Parochialism is not a new phenomenon in politics. Neither is hypocrisy. Therefore, when Raj Thackeray is criticized for his “sons of the soil” position on employment, and nothing is said when such discrimination is practiced at the national level, one shouldn’t be surprised. I am referring to this statement by Tharoor-
“As far as our basic policy is concerned, we would certainly be hesitant to offer employment to a foreigner for a job which could be done by an Indian in India.”
He sounds as if its he who’s doing the hiring, and even paying the wages out of his own pocket. If he has a problem with the Chinese (and Chidambaram with migrants from Bangladesh), a diplomatic problem, a “national security” problem, he should be open about it and not talk in terms of who has the first right to a job. Unfortunately though, such small-mindedness is hardly limited to India. Even the bastion of free market capitalism (I am joking), the United States of America, suffers from this mentality—the protectionist one.
Don Boudreaux made a nice point in an open letter regarding the same, to someone who asked what he would do if someone “stole” his job-
My answer to it is this: I’ll find a way to feed my family. I’ll get another job (or jobs). I’ll cut back on less-essential expenses. If I must, I’ll rely on my family and close friends as I hope they would rely on me if they were in dire straits.
But I will not, under any circumstances, use my economic misfortune as an excuse to violate the freedoms of others.
A protectionist is a person who believes that being born in a particular family/ community/ nation gives him an automatic first claim on the property and services of his fellows, and that if they bypass him, he has the right to beat them up, physically and financially, through the use of goons, or the government. He is, in fact, no better than a thug.
Today anonymous dissenters are unlikely to be punished in democratic countries. But the law in South Korea makes it easy for the government to unmask troublesome writers. Every account on Daum and other major sites is associated with a national ID number. In Minerva’s case, Daum promptly handed over his IP address, which led the police directly to Park’s door.
For 103 days, the South Korean government held Park in a 50-square-foot cell at a Seoul detention center. Interrogators asked about his family, whether he had a girlfriend, whether he was a spy. He tried to keep calm, meeting with his volunteer legal team and studying the writings of the early-20th-century Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. “I felt so isolated,” he says. “They accused me of selling out my country. No! I’m not a spy. I wanted to help through my criticism. I had thought that South Korea was a democratic country. I felt as though my nation betrayed me.”
It is very difficult to find anyone in the South Korean government willing to talk about Minerva. The prosecutors say they can’t discuss the case until the appeal is over. Two spokespeople for the Korea Communication Standards Commission explain that they weren’t directly involved with the case, though they do have as many as 50 employees watching Daum and other sites at any given time. “We have to protect our children and our public,” one of them explains. “That’s the government’s job, to maintain a nice, clean Internet.” A spokesperson for the Ministry of Strategy and Finance says Park was beneath their notice. “If his theories were made by a publicly recognized institute, we might have some comment. And it is not appropriate for the government to comment on forecasts published by citizens on the Internet.” Months before, the head of the same ministry had argued that Minerva’s influence over exchange rates had cost billions. Now, however, the government had nothing to fear. Once again, as it had been during his whole previous life, Park could be treated like any other nobody.
Stay on the right side of people who are in a position to cause grave harm, especially those in government, and you will be okay. Otherwise you will be persecuted. That’s the lesson one learns from all this. If this is the situation in one democracy, this is what happens (via Reason) in, again, the freest country on the planet-
In a case that raises questions about online journalism and privacy rights, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a formal request to an independent news site ordering it to provide details of all reader visits on a certain day.
The grand jury subpoena also required the Philadelphia-based Indymedia.us Web site “not to disclose the existence of this request” unless authorized by the Justice Department, a gag order that presents an unusual quandary for any news organization.
Morrison replied in a one-sentence letter saying the subpoena had been withdrawn. Around the same time, according to the EFF, the group had a series of discussions with assistant U.S. attorneys in Morrison’s office who threatened Clair with possible prosecution for obstruction of justice if she disclosed the existence of the already-withdrawn subpoena — claiming it “may endanger someone’s health” and would have a “human cost.”
Bankston has written a longer description of the exchange of letters with the Justice Department, which he hopes will raise awareness of how others should respond to similar legal demands for Web logs, customer records, and compulsory silence. “Our fear is that this kind of bogus gag order is much more common than one would hope, considering they’re legally baseless,” Bankston says. “We’re telling this story in hopes that more providers will press back and go public when the government demands their silence.”