Globalization: a unique opportunity for humanity to change course In many ways there is nothing unique or new about globalization. The centralization of power, and the monopolization of markets, is now occurring on a global scale - but the process is very much the same as what occurred earlier in each major capitalist nation. In the robber barons of the 1900s (John D. Rockefeller, J. Pierpont Morgan, the Krupp dynasty, etc.), we can see the precursors of today's transnational corporations. The scale has changed, but the basic pattern of concentration of wealth and power remains the same. The elite-run media tries us to convince us that market forces is some kind of new invention which should be given a chance to prove itself. In truth it is the same old rotten laissez-faire wine served up in new-terminology bottles. But there are also some unique aspects to globalization, and in these can be found hope for a better future for humanity - for turning the tide against capitalist domination. One of these aspects is the very success of the neoliberal project. Everywhere, capitalism is being given free reign - and its arrogant and brutal excesses are stirring up opposition all around the world. Hundreds of thousands of activist groups and NGOs are struggling, each in its own way, against these excesses. In some cases the struggles are against symptoms, such as environmental destruction or human rights violations. In other cases - as in Chiapas and the streets of Seattle and Prague - the struggle is against the core disease itself: capitalism and elite rule. But capitalism has exhibited such excesses in the past, has withstood resistance movements, and capitalist elites have managed to stay in power nonetheless. What is particularly unique about globalization - as regards hope for change - is its abandonment of the strong, prosperous, Western nation state. For the past two hundred years capitalism has employed an unbeatable formula to maintain its stranglehold over the world. That formula has been based on the relative contentment of Western populations, particularly the middle classes. Popular support maintained Western regimes and those regimes had the military might to dominate the rest of the world. This formula reached its culmination after World War II, when Western prosperity reached unprecedented heights. With neoliberalism and globalization, this successful formula is being abandoned. Western populations are being sacrificed to market forces and WTO tyranny. Our elite rulers have bet their future on the success of their centralized new-world-order regime. The political support base for capitalism has been fatally weakened, and that creates the conditions from which a mass movement for fundamental change is likely to emerge. People in the third world (or South) have long been struggling against capitalist imperialism. Many of us in West (or North) also struggled against imperialism, but our relatively privileged position prevented most of us from taking a radical stand against the root causes: capitalism and elite rule. Now that our privileges are being taken away, it is time for us to wake up and do something about it - shoulder to shoulder with our Southern brethren. Maintaining the status quo is no longer an option for us - the nature of capitalism is forcing revolutionary changes whether we like or not. In a few years the global regime will be so thoroughly established that it will be invincible. The people of the world have a choice. On the one hand we can surrender to global tyranny so that capitalism can continue its insane and destructive growth. On the other hand, we can assert our rights as free peoples. We can oust the elites from power and reorganize our societies so that they serve the needs and wishes of people - instead of facilitating the endless accumulation of wealth by a few. -- ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• URL: http://cyberjournal.org A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. - Frantz Fanon "One cannot separate economics, political science, and history. Politics is the control of the economy. History, when accurately and fully recorded, is that story. In most textbooks and classrooms, not only are these three fields of study separated, but they are further compartmentalized into separate subfields, obscuring the close interconnections between them" -- J.W. Smith, The World's Wasted Wealth 2, (Institute for Economic Democracy, 1994), p. 22. Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .