"All for ourselves and nothing for other people seems in every age of the world to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind," said Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations. Either we learn to keep the market but eliminate the rapacity and environmental destructiveness of globalised capitalism or it will destroy us.
Talk of the dangers of trade protectionism is used by European politicians to obscure the need for protection from transnational corporations whose control of European trade policy continues to cause negative social and environment impacts. Susan George and Myriam Vander Stichele debate MEP Ignasi Guardans and Chief Economist DG Trade, Gaspar Frontini, in TNI's Debating Europe series.
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.
Since the current financial crisis started, none of the governments, experts or media who have called for new regulations for the financial industry have taken into account rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which actually impose extreme financial service deregulation on many WTO member countries.
The global rise in food prices is not only a consequence of using food crops to produce biofuels, but of the "free trade" policies promoted by international financial institutions. Now peasant organisations are leading the opposition to a capitalist industrial agriculture.
The Economist has attributed the term "deglobalisation" to Walden Bello. Whilst the magazine considers the term a negative one, Bello argues that it is fast becoming a reality and offers a paradigm for escaping the neoliberal straitjacket.