post S26 (Jim O'Connor)

Lisa & Ian Murray seamus at
Tue Oct 10 21:45:33 PDT 2000


I agree with Doug and Ian, the pre-Seattle and post-Seattle agitwork has

been tremendous. I haven't seen the likes of it since the 1960s. I've

even decided to finish a book on global capital and all that, so stoked we

are here. I disagree that "making democratization the watchword for all

forms of economic/political governance and self-management while avoiding

(factionalization)" will yield the results many want. First because

"democracy" as we practice it is a procedural question not a substantive


*** I, for one, was thinking along the lines of Diane Elson's notion of "Socializing Markets..." especially as democratization of property rights shifts from the right to exclude to the right not to be excluded. Additionally, we DO need to reinvigorate discussion of procedures especially in light of what liberalism thought was procedural rationality [democracy] was really oligarchic rationality. A lot of groups in Seattle for instance, broke away from Public Citizen's organizing strategy precisely because they couldn't practice what they preached on democratic decision making. This allowed for a far greater range of ideas and tactics to be discussed and implemented.


Second. once you get into substance, the different, clashing interests at

work in world economy will force splits, schools of thought, opposed

political groups, etc. These splits have already happened,

largely without

debate and behind closed doors. John Cavanagh, long-time anti-globalist,

calls our movement the "anti-corporate globalization movement," which

obviously keeps organized labor and the big enviro ores in the game.

Labor isn't against the corporations, which feed the workers. They are

against certain corporate globalization practices, e.g., export platforms

that grow at the expense of union jobs in the US. Big green is also not

against corporations as such: they depend on big money for their grants

etc. They just want the corporations to tread more lightly on nature. ***** The triumph of self-immobilizing dissensus eh? Big green is practicing neo-corporatism a la the european style precisely because of the asymmetric financial flows; they live only as knowledge workers who have better access and understanding of environmental science and how to TRY to turn it into capital friendly sustainability strategies. Labor, globally, would probably like a neo-corporatist arrangement if they could get it; way doubtful at this stage.

JO'C>> Meanwhile, labor is for globalization, to the degree that globalization

expands US exports especially by unionized employers, e.g., Boeing. And

the big unions here are more or less deaf to the demands of the

antigloblist movement in the South, e.g., technology transfer and market

opening in the north. **** This is precisely one of the bazillion things we must work to change. Seattleites are workin' on Boeing, it's partly why the split came on the China issue. Even the machinists know the problem isn't Chinese workers, it's their Boss exploiting two governments. It'll only get stranger...


I could continue in this vein, but stop with just

one more example of the coming divisions, organized divisions,

ideologically opposed divisions in the antiglobalist movement. South

farmers by and large are threatened by especially Anglophone agricultural

interests and exports. And the former tend to be very anti-globalization, **** Well they like globalization without the WTO because only it has the power to take away their lobbyists. US agribusiness couldn't exist in the free market, just look at the "Freedom to Farm Act" of '96 and Subsidies and monopsony in a huge positive feedback loop...


when it comes to food and raw material production and exports, esp. when

subsidies are involved, as they are, Australian food raw material exports

excepted. The US and Europe of course scream at each other to "lower

agricultural trade barriers" as well as plot how they'll share

the food and

materials mkt in the South, if and when WTO begins to enforce trade

provisions for agriculture. ********* Agriculture and the attempt to ram a "free logging" agreement down everyone's throat could be the WTO's undoing if we play our cards right and could even provide a platform for public debate of aeco-socialist ethics that pushes aside deep ecology. Economic reasoning applied to living systems doth not go [time grains are too incommensurable, Harold Hotelling's revenge]


South farmers therefore are objectively

against (or on the other side of the food export issue) compared

with small

European farming and also small US farms which are highly

capitalized hence

highly productive. The problem with Ian's approach is that, so long as the

issues are constructed the way they are today, small farmers in the US and

EU would benefit from trade rules that would ruin many small

farmers in the

South. ****** According to a UW agricultural economist who sat on a panel with Michael Moore on Oct. 1, at the current rate it will take 70 years to achieve free trade in agricultural production. Cargill, ADM etc. will have enlisted the US Gov. to get rid of small farmers in the South long before then, all the while trying to fend off rivalry from the Europeans. Ecosystem "spheres of influence" and all that....Small farmers in the US may be gone by then too; farm insurance could ruin 'em real fast.


This kind of thing is exactly why we internationalists, socialists,

secularists, etc., need an independent organization so that we can propose

independent solutions. ******* Got $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ?


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