detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Sunday, September 29, 2002

: . No Logo vs. Pro Logo:

No Logo v. Pro Logo

Who would want to miss this debate:
    Does economic liberalization promise great wealth or greater misery for the world's poor? Does the advent of megabrands like Starbucks and the Gap give consumers more or less choice? Where do citizens stand in the shifting balance between government and business? Naomi Klein, brand-skeptic, and Sameena Ahmad, label-lover, disagree on nearly all the questions. Later on, they're joined by a global investment manager and an African pro-democracy, pro-environment activist.

It was held last Thursday at the New York Society for Ethical Culture but I was unable to go. I had already planned to go to NYC next week to watch Flower Drum Song (starring Lea Salonga!) and I couldn't afford to spend the time and the money on another NYC trip no matter how noble the reasons might be. Fortunately my friend L. saw it all and emailed me this report:
    No Logo vs. Pro Logo has been archived on WNYC's website and you can listen to the debate in its entirety on RealAudio. As it turned out, it was a packed house -- there were about 1,000 people in the audience, skewed 80/20 majority in the "no logo" camp, with a good smattering of British and South Asian folks.
    For the anti-globalists, Naomi Klein was funny, witty, and brilliant! For those Bill-Gates-would-be free-market capitalists, here's a fantastic website that intelligently articulates the Reagan/Thatcher POV on globalization -- what Sameena Ahmad was trying to argue but was trumped by Naomi Klein's wit. If you have broadband, you can watch the entire 6-hour series, based on the book The Commanding Heights, online.

    One more article (originally published in The New York Times Magazine, 18 August 2002) that proposes nine action items as a "Free-Trade Fix." You may be asked to register a username with the NYT. If not, go to this link.

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