The Spectacle Blog

The IMF: Lawless Cosmopolitanism

By on 5.20.11 | 1:14PM

The D.C. offices of the International Monetary Fund are "an international island in the midst of the American capital," furnishing "a climate in which romances often flourish -- and lines are sometimes crossed," Binyamin Applebaum and Sheryl Gay Stolberg report in the New York Times.

The IMF's "female employees [are] vulnerable to harassment," they report, citing numerous examples. "The laws of the United States do not apply inside its walls, and until earlier this month the I.M.F.'s own rules contained an unusual provision that some experts and former officials say has encouraged managers to pursue the women who work for them: 'Intimate personal relationships between supervisors and subordinates do not, in themselves, constitute harassment.'"

How long have we Americans been lectured about how backward the United States is, and how much more sophisticated our European superiors are? Yet if recent news accounts are to be believed, IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been boorishly imposing himself on women for years -- and was never called to account until he made the mistake of attempting to rape a hotel maid in Manhattan. 

Our old-fashioned belief in the Rule of Law is one of those allegedly "backward" traditions that Ruling Class elitist are forever trying to cure us of. Perhaps now we understand why.

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