Letter to the Editors
— Sidney J. Gluck
WORKING PEOPLE AROUND the world are “natural” allies against a common dominant class from seven major capitalist countries which has until now shaped the destiny of the people in 128 developing countries. The twenty one small developed countries and twenty eight in transition are constrained to deal with the pressure of foreign capital on their own internal development. Hence 77.7% of the population in developing countries are harnessed by the financial class from countries with 11.6% of the world's population. Transitional and minor countries comprising 10.8% of the world population are yet to find full freedom. (China is among the developing countries in these statistics.)
The organizations behind the Prague demonstrations (and Seattle), together with militant trade unions, ethnic, feminist and gay movements and believers in socialism, all share opposition to the effects of corporate dominance on people and the environment. All have the same “class enemy,” so to speak. It was a pragmatic Lenin who said, “The tactics of social transformation are to undertake such actions as teach the masses who is the class enemy.” He said further that the struggle for social change is a many-sided struggle for democracy -- economic, social and political. It is a sign of progress when rich nations are forced to pledge debt relief and on interest payments that often negated the rate of accumulation.
To quote from the New York Times of September 25, 2000, “Intellectual ammunition of the anti-globalists . . . led James D. Wolfensohn, the World Bank President, to use some very strong language here [in Prague] . . . Today you have 20 percent of the world controlling 80 percent of the gross domestic product,” he said. “You've got a $30 trillion economy and $24 trillion of it in developed countries. The income of the top 20 is 3 times the income of the bottom 20, and it has doubled in the last decade. These inequities cannot exist. So if you are looking for systemic breakdown, I believe you have to think today in terms of social breakdown.”
World economic integration has been an inevitable process for centuries. “Globalization” is its latest, most predatory form. A growing mass movement is finding its voice against corporate domination to cure capitalism's “free ride.” The movement has yet to gel. No doubt, splitting influences leading to violent expressions will have to be overcome. The movement should be joined, listened to, and ultimately convinced that together we can all create a more equitable society -- which some call socialism -- in incremental victories for democracy that will ultimately overwhelm corporate power with people's power.
ATC 90, January-April 2001