The World is not a Commodity - Another World is Possible! - May 2002
Declaration of Attac: For a Solidarian World Economy and Against Neoliberal Globalization
By Oliver Moldenhauer et.al.
[This declaration is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, www.attac-netzwerk.de/ratschalg02ffm/rs_ausgabe.php?id=7;.]
Globalization is an upheaval of historical dimensions. Globalization changes society with enormous speed and cuts deeply in our living conditions. In the past, it was dominated one-sidedly by powerful economic interests, large banks, investment funds, transnational corporations and other great owners of capital. Its model is neo-liberalism. According to this ideology, social problems can best be solved when left to the market and private firms.
The neo-liberal promise that globalization brings prosperity for all is not fulfilled. On the contrary:
· The social chasm between North and South has become deeper. While the rich become ever richer, poverty grows in the Third World. Through financial and economic crises, whole national economies are ruined over night and hundreds of thousands lose their jobs. * Poverty returns in the industrial countries. Social insecurity, exclusion and injustice increase among us. The social security systems are dismantled and threatened by privatization. Pensions, health and education become commodities. * Democracy is undermined because global players threatening to change "location" increasingly dictate policy. * New inequalities arise between the genders. The deregulation of labor markets and social cuts are carried out with the help of underpaid and unpaid flexible women's work. Men's work is also increasingly deregulated and globalized according to this model of unprotected flexible low-wage jobs worldwide.
· Globalization has led to a crass increase of sexist and structural violence against women as for example in transnational trade with women and children. The vast majority of victims of the new globalized wars are women and children. * The solution of environmental problems is delayed. The natural foundations of life are destroyed through submission under the market logic. * Cultural diversity is leveled by an economically powerful culture industry. The suggestive power of advertising and brand names or logos determine value orientations and social models.
· Beside other reasons, there are hegemonial interests and new sources of raw materials (oil and gas) for whose security rich industrial states increasingly carry out military plans and belligerent interventions. Neo-liberal globalization has produced very many losers and only a few winners. It favors political destabilization and is a cause for violence, war and terrorism. This leads to the justification for worldwide rearmament, militarization and the undermining of democratic rights.
We Need Another Politics
Neo-liberal globalization is in no way fateful and without alternative. Neo-liberal globalization is pursued systematically by the governments of large industrial countries and with help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Germany and the European Union (EU) play a crucial role both inwardly (liberalization of domestic markets) and also in the neo-liberal preparation of the world economy.
There were and are economic and social alternatives. We champion an ecological and solidarian world economic order. In it there will be more international cooperation with equal rights and a sustainable development of the North and the South that is environmentally-friendly. We want a world in which democracy is guaranteed for all people and cultural diversity survives.
This goals will only gain acceptance if there is a strong social movement that acts internationally. Attac is part of this movement which formed in Seattle, Prague, Genoa and other places and developed further at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre.
· As part of the non-parliamentary movement, Attac contributes to a comprehensive democratization of society.
· Attac argues for a new world economic order in which the wealth of the world is distributed justly and used ecologically.
· Attac is an element of the anti-war and peace movement because a just world is not possible without peace.
· an end of new war preparations and wars and for civil and peaceful conflict resolutions. We reject a militarization of foreign policy and combat deployments of the German army abroad.
· the introduction of a tax on international financial transactions, the so-called Tobin tax and the use of revenues for international environmental and development projects.
· the closing of tax havens, the regulation of derivatives and the prohibition of highly speculative funds (so-called hedge-funds).
· increased taxation of capital incomes and mammoth assets,
· resolution of the debt crises of developing countries, the ending of neo-liberal structural adjustment and the replacement of the dictatorship of creditors by a fair and transparent process.
· a world trade order that grants priority to the interests of developing countries, socially disadvantaged and the environment.
· international institutions that serve these goals and not the interests of industrial countries, corporations and corrupt elites.
· a democratic and social Europe that is oriented in human needs and solidarity with the other parts of the world. We oppose the limitation of the right of demonstation, personal freedom and the right to free speech. We repudiate the criminalization of the movement against neo-liberal globalization.
· a democratic reform of public services. We support a level of social security that makes possible a dignified life for all. We oppose privatization of public services and the abandonment of public provisions, for example in the health- and education system and water provision as threatened in the scope of the GATS agreement. We reject the privatization of public goods and genetic resources.
· a system of solidarian provision for old age.
· Re-distribution and upgrading of paid and unpaid work in the framework of the international sex-specific division of labor.
· a social and ecological development of agriculture. We repudiate genetically altered products and patents on life.
· the regulation and restriction of the power of transnational corporations and economic power conglomerations through cartels and mergers. We urge higher business taxes, living wages, worker rights and rights of joint decision for employees, equal or comparable conditions and social and ecological standards.
Together let us act for the future of our world!