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Politics] (Anti)Globalization - Middelaar_Luc_van - The Anti Globalization Movement Between Morals, Economics an Politics --- WeB LibrarY

Politics] (Anti)Globalization - Middelaar_Luc_van - The Anti Globalization Movement Between Morals, Economics an Politics --- WeB LibrarY

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Published by: Bruno on Jun 08, 2009
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 On Logos and Grassroots:The anti-globalisation movement betweenmorals, economics and politics
By Luuk van Middelaar
 Working paper Written for the Institute of Infonomics (Heerlen, the Netherlands)September 2, 2002.Edited by Richard Miniter
“After all, they need to fill their cars with something” 
Owens Saro-Wiwa
 
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 Introduction
The last decade or so the feeling has grown in the Western worldthat we are living in a new society, changing faster than ever before, finally unified by global capital flows and by a ‘web’ of new and indeed spectacular communication technologies. Thissentiment has found expression in the frequent use of the term‘new’ by social scientists as well as by the general public. Thus ‘new media’, ‘new economy’, ‘new spirit of capitalism’, and even a ‘new  world order’ (although this last concept could be ironically doneaway with after Sept. 11
th.
2001).Commentators agree that the common denominator behind thesedevelopments is the phenomenon of the
economisation
of socialand political spheres. Because of its world wide scope thisphenomenon is called
globalisation
.
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The surge of money seems to be even stronger than during the days when Marx wrote his
Capital 
, destroying communities, uprooting traditions, and erasingancient ways of living. As often, the ‘new’ arouses resistance. Rising against theunknown forces supposedly at work, a new movement is takingshape that is striving
against 
globalisation, a movement whose very 
localised 
actions – attached to metropolises such as Seattle,Gothenburg, Washington, Genoa - have succeeded in filling
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The subject of ‘globalisation’ has inspired a large number of publications since the mid-nineties. Togive an idea of this overwhelming production: a bibliography on ‘the globalisation of the economy’issued by the German
 Bundestag
in March 2000, although mainly focussing on publications in Germanafter 1995, contained already more than one thousand titles. The recent update (covering the perioduntil December 2001) adds another 500 books and articles. (See:www.bundestag.de/verwalt/bibliothek/akt_lit/bibliographien/). Useful as a first overview, uniting someforty key articles written in the nineties by authors such as Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington,Stephen J. Korbin, and others, is the reader
Globalization, and the Challenges of a New Century
,Patrick O’Meara, Howard D. Mehlinger and Matthew Krain eds. (Indiana U.P. 2000).
 
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newspapers throughout the world. The anti-globalisationmovement unites a broad coalition of ecological, Third-World-oriented, human rights, protectionist, nationalist, Marxist-Leninist, anarchical and other opposition groups from differentcountries; because of its ‘rainbow character’, the movement likes topresent itself as a ‘civil society’ for the era of globalisation. In oneimportant way this self-proclamation is true: the anti-globalisationmovement offers the only largely shared and
 publicly expressed 
 discourse on the recent global developments of economisation andinformatisation – issues that are elsewhere only discussed by theprofessional inner circles of universities and think tanks. It is thusnot only interesting but rather important to investigate thefunctioning, the force and the eventual failure of this unique publicdiscourse on global economisation.In this paper, I will first take a quick glance at the historical background and present functioning of the anti-globalisationmovement, briefly sketching the ideological and sociologicalconfiguration of the strands and groups that it is composed of. I will also explain the vital role the Internet played in the connectionof all the grassroots movements (“After the Wall, the Web”). I willthen concentrate on the key question of how the anti-globalisationmovement theorises about the changing relationship betweeneconomy and politics. What are its responses to the basic issueunderlying any attempt to interpret recent developments in thefields of economics, politics, and society? Answers will be given intwo parts: first, I will try to map out the basic scheme of the anti-globalisation discourse (“Democracy against Capitalism”); second,I will focus on two of their proposed solutions to perceived globalinjustice (“Tariffs and Taxes”). I will argue that, paradoxically, the

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