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Selling China - The Wal-Mart Effect - 2006

(In a word, Mao would shit) With the G-20 Summit going full blast, I ran across this great documentary produced by ABC Radio National Australia as


(In a word, Mao would shit)

With the G-20 Summit going full blast, I ran across this great documentary produced by ABC Radio National Australia as part of their Background Briefing series from February 2006. It's a reminder that, as much as we complain of being flooded by goods from overseas, we're doing our level best to heap gobs of shameless consumerism all over the world as well.

We joke about MacDonalds' on the Champs-Elysees in Paris - but all the Wal-Marts popping up all over China are something else.

Stan Curry - Radio Australia Reporter: “Lined up in all their red uniforms, Wal-Mart workers begin their day with an ode to Wal-Mart. Ludwig Beethoven is probably turning in his grave. And Chairman Mao too, must be a little astonished at how his legacy is being spun.”

Clay Chandler (Fortune Magazine reporter): “ When you actually go see how they run their employees at their stores, what I was struck with was the similarities between the Chinese Communist Party Organizational pattern. They get these people together in groups, they organize them in very small cells, everybody is very aware of what everybody else is doing within their cell, and encouraged to kind of talk about each other. They sing songs together. They do little drills to create workers solidarity. They run around in red shirts. And they do Wal-Mart Company cheers. They look like nothing so much as the old Red Guard of the Cultural Revolution.”

It's interesting to see how increasingly Gordian our entanglements are becoming with the rest of the world on economic terms. We can't just assume the isolationists stance because it no longer is realistic and hasn't been for many years. Therefore, solutions to our economic situations are more complex than they ever were. Snap answers and judgments no longer need apply.

And then there's that issue of Immigration . . .

(I would urge you to check out ABC Radio Nationals website as well as streaming audio - they are one of the best and as I have said before, they offer information about our own country not generally available here. So in addition to the CBC and the BBC, add this one to your daily dial hopping for useful information).

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