Letters criticizing

July 29, 2001

Dear Sirs,

The "World View" editorial by Fareed Zakaria, sub-titled "The protestors deserve credit for highlighting the problem. Pity they hate the solution" (July 30, 2001), is a misleading account that reads like fascistic propaganda. Quite simply, who is Mr. Zakaria to tell the people of the world what is the "only realistic solution for them"? Contrary to his assertion that the protestors in Genoa were protesting against technology, many of them make use of information technology to mobilize public opinion against the worst abuses of globalism. A more accurate assertion about the protestors would be that they believe the G8 and its global trade agreements are anti-democratic. People sense that they are being disenfranchised, that their concerns don't matter in the new global arrangements that are being negotiated behind tall fences. Mr. Zakaria smugly tells us about the triumphs of DDT and genetically modified foods. He is entitled to his opinion and his vote. But in over-simplifying the motivations of the protestors in Genoa, I feel he does a disservice to Newsweek's readers. Just one example will suffice. He overlooks that George Bush came to the conference promising to oppose the Kyoto Accords and to push forward a Star Wars missile defense. These positions were clearly unpopular with the protestors. No, Mr. Zakaria, the protestors were not there to bemoan technology in the abstract. They were giving voice to a variety of problems that they would like their leaders to address.

Andy C. Deck
Lecturer in Information Technologies
New York University

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