Some comment on "globalization" (an article by Scott Marshall)

joelw at joelw at
Tue Sep 4 11:10:29 MDT 2001

Globalization and the class struggle

By Scott Marshall

The following is abridged from a report given to the National Board of 
the CPUSA. A second section will follow next week. The full report is 
available online at 

The fight against capitalist globalization is central to the class 
struggle today. It touches and affects virtually every economic, social 

and political struggle of the working class and oppressed people the 
world over. More and more, our actions and plans must make the linkage 
clear and fight for the global integration of struggles to match the 
global economic integration now dominated by monopoly capital. Some have 

called it globalizing peace, justice and equality. 
We must also be clear on an overall strategic concept of defeating the 
ultra right. Building the broadest possible coalitions and alliances to 

rebuff the ultra right and fighting capitalist globalization are not two 

different or separate tracks of struggle. They are two totally 
intertwined sides of the same struggle.  
The huge concentration of wealth and power in this new global level of 
monopoly capital is the material base for more global corporate control. 

It is the basis for fresh attacks on democracy and a more vicious ultra 

right. The struggle against the effects of capitalist globalization is 
increasingly a political fight for democracy to break the ultra right's 

haughty power. 
We understand that no dynamic process of monopoly capitalism or 
imperialism takes place outside the context of the class struggle. We 
know that they - the rulers, the owners and the flunkies of monopoly 
capital - don't hold all the cards. They can be curbed and even 
defeated. It's the interests of the vast majority of people on our 
planet versus a tiny handful.  
Why is it important to restate this basic idea? Because, based on 
appearances, it is too easy to conclude that you can't fight City Hall. 

The death of Carlo Giuliani in Genoa has already sent a shudder through 

the anti-globalization movement, as did the hundreds of protesters sent 

to the hospital in those demonstrations. Many parts of the coalition are 

examining their participation. Some are tempted to conclude that the 
forces arrayed against them are just too strong. But most are even more 

determined to fight back.  
It is important to remind ourselves that Seattle was a victory. Quebec 
was a victory. Genoa was a victory. The capitalist globalizers' use of 
force and the fact that they cannot hold a meeting on trade in any major 

city is a sign of weakness. 
The economic downturn (that even many big business economists now see as 

a potential global recession) will also impact the anti-globalization 
In part, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Free Trade Area of the 

Americas and other treaties are attempts, in the interests of capital, 
to regulate competition and smooth over potential trade, and even hot 
wars, between the big imperialist economies. Even this limited function 

is threatened by the economic downturn. 
This is how Michael Moore, the secretary general of the WTO, put it 
early in the year: 
"The world economy is looking vulnerable … The U.S. economy, motor for 
the world economy, is stuttering. A recession in America could export 
trouble to the rest of the world. An upsurge in protectionism could make 

things much worse." 
Moore in his speech is quite pessimistic about reaching an agreement in 

Qatar. He goes on to say that, absent an agreement, the world should 
brace for new rounds of protectionism, stagnation and declining profits. 

And as we all know, a global recession threatens even more political 
danger from the ultra right. 
Without going into a lot of facts and figures, it is pretty evident that 

the growing global economic slowdown aggravates most of the negatives of 

capitalist globalization: poverty and inequality increase, exploitation 

and oppression intensify, racism and national chauvinism and 
anti-immigrant hysteria intensify, degradation of the environment and 
destruction of rural and farming life speed up. 
On the other side of the class struggle there is just a hell of a lot of 

things going on in the fight against globalization. Pivotal is the 
Global Justice Week of Action in Washington, D.C., to protest the annual 

joint International Monetary Fund/World Bank meeting. A whole week of 
activity is being planned for Sept. 24 through Oct. 1.  
Mobilization committees for the actions have been established in several 

key cities. They have been endorsed by a wide range of organizations 
including the AFL-CIO, Jobs with Justice and the 50 Years is Enough 
coalition. They unite the broad spectrum of anti-globalization 
A central struggle against globalization is the fight to defeat "fast 
track" and the FTAA. This will be an important part of the Global Week 
of Action. We have a special responsibility in this fight against 
capitalist globalization in the belly of the imperialist beast. 
It is key that we place the question of capitalist globalization in 
relation to every other area of struggle, and in relation to every other 

coalition-building effort. Globalization is the dominant process of 
monopoly capitalism today, far beyond what has ever existed before. Thus 

the struggle to curb capitalist globalization is the central feature of 

the class struggle today. 

Scott Marshall is

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