About methods

Right now we are living at times when there should be quite a lot of political discussion (about the upcoming election, about the TTIP, about the climate and how to prevent it ending up in a catastrophe), and there will be many occasions when one will have to be of a different opinion than the US institutions and the people and parties in Finland who believe in those (such as Samlingspartiet, SFP and also a big part of the mainstream media).

It is also my impression that the media might have a tendency to accuse (in more or less direct ways) anybody who disagrees with the official line of the USA of “anti-americanism”.

In this context there came recently a memory to my mind: in 2003, before the USA were invading the Iraq, there was in Helsinki a really rather big demostration against those plans to invade. In this demonstration there was also Suvi Anne Siimes taking part, who was at that time the head of Vänsterförbundet and also a government minister. What a situation to be a member of the Finnish gonernment and to be visible in a demonstration which was certainly anti-American! Well, she solved it by having painted her own small sign: it read “Supporting the US Peace Movement”.

I thought that already then pretty well managed. And one should perhaps apply the idea also during the present discussions. It is, after all, so that also in North America there are masses of people who disagree with the line of the government (and certainly with the line of the Republican party), and it might be tactically wise to point to them and express one’s agreement with them. For example, in matters of TTIP there are Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, both professors, both having at some time received the so-called Nobel prize in economy, and both very critical of the neoliberal mainstream. And about the ISDS problem there is Elisabeth Warren, Democrat senator and former professor of law at Harvard (thus very knowledgable about laws, rules, and the ways to use and to misuse them) who is at the moment vigorously fighting against the uncritical acceptance of an ISDS mechanism in the frame of the TPP (= the Pacific correspondence to the TTIP). Altogether, there are well-established people in the USA, two nobelists and one Harvard professor, who do NOT agree with the neoliberal mainline. One should mention them, loud, clear and often (while of course not forgetting to also mention and spread the ideas of Ha-Joon Chang). It MIGHT help some people to wake up to the problems which are certainly there …

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