Floating Anarchy

Elsewhere in the world, conditions akin to slavery:

Forced labour and human rights abuses involving African crews have been uncovered on trawlers fishing illegally for the European market by investigators for an environmental campaign group.
The Environmental Justice Foundation found conditions on board including incarceration, violence, withholding of pay, confiscation of documents, confinement on board for months or even years, and lack of clean water.

The video included in the story tells of abandoned ships on which the companies, for some reason, keep lone crewmen. On active ships the condition is one of servitude, with all of those old manipulations, such as deliberate debt traps and physical abuse.
What’s striking, from the standpoint of political thought, is the way in which the story points to the narrow path along which societies must tread. On the one hand, governments are necessary that can enforce basic rules concerning freedom and treatment of fellow human beings (and, yes, resource management). On the other hand, poverty and a lack of opportunity are the conditions that drag people into this modern slavery, and one needn’t trace personal stories far, I’d wager, in order to see an abuse or poorly conceived intervention by government agencies.

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13 years ago

Rand Paul: Government should not regulate mine industry
By Matt DeLong
In a new profile in Details magazine, Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul is quoted arguing that the coal mining industry should be allowed to SELF-REGULATE.. WITHOUT interference from the federal government. Here’s a quote from a speech Paul gave recently at a coal facility operated by a subsidiary of Massey Energy, the owner of the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, where an explosion killed 29 miners in April.
“Is there a certain amount of accidents and unfortunate things that do happen, no matter what the regulations are?” Paul says at the Harlan Center, in response to a question about the Big Branch disaster. “The bottom line is I’m not an expert, so don’t give me the power in Washington to be making rules. You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You’d try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don’t, I’m thinking that no one will apply for those jobs.”

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
13 years ago

I understand him to be talking about whether mine regulation should be a state matter or federal.
Local control would seem more sensible. It could be argued that state legislators can be bought more cheaply than federal legislators. On the other hand, I suspect Washington can be bought far more cheaply than many think, I suppose it depends on the number of bidders.
Also, as the station fire taught us, it is not the number of regulations, it is the quality of the enforcement.
As to the fishermen. We would like to see the world populated by Americans, but we have to remember that our freedoms require the wealth which America has always had in abundance. “Freedom” is also relative. If you family has been in chains for generations, does removal of those chains without a change in your condition of servitude seem like “Freedom”. And, at least you eat while other may not. This is not to say I approve in any way, but a rising economic standard and opportunity are the basic requirements to alter their circumstances. Simply declaring “Freedom” won’t do it. In a month,they would be “wage slaves”, which I think is what is being described here.

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