Reclaiming globalisation - blog by lifelinking

 




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Reclaiming globalisation
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Posted 13-Dec-2010 at 01:15 AM (01:15) by lifelinking
Updated 13-Dec-2010 at 10:50 AM (10:50) by lifelinking

Globalisation is one of those words that means different things to different people and in different contexts. Sometimes people get a bit sloppy about what it means, often using it as shorthand for global capitalism. Thus people of the centre left and left sometimes use it as a term of criticism, when what they are actually being critical of are things like neo liberalism. And people of the right accuse liberals, leftists and progressives of being 'anti globalisation', as if the term was synonymous with being anti progress. Chomsky writes:

Quote:
"Globalization" just means International integration. No sane person is "anti globalization." That should be particularly obvious for the labor movement and the left; the term "international" is not exactly unknown in their history."
One of the by products of discourse about globalisation is that in the face of a global injustice, we feel impotent to do anything about it. The mantra has been to 'think global - act local', but while this often may be effective, at times it may also be limited in what it can achieve. There is an unspoken assumption that only global capital has the money and the power to be able to work trans nationally (and of course, it is in the interest of global capital that we go on thinking this way), but is this the case? Surely ordinary people should also be able to organise and 'think global - act global'? That is the simple idea that lies behind the World Social Forum. The forum describes itself on its own website as follows:

Quote:
The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action. Since the first world encounter in 2001, it has taken the form of a permanent world process seeking and building alternatives to neo-liberal policies. This definition is in its Charter of Principles, the WSFs guiding document.

The World Social Forum is also characterized by plurality and diversity, is non-confessional, non-governmental and non-party. It proposes to facilitate decentralized coordination and networking among organizations engaged in concrete action towards building another world, at any level from the local to the international, but it does not intend to be a body representing world civil society. The World Social Forum is not a group nor an organization.

Photo from Wiki - Noam Chomsky at the 2003 World Social Forum.

Chomsky (P326-327) writes about the forum:

Quote:
In fact, the WSF is the most exciting and promising realisation of the hopes of the left and popular movements from their modern origins for a true international, which will produce a program of globalisation concerned with the needs and interests of people, rather than of illegitimate concentrations of power. These, of course, want to appropriate the term "globalization," to restrict it to their peculiar version of international integration, concerned with their own interests, those of people being incidental.
To think global and act local is laudable and can have positive effects, but is not enough on its own. I have highlighted things in previous posts such as the moral bankruptcy of big tobacco companies in the developing world and the fact that the humanitarian disaster caused by the floods earlier this year in Pakistan was actually caused by the unscrupulous activities of timber companies ravaging huge tracts of land. Unless we reclaim the word globalisation, and unless we start to communicate, engage, mobilise and act politically at that level, we will not be able to make any kind of impact on such issues.







Chomsky, N. (2002) A World Without War, in Arnove,A. (2008) The Essential Chomsky, Bodley Head.
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  1. Old Comment
    iamwombat's Avatar
    Are there any grass root or state sponsored re-foresting projects in Scotland? Just curious, and are you near county downes?
    The U.S.Social Forum rep. could not get permission to speak on our campus in 2008, this was in Kentucky.
    Most people I've met that even know about him, are convinced that anything to do with Chomsky sows anti-Americanism. I have been a reader/fan of his since the late 70's and I'm not a big fan of my own government in many respects, so maybe they are right. lol. Except for donating money, it is difficult to becme involved with the organization here. Most planning is made elsewhere by WSF and unless you volunteer in the area where an event will be held, attending is about all you can do. It would be nice to see a forum develope online that allows input and direction of events at a more regional level throughout the year, rather than single city annual media events.

    English people drink beer warm, because they have Lucas wired refrigerators.
    Posted 13-Dec-2010 at 10:23 AM (10:23) by iamwombat iamwombat is offline
  2. Old Comment
    lifelinking's Avatar
    Quote:
    Are there any grass root or state sponsored re-foresting projects in Scotland?
    Yes, there are a few, such as this.

    Quote:
    Just curious, and are you near county downes?
    Not that far away I suppose, but County Down is in Northern Ireland, I am in Scotland.

    Quote:
    The U.S.Social Forum rep. could not get permission to speak on our campus in 2008, this was in Kentucky.
    Wow. Who denied permission?

    Quote:
    Most people I've met that even know about him, are convinced that anything to do with Chomsky sows anti-Americanism.
    Yes, he is one of the great critical thinkers, and getting in a lather and throwing allegations of being 'Anti-American' is much easier than thinking about those criticisms.

    Quote:
    I have been a reader/fan of his since the late 70's and I'm not a big fan of my own government in many respects, so maybe they are right. lol. Except for donating money, it is difficult to becme involved with the organization here.
    Yes, I agree, but the model is one we can apply in other ways.

    Quote:
    It would be nice to see a forum develope online that allows input and direction of events at a more regional level throughout the year, rather than single city annual media events.
    ^^this^^

    Places like the Hub have real potential to develop in such ways.

    Quote:
    English people drink beer warm, because they have Lucas wired refrigerators.
    lol
    Posted 13-Dec-2010 at 10:44 AM (10:44) by lifelinking lifelinking is offline
  3. Old Comment
    iamwombat's Avatar
    Morehead State University has a student/faculty review proces. The application was denied to late for re-application by the Students for Social Change, a recognized student organization. The timing was construed to ensure it could not occur during the semester prior to the event it would be recruiting for in Lexington, a model city for Kentucky, just apart from the Kentucky Appalachians Poverty areas. Its a case of socially imbued sentiment based on religiosity and conservatism in a region where the very poor still support the means by which they are kept that way, coal mining and nasty plants to work in, a bank and a church on every corner.
    I like the hub venue, I've told a few people about it, and some will see it on my Fb (some will gasp) lol, I hope to finish reading through what blogs there are here soon.
    I'm evidently very geographically challenged, I thought County downs was in Scotland, in fact, I thought thats where Edinburgh is. Plant trees by all means! that link is one expensive way to do it, but in a concentrated forest of actual size, it could be a great addition I'm sure. My wife and I have done some arbor day events with free trees to the public, and we promote forest managment and preservation in a few States. I believe in trees.
    Posted 13-Dec-2010 at 11:27 AM (11:27) by iamwombat iamwombat is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Tweeted
    _______

    Reclaiming globalisation, by @Lifelinking http://goo.gl/nIaLF #politics #globalisation #chomsky #ukpolitics #Scotland
    Posted 13-Dec-2010 at 11:58 AM (11:58) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  5. Old Comment

    nice post

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    Posted 27-Jun-2011 at 09:52 AM (09:52) by Estateagents
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