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From: The Socialist issue 454, 14 September 2006: United action can win!

Search site for keywords: Globalisation - Socialism - Socialism 2006 - Socialist Party - Socialist - Capitalist

Socialism 2006:

Globalisation - what it is and how to fight it!

SOCIALISM 2006 is a weekend of discussion and debate hosted by the Socialist Party. Over the coming weeks, we'll be looking at the different sets of sessions taking place at the event in more detail; this week GREG MAUGHAN looks at 'Globalisation'.

Click here for Socialism 2006 pages

Socialism 2006THE CAPITALIST system that we live under sees a world where almost half the population live on less than $2 a day; one-fifth on less than $1. Despite a global surplus of food, 84 million people are officially classified as malnourished, as they lack the money required to feed themselves. 100 million children are denied primary education.

Yet at the same time, the 365 richest families on the planet enjoy a combined wealth that exceeds the annual income of 40% of the entire human race! A mere 500 multinational companies control 70% of all world trade.

Capitalism has always relied on the exploitation of the majority for the benefit of a pampered minority. But the sickening disparity between rich and poor has hugely increased through globalisation. Yet, Tony Blair and his closest supporters are fervent evangelists of capitalist globalisation and an increasing world division of labour.

Blair asserts that further cutting of trade barriers by one-third could add $600 billion to the global economy. But the only ones that would benefit from further liberalisation of this kind are the bosses who use the 'global market' to drive down our wages and conditions.

Many sections of the capitalist class favour protectionist measures to some degree to protect their own markets and 'curb the effect of globalisation'. For example, at last year's World Trade Organisation talks the French prime minister Dominique de Villepin called for "economic patriotism". But the economic patriotism of different capitalist classes doesn't prevent them supporting globalisation when it comes to their right to exploit foreign markets!

At the same time as making this call, de Villepin had overseen over $71 billion worth of acquisitions in other countries.

Socialists are not nationalists, for socialists it does not matter so much where production is situated in a global economy but it is a question of which class in society controls production. Globalisation has seen an increasing concentration of wealth into fewer and fewer hands, alongside an increase in the brutal exploitation of the majority who actually do the work in society.

The sessions on globalisation at Socialism 2006 will look into what globalisation is, how its effects have changed the world and crucially how workers can fight back against it. We will be taking a look at the anti-capitalist, anti-globalisation movement and at what the alternative is to the gross exploitation of workers across the planet by globalised capitalism.

If you agree with the need for a socialist alternative, if you want to find out more and discuss how we achieve socialism (or if you disagree and want to argue your point of view), Socialism 2006 is the place to do it.


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Only ten weeks to go!

There are now only ten weeks to go until Socialism 2006. This doesn't sound like long, and it will go even faster than you think! Both MSP Tommy Sheridan and Lucy Redler (at the top of the WASG list in the Berlin elections) have agreed to speak at the evening Rally for Socialism, with more speakers to come.

Greg Maughan

Last year's event was a huge success, with almost 1,000 people attending over the course of the weekend. But this didn't just drop out of the sky - it was done by making the Socialism event a priority. Every region and branch has to take their local targets very seriously. We need to explain to members and supporters exactly what Socialism 2006 is, how good it's going to be and its political significance.

Socialism 2006 is something that we should make sure all young workers, school and college students and university students who support the party get to. But equally, we must make sure that there is a balanced representation of our members and that it is pushed strongly amongst more longstanding members as well as newer ones.

Within the next week, every Socialist Party member should be asked to attend Socialism 2006 and in the next fortnight every supporter and potential member should be asked as well. The sooner these basic tasks have been done, the quicker we can turn outwards and get people from Freshers' fairs, picket lines, stalls and public meetings to come to Socialism 2006.

During the PCS DWP strikes last year, tickets were sold directly on the picket lines. This year, the NHS will be a key issue for us to address and Socialist Party members in areas with NHS Logistics depots should make sure that they have Socialism 2006 tickets with them when they visit picket lines. Members involved in local Save Our NHS campaigns should flag the event up in their local meetings.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Article dated 14 September 2006

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