‘A guidebook helps those who search. In a time of “infinite war”, when we confront the infinite stupidity, lies and arrogance of power, we search for those values and practices that keep us true to our dreams and aspirations for another world. This book guides us into that search, and it does it beautifully.’
Massimo De Angelis, Editor of The Commoner
‘A demystifying roadmap of the ideas and events which have shaped the movement.’
Robert Ross, environmental activist
‘Exciting, heartfelt, eloquent. This is the most coherent elaboration so far of globalization-praxis. Its arguments should be taken on board by activists and intellectuals who are serious about social change.’
Patrick Bond, author of Against Global Apartheid
“Don’t Owe! Won’t Pay!”
“Get Rid of them All!”
“No Patents on Life!”
“Another World is Possible!”
…The struggles against corporate power and the institutions of globalization grow more courageous and confident year by year. Millions of people have already become active in rejecting corporate globalization and developing alternatives to it. Millions more know that something is terribly wrong and are ready to begin taking action. This book is for them.
Amory Starr is author of Naming the Enemy, a precognition of the emergent anti-globalization network written in 1997. Here she provides, in concise and delightful style and with activist insight:
- A history of the movements’ convergence.
- A précis of their analyses and aims.
- A digest of the ongoing controversies and dilemmas.
- An inspiring compendium of popular tactics.
photos by Tim Russo, Independent Media Activist
from the introduction
Global elites, their political henchmen, and media sycophants insist that economic growth, international trade, elimination of subsidies, and privatization will alleviate poverty. Activists’ blossoming confidence that another world is possible is well-rooted.
Analysis of the effects of structural adjustment and free trade policies reveal that their promises are flagrantly unfulfilled. Indeed their impacts have been perverse. Apparently, globalization only works for the rich. Even high-profile administrators of neoliberalism have deserted. Their insider revelations are hardly news to the non-governmental organizations which have been carefully collecting data for decades. Inequality has increased in nearly every country and internationally, the conditions of life for the poor and indigenous have steadily deteriorated, and the environment on which we all depend has been irrevocably damaged.
In what ought to be a crowning finale of its very existence, the World Bank admits that its programs undermine its core economic shibboleth, economic growth. Damning also is the collapse of the obedient “developing nations” of Southeast Asia and Latin America, as well as the failure of the command-capitalist South Korean regime (the only country ever to graduate from third to first world status). The evidence has accumulated to the point that, for those familiar with it, there is little further to be discussed. The holy trinity of export/trade/growth is exposed as a manipulative fraud and each new invocation of the dead and absurd promises of development — that it will bring peace, heal the environment, or end poverty —is more transparent than the previous. The economic and political system promoted by globalization is not only morally bankrupt, but no longer credible in economic practice.
This book is a guide intended to familiarize interested parties with the anti-globalization movement and to provide direction for further research and exploration of the “movement of movements”. Because many exhaustive analyses of the machinations of globalization have already been written (you have probably read several of them) and because this book is focused on the resistance to globalization, this introduction will provide only a rudimentary review of the basis for opposition.
welcome to the revolt against globalization
What follows is a guidebook intended as an accessible introduction to the movement, not an evaluation or quantification of it. The book is organized in four sections. You should read only the bits that look helpful, and in any order you please.
The first section is a history of the formative threads of the revolt. This history deflates the myth that the movement began in the Global North (the first world) in 1999 at a protest in Seattle. It traces the impetus of the current movement emerging from the Global South (the third world, postcolonial nations, or majority world) in a struggle underway for nearly two decades prior to Seattle.
The second section summarizes movement manifestos. While not exactly points of consensus, these are widely shared. Again, you will notice that most of the important manifestos were forged in the Global South. And you will notice that they take for granted neither the inevitability of globalization, nor the desirability of modernization, nor the forms of freedom pursued by postmodernists. This section presents these manifestos with respect and without external ideological litmus tests.
The third section examines the major controversies in the movement, both ideological and strategic. Some of these are well known outside of the movement, others are not. Some are high-profile debates, others are subterranean conflicts yet to be actively addressed.
The last section introduces some of the most popular tactics of collaboration. The movements are diverse, dispersed, and incredibly creative, so this is only a small sample of some of the more visible tactics. Please be aware that this tactical discussion is very basic and should not be used as a training manual, campaign blueprint, or activist handbook. (Please do seek out some training.)
table of contents
another world is possible: how do we know
it didn’t start in seattle & it didn’t stop on 911
we do know what we are for
the world social forum
reinventing democracy, redefining progress
don’t owe! won’t pay!
drop the debt
farmers need access to local,
not global, markets
no patents on life!
reclaim the commons
no borders! no nations! stop deportations!
classical free trade theory confronts fortress europe
get rid of them all!
the importance of argentina and anti-elitism
we are going to work together
anti-globalization since 911
this is what democracy looks like
we are not only for, we are also against
back in black
anarchism & autonomy
spikey vs. fluffy
the subsistence perspective
we are going to take direct action
the streets belong to the people
be the media!
independent media centers
reinventing direct democracy
breaking the spell
diversity of tactics
citizenship of the absurd
why we dance
like a lamp
we are winning