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The World is not a Commodity: Another World is Possible

by Attac Germany Saturday, Aug. 07, 2004 at 7:37 PM
mbatko@lycos.com

"Attac is an element of the anti-war and peace movement because a just world is impossible without peace.. We reject the militarization of foreign policy and war actions of the German army abroad.."

ATTAC DECLARATION:

THE WORLD IS NOT A COMMODITY – ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE

By Attac Germany

[This declaration is translated from the German on the attac website, www.attac.de/ratschalg02ffm/rs_ausgabe.php. Attac is a global justice movement in France, Germany, Austria and other countries.]

ATTAC’S GOALS

Globalization is an upheaval of historical dimensions. Globalization changes society with enormous speed and cuts deeply into our living conditions. In the past, globalization was dominated one-sidedly by powerful economic interests, mammoth banks, investment funds, transnational corporations and other owners of capital. Their model is neoliberalism. According to this ideology, social problems can best be solved when left to the market and private enterprises.

Nevertheless the neoliberal promise that globalization brings prosperity for everyone is not fulfilled. Quite the contrary:

· The social gap between North and South is becoming deeper. While the rich become ever richer, poverty grows in the third world. Whole national economies are ruined over night by financial- and economic crises. Hundreds of thousands lose their jobs. Poverty returns in industrial countries. Social insecurity, exclusion and injustice increase among us. Social security systems are dismantled and threatened by privatization. Pensions, health care and education become commodities. Democracy is undermined because global players increasingly dictate policy with the threat of changing “locations”. New inequalities arise between the generations and genders. Deregulation of labor markets and social cuts occur with the help of underpaid- and unpaid flexible women’s work. Men’s work is also increasingly deregulated and globalized according to this model of unprotected flexibilized low-wage jobs worldwide.

· Globalization has led to a blatant increase in sexist and structural violence against women and transnational trade with women and children. The victims of the new globalized wars are largely women and children. Solutions to environmental problems are blocked. The national foundations of life are destroyed through submission under the market logic. Cultural diversity is leveled by an economically powerful culture industry. The suggestive power of advertising and brand name trademarks creates ever-stronger value orientations and social models. Beside other causes, hegemonial interests and new sources of raw materials (oil and gas) induce rich industrial states to increasingly carry out military plans and belligerent interventions. Neoliberal globalization has produced very many losers and only a few winners. Thus neoliberal globalization encourages political destabilization and is a cause of violence, war and terrorism. This leads to the justification of worldwide rearmament, militarization and the undermining of democratic rights.

WE NEED ANOTHER POLICY

Neoliberal globalization is by no means fateful and without alternative. Neoliberal globalization has been systematically pursued by the governments of large industrial countries with the help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. Germany and the European Union (EU) play a decisive role both in an internal liberalization of the domestic market and in the neoliberal orientation of the world economy.

Economic- and socio-political alternatives existed in the past and exist today. We champion an ecological and solidarian world economic order. In that order there will be more equal international cooperation and a sustainable environmentally-just development of the North and the South. We want a world in which democracy is guaranteed for all people and cultural diversity is preserved.

These goals can only be realized with a strong social movement that is internationally active. Attac is part of this movement that formed in Seattle, Prague, Genoa and other places and developed further at the World Social Forum of Porto Alegre.

· Attac seeks to contribute to a comprehensive democratization of society.

· Attac fights for a new world economic order where the wealth of the world is distributed justly and used ecologically.

· Attac is an element of the anti-war and peace movement because a just world is impossible without peace.

Attac pleads for:

· An end of the new war preparations and for civil and peaceful conflict resolutions. We reject the militrarization of foreign policy and war actions of the German army abroad.

· Introducing a tax on international financial transactions, the so-called Tobin tax,

and using revenues for international environmental- and development projects,

· Closing tax havens, regulation of derivates and prohibition of highly speculative funds (so-called hedge funds),

· Stronger taxation of capital revenues and mammoth assets,

· Solving the debt crisis of developing countries, ending neoliberal structural adjustment and the dictatorship of creditors through fair and transparent procedures,

· A world trade order that grants priority to the interests of developing countries, the socially disadvantaged and the environment,

· International institutions that serve these goals and not the interests of industrial countries, corporations and corrupt elites,

· A democratic and social Europe oriented in the needs of people and in solidarity with the other parts of the world. We oppose restricting the right of demonstration, freedom of action and the right to freedom of expression. We reject the criminalization of the movement against neoliberal globalization.

· A democratic reform of the4 public services. We advocate a level of social security enabling a dignified life for all. We turn against privatization of public services and public provisions, for example the health care system, the education system and the water supply as threatened in the GATS agreement. We reject the privatization of public goods and genetic assets.

· A system of solidarian old-age security,

· Redistribution and revaluation of paid- and unpaid work in the international and gender-specific division of labor,

· A social and ecological organization of agriculture. We disapprove genetically engineered products and patents for life.

· The regulation and restriction of the power of transnational corporations and economic concentrations of power in cartels and mergers. We urge higher business taxes, living wages, labor rights and rights of participation for employees, equal conditions and social and ecological standards.

Let us take the future of the world in our hands!

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