The Case Against the Global Economy: And for a Turn Towards Localization
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The greatest political debate of our time is about the blind rush towards a single global economy, its consequences for jobs, democracy, human well-being and cultural diversity, and its impact on the natural world that sustains us. Its effects will be profound and irreversible, but globalization itself is not inevitable. In The Case Against the Global Economy, 24 leading economic, agricultural, cultural and environmental authorities, drawn from across the world, argue that free trade and economic globalization are producing exactly the opposite results to those promised. From a detailed analysis of the new global economy, its structures and its full social and ecological implications, they show how it is undermining our liberty, our security and our well-being, and is devastating the planet. First published in the USA in 1996, in an edition focused on North America, the book won the American Political Science Association award for the Best Book in Ecological and Transformational Politics. This completely revised and updated international edition presents a passionate and persuasive case for the need to reverse course, away from globalization and towards a revitalized democracy, local self-sufficiency and ecological health.
national averages rather than actual individual incomes. If we take into account the very rich people who live in poor countries and the very poor people who live in rich countries, the incomes of the richest 20 per cent of the world’s people are approximately 150 times those of the poorest 20 per cent. That gap is growing as well. Robert Reich, the US secretary of labour in the Clinton administration, explained in his book The Work of Nations (1991) that the economic globalization the Bretton
agreements and strategic alliances to assume foreign identities whenever it suits their purposes. In so doing, they develop chameleon-like abilities to change their identities to resemble insiders wherever they are operating. As one CEO put it, ‘When we go to Brussels, we’re member states of the EEC and when we go to Washington we’re an American company too.’ Whenever they need to, they will wrap themselves up in the national flag of choice to get support for tax breaks, research subsidies or
corporality. So when conditions in a community or country become unfavourable – safety standards become too rigid or workers are not submissive – a corporation can dematerialize and rematerialize in another town or country. This tendency is dramatically accelerated under the new free trade regimes. If a corporation is not a person or thing, what is it? It is basically a concept that is given a name, and a legal existence, on paper. Though there is no such actual creature, our laws recognize the
Society Publishers, 1992) and editor of a forthcoming collection on the politics of biotechnology (Zed Books, 2000). He teaches at the Institute for Social Ecology and Goddard College, both in Plainfield, Vermont. Tokar received a 1999 Project Censored Award for his investigative history of Monsanto, which originally appeared in The Ecologist, vol 28, no 5, Sept/Oct 1998. In the 1990s, the Monsanto corporation was feared and reviled as one of the world’s largest chemical companies, and by far
argument that to favour localization is a kind of ‘protectionism’, which is a term that’s been given a very pejorative cast in the age of free trade (Chapter 25). Hines and Lang argue for a new protectionism that proclaims the intrinsic right of citizens of all communities and nations to work toward local solutions, local development and the protection of local resources, workers and nature. Global trade should be an economic option primarily when local conditions inadequately satisfy local