Localisation would not rule out international trade as it would be perverse to attempt to produce locally what can be sourced elsewhere. The entire European Agricultural Policy is built on such a perversion.The emphasis of international trade would not be on neo-liberal Free Trade, but on sustainable development Fair Trade. The flow of goods would benefit workers, communities and the environment, not as at present destroy.The flow of information would be encouraged. In Gaviotas in Columbia and Curitiba in Brazil a number of interesting practical projects have been implemented. Many of these ideas could be implemented elsewhere.All citizens would have a local Citizens Income, or in other words negative taxation would come into play. Thiswould stop the humiliation of Jobseekers Allowance and other measures that treat unemployed and alternativelyemployed as substandard citizens. A progressive taxation system would protect this income and encourageremunerative employment, rather than as at present a regressive taxation system that imposes on those of lowincome a marginal taxation of 100% and often in excess of this rate.Corporations would face a regressive tax, the larger they are, the higher the profit, the more tax they would pay.Taxation would emphasise the principle 'the polluter shall pay'. The use of raw materials would attract a higher rate of tax than recycled or reused materials.Michael Shuman of the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies summed up localisation thus:
... does not mean walling of the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which uselocal resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages, and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from theboardrooms of distant corporations and back to the community where it belongs.
Localisation requires a political realignment. New Labour and the Tories are in the pockets of big business.LibDems have a fetish about Europe. Only the Green Party has been able to see the need for a sustainable localeconomy. Radical socialists, and conservatives with a small 'c' who see the need to preserve local communities,would be encouraged to sign up to Localisation.The 1960s slogan of 'Think globally, Act locally' no longer applies. We have to simultaneously think local andglobal, and act locally and globally.The old battle lines were drawn between East and West, between Left and Right; the new battle lines are between the people and big business and big government, between the local and the global, between the poor and the rich.Localisation is not Utopia, it is the only viable future we have.
International Forum on GlobalizationInternational Society for Ecology & CultureBreton Woods ProjectWorld Bank BoycottWhirled Bank 50 Years is EnoughGreen Party - globalisation