Amongst many other analyses and debates, the more extensive awareness of the active role of the state and of states in the purportedly highly successful 'market economies' in East Asia and South East Asia is bringing discussion of the role of state back into quite mainstream development discourse.
South Africa is playing a significant role in supporting and extending the power of the World Trade Organisation, a new system of global government. This not only entails South Africa surrendering its own policy-making rights and space, but also means bargaining away the South African peoples’ democratic rights to determine their country’s internal economic, environmental, social and cultural policies.
Europe’s aggressive external market
access agenda, combined with its push internally for market reforms in the
interest of competitiveness, poses new threats to workers in the North and South and will need a transnational trade union response.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
Susan George appeared on the major French radio network France Inter to debate the financial crisis and regulation. Her most recent book "Their Crises, Our Solutions" has been published in French ("Leurs Crises, Nos Solutions"); the English version is due to be published in September.
In a recent editorial comment, The Economist issued a solemn call to all believers in global capitalism not to despair, not to panick, and to do nothing that could endanger the capitalist system (October 18-24, 2008). The magazine invoked the words and spirit of its founder, the Scottish businessman, James Wilson, who, about 165 years ago, gave the paper the philosophy of "economic liberty".
The challenges facing policy makers, analysts and activists dedicated to formulating environmentally sound, social and economically sound trade policies demand that we redefine the role and purpose of trade altogether.
The U.S. and India should not sign a treaty that will only serve the short-term interests of large corporations, and undermine the authority of governments to protect their people from financial crisis.
The only feasible way out of the ecological crisis is a new, environmental Keynesianism, bringing together government, corporations and citizens. The problem is to convince politicians that ecological transformation and environmental practices can pay off politically, argues Susan George.
Deeply involved in the preparation of the 1975 military coup in Chile, the so-called Chicago Boys convinced the Junta generals that they were prepared to supplement the brutality, which the military possessed, with the intellectual assets it lacked. Here Orlando Letelier, TNI's second director, reflects on the impact their economic ideology had on Chile and by default shares pertinent observations on the legacy that persists today.
Alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation are needed that not only change people-to-people and South-South relations and situations, but also South-North relations and inter-actions to the benefit of all of humanity and our common planetary home.
Marica Frangakis, Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Athens
07 October 2011
Every story needs a narrative, an explanation of why things happened the way they did. In such a narrative lie the answers of how to avoid/correct similar developments in the future and how to propagate positive ones.
The language contained in agreements being negotiated by the EU through the WTO with their southern counterparts often deliberately diguises real political goals, obscuring the negative economic implications for those countries of the neoliberal agenda.