globalization is an irreversible reality

Dayne Goodwin dayneg at
Wed Jun 6 12:38:21 MDT 2001

         From Fidel Castro's message to the Ministerial Meeting of the
Group of 77, September 19, 1999:

        . . ."Globalization is an irreversible reality characterized by
the growing interaction of all countries in the world, their economies and
peoples.  The major scientific and technical advances have shortened
distances and allowed for direct communication and transmission of
information among countries located anywhere on the planet.
        "With its impressive technological achievements, globalization
holds tremendous potential for development, the eradication of poverty and
fostering well-being in conditions of social equality for all humanity. .

        "Far from promoting the expansion of development throughout an
increasingly interdependent world badly in need of sharing the progress
achieved, neoliberal globalization has aggravated existing inequalities
and raised to inordinate heights social inequities and the most disturbing
contrasts between extreme wealth and extreme poverty.
        "In 1960, the difference of incomes between the wealthiest 20
percent of the world's population living in the developed countries and
those of the poorest 20 percent living in the Third World was 30 to one.
By 1997, that ratio was 74 to one.  The cult of deregulated markets had
promised a convergence of development levels.  However the last two
decades have brought an even greater concentration of revenues and
resources and a wider gap between developed and underdeveloped nations.
        "The OECD member countries, with 19 percent of the world's
population, account for 71 percent of the international trade in goods and
services, 58 percent of direct foreign investment and 91 percent of all
internet users. . .

        From Fidel Castro's speech to the opening session of the South
Summit of the Group of 77, April 12, 2000:

        . . . "After World War II, Latin America had no debt, but today we
owe almost one trillion dollars.  This is the region with the highest per
capita debt in the world and also the greatest income difference between
the rich and the poor.  There are more poor, unemployed and hungry people
in Latin America now than at any other time in its history.
        "Under neoliberalism the world economy has not been growing faster
in real terms; however, there is more instability, speculation, external
debt and unequal exchange.  Likewise, there is a greater tendency to
financial crises occurring more often while poverty, inequality and the
gap between the wealthy North and dispossed South continues to widen. . .

        "If Cuba has successfully carried out education, health care,
culture, science, sports and other programs, which nobody in the world
would question, despite four decades of economic blockade, and revalued
its currency seven times in the last five years in relation to the US
dollar, it has been thanks to its privileged position as a non-member of
the International Monetary Fund. . .

        "In Seattle there was a revolt against neoliberalism.  Its most
recent precedent has been the refusal to accept the imposition of the
Multilateral Agreement on Investments.  This shows that the aggressive
market fundamentalism, which has caused great damage to our countries, has
found a strong and deserved world rejection. . .

        . . . "Globalization is an objective reality underlining the fact
that we are all passengers on the same vessel - this planet where we all
live.  But passengers on this vessel are traveling in very different
        "A trifling minority is traveling in luxurious cabins furnished
with the internet, cell phones and access to global communication
networks.  They enjoy a nutritional, abundant and balanced diet as well as
clean water supplies.  They have access to sophisticated medical care and
        "The overwhelming and suffering majority is traveling in
conditions that resemble the terrible slave trade from Africa to America
in our colonial past.  That is, 85 percent of the passengers on this ship
are crowded together in its dirty hold, suffering hunger, disease and
        "Obviously, this vessel is carrying too much injustice to remain
afloat . . .

        quotes from _Capitalism in Crisis: Globalization and World
Politics Today_; a selection of excerpts from speeches and addresses by
Fidel Castro (from May 1998 to April 2000), edited by David Deutschmann;
Ocean Press, Melbourne & New York, in association with Editora Politica,
Havana, 2000.

        A recent exchange on this list gave the impression that we should
be against *globalization*.  I think we should be against *capitalist*
globalization; this is currently called "corporate globalization" among
many activists in the US. Castro refers to neoliberal globalization.
        Many US activists are counterposing "democratic" globalization or
"globalization from below" to corporate globalization.  These perspectives
foreshadow the proletarian globalization, the international working class
solidarity we need. Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite.
        Dayne Goodwin

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