One of my first blogs for Global Expats, a little over 8 years ago, was titled Spain – Que Vamos Hacer, comparing the “Que vamos hacer” phenomenon in Spain with the “Que pena contigo” phenomenon in Colombia (with the American version being, “It is what it is”).
The blog (cultural-analysis of the semantics aside) explored the discriminatory norms immigrants confront in Spain; how apathy of local ‘traffic cops’ promotes chaos on the roadways; how arbitrary norms within the courts promotes injustice and lawlessness within communities; how negligent consumer protection agencies promote incompetent goods & service providers; and why it is important for consumers to (instead of complacently saying “que vamos hacer”) defend their rights against abusive business practices and thereby promote fair-trade and healthy, stable economies.
I wrote this blog at a time that I was developing the business model for Global Expats; a model which is designed to empower consumers in a global business environment which in the past few decades has been dominated by ‘laissez-faire’ politics, bad-governance, wasteful-spending, and out-of-control corporate greed – and where the ‘little guy’ (particularly an unsuspecting foreigner ‘just off the boat’ – or airplane) is indefensible in these ‘shark infested’ waters, with legal professions more focused on ‘maximizing billable hours’ than defending consumers rights.
In the past 7 years these messages have taken on new meaning in my life and work; a life which might best be described as ‘Doña Quijote’ Meets ‘Ms. Smith Goes to Washington’, with my ‘tilting at windmills’ and filibustering of government officials taken online in my blog, War on Domestic Terrorism (WODT). While my blogs here are filled with de plume filibustering correspondence to government officials on both sides of the Atlantic, they are also filled with ideological debates and Clarence Darrowian argumentation, which defend what my ‘patriarchal rights’ opponents claim is nothing more than ‘frivolous, rebellious’ feminist rhetoric.
One of the primary stances you may find in my online discourse with Consular reps, State Department officials, Congressional aids, and Spanish authorities is the necessity for good governance and ethical standards within judicial systems and the courts. As Victoria Jennett so eloquently explains in The Relationship between Human Rights and Corruption, “Corruption in the judicial system undermines democracy and human rights as well as diminishing economic growth and human development. The judicial system is the cornerstone of democracy: the enforcer and interpreter of the law passed by the legislature and implemented by the executive. It is also the final arbiter of disputes between parties. If a justice system is corrupt public officials and special interest groups can act in the knowledge that, if exposed, their corrupt and illegal acts will go unpunished. Public confidence in governance and the institutions of state is eroded as judicial corruption facilitates corruption across all sectors of government and society. Human rights are debased as citizens are not afforded their rights of equal access to the courts, nor are they treated equally by the courts. The international business community is reluctant to invest in countries – often developing countries that most need investment – where there is no certainty in the rule of law and no guarantee that contracts will be respected because the judicial system is in the service of those in power or with the deepest pockets rather than in service to the rule of law.”
Another often repeated theme in my WODT blog is the importance of empowering women in building stable economies, by allowing them to “freely choose one’s own path in life in accordance with one’s distinctive talents and abilities,” (as affirmed by Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, Empowerment—the Amartya Sen Lecture, June 2014).
Lagarde further discussed the importance of empowering women and building strong economies at the World Ecomomic Forum in Davos (2013), stating that “it's now a proven fact- when women do better, economies do better. What are we all looking at the moment is improving the state of the world, improving growth, creating jobs, making sure that our planet is going to be sustainable with growth and with inclusion. So I think that pursuing the course of women and making sure that they are included, respected, given the choice… is valuable not just for women but for humanity at large...”
These are the sentiments found in my ‘calls to action’ and correspondence to ‘deaf-ear, on-the-fence’ bureaucrats and politicians, and are the same sentiments reverberated by other ‘women’s rights’ leaders around the world – Clinton, Bachelet… that the connections between transparency and accountability, empowering women, and building stable economies cannot be denied or under-estimated.
But, what these leaders fail to recognize is that the most important ingredient in building a strong, stable global economy is for leaders, governments, and above all regulatory agencies to stop turning a blind-eye to elevated negligence in professions across the board; stop turning a blind-eye to rampant nepotism and ‘in-your-pocket lobbying’ of legislators and executive branch officials; and everyone must stop turning a blind-eye to ‘feudalistic-sovereignty’ rights (disguised as ‘judicial-independence’ rights) arguments that cover-up rampant judicial corruption and the erosion of democratic principles within the courts.