Antiglobalists of all countries, unite!

The global society and its friends

"This explosion has been caused by some groups rebelling against modern society", said not berlusconi in genoa in 2001, but general de gaulle on french television in 1968. The increasingly fierce opposition from so-called opponents of globalization, new and old leftists alike. Against the world economic jungle without humane climate guarantee seems not only at first sight like a continuation of history with the same means. Earlier, this was the case: "comrades, once you have the economy in your hands, the power of the workers’ council will be the only power in the country". The communist manifesto (1848), as is well known, already opted for the global solution at the time of this seizure of power: "proletarians of all countries, unite".

Genoa 21.7.2001, photo: indymedia

However, the present situation appears to be much more complex than the class struggle for communist paradise was based on. The changed conditions of telecommunicative globalization, but also the ever faster flow of money around the globe and the growing weakness of nation-states to act, apply equally to the world bank, the imf (international monetary fund), the wto (world trade organization), the governments of the industrialized countries, but also to international resistance against these agencies. International monetary fund), wto (world trade organization), the rulers of the industrialized countries, but also for the international resistance against these agencies (link overview at andreas rockstein and brian jenkins.

But above all: are the new actors the more cunning heirs of the formerly failed world revolution?? Are there opponents of globalization at all, when the opponents of the g8, the world bank, the imf and the wto have long since organized themselves globally, however heterogeneous the alliances, networks and loose associations may be?? From an analytical point of view, the global discourse has been suffering from its own globalism from the very beginning, for example when tony blair describes globalization as "an economy with human traits" "as little threatening" this is certainly true for some effects of globalization, to which the existence and the organization of the world-wide resistance is owed.

So what do the opponents of a false globalization? An economy with human traits without overexploitation of nature and growing disparities in the distribution of social wealth between north and south. A global economic ethic is propagated, which is supposed to put a stop to the wild flows of money and foreign exchange, the flight of capital, the manipulated and yet unpredictable capital markets and stock market fluctuations. Also politics should prevail against the economic again, because at least here the power is amed to be able to prevent the disgraceful globalization "profit over people" (noam chomsky) to put a stop to it.

"Break the burrs of the state, all power to the rates"

Can such noble goals be realized without violence, when the resistance of the powerful against the collective happiness of mankind seems so overwhelming?? How legitimate is violence against the distorted images of globalization?? The prere of the strabe does not legitimize itself only over the action weaknesses of national governments, which are dangerously fast translated by their critics into legitimacy weaknesses. Long before the globalization paradigm, the concept of violence itself had already been globalized, when johan galtung described the perfidies of violence "structural violence" wanted to expose. With this semantically almost inconspicuous but lasting shift of concepts from power to violence, which was deeply rooted in the circumstances, violence was at the same time legitimized as counter-violence. "Break what breaks you" switches not only the circumstances relatively the same, but also, in the most radical reading, the means to change them: if children are starving in a global world – and they continue to starve – it could also be legitimate to go over dead bodies to prevent it.

"Do you know that someone shot bob kennedy?? This is the occupational hazard of power!" the raf subsequently ratified this with bloody signatures. But the occupational risk has always posed not only to those in power, but also, as yesterday’s death of benno ohnesorg (1967) and today’s violence in genoa drastically demonstrate, to revolutionaries, fellow travelers, but also to the uninvolved. Will there soon be a movement 20. July – as a bloody reminder of the day when carlo giuliani died in genoa? "Assassini!" (murderer) is now added as an indictment against state power and g 8 and this was allowed to incite even more hatred.

In danger and in gross distress, the peaceful middle way is known to bring death, but it does not indicate a direction beyond this path. The fact that opponents do not make use of the state-approved forms of protest, peaceful marches or chains of lights, but choose forms of action that are more effective in the media, is part of the strategic knowledge of the revolutionary stone age: "i take the liberty".

Civil protest, which moves within the pious framework of constitutional freedom, is mostly below the attention threshold of the networked world public. It was only because of the bang in genoa – on this side as well as on the other side of power – that the critique of globalism jolted with power into the public consciousness, which was as overwrought as it was apathetic. Even the theorist of autocratic power machiavelli summed it up long before the time for any protest movement: "otherwise, in my opinion, it is better to be too bold than too prudent." thus, the critics of the system have achieved their preliminary strategic goal – beyond such juridically loaded questions, albeit in need of clarification, as to who whacked whom and why.

When the state ruthlessly attacks opponents of the system, this politicizes the protest, which is intensified by the media, in a special way. Christian strobele, who has matured politically in the federal republic’s investigative committees to become the general enlightener of democracy, also knows this and now demands clarification. He and the grune annelie buntenbach speak of "massacre-like attacks". According to amnesty international and other observers, the italian justice system is rightly accused of massive misconduct. The state’s monopoly on the use of force also loses its socially contractual face on – and under the prere of – the streets: police officers are not social engineers, even less sociotherapists, who dispassionately heed the principle of proportionality of ends and means in their reactions.

Even those who initially engage in legal violence do not act without an image of the enemy, and the more violence they engage in, the more blurred, the more global this image becomes.H. This image becomes more global. In the end, no bystanders at all may have appeared to the genoa law enforcement officers under the blinker visor. This legitimizes nothing, but explains much. However, anyone who now declares berlusconi to be the reincarnation of mussolini – who in the meantime has again become a devotional object in italy – or italy to be a military dictatorship a la chile, is not only using dubious historical chapters, but is also shifting the topic of global conflicts to the legal aftermath. The protest tourists complain that protest and hooliganism, which is staged not only in soccer stadiums, but also as political violence, diffusely run into each other. Minister fischer, who is now also striving for active enlightenment, knows from his recent past how close violence and protest, legitimate and illegitimate means, are to each other on the heiben pavement. "Legal, illegal, scheibegal" that at that time. Once it is decided that the decision about legality will be made by those who have long been considered illegal themselves, many means become appropriate.

Loss of history

Class struggle knew no monopoly of violence – history proved it right anyway. But historical teleology is no longer the marshall staff in the knapsack of the world revolution. "Neither ox nor donkey can stop socialism in its course", was the self-confident ejaculation not only of erich honecker, but of every adept of a marxist-leninist history of salvation. But as little as historical-teleological self-arance helped communism to take a humane leap, so little can the catastrophic world economic order currently legitimize itself over its failure.

A theory of history and society, which often seemed to be more important to the permanently quarreling old leftists than the revolution itself, is neither offered nor demanded today. But the absence of a philosophy of history, the discarding of the theoretical ballast, may only seem to the nostalgically faded view of the 60s as a "new vulgar marxism" (reinhard mohr) appear. What do revolutionary pathos and "dawn of human history" the internationalists of yesterday have brought more than the insight that on utopias and visions the gulags thrive splendidly. That "no-logo" and "no-globo" the fact that the critics of the pri do not saddle themselves with the critical spirit of the world, but react more pragmatically and instantaneously, speaks for a better connection of critique to reality, without therefore falling prey to the old leftist accusation of defining oneself only through images of the enemy.

From the foreseeable salvation of mankind

For a long time, however, it is not clear whether politicization, recivilization and democratization of the economy gone wild, or international social and solidarity pacts from below, are actually the salvation media to stop the economically condemned world society. The rage of the digital internationalists is due to a diffuse world, which is effective, but for this very reason far from controllable? Global trade watch, responsible for organizing the protests in seattle against the wto in 1999, has as little sympathy for the current model of globalization as the other critics of a globalization model "globalism from above" for an unavoidable product of chance, but for an inhumane version that can be changed or replaced by new rules.

Accordingly, it is no longer so easy and happy to follow the fantasy style of the wild 1960s: "i take my wishes for reality, because i believe in the reality of my wishes." the solutions to the problems of the past, which, despite all their theoretical weight, sometimes seemed to be as obvious as a paving stone destined for the next glass facade of a consumer palace, love the structures of power already at that time largely unharmed. Not only globally incorporated societies have shown gross absorptive power to process criticism – whether violent or not – beyond recognition in the system. Even if finally in genoa the hateful state should be outed, this neither fills the rice sacks in asia nor does it prepare the exploitation of the "damned of this earth" (frantz fanon as early as 1961), in other respects, an end.

Paradoxical spirals of the economy

It must also appear as a special perfidy to the so determined as well as probably also insecure enemies of globalization and critics of world capitalism that governments and international organizations in their economic and social policy programs do not seem to be so far removed from the impulses of the super-parliamentary critique. "Our dream is a world free of poverty", declares the world bank, which itself has come under fire for its environmentally dangerous projects and mismanagement.

According to the critics, if programs do not change into better conditions, only the cynicism of domination and the mendacious morality of the invisible – in plain language: non-existent – hand of the world market can be responsible. Perhaps true to the situationist paradox: "freedom is the crime that contains all crimes." but this negative dialectic was finally allowed either to go out to the open sea or to the dictatorship (of the world proletariat)?).

The conditional possibilities of action of governments, the death of the good cause in international compromises, the fury of the international apo. Freedom and prosperity, social justice and free economic activity: all of this is globally to sweepingly incorporated into the programmatics of the g8 world – but also into the catalogs of demands of the neo-revolutionary cells. What is defined as a fixable legitimation problem of democracies could be the unreality of a doctrine of salvation, which, according to an example of niklas luhmann, works like mineral water from the healing spring: it cures every disease, known as well as unknown – at least on the package insert. Paradoxical spirals of the economy have not only been observed since today: international economy produces regional misery in which it creates regional prosperity. Those who preach economic activity and growth must also reflect on the environmental limits to growth. Those who want to redistribute economic wealth through taxes are tending to contradict freedom programs and are also humping up the offshore capital flight, which is also hitting wealthier countries hard.

"The international fights for the human right"

If it is so easy to denounce the differences between political rhetoric and its contradictory practice alone, at least this time the "international" fighting for the human right. The very belief that the democratization of decisions is itself the whole solution leads into the twilight, because "global and regional optima clearly diverge" (niklas luhmann). This denies at last that political as well as other functional systems may globalize, but the effective control and steering of innumerable simultaneous events against the background of divergent interests will remain improbable at least as long as a homogeneous, politically egalitarian world society does not exist. So it could be that the "everything-must-be-better program" suffers not only from the weakness of an internationally divided policy, from the half-heartedness and cynicism of the powerful, but also from their overload to synchronize the circumstances.

G8 and critics were then only two products of an uncontrollable world economy, which – at least for the moment – can neither be effectively politicized nor even democratized. However, the opponents agree that it is not the controllability of the explosive circumstances themselves, but the direction and seriousness of the intentions that are in dispute.

The central theme of attac, a group founded in france with many offshoots (in germany: www.Attac network.De/) is to regulate the international financial markets by, among other things, introducing a tax on international financial transactions (so-called. Tobin tax), the heavier taxation of capital and the prevention of tax evasion. Attac is optimistic: "the assertion that globalization in its now prevailing, neoliberal form is an inevitable necessity is pure ideology. We contrast this with our idea of globalization: international solidarity from below. Another world is possible."

On to the last battle?

The opponents are united by the fact that they consider politics, which is torn between globalism and regionalism, capable of setting limits to the economy. But precisely because the heads of state of the most powerful countries are allegedly not powerful enough to draw these boundaries, critics on the other hand call the g8 a "non-legitimized world government". Is a world government in the model of a liberal-egalitarian democracy, for which, by the way, a world government league in germany campaigned very unsuccessfully between 1947 and 1953, the message of salvation??

But since the vision of an omnipotent world central government does not inspire confidence to implement a global-regional balancing policy, various concepts of a more humane governance of world affairs are competing: e.G "global governance", that non-governmental organizations, citizens’ movements, multinational corporations and international authorities can meet on one level to manage common affairs. A peaceful genoa of all forces without a binding global regulatory system with executive functions is thus far from being conceivable. Who decides who has to sit down with whom and when?? Economic ethics alone will hardly lead to a fundamentally different world (economic) order.

But even globalization optimists like anthony giddens or ulrich beck (cf. From politics to subpolitics, from the nation-state to the transnational state), the "beyond left and right" variations on the nation-state and its trans-state supremacies draw on classic remnants of the supposedly better modernity, which have so far proved extremely unwieldy against their transformation into agendas for global political action. The advantage of capital is that its global imperialism does not depend on ethics that are dependent on consensus, on societies that are complex and at the same time controlled by the bourgeoisie, and certainly not on utopias that are both bourgeois and socialist. In the speed and elasticity of capital flows, a globality is realized, which is not the same as the floating medium "money" is structurally inherent.

Whether the much more complex globality of a humane world economic system can cope with this remains speculative at present. So skepticism will be mixed in with the humane global euphoria, in the belief in a universal principle that is worthy of the people, if things start to heat up again: "volker, listen to the signals! On to the last battle!" according to the current state of affairs, genoa 2001 could not have been the last battle, even though the signals were particularly clear this time.