The man who authored this is simply wrong. See and that's only about one organization 
that is ruling governments. There are many more who are too.


Arlene Johnson
To access my work, click on the icon that says Magazine.

-----Original Message-----
From: Vigilius Haufniensis 
Sent: Dec 29, 2006 3:30 AM
Subject: [cia-drugs] Globalization in Retreat
Globalization       in Retreat

Walden Bello |       December 27, 2006

Editor: John       Feffer, IRC

Foreign Policy             In Focus

[]When it first became part of the English             vocabulary in the early 
1990s, globalization was supposed to be the             wave of the future. 
Fifteen years ago, the writings of globalist             thinkers such as 
Kenichi Ohmae and Robert Reich celebrated the             advent of the 
emergence of the so-called borderless world. The             process by which 
relatively autonomous national economies become             functionally 
integrated into one global economy was touted as             ?irreversible. ? 
And the people who opposed globalization were             disdainfully 
dismissed as modern day incarnations of the Luddites             that destroyed 
machines during the Industrial             Revolution.

Fifteen years later, despite runaway shops and outsourcing, what             
passes for an international economy remains a collection of national            
 economies. These economies are interdependent no doubt, but domestic           
  factors still largely determine their dynamics. 

Globalization,             in fact, has reached its high water mark and is 


Bright Predictions, Dismal Outcomes

During globalization?s heyday, we were told that state policies             no 
longer mattered and that corporations would soon dwarf states. In             
fact, states still do matter. The European Union, the U.S.             
government, and the Chinese state are stronger economic actors today            
 than they were a decade ago. In China, for instance, transnational             
corporations (TNCs) march to the tune of the state rather than the             
other way around.

Moreover, state policies that interfere with the market in order             to 
build up industrial structures or protect employment still make a             
difference. Indeed, over the last ten years, interventionist             
government policies have spelled the difference between development             
and underdevelopment, prosperity and poverty. Malaysia?s imposition             
of capital controls during the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98             
prevented it from unraveling like Thailand or Indonesia. Strict             
capital controls also insulated China from the economic collapse             
engulfing its neighbors.

Fifteen years ago, we were told to expect the emergence of a             
transnational capitalist elite that would manage the world economy.             
Indeed, globalization became the ?grand strategy? of the Clinton             
administration, which envisioned the U.S. elite being the primus             
inter pares -- first among equals -- of a global coalition             leading 
the way to the new, benign world order. Today, this project             lies in 
shambles. During the reign of George W. Bush, the             nationalist 
faction has overwhelmed the transnational faction of the             economic 
elite. These nationalism-inflected states are now competing             sharply 
with one another, seeking to beggar one another?s             economies.

A decade ago, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was born,             joining 
the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as             the 
pillars of the system of international economic governance in             the 
era of globalization. With a triumphalist air, officials of the             
three organizations meeting in Singapore during the first             
ministerial gathering of the WTO in December 1996 saw the remaining             
task of ?global governance? as the achievement of ?coherence,? that             
is, the coordination of the neoliberal policies of the three             
institutions in order to ensure the smooth, technocratic integration            
 of the global economy.

But now Sebastian Mallaby, the influential pro-globalization             
commentator of the Washington Post, complains             that ?trade 
liberalization has stalled, aid is less coherent             than it should be, 
and the next financial conflagration will be             managed by an injured 
fireman.? In fact, the situation is worse than             he describes. The 
IMF is practically defunct. Knowing how the Fund             precipitated and 
worsened the Asian financial crisis, more and more             of the advanced 
developing countries are refusing to borrow from it             or are paying 
ahead of schedule, with some declaring their intention             never to 
borrow again. These include Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil,             and 
Argentina. Since the Fund?s budget greatly depends on debt             
repayments from these big borrowers, this boycott is translating             
into what one expert describes as ?a huge squeeze on the budget of             
the organization.?

The World Bank may seem to be in better health than the Fund. But             
having been central to the debacle of structural adjustment policies            
 that left most developing and transitional economies that             
implemented them in greater poverty, with greater inequality, and in            
 a state of stagnation, the Bank is also suffering a crisis of             

But the crisis of multilateralism is perhaps most acute at the             WTO. 
Last July, the Doha Round of global negotiations for more trade             
liberalization unraveled abruptly when talks among the so-called             
Group of Six broke down in acrimony over the U.S. refusal to budge             
on its enormous subsidies for agriculture. The pro-free trade             
American economist Fred Bergsten once compared trade liberalization             
and the WTO to a bicycle: they collapse when they are not moving             
forward. The collapse of an organization that one of its director             
generals once described as the ?jewel in the crown of             
multilateralism? may be nearer than it seems.

Why Globalization Stalled

Why did globalization run aground? First of all, the case for             
globalization was oversold. The bulk of the production and sales of             
most TNCs continues to take place within the country or region of             
origin. There are only a handful of truly global corporations whose             
production and sales are dispersed relatively equally across             

Second, rather than forge a common, cooperative response to the             
global crises of overproduction, stagnation, and environmental ruin,            
 national capitalist elites have competed with each other to shift             
the burden of adjustment. The Bush administration, for instance, has            
 pushed a weak-dollar policy to promote U.S. economic recovery and             
growth at the expense of Europe and Japan. It has also refused to             
sign the Kyoto Protocol in order to push Europe and Japan to absorb             
most of the costs of global environmental adjustment and thus make             
U.S. industry comparatively more competitive. While cooperation may             
be the rational strategic choice from the point of view of the             
global capitalist system, national capitalist interests are mainly             
concerned with not losing out to their rivals in the short term. 

A third factor has been the corrosive effect of the double             
standards brazenly displayed by the hegemonic power, the United             
States. While the Clinton administration did try to move the United             
States toward free trade, the Bush administration has hypocritically            
 preached free trade while practicing protectionism. Indeed, the             
trade policy of the Bush administration seems to be free trade for             
the rest of the world and protectionism for the United States. 

Fourth, there has been too much dissonance between the promise of             
globalization and free trade and the actual results of neoliberal             
policies, which have been more poverty, inequality, and stagnation.             
One of the very few places where poverty diminished over the last 15            
 years is China. But interventionist state policies that managed             
market forces, not neoliberal prescriptions, were responsible for             
lifting 120 million Chinese out of poverty. Moreover, the advocates             
of eliminating capital controls have had to face the actual collapse            
 of the economies that took this policy to heart. The globalization             
of finance proceeded much faster than the globalization of             
production. But it proved to be the cutting edge not of prosperity             
but of chaos. The Asian financial crisis and the collapse of the             
economy of Argentina, which had been among the most doctrinaire             
practitioners of capital account liberalization, were two decisive             
moments in reality?s revolt against theory. 

Another factor unraveling the globalist project is its obsession             
with economic growth. Indeed, unending growth is the centerpiece of             
globalization, the mainspring of its legitimacy. While a recent World Bank 
report             continues to extol rapid growth as the key to expanding the 
global             middle class, global warming, peak oil, and other 
environmental             events are making it clear to people that the rates 
and patterns of             growth that come with globalization are a surefire 
prescription for             ecological Armageddon. 

The final factor, not to be underestimated, has been popular             
resistance to globalization. The battles of Seattle in 1999, Prague             
in 2000, and Genoa in 2001; the massive global anti-war march on             
February 15, 2003, when the anti-globalization movement morphed into            
 the global anti-war movement; the collapse of the WTO ministerial             
meeting in Cancun in 2003 and its near collapse in Hong Kong in             
2005; the French and Dutch peoples? rejection of the neoliberal,             
pro-globalization European Constitution in 2005 -- these were all             
critical junctures in a decade-long global struggle that has rolled             
back the neoliberal project. But these high-profile events were             
merely the tip of the iceberg, the summation of thousands of             
anti-neoliberal, anti-globalization struggles in thousands of             
communities throughout the world involving millions of peasants,             
workers, students, indigenous people, and many sectors of the middle            

Down but not out

While corporate-driven globalization may be down, it is not out.             
Though discredited, many pro-globalization neoliberal policies             
remain in place in many economies, for lack of credible alternative             
policies in the eyes of technocrats. With talks dead-ended at the             
WTO, the big trading powers are emphasizing free trade agreements             
(FTAs) and economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with developing             
countries. These agreements are in many ways more dangerous than the            
 multilateral negotiations at the WTO since they often require             
greater concessions in terms of market access and tighter             
enforcement of intellectual property rights. 

However, things are no longer that easy for the corporations and             
trading powers. Doctrinaire neoliberals are being eased out of key             
positions, giving way to pragmatic technocrats who often subvert             
neoliberal policies in practice owing to popular pressure. When it             
comes to FTAs, the global south is becoming aware of the dangers and            
 is beginning to resist. Key South American governments under             
pressure from their citizenries derailed the Free Trade of the             
Americas (FTAA) -- the grand plan of George W. Bush for the Western             
hemisphere -- during the Mar del Plata conference in November 2005.             

Also, one of the reasons many people resisted Prime Minister             
Thaksin Shinawatra in the months before the recent coup in Thailand             
was his rush to conclude a free trade agreement with the United             
States. Indeed, in January this year, some 10,000 protesters tried             
to storm the building in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where U.S. and Thai             
officials were negotiating. The government that succeeded Thaksin?s             
has put the U.S.-Thai FTA on hold, and movements seeking to stop             
FTAs elsewhere have been inspired by the success of the Thai             

The retreat from neoliberal globalization is most marked in Latin             
America. Long exploited by foreign energy giants, Bolivia under             
President Evo Morales has nationalized its energy resources. Nestor             
Kirchner of Argentina gave an example of how developing country             
governments can face down finance capital when he forced northern             
bondholders to accept only 25 cents of every dollar Argentina owed             
them. Hugo Chavez has launched an ambitious plan for regional             
integration, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA),             
based on genuine economic cooperation instead of free trade, with             
little or no participation by northern TNCs, and driven by what             
Chavez himself describes as a ?logic beyond capitalism.? 

Globalization in Perspective

>From today?s vantage point, globalization appears to have been             not 
>a new, higher phase in the development of capitalism but a             
>response to the underlying structural crisis of this system of             
>production. Fifteen years since it was trumpeted as the wave of the            
> future, globalization seems to have been less a ?brave new phase? of          
>   the capitalist adventure than a desperate effort by global capital          
>   to escape the stagnation and disequilibria overtaking the global            
> economy in the 1970s and 1980s. The collapse of the centralized             
>socialist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe deflected people?s             
>attention from this reality in the early 1990s. 

Many in progressive circles still think that the task at hand is             to 
?humanize? globalization. Globalization, however, is a spent             force. 
Today?s multiplying economic and political conflicts             resemble, if 
anything, the period following the end of what             historians refer to 
as the first era of globalization, which             extended from 1815 to the 
eruption of World War I in 1914. The             urgent task is not to steer 
corporate-driven globalization in a             ?social democratic? direction 
but to manage its retreat so that it             does not bring about the same 
chaos and runaway conflicts that             marked its demise in that earlier 

Walden Bello is professor of sociology at the University of the             
Philippines and executive director of the Bangkok-based research and            
 advocvacy institute Focus on the Global South. An extended version             
of this piece titled "The Capitalist Conjuncture: Overaccumulation,             
Financial Crises, and the Retreat from Globalization," appears in             
the latest issue of Third World Quarterly (Vol. 27, No. 8,             2006).

World             Beat

Published by             Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF), a joint project of the 
International             Relations Center (IRC, online at 
and the Institute for Policy             Studies (IPS, online at ©Creative Commons - some rights             reserved.

Recommended             citation:
Walden Bello, "Globalization in Retreat" (Silver             City, NM and 
Washington, DC: Foreign Policy In Focus, December 27,             2006).

Web             location:

Production             Information:
Author(s): Walden             Bello
Editor(s): John Feffer, IRC
Production:             John Feffer, IRC

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