Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 February 2000


Tobogganing towards disaster

THE WORLD Economic Forum in Davos has been punctuated by the shrill pronouncements of the crusaders of capitalist triumphalism, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. Both argued in their key-note speeches that it was the Anglo-Saxon economic model that was powering the world economy, adding that all other economic models should prostrate themselves before its 'success'.

For good measure they added that this globalised capitalism had to try and fulfil certain environmental and social responsibilities. Clinton and Blair may be triumphalist but they are forced to acknowledge, as fierce protests hit the genteel Swiss resort, that there is a large, restless section of society disenfranchised by and disenchanted with globalisation.

But this plea to be 'good' capitalists appears consumed by the other side of the globalisers' message. The Observer newspaper's theorist-in-chief, Will Hutton, commented that, in his eleventh visit to the Davos forum, the 'socially responsible' seminars were poorly attended. In contrast, huge attendances occurred at all the seminars on the internet and e-commerce sessions..

Hutton felt obliged to remark: "The 'hard' conversations are about how to maximise shareholder value and how to be a winner in the new economy."

But being a winner in this new economy means pursuing privatisation, deregulation and letting the market rip. The so-called new 'knowledge' economy based around e-commerce and internet stocks has created a further massive class divide in the world economy.

At the beginning of this new century some US internet entrepreneurs are enjoying obscene prosperity, as record-breaking stock market surges push internet shares - the so-called stocks - to many times the limit of what the companies could ever be worth. Yet, simultaneously over half the world's six billion population subsist on $3 a day or less.

Blair and Clinton talk of the internet revolution liberating mankind. But the developed countries have just 16% of the world's population but boast 90% of internet users.

In Ethiopia a personal computer costs 15 times the average annual income. One suburb of New York - Manhattan - has more telephone lines than all of sub-Saharan Africa.

The advanced capitalist countries invest over $30 billion more annually in telecoms than the developing world does. This means that the USA has 660 phone lines per 1,000 people, while in China there are 70; in Chad, Somalia and Afghanistan there is only one phone per 1,000 people.

But even within developed countries and within the underdeveloped countries there are massive wealth disparities. The gap is widening between countries and within all countries. In newly emerging capitalist China, has brought its owner, Charles Ziang, a fortune worth $4.5 million.

The internet has been successfully used by those organising protests against this rapacious global capitalism wherever it meets; Seattle or Switzerland. But access to the internet is also being used by capitalism as an increasingly sharp tool in its exploitation of working-class people at home and more savagely abroad in underdeveloped countries.

The success of the US bubble economy has been wildly exaggerated by its apostles Clinton and Blair. Inevitably it will burst and the over-inflated shares will come to earth with a greater bump than a novice skier in Davos.

That's why they fear the growing protests against globalisation. Currently these protests are loose, internet-based constructions. But as the Seattle protests showed organised labour is starting to flex its muscles against global capitalism.

The protests against capitalism are still inchoate, but they are not just against environmental damage or social injustice - as important as those issues are - but they also show widespread questioning of the capitalist sytem - whether it is the Blair/Clinton model or the social capitalist model pursued in Europe. Workers' struggles in France, Germany and Seattle show that just as capitalism is intent on pursuing its agenda worldwide, workers are also beginning to resist and unite globally to stop it.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 4 February 2000:

Student Protest Grows

Rail strike victory

Immigration - what's the problem?

Tobogganing towards disaster

Sweden's YRE exposes racist hypocrisy


Home   |   The Socialist 4 February 2000   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Women - fighting sexism, violence and capitalism

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleDebate: should tower blocks form part of socialist housing policy?

triangleWidening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

triangle2018: more upheavals loom


triangleAmber warning lights flash on British economy

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleNationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems


triangleSocialist sales highest in years as mistrust in capitalist media hits record levels

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution


triangleStop repression in Hong Kong and China

triangleCampaign against political repression in Hong Kong

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy



Victory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests



NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!



Carillion crisis: demand action to save jobs and services



Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence



Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS



Bigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation


Them & Us

Them & Us



Teacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding


Fire service

Fire service victory



Rail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up


Higher Education

Mobilise against rip-off executive pay



NHS in winter crisis as Branson creams off 1bn



Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes


Fat cats

Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



January 2018






















Platform setting: = No platform choice