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Wednesday, April 10, 2002
Why i don't join ATTAC. A personal two-day impression of panels and workshops with eight members at a local think-tank.

Fundamental opposition. Capitalism is basically wrong. Globalisation is wrong. Six of eight believed in this. I value Capitalism because it is the only theoretical society system in which there is freedom for everyone , as well as a certain level of basic rules. And through globalization this would be possible for all mankind.

Lack of differentiation. It isn't just the rhetoric, it is persuasion: The powerfull, and especially the corporations are a chunk of greedy, relentless and violent men. All the same. They are denied any personal morality, political attitude or social responsibility. Seven of eight thought so. Never ever is there only black and white.

Little economic competence. Seriously understanding, reforming or turning down capitalism or global economy requires a basic knowledge thereof. There certainly is, for example, a difference between IMF, Worldbank and WTO. Only two of the eight speakers seemed to care.

Highly questionable statements. "World War II was based on massive economic interests, just like all wars thereafter" said Maria Mies and [name] added: "Roosevelt needed it and Maynard Keynes calculated that the British economy would profit as well" and later "I heard that scientists analyzed photos of the Pentagon crash site and concluded that it couldn't be caused by an airplane (...) i don't know if some powers within the US initiated the attacks". Maria Mies also showed some logic i simply can't comprehend "Women always were and are the healers of the wounds of war, therefore a part of it. I don't want to be part of war so i don't support anyone, no donations, nothing". There is no context whatsoever to make these arguments plausible.

The eight speakers were Maria Mies, Klaus Werner (most rational), Corinna Milborn, [more] key figures in the german and global ATTAC community.

ATTAC is definitly legitimate, they do have an impact and point at many things that are substantially wrong. But they make the wrong connections between those facts.

So what do i think? There isn't too much globalization, there's far too less. The only thing 'global' today is economy, so if you have the regardlessness or the pressure to do so, the door is open for exploitation. All other factors valuable in a society, basic laws, social, humanitarian and economic standards are business of the respective nation.

Trade isn't free. Not even within the European Union. Every nation knows well how to protect the local interests (German Automotive industry for example), often ignoring the massive negative impact it has on other economies and therefore societies. Many third-world countries don't have a chance too offer products from the most basic industry, agriculture, to other markets. Inhibting free trade with subsidies, tariffs and other instruments benefits a small group, often with a strong lobby, but the price is paid by the rest of the local economy and those hindered from participating. The north massivly abuses it's power to protect national interests and thereby harms the south.

There should be, at least, a minimum of global legislative, judicative and executive. A very, very important step in the right direction is the ICC, about to be founded tomorrow. It will basically be democratic, just like the WTO.

The people you put in government are the ones representing you in the UN, the WTO and so on. And if you think something is terribly wrong, find out why and engage, speak, discuss. But think.
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