ECONOMIC JUSTICE

Linked with The War on Iraq and the Occupation, and with Caroline Lucas – England.

Short excerpt of her speech ‘ECONOMIC JUSTICE: STEPS ON THE PATH TO PEACE’, presented at the ‘Resurgence & Imago Conference’, City of London School For Girls, 5th July 2003, and published on resurgence.org.

… “The widening gaps between rich and poor within nations, and the gulf between the affluent and the most impoverished nations … will undermine the fabric of our societies through confrontation, violence and civil disorder.”

But my favourite is from a CIA report, “Global Trends 2015″:

“The rising tide of the global economy will create many economic winners, but it will not lift all boats. [It will] spawn conflicts at home and abroad, ensuring an even wider gap between … winners and losers than exists today … [Globalisation's] evolution will be rocky, marked by chronic financial volatility and a widening economic divide … Regions, countries, and groups feeling left behind will face deepening economic stagnation, political instability, and cultural alienation.

They will foster political, ethnic, ideological, and religious extremism, along with the violence that often accompanies it.”

But, given there’s such widepread agreement that globalisation is driving poverty and inequality, it is – on one reading at least – pretty extraordinary that the solution that is advocated is precisely more of the same globalisation that caused the problems in the first place.

Take the decision to launch a new round of international trade negotiations at the WTO: the smoke had not yet cleared from the ruins of the World Trade Centre in New York before US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy seized on the tragedy to press for even greater trade liberalization via the WTO, asserting that free trade was one of the best ways of countering terrorism. Developing country delegations at Doha spoke of how they were bullied into accepting this new round, on the grounds that they would be “opposing efforts to counter terrorism” if they didn’t.

So why is there such a gap between the rhetoric about understanding the problem, and the reality – of proposing more of the same solution? It’s partly due to vested interests of the transnational corporations, I’m sure. But is it also because of a failure of vision, a failure of imagination, a failure to be able to envisage alternatives to the current agenda of neo-liberal economic globalisation? … (Read all on Resurgence.org).

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