Anti-globalization and anti-capitalism both these terms are commonly used our days and describe the active position of people, who oppose globalization as it exists now, even including global trade agreements or trade-governing institutions such as the World Trade Organization by transnational companies. Anti-capitalist movements how we know them today developed in second half of previous century to oppose the transnational globalization business and to results of such activity for the whole world. “The mass media discovered a new phrase in 1999 –‘anti-capitalism’. It first entered British headlines with the protests against financial institutions of the City of London on 18 June. It flashed across the world, on a much bigger scale, with the protest against the World Trade Organization in Seattle on 30 November. They were painfully discovering something genuine. Ten years after the supposed final triumph of market capitalism with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR, a growing number of people were rejecting their system.” 2 The earliest events of social activity such kind may be counted protests against War in Vietnam in European countries in 1968. Radical wings of these movements follow main ideas not only social-democracy but communism, marxism or anarchism.
The first anti-globalization protest in which many people had been taking part was organized in cities all around the world on June 18, 1999. Demonstration of protest in Eugene, Oregon, turned into public disorder where local anarchists attacked police. One of them, Robert Thaxton, was arrested after throwing a rock at a police officer.
Maybe the biggest in twenties century mobilization of anti-globalists forces, widely known as N30, happened on November 30, 1999, when numerous protesters blocked delegates’ entrance to WTO meetings in Seattle, USA. The protests proceeded till December 3. “Those who write about contemporary radical politics, whether mainstream or ‘activist’, agree that something new was born at the Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 1999. It was a global movement variously termed ‘anticapitalist,’ ‘anti-globalization,’ ‘anti-corporate’ and ‘anti-neoliberal.’ Now the movement is often referred to – and refers to itself – in more ‘positive’ terms, that is, as the ‘Movement for Global Justice’ or the ‘Global Justice and Solidarity Movement’ (being just two examples).”5
It went without saying that the bloodiest action of protest in Western Europe occurred July 18 and ended only in four days July 22, 2001, when took place Eight Summit of the Genoa Group. These five days brutal actions of police to non-violent protests took the life of young man. Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested.
In 2003, many wings of the anti-capitalist movement showed straight opposition to the war in Iraq. And “after 11 September 2001, the anti-globalization movement in Europe morphed seamlessly into an anti-war movement, with huge rallies in European capital cities drawing hundreds of thousands of people each.”4
Generally speaking, protesters believe that the global financial institutions and agreements undermine local decision-making methods. These corporations used to have got such privileges in their activity, that most human persons or fewer companies wouldn’t get with no conditions: free borders, extracting desired natural resources ‘one way or another’, and utilizing a diversity of human resources. Activists of antiglobalization claim that big companies create a kind of global culture one for all.
Anti-capitalists organizations and activists are especially opposed to what they treat as “globalization abuse” – the international institutions which promoting neo-liberalism (see below) without caring to the future and social factor. The list of the main of them given here includes WTO (the World Trade Organization), OECD (the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), IMF (International Monetary Fund) and WB (World Bank). Also are included so called “free trade” treaties: NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas), MAI (the Multilateral Agreement on Investment) and GATS (the General Agreement on Trade in Services).
One of the primary political targets and opponents of anti-capitalist movements is developed neoliberalism, provided by politics of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan at the middle of twenties century. A global capitalism as a result of neoliberalist’s policies counting one of the biggest danger for democracy and free social community and anti-capitalists are trying to attract the attention of these predictions in Western Europe and USA.
“When we speak of confronting ‘empire,’ we need to identify what ‘empire’ means. Does it mean the US government (and its European satellites), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, and multinational corporations? Or is it something more than that? In many countries, the empire has sprouted other subsidiary heads, some dangerous by-products–nationalism, religious bigotry, fascism, and of course, terrorism. All these march arms in arm with the project of corporate globalization…or shall we call it by its name? Imperialism.”5
Two main approaches in finding one typical term for movements can be noted as one that might be represented as “anti-globalist” or “regionalist,” another one could care about some aspects of globalization and problems of opposition to capitalism while rejecting others (like neo-liberal economics).
Anti-capitalists opponents often point at weak points of such movements. The main of them are disorganization, addressing problems incorrectly, failure to propose solutions to issues, violence.
But it is still shall to be noted, that Anti-capitalists movement care numerous social problems. They protect, care and try to attract social attention to rights of employee’s, social protection and help to poor countries, feminism, cultural diversity, the safety of food, caring about nature. Also, conservative opponents of globalization in the United States, Patrick Buchanan for example, refuses ideas of globalization, talking from a position of nationalism in politics, economy, and culture, voting for nation individuality.
Hardt M., Negri A. “Empire” Cambridge Mass, 2000, p31.
Harman Chris. “Anti-capitalism: theory and practice.” International socialism journal. Autumn 2000.
Roy A, “Confronting Empire”, ZNet, 28 January 2003 http://www.zmag.org
Russell C. “A Movement is Reborn”, Rabble, 20 January 2003 http://www.rabble.ca
The free encyclopedia. http://www.wikipedia.net.
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