In a way global capitalism made this happen, if the protests in Burma were initially ignited by fuel oil prices — coupled with the common human need for democracy? I don’t think Bush and co. can claim much credit, but the U.S.’s longstanding support of global capitalism in all its brutal Walmart-enriching power certainly played a role. Is this a preview for Cuba or North Korea? Those countries are semi-insulated from the world marketplace, but so is Myanmar, and the internet and all our increased interconnections are bringing down walls. Could this be a preview for China twenty five years down the road? I think it was Orwell who wrote that if the people want to be free, they can simply do so, like a horse shaking off fleas. Or was it Jack London?…

Ah, oil! It enriches Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, and Exxon-Mobil shareholders, and the breakneck development of China and many parts of the world, busily making cheap toys for our children, depends on its cheapness and availability. (I don’t mean to single out these countries as dictatorships necessarily, but rather as bete noires of the current U.S. junta regime administration, which is particularly oil-obsessed. We’re going to pay for the Iraq war with oil revenue, right Wolfy?)

– Philip Ryan, Webmaster

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