“ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE",
BUT ONLY IF WE ACT TOGETHER!
Speech to 40,000 from the German ATTAC Movement, Köln, 14/09/02
Johan Galtung, Director TRANSCEND: A Peace and Development Network
The first priority for a decent economic market is to satisfy the basic
needs of the most needy. Beyond the basics for the human body they
include freedom and meaning with life beyond material consumption. And
the most basic need of all: survival.
Instead hundred thousand die daily from hunger and easily curable
diseases. With half of humanity living on less than $2 per day the
choice of products is an illusion, let alone the basic choices of
vocation, job, place to live, spouse. Materialist consumerism kills
spirituality all over and turn humans into beasts. And the system that
gives freedom to produce and consume only to the rich is preserved and
expanded by massive killing.
The first priority for a decent globalization would be for people of
all genders, generations, races, classes, nations and countries to work
together for the basic needs for all. But we get a system dominated by
middle-aged, white, middle and upper class males, often Christian and
Anglo-Saxon, from the USA, UK and other rich countries enforcing their
caricature of globalization. Their markets penetrate all borders. With
monetization, privatization, and ever increasing labor productivity
people die, and die, with no protection,
exposed to market, army, navy and air forces.
Right now only the local communities, singly or combined in
confederations can provide a habitat focused on basic needs. A very
inspiring model is Ariyaratne's Sarvodaya in Sri Lanka, including about
11,000 of the country's 38,000 villages. And technologically Ashok
Khosla's Development alternatives in India, and Mohammed Yunus' grameen
credit system. A life in dignity for all is entirely possible, all
over, if those "forces" step aside.
For such things to happen we need massive civil society movements like
ATTAC, the World Social Forum from Porto Alegre, capable of standing up
against what Le Monde Diplomatique called the Axis of Evil: the World
Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the
World Trade Organization. And we need governments who do not make their
soldiers available for ever more corporate profit.
We need people who become the masters and not the slaves of the market
system. The United Nations has three major goals:
- peace: resolving conflicts by peaceful means;
- development: a life in dignity for all, with basic needs met;
- sustainability: development not compromising future generations.
Let us get a ranking of exactly where corporations of the world stand on
these three so that we know which ones to boycott and which ones to
support. Their average profit is about 6%, but even less boycott than
that will have an impact. They have reduced the power of workers
through automation. But customers, us, they need.
If economists cannot tell how to satisfy basic needs but only how to
make economic growth-corporate book-keeping writ large-and cannot tell
which corporations to support and which not, then provide for early
retirement and train a new generation. Many neo-liberal
economists today are murderers badly disguised anyhow.
If the media can only report economic growth or the lack thereof, and
particularly for the finance economy with their love for the stock
exchanges (that was how "globalization" as a word started), then let us
train development journalists able to report from the bottom of this
killing economy, of misery and avoidable death and of how people around
the world mobilize for dignity.
And let us fight for a global governance run by an improved UN, with a
People's Assembly--not run by corporate greed--focused on the right of
every human being on earth to a life in dignity.
1)Moderates All Over The World, Unite!
3) Globalisation And Europe-Asia: Risks And Opportunities
Please forward these articles to individuals, friends and organisations
you believe may be interested in receiving them. If you would like to
re-print these articles in your magazine or journal, please feel free to
do so, including a reference to their source and link to the TRANSCEND
web-site at www.transcend.org. Organisations and individuals wishing to
include the articles on their web-sites are asked to do so by creating
links to the
TRANSCEND web-site at www.transcend.org