I'm always amazed how one leftist, if strategically placed can wreak havoc upon thousands, if not millions of people.
Kim Jong Il comes to mind. One leftist, in a position of power keeps 22 million North Koreans impoverished and in hell.
Hugo Chavez is about the unleash a similar Venezuelan version of hell on his own countrymen.
But these are dictators who have the entirety and infrastructure of a government to unleash their evil. Some leftists are not so fortunate. But every once in a while, one of them gets lucky and finds themselves at the right place and the right time to foist a lesser standard of living upon the masses and detract from other peoples' lives.
This woman is such an example (awesome article here);
Here you have some woman, who no doubt enjoys the highest standards of living in the West, who never starved or missed a meal, who is suffering from some kind of mid-life crisis and looks back at her life and says, "what have I accomplished?"
Now, you can go and become a doctor, start a business, join the police department, or work with orphans or a bevy of millions of other things to add worth to your life and give your time here on this planet meaning. But what do Baby Boomers and Gen X'ers lean towards now as their primary means of making a difference?
Going on some god damned worthless political crusade.
For you see, becoming an activist or picking up some random crusade doesn't require effort. It doesn't require you to do anything.
To become an officer you must go through training.
To become a doctor, you must get some schooling.
To help orphans you need to donate your time.
But to go on some random political, activist-ridden crusade, all you have to do is say you care and BOOM! You have gone from "Middle Aged Person Nobody" to... (drum roll)
INSTANT POLITICAL CRUSADER PERSON!
Forget whether the crusade actually helps society out or not, no, that doesn't matter. It only matters that the newly reborn political crusader feel good about themselves. And ideally, if you can avoid any real effort, sweat, thinking or toil, all the better, because again, it really isn't to end the war in Iraq, or help the children in Africa, it's so you can go hold that sign up and protest because it makes you feel like it's 1969 all over again.
But this professional activist hit the leftist lottery jackpot. In protesting against the development of a larger main port, she's effectively limiting the amount of goods that can be imported into Europe, namely Chinese imports. And in doing so she's choking off the supply of goods and services into Europe which will drive up prices for those goods and services and in doing so effectively decrease the standards of living of 500 million Europeans.
That's got to be a HUGE ego boost to a socialist. I can see her now, "I may not be Lenin, but I just single handedly forced 500 million Europeans to pay higher prices for imported goods by bottlenecking one of the largest ports. I'm a rebel. I'm a crusader!!! I made a difference!"
So for one person's psychological self-worth 500 million Europeans, some of which are poor and could certainly benefit from the increased purchasing power Chinese goods afford them, will be forced to pay higher prices so she and her merry band of professional activists can feel good about themselves. Forget whether that difference is good or bad for society, that's not the point, all that matters is that the crusader get to feel good about themselves (see - "Al Gore")
There is one final thing I'd like to point out, as I have pointed it out before. And that is if you want a reason why China will inevitably kick the west's ass in economic growth and productivity, just look at the highlighted section of the article.
I've mentioned it before, but if you get a dictatorship that knows what its doing (at least economically, not necessarily democratically, and not that I necessarily agree with it) a lot of hurdles, stops and speed bumps are removed from attaining excellent economic growth and that gives you a big advantage over your western economic counterparts. Like the shirt says, "Imagine a World with No Liberals."
I see a world with income per capita of $250,000 and a lot less poverty.