Globalization
Alphabetical List of Links by Subject


"The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitations services and basic education to every person on the planet. And we wonder why terrorists attack us." - John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Chris Hedges: The Whoredom of the Left Prostitution is the quintessential expression of global capitalism. Our corporate masters are pimps. We are all being debased and degraded, rendered impoverished and powerless, to service the cruel and lascivious demands of the corporate elite. And when they tire of us, or when we are no longer of use, we are discarded as human refuse. If we accept prostitution as legal, as Germany has done, as permissible in a civil society, we will take one more collective step toward the global plantation being built by the powerful. The fight against prostitution is the fight against a dehumanizing neoliberalism that begins, but will not end, with the subjugation of impoverished girls and women... The left is made morally bankrupt by its failure to grasp that legal prostitution is another face of neoliberalism. Selling your body for sex is not a choice. It is not about freedom. It is an act of economic slavery.

50 Years Is Enough "We call for the immediate suspension of the policies and practices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group which have caused widespread poverty, inequality, and suffering among the world’s peoples and damage to the world’s environment"
Africa: HIV/AIDS and Failed Development
Africa Subsidizing the West, says Museveni "The value of the coffee market is 70 billion dollars," he said. "We coffee producing countries get 5 billion. Who takes the remaining 65 billion? -- somebody else!"
Antitrust Division, Dept. of Justice committed to promoting and protecting the competitive process through the enforcement of the antitrust laws of the United States (Scout Report)
Behind the glitz article on globalization and Cancun
Brazil Leading Counter Revolution Against U.S. Economic Policies articles on current developments
Centre for Research on Globalization an independent research and media group of progressive writers, scholars and activists committed to curbing the tide of "globalisation" and "disarming" the New World Order
Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy PBS site on globalization, world trade, and economic development
Corporate Crimes Jim Hightower talks about bribing legislators and stealing from the public
Corporate Crime Reporter a legal newsletter - Check out their Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s
Debs Quote, Eugene
Dissention Erupts at Talks on World Financial Crisis
Free Trade is War article by Naomi Klein
FTAA - Free Trade Area of the Americas
FTAA is None of Your Business the media look away as democracy is traded away
Geo Newsletter bimonthly; reports on worker cooperatives and community-based economies in the U.S. and worldwide
Global Justice Ecology Project resisting neoliberal economic and environmental policies
Globalization investigative reports by Gregory Palast
Globalization in Focus progressive views on globalization
Globalization: What We Can Do About It
Greens Call Worldwide Water Privatization "Theft" of Public Resources "Greens point to evidence of the devastating economic and ecological effects of water privatization: higher prices and more frequent billing; neglected infrastructure; increased use of concrete and steel in environmentally harmful dams and pipes instead of measures to conserve water; bribery of public officials and cronyism in the awarding of contracts; wasteful salaries and bonuses for water company execs"
Let Them Drink Coke article on the World Bank's plans to privatize water
NAFTA notes and quotes
Privatization Molly Ivins speaks
Privatization, Enron Style Corporate Crime and: [link now dead] A Look at the U.S. Coalition of Service Industries "USCSI is the largest services oriented lobby group in the United States... many USCSI corporate members have been embroiled in the corporate scandals that have rocked the U.S. and the world in the past two years. You can almost pick at random from the USCSI membership to find a corporation that is either privatizing public services, embroiled in financial controversy, or gaining from the misery imposed by an IMF loan"
What is Wrong with Corporations? "Why are Alcoa and other multinational corporations able to run roughshod over the will of affected citizens? Why does Alcoa have superior standing in court and before regulatory agencies?"
World History of Globalization
World On Fire... Book Notes review "How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability"
WTO History Project focuses on the 1999 protests in Seattle - collection of interviews with protest leaders and participants


"Murray Bookchin: US political thinker whose ideas shaped the anti-globalization movement...

""Capitalism is a social cancer," he argued. "It is the disease of society"...

"His magnum opus was the Ecology of Freedom (1982). "The domination of nature by man stems from the very real domination of human by human," he wrote. "The long-term solution to the ecological crises is a fundamental shift in how we organise society, a new politics based on face-to-face democracy, neighborhood assemblies and 'the dissolution of hierarchy'"....

"In Remaking Society (1990) he wrote: "To speak of 'limits to growth' under a capitalistic market economy is as meaningless as to speak of limits of warfare under a warrior society. The moral pieties that are voiced today by many well-meaning environmentalists are as naive as the moral pieties of multinationals are manipulative. Capitalism can no more be 'persuaded' to stop breathing"...

"Without Bookchin's book, Post-Scarcity Anarchism (1971), anarchism would not be the force within the anti-capitalist movement that it is today. Bookchin parted company with anarchism in 1998, refocusing on "communalism", but his writing lifted and sustained the movement from the 19th into the 21st century" (Mike Small. "Murray Bookchin." Guardian Weekly, Aug. 11, 2006: 25).


"..the IMF.. promot[ed] indigence, unemployment, and organized crime every time it gained control over a distressed economy in the developing world" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 102).

See..

Public Services International Twenty million women and men in a variety of public service jobs are members of PSI
Bank Information Center promotes transparency at Banks


"On the tenth anniversary of the NAFTA accord.. virtually none of the benefits touted by the treaty's many boosters a decade ago have come into being, while a number of disturbing developments have emerged... while the accord generated nothing like the number of expected jobs in Mexico, it devastated hundreds of thousands of subsistence farmers... China quickly replaced Mexico as the favored destination for multinationals looking for cheap labor... untold damage has been done to democracy throughout the continent, thanks to the many provisions of the treaty that allow corporations to circumvent local laws...

"..it was never NAFTA's direct effects that made it so attractive to corporate America. It was the leverage it gave so many corporations over their workers.." (Eric Alterman. "A Spectacular Success?" The Nation, Feb. 2, 2004, 10).

"NAFTA.. is the constitution of an emerging continental economy that recognizes one citizen--the business corporation. It gives corporations extraordinary protections from government policies that might limit future profits, and extraordinary rights to force the privatization of virtually all civilian public services. Disputes are settled by secret tribunals... At the same time, NAFTA excludes protections for workers, the environment and the public...

"Average real wages in Mexican manufacturing are actually lower than they were ten years ago. Two and a half million farmers and their families have been driven out of their local markets and off their land by heavily subsidized US and Canadian agribusiness...

In the U.S. "at least a half-million jobs have been lost" (Jeff Faux. "NAFTA at 10: Where Do We Go From Here?" The Nation, Feb. 2, 2004, 11).


"..globalization is just about passe. It was more or less buried at Cancun in September 2003. What happened is that the countries of the South (led by Brazil, India, China and South Africa) called the bluff of the free traders. They said free trade works both ways. If you want the South to open up to the North, then the North must open up to the South: no more subsidies to Northern producers, no more tariffs to keep out goods from the South. Of course, the North never really wanted that to happen. It would be political dynamite at home..." (Immanuel Wallerstein. "Soft Multilateralism." The Nation, Feb. 2, 2004, 14-20).


"...the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO)... governments given THEM money; your tax dollars, in fact. The rich people who run the World Bank and the IMF then lend these funds to rich people in poor countries, who steal whatever they can get away with... and leave the unfortunate poor people to repay the loans with interest and other miscellaneous surcharges...

"Even everyone's favorite Halloween charity, UNICEF, is now more of a trick than a treat for the world's destitute children. Behind that pretty little princess costume rattling a can at your front door is -- I'm afraid so -- the World Bank..." (Bocagrande, Gabriela. "A Bigger Piece of the Pie." Texas Observer, 7/16/04: 17-19).


"The American economy.. is in much deeper trouble than most people realize...

"For several decades, in fact, the federal government has toleratd and even encouraged the dispersal of American production overseas... No other major economy in the world accepts perennial trade deficits.. But American leaders and policy-makers are uniquely dedicated to a faith in "free market" globalization, and they have regularly promised Americans that despite the disruptions, this policy guarantees their long-term prosperity. Present facts make these long-held convictions look like gross illusion... the trade deficit.. Last year it set another new record: $489 billion...

"The U.S. economy, in essence, is being kept afloat by enormous foreign lending... This lopsided arrangement will end when those foreign creditors... Japan, China, and Europe -- decide to stop lending...

"That reckoning could arrive as a sudden thuderclap of financial crisis -- spiking interest rates, swooning stock market and crashing home prices... As foreign capital moves elsewhere and easy credit disappears for consumers, many Americans will experience a major decline in their living standards...

"Now the rest of the world is propping up American consumers... The net inflow of foreign capital to the United States represents a staggering 75 percent of the net outflows from the rest of the world...

"The failure of conventional explanations for trade deficits leads, logically, to an unorthodox conclusion: The source of the deficits (and growing indebtedness) must be embedded in the trading system itself...

"The national ambitions and competitive energies of globalization, at least as currently practiced, persist in developing new productive capacity -- more factories -- faster than they generate rising incomes and adequate demand to absorb the surplus goods. This leads inevitably to falling prices and stiffer pressures for cost reductions. The convenient remedy -- somebody, somewhere has to shut down factories -- has typically begun by closing America's and moving it's high-wage production offshore for cheaper labor.

American production usually goes first because the U.S. government does not resist...

"Through industrial policy and numberous informal barriers, America's European rivals have managed to avoid both trade deficits and the thirty-year stagnation of wages that U.S. industrial workers have suffered. Only in America do the experts believe these consequences have no meaning for overall prosperity. Only in America has the government put the interests of multinationals ahead of citizens.

"A decisive President, one who grasped the gravity of the situation, would start by bringing up a taboo subject -- tariffs -- and inform the world that the United States is prepared to impose a temporary general tariff of 10 or 15 percent on all U.S. imports. Every multinational would have to rethink its industrial strategy, because some of its production might be stranded in the wrong country. Import-dependent retailers like Wal-Mart would be seriously disrupted, too.

"With a general tariff, the practice of wage arbitrage -- shifting high-wage jobs to low-wage nations, then selling the goods to the U.S. market -- would no longer be a free ride" (William Greider. "The Serpent That Ate America's Lunch." The Nation, May 10, 2004: 11-18).


"Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, is the center of a three-year-old indigenous insurrection that has twice routed multi-national corporations and nearly achieved the rarest of political successes, election of an openly Indian president in the Americas...

"What began with the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas in 1994 has surfaced in Ecuador, Guatemala and especially Bolivia...

"...a nationwide protest of Indians, workers and campesinos against the gas giveaway, against neoliberalism and against President "Goni" (Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada), the white mining executive and University of Chicago-trained free-market economist who had been privatizing the Bolivian economy since the mid-1980s...

"...frightening for U.S. officials and the tiny Bolivian upper class in 2002 was the presidential campaign of Senator Evo Morales, a Quechua-speaking socialist leader... finished just one point behind Goni... If the presidential runoff hadn't been decided by the conservative legislature, rather than by popular vote, Morales would most likely be president today. With the exception of Mexico's Benito Juarez in the mid-nineteenth century, it is difficult to recall an elected indigenous-identified president in the Americas over the past two centuries.

"The U.S. military is sounding the alarm... head of the U.S Southern Command, warned that "if radicals continue to hijack the indigenous movement, we could find ourselves faced with a narco-state that supports the uncontrolled cultivation of coca"...the Southern Command is rapidly establishing a major military base of operations in Colombia... the U.S. Embassy and investors worrried about greater democratization" (Tom Hayden. "Bolivia's Indian Revolt." The Nation, June 21, 2004: 18-22).


"... in the capital of the European Union [Brussels], an unprecedented challenge to longstanding practices of American industry is unfolding...

"..."old Europe" is now wielding new world power.

"Just this year, US manufacturers of such goods as chemicals, cars and cosmetics have been confronted with EU regulations that force a choice: Either conform to the EU's standards of pre-emptive screening for toxicity--far tougher than US standards--or risk sacrificing the European market, which, with 450 million people, is now larger than that of the United States. In the process, the European Union is challenging US presumptions of unilateral decision-making...

""Americans are in for a rude shock," says Clyde Prestowitz... "Other players are establishing their own standards, and they have the muscle to make them stick. We are headed into a new era"...

"...REACH--Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals... threatens a revolution in chemical regulation--upending decades-long practices that were pioneered in the United States...

"The REACH directive represents an upheaval in the basic philosophy of chemical regulation, flipping the American presumption of "innocent until proven guilty" on its head by placing the burden of proof on manufacturers to prove chemicals are safe--what is known as the "precautionary principle." REACH adds extra bite with a requirement that toxicity data be posted publicly on the new agency'w website. Thus, test results that were once tightly held by chemical companies will suddenly be available to citizens and regulators across the globe. That prospect foreshadows trouble for ES chemical producers...

"Never before has an EU proposal drawn fire from such heavy guns. The US chemical industry, like other American industries, has been discovering that a presence in Brussels is now a must--and has had to learn new ways to exert influence in a governing institution with three chambers, twenty-five countries and twenty national languages, and in which the usual cocktail of campaign contributions, arm-twisting and seduction are neither warmly received nor, in the case of campaign contributions, legal...

"The [US] lobbying campaign has largely backfired...

COSMETICS

"Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor any other government agency regulates ingredients used in the preparation of cosmetics. The Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1938 established extraordinarily lax standards for the regulation of cosmetic ingredients...

"The improvisational nature of the cosmetics industry is about to change. EU member states submitted plans to the European Commission to institute new guidelines established by what's known as the "Cosmetic Directive," which takes effect this coming February. The directive calls for the removal of ingredients suspected of causing "harm to human health" from cosmetics and personal care products in Europe. The effects of that directive are being felt around the world...

CARS

"EVery year aging cars left to decay in scrapyards or fields or suburban driveways, create more than 15 million tons of waste across the United States and Europe. Many components in those autos contain toxic ingredients, including metals... Cars and their component parts are left to despoil the landscape, leach into the soil and poison groundwater. There is nothing to stop them.

"Across the Atlantic, the EU has implemented a program with the oddly philosophical title "End of Life Vehicles Directive." Starting in 2006, all cars produced or sold in the EU must be built with at least 85 percent recyclable components; by 2015 that figure rises to 95 percent. The directive also bans toxic heavy metals like cadmium and requires that manufacturers take responsibility for disposing of their cars...

"For US car manufacturers, the directive presents a historic challenge. American car companies export virtually no cars to Europe; thus US manufacturers are under little direct pressure to adapt to European standards. But each of the US Big Three has substantial ties to the Euripean market: Ford has its own Ford Europe production facilities and owns the Jaguar line in Britain...

"The concept of being responsible for the ultimate disposal of those cars has been received in this country like a message from another planet...

"...today's European Union. For the first time in history, a superpower has emerged that is not based on nationalistic ambitions or military power but upon a voluntary sumission of national aspirations to a transnational authority...

"On foreign affairs, Europeans continue to have trouble speaking with one voice... But on domestic matters, the EU speaks for Europe...

"Indeed, a broad spectrum of American industry has already felt the potency that comes from an integrated market and differing standards of environmental and consumer protection. Microsoft, for example, was fined $497 million earlier this year by the EU for its "anti-competitive practices," and General Electric's long-planned takeover of Honeywell was skewered in 2002 by the EU's Competition Commission, which has now emerged as a critical first stop by corporations en route to a merger...

"...as Europe becomes a more assertive political force, the question will become..."Why shouldn't Americans enjoy the same standards as Europeans?"

"Such a basic question used to run in the other direction, when the United States set the gold standard for the world's environmental health. And the answer strikes at the core of the Bush Administration's most savored narratives--that we, alone, are masters of our nation's fate" (Mark Schapiro. "New Power For 'Old Europe'." The Nation, Dec. 27, 2004: 11-16).


"Corporations plan to use the GATS agreement to profit from the privatization of educational systems, healthcare systems, childcare, energy and municipal water services, postal services, libraries, museums, and public transportation...

"..the agreement prevents the government from taking actions on behalf of its citizens. Once a private contract has been given to a corporation, it CANNOT be revoked, even if the prices are so high [that] they lead to social unrest and violence" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 130-131).


"The Golden Straitjacket... cut government, cut the budgets and bureaucracies and the rules they make [to protect the people]; privatize just about everything; deregulate currency and capital markets, free the banks to speculate in currency.. Open every nation's industry to foreign trade, eliminate those stodgy old tariffs and welcome foreign ownership without limit; wipe away national border barriers to commerce; let the market set prices on everything... cut public pensions, cut welfare, cut subsidies; let politics shrink and let the marketplace [chaos] guide us" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 144).

"The purpose of the new capitalism is to shoot the wounded" (Andy Grove, Chairman of Intel Corporation).

"China, whose output grows at 5 percent per year by studiously following the reverse of IMF policies" (150).

"The IMF and World Bank have effectively controlled Tanzania's economy since 1985... Tanzania's GDP dropped from $309 to $210 per capita, literally fell, and the rate of abject poverty jumped to 51 percent of the population" (150).

"Before 1980, virtually every nation in [the] Third World.. was either socialist or welfare statist [and their] per capita income grew 73 percent in Latin America and 34 percent in Africa... [but] since 1980 [after adopting] the Reagan/Thatcher model, [there has been] growth of less than 6 percent over twenty years -- and African incomes decline[d] by 23 percent.

"From 1950 to 1980, socialist and welfare statist policies added more than a decade of life expectancy to virtually every nation on the planet. From 1980 to today, life under structural assistance has gotten brutish and decidedly shorter" (151).

"..the IMF concedes, "[this is] one of the greatest economic failures of the 20th Century"" (152).

"Did any nation avoid this fate? Yes... Botswana. Their trick? "They told the IMF to go packing"" (157).

".. Anibol Veron, a thirty-seven-year-old father of five, lost his job as a bus driver [due to IMF policies] from a company that owed him nine months' pay. Veron joined angry unemployed Argentines.. who block roads in protest.. The nation's military police killed him with a bullet to the head.

"Globalization boosters portray resistance to the New World Order as a lark of pampered, naive Western youths" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 166).


"The coup d'etats of the twenty-first century will follow the Argentine model, in which the international banks seize the financial lifeblood of a nation, making the official presidential title holder merely inconsequential except as a factotum of the corporate agenda" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 199).

Venezuela represented a threatening example that could not be allowed to succeed" (199).

"An lastly, there is the all-important propaganda war aimed at U.S. citizens to ensure that Americans remain ignorant and quiescent when a democratically elected president is assassinated, overthrown or houded from office" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 200).


Pinochet, Anti-Globalization Successes

Globalization rules were destroying Chile's economy. "Riots and strikes by a population too hungry and desperate to fear bullets forced Pinochet to reverse course. He boote his beloved Chicago experimentalists.

"Reluctantly, the general restored the minimum wage and unions' collective bargaining rights... authorized a program to create 500,000 [new] jobs... CHile was pulled from depression by dull old Keynesian remedies -- all Franklin Roosevelt, zero Ronald Reagan. The junta even instituted what remains today as South America's only law restricting the flow of foreign capital...

"Pinochet nationalized banks and industry on a scale unimagined by the socialist Allende" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 203).


Sen, Anti-Globalization Successes

"The southern Indian state of Kerala is the laboratory for the humane development theories of Amartya Sen, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for economics (Articles on Sen, 1998 Nobel Prize, Development As Freedom, Atlantic Interview). Committed to income redistribution and universal social services, Kerala built an economy on intensive public education. As the world's most literate state, it earns its hard currency from the export of technical assistance to Gulf nations.

"If you've heard little or nothing of Sen and Kerala, maybe it is because they pose an annoying challenge to the free market consensus" (Greg Palast. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. NY: Plume, 2003: 204).


"The American economy.. is in much deeper trouble than most people realize...

"For several decades, in fact, the federal government has toleratd and even encouraged the dispersal of American production overseas... No other major economy in the world accepts perennial trade deficits.. But American leaders and policy-makers are uniquely dedicated to a faith in "free market" globalization, and they have regularly promised Americans that despite the disruptions, this policy guarantees their long-term prosperity. Present facts make these long-held convictions look like gross illusion... the trade deficit.. Last year it set another new record: $489 billion...

"The U.S. economy, in essence, is being kept afloat by enormous foreign lending... This lopsided arrangement will end when those foreign creditors... Japan, China, and Europe -- decide to stop lending...

"That reckoning could arrive as a sudden thuderclap of financial crisis -- spiking interest rates, swooning stock market and crashing home prices... As foreign capital moves elsewhere and easy credit disappears for consumers, many Americans will experience a major decline in their living standards...

"Now the rest of the world is propping up American consumers... The net inflow of foreign capital to the United States represents a staggering 75 percent of the net outflows from the rest of the world...

"The failure of conventional explanations for trade deficits leads, logically, to an unorthodox conclusion: The source of the deficits (and growing indebtedness) must be embedded in the trading system itself...

"The national ambitions and competitive energies of globalization, at least as currently practiced, persist in developing new productive capacity -- more factories -- faster than they generate rising incomes and adequate demand to absorb the surplus goods. This leads inevitably to falling prices and stiffer pressures for cost reductions. The convenient remedy -- somebody, somewhere has to shut down factories -- has typically begun by closing America's and moving it's high-wage production offshore for cheaper labor.

American production usually goes first because the U.S. government does not resist...

"Through industrial policy and numberous informal barriers, America's European rivals have managed to avoid both trade deficits and the thirty-year stagnation of wages that U.S. industrial workers have suffered. Only in America do the experts believe these consequences have no meaning for overall prosperity. Only in America has the government put the interests of multinationals ahead of citizens.

"A decisive President, one who grasped the gravity of the situation, would start by bringing up a taboo subject -- tariffs -- and inform the world that the United States is prepared to impose a temporary general tariff of 10 or 15 percent on all U.S. imports. Every multinational would have to rethink its industrial strategy, because some of its production might be stranded in the wrong country. Import-dependent retailers like Wal-Mart would be seriously disrupted, too.

"With a general tariff, the practice of wage arbitrage -- shifting high-wage jobs to low-wage nations, then selling the goods to the U.S. market -- would no longer be a free ride" (William Greider. "The Serpent That Ate America's Lunch." The Nation, May 10, 2004: 11-18).


This is a review of Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules, by Philippe Sands.

"By far the most important body of international law concersn trade and overseas investment... It is these laws--secretive, hidden from view and above all binding--that have underpinned the neoliberal globalization project. The chapters on trade and investment reveal how biased these rules are in favour of the West, and how they are made and exercised in institutional recesses that are unaccountable, even to cabinets, let alone parliaments, and utterly invisible to the public eye. This is the nexus of corporate, bureaucratic and judicial power...

"He argues, moreover, that international law-making, even in the economic arena, is slowly being prised open and thereby subject to influence by a growing number of actors, including developing countries and NGOs. He recognizes that international law is opaque and largely undemocratic, but believes, perhaps too optimistically, that the processes and institutions are being opened up, albeit slowly.

"The nub of the book, however, concerns the way in which the United States, since the Bush presidency, has decided to opt out of international treaties" (Allen Lane. "A law unto themselves." Guardian Weekly, April 8, 2005: 27).


"The big yammer these days in the United States is to the effect that globalisation is here to stay: it's wonderful, get used to it... The seemingly unanimous embrace of this idea in the power circles of America is a marvelous illustration of the madness of crowds, for nothing could be further from the truth than the idea that globalisation is now a permanent fixture of the human condition.

"Today's transient global economic relations are a product of very special transient circumstances, namely relative world peace and absolutely reliable supplies of cheap energy. Subtract either of these elements from the equation and you will see globalisation evaporate so quickly it will suck the air out of your lungs...

"Viewed through this lens [of the end of cheap energy, especially gas], the sunset of the current phase of globalisation seems dreadfully close to the horizon. The American public has enjoyed the fiesta, but the blue-light special orgy of easy motoring, limitless air-conditioning, and super-cheap products made by factory slaves far, far away is about to close down. Globalisation is finished. The world is about to become a larger place again" (James Howard Kunstler. "Globalisation's Time Is Up." Guardian Weekly, Aug. 12, 2005: 3).


The Collapse of Globalism
By John Ralston Saul
Reviewed by Martin Jacques

"...argues that [globalization's] central tenet is that "civilisation should be seen through economics, and economics alone"...

"Saul sees the heyday of globalisation as the mid-90s... Yet within five short years the movement had begun to falter. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 underlined the instability of the new system. To the consternation of the international financial community, Malaysia imposed capital controls and was proved right in the process. In 1999 the WTO conference at Seattle was the occasion of huge demonstrations...

"Since then the WTO process has been paralysed, the developing world has found new voice and confidence, personified by the ad hoc alliance between China, India, Brazil and South Africa. Meanwhile the conflict between Brazil and South Africa and the western drug companies--with their absurdly high prices and their insistence on intellectual property rights--has brought what were previously seen as rather esoteric issues to the attention of an increasingly outraged blobal public.

"Saul believes that globalisation is now in retreat" (Martin Jacques. "The end of the world as we know it?" Guardian Weekly, Sep. 9, 2005: 23).


"The United States is running a current account deficit of more than $700 billion a year to fund consumption we can't afford. This is not financially sustainable. Meanwhile, many workers in developing countries work twelve to sixteen hours a day, in dangerous conditions, without the right to form an independent union, at poverty pay, so that multinational corporations can boost their bottom line. That is not politically sustainable...

"... our corporate tax system is insanely inefficient and unfair. American taxpayers currently subsidize the offshoring of their own jobs (at a rate of at least $7 billion a year) through policies that exempt income earned offshore from corporate taxes. Very vew other countries have similar systems, and most have some form of "border adjustable" tax that exempts exports from sales or value-added taxes. Our current system taxes exports, while subsidixzing the offshoring of jobs. We need a complete overhaul of our corporate tax system to address this self-inflicted wound.

"Second, the overvalued dollar is killing our domestic manufacturing sector and exacerbating the problems in tradable services (a category that now covers everything not nailed to the floor). While the high dollar policy serves the Wal-Marts of the corporate world very well, it creates almost insurmountable competitive problems for domestic products...

"Third, the framework of rules in the global trading system (through the WTO and our own domestic agreements) is severely lopsided in favor of multinational corporate interests--leaving workers, small farmers, the environment and the poor ever more vulnerable and weak" (Thea Lee. "A New Domestic and Global Strategy." The Nation, April 17, 2006: 20-21).


"Postwar prosperity was built on a vast cut in the cost of security and the achievement of peace in Europe and much of Asia. The American role in the cold war system was to provide security; for this the dollar's role as anchor of the world trading system was our reward. But now, with Iraq, we are seen worldwide as the leading predator state, promoting war as a solution rather than as the ultimate economic and human horror. For this, many would like to see our privileges revoked.

"Corporate and financial fraud and political corruption form the second great domain of predatory capitalism. DeLay, Frist, and Abramoff are the names in the ews, but the tone is set by the leadership--Cheney of Halliburton and Bush of Harken Energy--a large predator and a small scavenger, specialists in cronyism and expert in nothing else. When predation becomes the dominant business and political form, the foundation of capitalism crumbles. Markets lose legitimacy, investors fly to safety in bonds, and authentic innovation and shared growth both become unnattainable. The solution must be not just a change of parties but a new political class, including a new media not under corrupt control.

"Then there is the predatory attack on unions and labor, in which many economists are complicit. This is far advanced in America and most visible today in Europe, as reflected by the doctrine of flexible labor markets, which claims that the conquest of unemployment requires cutting the pay of the working poor. But there is not history of unemployment ever being conquered this way...

"The way forward is a program for growth and justice built on the needs of the working population and the middle class. To begin with, in the United States, there must be a powerful demolition of the old political order: We need election where all votes are cast and counted. The campaign against voter repression is the essential civil rights struggle of our time, even though most progressives don't seem to realize it yet. Prevailing will require fundamental reform such as the introduction of nationwide vote-by-mail (the Oregon system)...

"Overseas, crackdowns on tax havens and the arms trade, a stabilizing financial system and an end to the debt peonage of poor countries whould be among the priorities of a new structurre.

"The truths are that egalitarian growth is efficient, that speculation must be regulated, that crime starts at the top and that peace is the primary public good. These truths are poison to predators and are the reason predators have fostered and subsidized an entire cynical intellectual movement devoted to "free" markets made up of a class of professor-courtiers now everywhere in view. Taming predatory capitalism could start with breaking this econo-corporate analytical axis, and reviving the concept of countervailing power, first formulated by JOhn Kenneth Galbraith in 1952" (James K. Galbraith. "Taming Predatory Capitalism." The Nation, April 17, 2006: 23-24).


"President Richard Nixon's decision to end the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971 was a milestone in the erosion of the Western social contract. This decision ushered in a new international monetary system--one in which international payments in dollars would be made by private banks rather than exchanges of gold between the Federal Reserve and other central banks, and the value of the dollar would be determined by supply and demand.

"This new dollar-centric international monetary system has been a powerful force in shaping the global economy and is, to a great extent, responsible for the current pattern of globalization. For the United States, it has meant that US policy-makers have had to hold real US interest rates higher than those of other strong currencies and have had to accept a higher value of the dollar relative to other major currencies. This has not only led to slower US economic growth but has made US goods less competitive vis-a-vis those of other economies. Thus the cost of American dollar hegemony has been the loss of export markets and, along with it, the loss of relatively good jobs in the tradable-goods sector of the economy" (Jane D'Arista. "Reform the Internatinal Financial System." The Nation, April 17, 2006: 27).


Could Veganism End World Hunger? The World Health Organization calls malnutrition "the silent emergency", and says it is a factor in at least half the 10.4 million child deaths which occur every year.

If you’re concerned about animal rights, water conservation, clean air and health then you may already be on the road to becoming vegan – so why not take five minutes and find out how veganism could end world hunger?

There is more than enough food being produced to feed everyone in the world twice over.

The problem is, our meat-based diet means that land, water, and other resources that could be used to grow food for human beings are being used to grow crops for farmed animals instead.

70% of U.S. grain production is fed to livestock.

One-third of the world's fish catch is fed directly to livestock.

In cycling our grain through livestock, we waste 90% of its protein and 96% of its calories.

An acre of cereal can produce five times more protein than an acre devoted to meat production. Legumes [beans] can produce ten times as much.

"Those who consume livestock products and fish are competing directly with those who need grain for food." (Lester Brown, president of Worldwatch)

The truth can no longer be dodged. Livestock farming gobbles up agricultural land, water and energy that could be far more efficiently devoted to growing food for people.

The cost of an 8 ounce steak will fill 45 to 50 bowls with cooked cereal grains.

Livestock now outnumber humans by almost three to one. In the last 40 years, the number of cattle has doubled and the fowl population has trebled.

The meat and dairy industry is also putting a huge strain on our water supply.. it is unsustainable.

"The American fast food diet and the meat-eating habits of the wealthy around the world support a world food system that diverts food resources from the hungry" [Dr. Waldo Bello].

It would take just 40 million tons of food to eliminate most world hunger, yet a staggering 760 million tons of grain will be used to feed farmed animals this year.

An individual can make a huge difference. They can stop supporting the meat, fish, egg and dairy industries. They can become vegan.

In the U.S., 64% of cropland produces feed for animals, while only 2% grows fruit and vegetables.

It takes about 300 gallons of water per day to produce food for a vegan, and more than 4,000 gallons of water per day to produce food for a meat-eater.

Fact: You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for an entire year.

Veganism is about wanting something better.. for the future of our children and the world as a whole.

Veganism is about making the world we live in a better place for people and animals alike.

Diet and Global Warming If one takes the threat of global warming seriously, the most powerful personal step you can take may well be choosing a vegetarian diet.


Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS