Defining Anti Globalism

Anti-globalists are largely defined by their opposition to capitalism, modern civilization, technology, and what they perceive as the resultant despoliation of cultures, the environment, and imperilment of human survival [11]. Sometimes described as green anarchists, this movement also tends to be defined by its tactic of direct action, including public protests and demonstrations, violence, and sabotage. Anti-globalists are not necessarily active only in developed nations. The Zapatista uprising in Mexico, for example, suggests that the movement is both geographically and demographically broad, and that the issues it represents are equally diverse [32]. There are, in fact, dramatic differences between the actions and targets of green anarchist violence in the U.S. and the popular anti-globalist movements among indigenous peoples. In contrast with such issues as opposition to the construction of dams, illegal logging, or oil development [42], the actions of violent green anarchists in the U.S. seem trivial by comparison. Consider that the attacks on Seattle storefronts by Black Bloc in 1999 targeted "rapers of Northwest forests" (Old Navy, Banana Republic and the GAP), makers of "overpriced" sweatshop products (Nike), "slave-wage fast food peddlers,"(McDonald's) "peddlers of an addictive substance" (Starbucks), and "Planet Hollywood for being Planet Hollywood" [36]. It becomes difficult to envision how such violent protests can effectively address any of the primary drivers of environmental degradation [43].

But these political protests can illustrate the movement's overall heterogeneity. While protests surrounding the recent WTO meeting in Hong Kong reflect primarily a discontent with agricultural policies and practices (not with the environmental polices that might attract "greener" activists) [44], the "Battle in Seattle" attracted a:

.spectacular panorama of protesters. There were women's groups, and students from universities around the country. There were animal rights groups and small business associations. There were Marxists and anarchists, Democrats and Republicans, internationalists and bioregion-alists, liberals and conservatives, white-collar and blue-collar, gays and straights. There were people from rich countries and poor countries around the world [31].

These disparate activists do not uniformly practice the violence that has sporadically occurred among anti-globalist demonstrations. There is, in fact, evidence to suggest that violence is not tolerated among the majority of anti-globalists [19,31,32]. The violence/non-violence dichotomy has been used to break the anti-globalism movement into two groups: one that will oppose globalism in all its forms, and one that recognizes that globalism has and will continue to occur and hope to steer it in a sustainable direction [31]. Juma [45] described the tension that exists between these two philosophies: "Environ-mentalism is driven by a sense of urgency that is not quenched by calls for time and adjustment, while international trade is driven by age-old dynamics and patterns that do not change overnight." It is this "urgency," however, that may beckon the direct action tactics of eco-terrorists into a more intimate partnership with their anti-globalist comrades.

Negotiating Essentials

Negotiating Essentials

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