[At-Large] [lac-discuss-en] Vistaprint is abandoning .vista

bzs at theworld.com bzs at theworld.com
Mon Jul 16 22:50:54 UTC 2018

From: Sivasubramanian M <6.Internet at gmail.com>
>​He calls experts and civil society as lobbyists?  Civil Society is Civil

I'm not sure it's useful to pick at wording in a quote unless it
really discredits the point being made but yes civil society employs
lobbyists, certainly in the US.

Does anyone doubt, for example, that in the US the Roman Catholic
Church doesn't lobby against abortion, or Planned Parenthood for the
status quo of the same issue? And many other organization also of

I'm not sure if you're trying to say such groups shouldn't be
considered part of "Civil Society", or you're saying they are but they
don't lobby?

Reading you note perhaps you're just interpreting "lobbyist" as a
perjorative which it's not, at least not in the US.

But they are generally highly interested parties and shouldn't in
general be legislators or similar (judges, etc.)

But they have every right, within certain boundaries, to lobby those
with legislative and legal power.

Which is why we try to keep the two roles separate and consider role
confusion and conflicts of interest a problem.

As to experts of course many are paid to be advocates.

I personally worked in research in occupational health and sat at a
table with a major insurance company's hired expert.

He was absolutely brilliant. As I recall he held a law degree, a
medical degree, and a PhD in chemistry. The issue was industrial
exposures to toxic chemicals and the insurance company's liability.

Some of the points he raised were devastating to the current arguments
though could eventually be answered.

And we (Harvard) also employed a full-time economist (PhD) whose job
was primarily to model the effects of occupational health legislation
on the industries involved often reporting before the US congress when
relevant legislation was pending.

Was he a lobbyist? In a sense, perhaps a lobbyist for facts and
numbers in opposition to scare tactics such as some safety measure
would put a large number of people out of work. I think the
petrochemical, mining, and similar industry would label him a lobbyist
of sorts.

        -Barry Shein

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