[OPE-L] The New European Anti-Globalization Movement?

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri Jun 03 2005 - 07:10:10 EDT

One of the premises of globalization theorists was that nation-states
and rivalry among nation-states are being  replaced in a new 'global
economy' by  international cooperation, de-territorialization, and
eventually a single world [capitalist] society.

The "No"  votes against the EU Constitution by voters in France and  the
Netherlands challenges this belief.  The move towards international
economic and political integration has -- to put it mildly -- hit a bump
in the road.

-- Does this development demonstrate the folly of believing that there
was a trend towards a single global empire?

-- Doesn't this show that nation-states and nationalism are at least as
strong a force today in the "North" as it was throughout the 20th
Century?  Is there any reason to believe  that nationalism is any lesser
of a force within the nations in the "South" than it was in the post-WW2

--  There are many radicals who argue that the anti-globalization
movement is really an anti-capitalist movement.  Yet,  the French and
Dutch citizens who cast their votes against the EU Constitution
weren't casting their votes against capitalism. Indeed,  many of those
who opposed this move towards globalization were reactionaries.  A hot
issue, for instance,  that stirred patriotic and racist voters was
immigration.  Another (racist) issue concerned who would be allowed to
join the EU with some fearing the possible entry of Turkey into the EU.
And, of course, there were old nationalist fears and suspicions of  the
motives of other European nations -- fears and suspicions which are a
long-standing part of the history, folk lore, and culture of some of
these nations.  However, there were also legitimate reasons for  workers
to have voted "No", e.g.  the decline in real wages in the Netherlands
after the switch from the Guilder to the Euro. Under  these circumstances,
should Marxists have supported a "Yes" or a "No"  vote on the

--  Assuming that this crisis -- at a minimum -- delays the prospect  of
extending and strengthening the European Union, might this be seen as
being beneficial to "The Empire", i.e. the US?  Would that be a reason
to support the formation of another capitalist "superpower" to challenge
the  US (Tony Negri's position,  apparently)?

-- there is another anti-globalization, but not anti-capitalist, movement:
the Islamic fundamentalist movement. With globalization then under attack
in --

   o  the South: e.g. the prospects for a regional trade association
         in Latin America which would pursue an agenda quite different
         from that which Neo-Liberalism wants to continue to impose upon
         that region;

   o  an anti-globalization/anti-capitalist movement internationally
         with activist networks of  workers, students,  and others;

   o  in Europe: increased national rivalry and divisions;

   o in many areas of the Middle East and Asia: Islamic
         fundamentalism growing in strength, militancy, and popularity;

will we see a move away from the 'globalist' Neo-Liberal model to some
other international strategy (a new 'mode of regulation'?) by capital?

-- How will China and Russia affect this process?  China (i.e. Chinese
capital)  might be seen as "benefiting" from globalization,  but it is
not always so easy to predict what the Chinese government will do.
Russia, as well,  is a wildcard.  At any rate, nationalism is certainly
as strong today in Russia as it was at any point during the preceding
century.  Wouldn't this tend to work in the direction of greater
nationalist rivalries and increased prospects for regional military

-- With divisions internally and opposition externally, will the
"globalizers" be forced into taking more and more desperate actions to
"stay the course"?  How will the Empire Strike Back?

In solidarity, Jerry

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