Tuesday, March 14, 2006

On Cepu, nationalism and neoliberalism

So finally, the government, Pertamina and ExxonMobil agreed that ExxonMobil becomes the Cepu site main operator. Pertamina will still be involved in a joint operation, anyway. So doesn't mean that the company is left out at all. My usual disclaimer still holds; with my lack of knowledge of the whole story, I can not judge whether this decision is good or bad.

Some people are unhappy with the decision (some of them call themselves 'People's Movement to Rescue Cepu'). Understandable. I am interested to know how this is explained by the neoliberalism/antineoliberalism framework.

Last time, I discussed how neoliberal economists are criticized for being undemocratic, for thinking that technocratic decisions are more superior than the populistic ones. The same author of the book to which I referred to also criticized neoliberal decision makers as relying too much on legal institutions, rather than democratically elected parliaments.

Now, those who disagreed with the decision are planning to take legal actions. However, I mentioned in my previous posting that the opinions of those who against this decision are constrast with that of the local people. I don'w know where do these people stand in the neoliberalism/antineoliberalism spectrum. But clearly, given the above logic, they should also be guilty of committing the same sin, shouldn't they?

Economic philosophy

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