Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/144/7731

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 February 2000

Editorial

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 dot.com 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, Sohu.com 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 dot.com 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:

Capitalism:

triangleLewisham & Southwark Socialist Party: Reform or Revolution?

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: France's 1968 'Month of Revolution'

triangleA socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union

triangleThe life and legacy of Martin Luther King

triangleTories fear youth revolt - fight for our future

Economy:

triangleSocialist Party congress 2018

triangleSpring Statement 2018: Tory austerity staggers on despite economic and political weakness

triangleTory infighting escalates - workers' action can oust them

triangleAmber warning lights flash on British economy

Capitalist:

triangleAntisemitism slurs: latest attempt to derail Corbynism

triangleFor a fighting, democratic Labour Party

China:

triangleWorkers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: Fighting repression in China and Hong Kong

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

25/4/18

Labour

RMT Labour Party affiliation debate - where do socialists stand?

25/4/18

Immigration

Windrush scandal: Tories and Blairites must go

25/4/18

Election

Tories out!

18/4/18

Racism

Enoch Powell's racist 'Rivers of Blood' rant 50 years on

18/4/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

18/4/18

Super-rich

Billions for the bosses, benefit cuts for us

18/4/18

NHS

1,400 beds empty as patients lay in corridors: health unions must act now

18/4/18

Housing

Young people need homes

18/4/18

Labour

For a fighting, democratic Labour Party

11/4/18

EU

A socialist approach to Corbyn and a customs union

11/4/18

Child poverty

Child poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

11/4/18

Equal pay

Gender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

10/4/18

Young people

Alienation and austerity behind London deaths - fight for socialism

4/4/18

Labour

Fight the Tory enemy

4/4/18

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: peace process on the brink

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999