance” (Retrieved 14 December, 2011, from the BBC News website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16172438). Through the news report, we are unable to understand the exact meaning of the so-called “national interest” mentioned. Moreover, the media does not explain the importance of the “national interest” and the close relationship between the interest and British people. Obviously, in the reporting context “national interest” is an ideology used by the media to direct people’s thinking because the weighty information such as the background of the forming of the concept and the basic theory of the “Euroscepticism” held by the Prime Minister that can help the audience to construct their own political judgment are all skipped to be offered. This example shows media are “adjusting” their reporting for “some particulars”. According to the above analysis, we can understand how mainstream media produce partial reports, explaining the inevitable rise of the practice of independent media movement around the world.