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There is a very real risk that any such relationship will be exploitative. The industrial development business is overrun with economic hit men, pork barrel and assorted other colonial nastiness.

However, the risk of an exploitative economic relationship is, I would argue, an argument for increased involvement of people who are not in favour of colonialism and who know how to spot an economic hit man and beat him at his own game. Because if we do not beat the economic hit men in some way, we'll end up with this, at least if history is any guide:

another scenario would be that Siemens et al build multi-billion-dollar facilities but keep complete control of it, without tech transfer or ownership, and thus it's them selling both to Spain and Algeria even if they also pay rent for the desert land;

Now, project finance and economic and political integration isn't the only battlefield in this particular revolution. But it's an important one, and one that we should not abdicate entirely simply because the rules are tilted against us.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Sep 8th, 2010 at 02:05:57 PM EST
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