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.


Read also

1)Moderates All Over The World, Unite!



3) Globalisation And Europe-Asia: Risks And Opportunities

19.09.02Globalisering - Europa og Asiens muligheder  http://www.arnehansen.net/030112Galtung-Glob-Europa-Asia.htm


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