Critics of Corporate Globalism
Maintained by Dr. Jan Garrett,
Department of Philosophy and Religion,
Western Kentucky University
Suggestions for improvement of this website would be appreciated.
Last updated August 21, 2002
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Perhaps someday I shall retitle this website, "Corporate Globalism: Its Critics and Defenders," but for now it is probably most accurately given the title above. My initial purpose was to provide a convenient web-location from which one might periodically connect to "public intellectuals" and institutes performing critical analyses of the emergent economic world order, especially those that are critical of the shape this order is taking under the aegis of such institutions as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. The recent demonstrations in Seattle, Washington D.C., Sydney, and Prague have their roots in the painstaking analyses of these thinkers and institutes and in local activist struggles that long antedate November 1999. The thinkers and institutes continue to function and provide context for the student, labor, environmental, community, feminist, tribal-rights, and other activists demonstrating in the streets.
I quickly realized that the website could be valuable to others with similar interests and that it would also be useful to provide links to the various activist groups. I have taken steps in that direction, although I am sure that the listings below are incomplete.
I have been asked my definition of globalization and globalism, and whether they are the same or different. There is in fact a growing academic industry consisting of attempts to define "globalization" and specify its significance. Some have reasonably suspected that even if the word is new, the phenomenon is not. Is it the same as the "Westernization of the world"? (And when did that begin--with Alexander the Great? the Romans? the Crusades? the early modern colonial empires?) Is it the same as the expanding capitalist world market described by Marx and Engels? late-nineteenth century imperialism analyzed by Hilferding and Lenin? American international hegemony after World War II? the structural adjustment programs that date from about 1980? the "new world order" whose proclamation coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union? the rise of the internet?
It may not be necessary to define globalization in order to comprehend the critics of corporate globalism, at least the ones in whom I am most interested. They are united by opposition to the shape globalization is now taking. And perhaps they are not opposed to every aspect of this shape. In using the term "corporate globalism," I was searching for a way of naming the problem without assuming that critics of (much of) the current shape of "globalization" are isolationists or Luddites. The movement against the World Bank, IMF, WTO, etc. is able to operate as well as it does because of the internet, because of increasingly rapid international communication, etc., and it is aware of so doing. Sometimes the general position of the movement is described as "globalization from below," though that description has its limitations.
The Critics: Groups
Please see the Table of Contents at Dr. Garrett's Ethics Links.
2. The term "globalism" is used in the current context in the title of an interview with Kevin Danaher in April 2000.