Some comment on "globalization" (an article by Scott Marshall)
joelw at bgnet.bgsu.edu
joelw at bgnet.bgsu.edu
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 www.cpusa.org
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
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
More information about the Marxism