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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Friday, December 17, 2004

The Liberal View of Asia and Globalization:

by StFerdIII

As Asia's economic dynamism draws global attention, a renewed sense of international partnership, according to the liberals, is replacing the master-client relationship between Asia and the rest of the world. Some experts feel that the formation of APEC can be seen as a step towards a reordering of the balance of IPE power as APEC mutates over time to assume a form that can challenge the other regional blocs. In essence, these optimists tend to believe in the pacifying effects of the region's growing economic dynamism and intensifying interdependence and repose much of their hopes in American hegemony and APEC institutionalism. Sixty-five per cent of Asia-Pacific trade is now intra-regional (as compared to 62% in the EU). Liberal integrationist’s who cite economic intra-EU trade as the most important factor in EU development also contend that the same economic forces can bring together East Asia, much as they brought together Europe.

Such hopes were bolstered by the APEC summit in
Seattle in November 1993, which was at least from the American perspective a symbol of Asia's transformation from security clients to a more mature and equal partner. APEC is neither a security forum, nor directly involved in the peacemaking role. But it is widely believed that it will in the future play a constructive role in deterring future threat to Pacific Rim prosperity, and significantly contribute to the reduction of security tensions and increased economic growth. APEC is now viewed by some analysts as a necessary regional body that will need to control and smooth out any deleterious consequences that will inevitably be generated by the rapidly changing political and economic terrain of post-Cold War North-East Asia. Dislocations such as the rise of China with its military preponderance, and the possible collapse of North Korea and its absorption by South Korea (at great expense), as well as the reduction/withdrawal of US troops from Korea and Japan, or the ongoing territorial disputes between China and its neighbours would involve both US and regional national responses to contain and manage. APEC may provide an integrationist logic and forum to do just that.

Liberals also believe that
Asia's economic success will be accompanied by brighter democratic prospects. Economic progress is gradually being matched by political pluralism, which may lead to greater individual freedoms, more political democracy and human rights. As incomes rise, wealth is created and educative reforms take hold there will be demands and pressures for more rights and more freedom. This view holds that the decline of undemocratic regimes and the emergence of new, reform-oriented leadership in many Asian countries indicate real change. One party monopoly of power has been broken in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan and the Philippines are continuing to rebel against its undemocratic political structure. Unrest across non-representative regimes in many Asian countries is changing domestic political power relationships.(1)

Some states such as
China however, have not made fundamental progress. North Korea along with Myanmar and Vietnam in South-East Asia are socialist authoritarian states. Nevertheless elsewhere in Asia - Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, for example - the pressure for more freedom and participation is evident. Liberal-optimists predict that, sooner or later, the process of democratization in some parts of Asia is likely to spread to other countries in the region. Multilateral institutions should aid to buttress this spread of reform. Along with the rise of economic multi-lateralism, movements to institutionalize a multilateral co- operative framework in politics and the area of security have gained renewed vitality though little concrete evidence exists of practical multi-lateralism in these key areas.

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1. Henry, p. 5


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