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False Alternatives

by Attac Germany Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 at 4:41 AM

As 10 years ago, there is again resistance against the chaotic, polarizing destructive power of the markets and against the false alternatives of the governments. A globally democratized climate justice requires turning away from the status quo and the "imperial lifestyle."


By Attac Germany

[This article published 11/21/2009 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

The current crisis of global capitalism has driven promoters of neoliberalism and deregulation of financial markets to the defensive. The gigantic tax funds that bailed ou9t the banks are not yet “digested.” A new bubble is already forming on the financial markets. A moderate growth seems to be developing with growing unemployment (“jobless growth”) as though nothing had happened.

There is no trace of a serious shriveling and re-regulation of the financial markets. The prospects for a consistent ecological reconstruction of the economy are rather dim in most countries. At the same time the IMF with its extortionate credit conditions is revived and the WTO tries to go on the offensive. Ten years after the failure of the ministerial conference in Seattle in November 1999 that caused a sensation, the WTO strives to wind up the Doha round at its next ministerial meeting in Geneva at the end of November.

In the meantime, the UN reports that the number of starving persons that should be cut in half corresponding to the Millennium goal has increased to over a billion persons.

Where is the cry of indignation and the anger about the misery in the midst of wealth?

As 10 years ago when the worldwide Attac movement formed as part of the global justice movement, there is again resistance against the chaotic, polarizing and destructive power of the markets and against the false alternatives of the governments. Many Attac organizations mobilize in Geneva to thwart the Doha round. In a joint declaration, they call to a global turn around together with many organizations on all continents. This is directed to a worldwide way of production and consumption, not only to the global financial- and trading system.

A globally democratized climate justice requires a radical turning away from the status quo and the “imperial lifestyle.” Nicola Bullard sees the danger that “rich states may shift the burden to the South” while everything remains the same in the North. In the Bangkok declaration, reparations are demanded for the afflicted climate damage: “We agree that every person has an equal right to ecological and climatic space.

The climate debts are a part of the greater ecological debt of the Global North to the Global South. That greater ecological debt accumulated through centuries of robbery of natural resources and violation of human rights. Three defensive barriers for countries of the Global South are urged so the disaster of multiple crises is not repeated given the neoliberal crisis economy jointly caused by the WTO: (1) Food sovereignty as a remedy against hunger and against the recurring hunger cycles; (2) Energy sovereignty against speculation and extortion by corporations and states and (3) Financial sovereignty for the re-regulation of financial markets.

The declaration “Global Turn Around” says logically: “To solve present financial-, climate- and food crises, the governments must have the necessary political possibility and flexibility to regulate or re-regulate their economies to serve the common good of their people and the environment.”

A criticism of the WTO is now in the mainstream. The criticism of bi-national or bi-regional FTAs (Free trade Agreements), which is the continuance of the WTO policy in a new packaging, is not an expression of the solidarity economy on the international plane – unlike the ALBA in Latin America.

The spreading global land robbery that expels farmers and threatens to turn the earth into a “planet of slums” is a false solution.

Real solutions exist: reducing working hours as an anti-crisis measure (Frigga Haug), the struggle of students for the reorganization and expansion of the education sector (Christian Falber and Peter Grottian) and the struggle against NATO wars and against building a think net of US military bases (as in Columbia).


“Global Turn Around”

“Efficiency Shifting”

“The Seven Loose Pieces of the Global Jigsaw Puzzle” by Subcomandante Marcos

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