Free trade and the freedom of capital to move across borders have been the cutting edge of globalization. They’ve also led to the succession of crises that have led to the widespread questioning of capitalism as a way of organizing economic life — and of its paramount ideological expression, neoliberalism.
“World Made by Hand”, James Kunstler’s phrase (and book) - jumps to mind !
While I admire the obvious intellect of the author of this article, Walden Bello, the fact of zero comments (until now) is telling us something.
Too complex perhaps ?
My own feeling, in reading a number of threads prior to responding on this one - popular threads with lots of comments, is that by and large, perhaps overwhelmingly - we are all now professional victims, and the only thing that matters is money, who has it, who does not - which may be the root of the problem.
The world is contracting - nations are circling the wagons - families and individuals too - as a too complex global society with too expansive ideas rooted in utopia fail - day by day.
Being able to grow your own food, a viable supply of your own water - of productive land and soil - in a global ecosystem that is enabled to recover by setting aside half the Earth as wilderness - in a sense with rights for nature - with a population which sees and then comprehends “The Limits to Growth” -
All of these things are not so complex actually - they are just writ large these days.
As tribes - we knew how to deal with them - it is not beyond our ken - far from it.
But we do not have our feet on the ground yet - we have lost contact with the natural world.
It is possible to act directly on these thoughts - without waiting for governments to catch up.
Which they will - of necessity.
To have vision
We have to open our eyes
One of the major problems of almost every country in the world is the difficulty in achieving a balance in their foreign trade. The clamour for globalisation has not helped the situation, if anything, it has made it worse. Similarly, the drive for a one world Government and the suicidal aim of eliminating national borders will destroy cultures and ultimately prove self-defeating. The ulterior aim of globalisation is, in reality, to destroy the independence of nations around the world.
In 1943, the United States of America belatedly entered the war against “the Axis”, after watching their “allies” exhaust their economies and their resources in total war. Back in the Great War of 1914/18, the USA did the same thing, not that the war in Europe had anything to do with the US really. While the other nations did most of the fighting, the US then took the lead role in the ultimately damaging peace negotiations that sowed the seeds for World War 2.
In 1944 the United States of America took the first steps to formalise, what would later be called globalisation. 44 nations met at the USA resort of Bretton Woods to plan the post-war world. The USA then openly began to act as a power without rivals by dominating Bretton Woods as the planet’s most powerful nation.
Though everyone thought Bretton Woods was to be about the post-war reconstruction of Europe, in truth, it turned out to be all about the USA’s three main post-war objectives:
- World free trade with no discrimination against the USA.
- Freedom for the USA to invest in foreign economies.
3 Unimpeded access by the USA to foreign materials and resources.
Out of Bretton Woods came a “General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs”, (GATT), a “World Bank”, and an “International Monetary Fund” (IMF) all, over time, to be dominated and controlled by the USA.
The prime objective of the GATT (later the World Trade Organisation), was the reduction of barriers against imports across the world. Strangely, the United States of America managed, in practice, to exempt itself, unapologetically, from this reduction. It is still trying to do this, but less effectively with the rise of China.
The globalisation gospel was earlier inspired by the Chicago School of Economics from 1926 onwards, but it was significantly boosted by Robert S. McNamara, the “architect” of the Vietnam War, during his presidency of the World Bank between 1968 and 1981. McNamara upgraded the rules of globalisation by officially redrafted them as “Structural Readjustment”.
Those rules are divided into two groups:
The first group is aimed at destroying national independence by trade disruption through:
- Removal of tariffs, export subsidies, and import restrictions.
- Removal of foreign-exchange controls.
- Downgrading of import-replacing local production.
- Adjustment of price structures to the world market.
As of 2017, this has proven to be a very successful program that now impacts on virtually every nation in the world.
The second group was meant to subject the world’s nations to the unelected, US-dominated, globalisation elite by using the following practices:
5. Currency devaluation.
6. Over-riding priority to be given to the payment of foreign interest.
7. Reduction of government social spending so that interest could be paid and deficits reduced.
8. Government assets and undertakings to be privatised (sold off) preferably to foreign investors.
9. Promotion of exports, and the foreign sale of national assets to boost foreign-exchange earnings.
10. Corporate and Financial Deregulation.
The point to be noted here is that, once a nation had lost its financial independence under the Group 1 policies it would be unable to resist the application of the Group 2 policies; so the Group 1 actions were always the first line of attack, always under the banner of “Free Trade.” Once the first attack succeeded, the Group 2 policies could be applied to complete the destruction of the victim nation’s independence.
A nation, which is made so dependent upon imports that it cannot earn enough foreign exchange from its exports to pay for them, has no option but to make up the shortfall of foreign exchange either by borrowing that exchange from foreign lenders, or by selling off its assets (land, buildings, companies, other local possessions) to foreign buyers. Few people seem to realise that, in this, there is no other choice.
There is a relatively straight forward and practical system available that can allow any nation to control its foreign trade dealings, and ultimately, achieve a balance, as well as reducing any accumulate foreign exchange deficit.
That system is called an IMPEX system and it is a system that aims to reward foreign earnings and discourage, or otherwise control, the flow of imports and other foreign spending. This can lead to the balancing of the nation’s foreign-exchange transactions.
This Constitution provides for the implementation of an IMPEX system. Ultimately this system can put an end to the nation’s foreign deficit, and eventually start clawing back its accrued foreign debt.
An Australian, John Iggulden, has developed the IMPEX system to deal with both the domestic and international trade and commerce. The establishment of an IMPEX system is designed specifically to manage all the trade in foreign currencies. The ultimate aim of the IMPEX system is to achieve a balance between Australia’s import requirements and its export capacity.
It also has another indirect, but quite practical purpose, in encouraging local industry, both to increase export production and develop local manufacture of imported products. The system can do this through the creation of Impex dollars, which are paid to the exporter who can then sell them to importers at a premium. This provides the extra incentive to produce for export while discouraging imports, thus providing a potential to set up and produce previously imported goods directly within Australia, while encouraging downstream processing of raw materials.
The concept of an IMPEX system is a truly “free” market system. The exporter is paid in IMPEX dollars and the only way an importer can acquire the necessary foreign currency is by purchasing IMPEX dollars via the IMPEX market. Thus, all foreign currency transactions are handled through a single gateway called the IMPEX facility, which is operated and managed by the Government owned Australian Bank. Obviously, any demand for imports will add a premium to the value of IMPEX dollars, but the beauty of the system is that it offers virtually no incentive for speculation. The IMPEX dollars are only issued to exporters and can only be acquired through the single Australian IMPEX facility, and to that extent, it is a self-contained, closed and monitored market.
Globalization is like the automobile. Both disempower the lesser though no less fundamental economies of scale and lesser modes of urban/suburban travel. To the ‘alternate’ modes of urban travel - walking, mass transit, bicycling - automobiles present a severe impediment; perhaps a Constitutional inequity. So too the global economy disempowers the lesser economies of Nation, State, Regional economies, and within regions a myriad of local economies. If the world’s economies are meant to provide for the needs of their people, the distances of transport and travel must be reduced. Reducing CO2 emissions alone is not enough. Nor can the entirely pretentious idea of self-driving cars act as a solution of any kind other than for high-tech wizards to continue raking in cash while making fools of sycophants.
Bello makes some good points, but the left|right dichotomy has gotten bent with abuse.
In the States currently, blocs include and mix these:
- Anti–globalist authoritarian nationalism, regionalism, and often racism, including Bible-belt Republicans
- Anti-globalist “libertarian” corporatism that self-identifies as anti-government but favors violence to protect property claims
- Anti-globalist and anti-capitalist economic egalitarianism
- Corporatist and globalist self-styled “progressivism” geared to retain a steep and repressive hierarchy but staff it from broader racial, national, and gender demographies
- Trilateral-style globalist imperial full-spectrum capitalist-imperialist.
The differences in ideology only partly map to differences in party, and players pretend to various people to belong to various groups.
To a large extent, the population attends to matters of race and gender, economic class, or localism–not altogether in isolation, but preferring one over the other as a personal “hot-button issue,” frequently selling all out for lip service and vapor-ware promises. So the Republicans can sell “liberty” as more local and even less restricted authoritarian capitalism: businesses are free to oppress. And Democratic officialdom can sell a more authoritarian and far-flung militarism by staffing the apparat with people of different races or genders, as though when repression involves disenfranchised populations it were less oppressive.
That is, really, a very old trick: the rich have not fought wars for a long time. It may eventually become broadly understood that putting Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Brazile at the front lines of such a lot of high-profile felonious activity was no favour to women or minorities–nor to most rank-and-file Democrats, as it happens. This is not compromise: it is a riff on the centuries-old bait-and-switch of enslavement and manipulation.
There are ways to disassemble the globalist and top-down economy, with its military-industrial complex and its government by black ops financed (largely) by black markets. But these paths have no real electoral representation within the United States. In 2016, the Greens ran as high as 7% and were mostly between 3 and 5%, whereas the “What’s a leppo?” Libertarians ran over 10% right up until the final counting. Given the obvious domestic (not Russian) manipulation of both primaries, the most parsimonious explanation is that most or all of the difference was stolen by a larger player or players.
Most of the response within the Democratic Party has involved ignoring problems, casting blame outside the party, and looking at how a corporatist militarist candidate could be made more palatable to a population that rejects every facet of such policies.
I am all for voting and forcing these fools to steal the election as obviously as possible. But we should do so knowing that at this point no alternative to globalization will take electoral form because actual populists can be robbed and nationalist capitalists can be purchased.\
If we are not to lurch ever-forward into an eventual violent revolution in the midst of increased radiation and toxicity, reduced resources, increased hierarchical oppression, and the breakdown of international economy as it destroys its energy and food and water and human resources, we need an approach that does not involve waiting for highly placed goons who have every reason to fear serious prosecution upon losing power to decide to allow an authentic election.
The mid-century saw a shift from violence and violent revolt towards mass non-violence and civil disobedience. Gene Sharp documented the relative success of mass non-violence thoroughly. But the ruling class has moved to block this fairly effectively by a range of tactics:
- Refined propaganda, including near-complete control of commercial media and a tightening Web
- Infiltration and distortion of social groups
- Selective violence (far beyond what is well documented)
- Selective kidnapping and torture
- Agents provacateurs
- (usually) Non-lethal violence that can be advertised as benign or morally acceptable or ambiguous
This must be done on many levels, right from the ground up. It really does involve gardening and talking at the public library. But many people who are doing such things are setting aside a good deal of political action, and such things will be expensive to ignore.
in terms of political response, we will need some group that is not beholden to Democrats nor Republicans. This might be a group outside of either party; it might be a group inside of either, but beholden to neither, and with aggressive intent.
But guys, this is not going to be Bernie Sanders. If you are going to do this, you have to show that you will vote against party leaders who lead the party to ruin.