I've been interested in what's going on in Dubai.
60 minutes did a segment on them tonight, and they were interviewing Sheikh Mohammed. They asked him what he thought of America, and he said:
"I love America, and I love the American people. I do not like American foreign policy." The interviewer asked him to elaborate, and he said he'd leave it at that, he thinks the American people understand what he means.
I found this intriguing. While I'm certainly no expert on Dubai, it appears to me to be the shining example of capitalism in the Middle East. And that brings up some interesting questions that could be asked of so many Americans who buy the "they hate us because we're free" propaganda.
Why isn't "radical Islam" attacking Dubai? There's all the elements of "infidels" there, what with the freedom of religion, opportunities for women, lavish wealth and extravagance.
Dubai is the powerful force for freedom in the region. Young people aspire to move there. It will have a greater effect on the region than any attempt by a foreign government to impose "democracy."
The aspiration toward freedom is the most essentially human of all human
manifestations. -Eric Hoffer
Dubai is currently being built up like crazy. It's completely awash in oil money right now and they're using it to create somewhat of a paradise on the edge of the desert there.
To see more of the incredible development going on there, see this site. http://dubai.isnuts.googlepages.com/
Note: the site is notoriously down due to bandwidth limits, but keep checking every few days or so.
EotS:And that brings up some interesting questions that could be asked of so many Americans who buy the "they hate us because we're free" propaganda.
I agree, EotS. People who say such nonsense believe that the only way to advance a nation's interests are through: (1) military/economic coercion, or (2) foreign aid bribery. In other words, only the government can make the world better for us.
Unfortunately a lot of folks outside the USA think the foreign policy of the USA sucks. An increasing number in the USA would agree here as well. They are of course correct but given the vested interests we see in Washington we can see why there exists an insane foreign policy. Look at the Neocon + Ron Paul debates. You found consistent pandering to a handful of elites on Cuban and Venezuelan policy. Only one candidate, Dr Paul, has the rational foreign policy suggested by Washington codified but not followed by Jefferson:
Peace, Commerce and Honest Friendship with all nations, engangling alliances with none.
You are correct that Dubai is an amazing example of a liberalized Islamic society. But don't think that they are free of the threat the Islamic radicals. Right now, objective number one on the list of the radicals is to remove Western influence from the Middle East. Afterwards, once the major obstacle is reduced, the goal is to (re)establish the Great Caliphate, and all those liberalized Dubai residents will be deemed infidels and punished under Sharii'a law.
As far as foreign policy goes--that of the U.S. or any other nation-state--I read about it as much as possible. The only thing that I can say is a constant within the international system is that it is a 'shining' example of chaos.
"All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree." -James Madison
"If government were efficient, it would cease to exist."
Dubai has smashed all empirical skepticism as to the thesis of Hans Hermann Hoppe in Democracy: The God that Failed.
The fallacies of intellectual communism, a compilation - On the nature of power
ricarpe:Afterwards, once the major obstacle is reduced, the goal is to (re)establish the Great Caliphate, and all those liberalized Dubai residents will be deemed infidels and punished under Sharii'a law.
Even if they managed to remove Western influence from the Middle East they still need the support of the population to punish the infidels. The people in Dubai have way too much to lose by following a system that would destroy all they have built out of basically nothing -- a patch of desert on the edge of the sea.
Wouldn't really say it's a paradise...well I guess I'm a little biased since every time I go over to the Middle East people tend to try to kill me...
Reminded me of all the other 'boom town' small country big cities I've ever been to. Got to drink beer with government licensed Chinese hookers though.
ricarpe:...But don't think that they are free of the threat the Islamic radicals. Right now, objective number one on the list of the radicals is to remove Western influence from the Middle East. Afterwards, once the major obstacle is reduced, the goal is to (re)establish the Great Caliphate, and all those liberalized Dubai residents will be deemed infidels and punished under Sharii'a law.
OK, but let's keep it in perspective. Radicals do not represent the people of the Middle East.
Khomeini tried for a decade to stir up hatred for the infidels of the West because we have women working, unholy consumerism, etc. No one flew planes into buildings.
Occupation drives people to join the radicals. If a "free" people are abhorrent, but leaving others alone, there is little incentive to motivate others to attack them.
Occupation, especially by those of another religion, radicalizes individuals. Free infidels, going about their own business and leaving others alone do not.
Take away the occupation, and they'll focus their anger on their own government.
Probably Dubai's main strength is that it isn't a democracy... democracies seem to be a bit on a downwards trend lately!
Last week I was reading a local newspaper and I saw an half page ad running like this: "get you dream house in Dubai" with various proposals following. We have various Russian customers (VERY rich people) spending weekends in Dubai shopping and enjoying the "beautiful life".
The emirs in Dubai probably had the right idea when they decided to invest their oil riches in a "tax haven" for the world's megarich instead of squander them on weapons they don't know how to use or to keep the country in a sort of "suspended animation", like Saudi Arabia.
Dubai's main weakness is probably its proximity to the giant oil monarchy: we all know it's a powder keg waiting to burst...
I think Dubai will continue to make its presence felt as time goes on. From the bid for the department-store chain Barneys, to the American ports "scandal," Dubai is becoming a world player.
When my sister(in India) paid Rs 30,000/- as taxes from her Rs 200,000/- per year salary, I heard swear words from her mouth I didn't even knew existed, and she cried too.
She then decided to move to Dubai, working in Emirates Airlines, she now pays no income tax(Income Tax in Dubai is 0%) and enjoys the full fruits of her labor.
“The ideally non-violent state will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least”-Gandhi
Dedpupiiy:The Geographic did not paint such a rosy color of immigrant conditions, but as with all leftists they seem to forget how much worse it would be WITHOUT those cheap labor jobs. Quite frankly though, Dubai is a system worthy of being tried, I am just worried that the left will use Dubai as the latest example of "worker oppression."
The Geographic did not paint such a rosy color of immigrant conditions, but as with all leftists they seem to forget how much worse it would be WITHOUT those cheap labor jobs. Quite frankly though, Dubai is a system worthy of being tried, I am just worried that the left will use Dubai as the latest example of "worker oppression."
here's the flip-side of the dubai story - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4249223.stm
i don't like the idea that the end justifies the means, and i think the above link shows there is a genuine case for human rights concerns in dubai. there is a real slavery issue in the practice, apparently widespread, of contractors illegally seizing workers' passports on entry to dubai. essentially the foreign worker is trapped with no money, and no way to exit the country. the dubai government is derelict is enforcing its own law, and should be chastised.
employment accords should be respected by the contracting agencies, and workers should have avenues for redress over breach of contract. the government should be active in suppressing rackets, which are wrongly confused with "free markets".
There are hundreds of thousands of Asian laborers in Dubai and thousands more willing to replace them at any moment. How does someone in the remote countryside of India or China come to plan and execute a move to Dubai, often by mortgaging the family farm, without knowing what conditions there are? That people are selling themselves into a form of servitude is nothing exceptional considering the conditions they are coming out of. But the government of Dubai is not omnipotent. It is not responsible for these practices.
Dubai is a capitalist monarchy undergoing an economic miracle unseen in the history of mankind, meaning it is a first priority target for every hatemongering leftist in the world. That a minority out of hundreds of thousands of laborers regret their mistakes is the only thing they can stick to it is great news.
This is a classical scenario against Keynes followers and Leftist who demand minimum wage for the workers.
The problem is that although the ten people an organization hires can be paid more, but then what is the fault of other 100 workers in the market who don't have a job. Why choose these 10 workers and not others. In socialism other ten just die. In Capitalism, the other 100 offer themselves to work for cheaper than the minimum wage. So the organization chooses the workers who are available for the cheapest.
In fact since now they don't have to pay the minimum wage they can hire 20 workers for that small amount, and produce even more while providing jobs to even more people.
But as we all know, if they understood economics, why would they be leftist? The leftists who claim to understand economics are at least Keynesian.
Stranger:That people are selling themselves into a form of servitude is nothing exceptional considering the conditions they are coming out of. But the government of Dubai is not omnipotent. It is not responsible for these practices.
That people are selling themselves into a form of servitude is nothing exceptional considering the conditions they are coming out of. But the government of Dubai is not omnipotent. It is not responsible for these practices.
you've misinterpreted me. it's not about low wages, bad conditions, or buyer's remorse. i'll leave that to the individual, just that withholding of the passport is tantamount to barring the factory door. it's a form of bondage.
with your passport, at least you can swap jobs or return home. i didn't say the dubai government was responsible, only that the laws of the land should be enforced. otherwise, as you say, leftists will stick the coercion story to the free market.
I agree, witholding passport is tantamount to bondage . . . notice though, just like sex slavery in Europe, the leg-breaking power comes from the government: the illegality of a person without visa or passport. The private hoodlums are just making full use of the co-ercive power of the government. It wouldn't surprise me if the hoodlums have an inside track with the local police, so they can be called in to raid the slaves on document deficiency whenever the slaves dare to speak up.