Nearly a decade has passed since I wrote the World Party essay for Ecosocialist Review, a now defunct journal. A vigorous transnational movement to challenge the hegemony of global capital has now emerged, with its clarion call first being heard in Seattle, last in Genoa, soon in the capital of the world’s hyperpower. Transnational politics, loosely described as red and green*, advanced with numerous confabs, with the Global Green meeting in Australia and the World Social Forum, Porto Allegre held this year standing out. The transnationalization of labor is now unfolding, although still far short of the level required to be an effective constraint on global capital. War criminals like Henry Kissinger now fear harassment while traveling abroad and even eventual prosecution if the International Criminal Court is fully empowered. However, NATO under U.S. hyperpower hegemony has perverted the legitimate concept that universal human rights have priority over national sovereignty in its criminal aggression against Yugoslavia and its illegal Hague prosecutions of war crimes in the Balkans (refusing of course to indict NATO itself for its war crimes), while allowing real genocide to occur in Rwanda, and in Iraq (the death of 500,000 children from the sanctions regime). The enforcement of international law is mere lip service to the U.S. State Department that has retreated from its application to its client, the Israeli terrorist state.
I remain more convinced than ever that with the eventual emergence of a red/green World Party, a necessary condition for ending the rule of global capital will be achieved. There is now a huge literature on globalization and the challenges of transnationalizing a red and green movement.
Readers are urged to check out the following websites:
World Party: http://csf.colorado.edu/wsystems/archive/praxis/wp/index.htm, Archived discussion, extensive bibliography etc.
Capitalism Nature Socialism (CNS), A Journal of Socialist Ecology: http://www.cruzio.com/~cns
World Bank/IMF meeting protest September 2001: http://www.globalizethis.org/s30/
Left Curve: http://www.left-turn.org
Socialism and Democracy: http://www.sdonline.org/
Basic Income: Europe: http://www.etes.ucl.ac.be/BIEN/bien.html
ATTAC: http://attac.org/, campaign for a Tobin tax (This campaign is vigorously pursued in Europe, especially France. At the G-77 meeting in Havana in April 2000, Fidel Castro proposed a 1% Tobin tax, i.e., a tax on international financial transactions flowing electronically every nanosecond. In a few days a 1% tax would generate enough revenue to save the lives of the 12 million children who are estimated to die annually from preventable causes in this world run by transnational capital. Castro also pointed out that the preventable global mortality of three years is equal to the death toll of WWII. This is the largely invisible genocide carried out by global capitalism. A red and green movement should be informed by both the great achievements and monstrous crimes of past and present socialist societies, but Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot might look with envy at this genocide in a world dominated by global capital.)
Transnational Radical Party: http://www.radicalparty.org/home.htm
Working USA (http://www.workingusa.org) has had several enlightening articles on the themes of labor and globalization, the challenge of transnationalizing labor solidarity. In particular, check the following issues:
Summer 2001 (Labor Rights in the Global Economy)
May/June 1999: Alliances Across the Border: U.S. Labor in the Era of Globalization, Bruce Nissen
March/April 1999: Can Workers Tame Unrestrained Globalization?, David Moberg
Highly recommended is Globalization from Below, J. Brecher, T. Costello and B. Smith, 2000, South End Press, Cambridge, Mass.
· James O’Connor has a succinct description of red and green: Those who wish to abolish the wage form of labor and the commodity form of need satisfaction, to be done with global capital... deserve a color (red) as do those who seek to abolish the state as well (anarchist black). Those who want to revolutionize the capitalist productive forces, to harmonize them with principles of ecological rationality and sensibility, need their color green. And those who wish to do both at the same time, to revolutionize the capitalist production relations and productive forces, and to democratize material existence in every way possible, want their colors red green or green red. Capitalism Nature Socialism June 2001, House Organ, p. 2. In the same essay, O’Connor writes: Yet at a certain point in the struggle against global capital (when I don’t know) we’ll need our own party...In the last analysis, a movement without a party is a force without political direction.
I submit that rebirth of a socialist left, necessarily red and green, must include putting universal human rights, and therefore resistance to neoliberal globalization at the center of its vision. The challenge for each local organization is to creatively interrelate the global, national and local dimensions of class struggle in organizing locally, always putting forward a vision of globalization from below.
Socialism is the impure and contradictory potential transition between capitalism and communism. A new vision of communism - a global civilization maximizing human development and its sustainable relation to nature- should inspire all socialists, in spite of the well-known limitations of all past and present socialist societies. We need to be both more realistic and utopian, in illuminating a path from a society serving capital to one serving human needs. Apart from the purist cults, socialists are active organizers for reforms under capitalism that enlarge the sphere of satisfaction of human needs and democratic participation in all areas of social life and the economy. This project requires a transnational movement, strategically-conceived, to unify all those who stand to gain from these reforms, namely the great majority (particularly the oppressed and exploited). The ecological question must be answered with a program to restore both our humanly -constructed environment and the biosphere itself, fully utilizing renewable energy and new information technologies for a sustainable economy. A radical vision of planetary solar communism can attract new generations to its realization (from each according to her ability, to each according to her needs , with each/her referring to both human beings and ecosystems). We demand the impossible! (impossible only within the limits of serving capital first)
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Every child born on Earth has the right to a full life of creative fulfillment, to an environment free of hatred and pollution, and to a world with our planet’s full complement of biodiversity intact. The enormous potential of new information and renewable energy technologies to achieve these goals can only be realized by a radical democratization and demilitarization of global society. We demand the impossible! (impossible only within the limits of serving capital first).
Global unionism is the answer to global capitalism. There is no other way J. Henning, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, California Labor Federation
The World Party does not form a separate party opposed to other progressive parties. It has no interests separate and apart from those of humanity as a whole. It does not set up sectarian principles of its own, by which to shape and mould the movement for a sustainable global economy in a healthy planetary environment.
The World Party is distinguished from the other progressive parties by this only:
1) In the national struggles of progressives in different countries, it points out and brings to the front the common interests of all of humanity, independently of all nationality.
2) In the various stages of development which the struggle for global sustainability has to pass through, it always and everywhere represents the interests of the movement as a whole.
(after The Communist Manifesto, with apologies to K. Marx and W. Warren Wagar)
This initiative grew out of reading W. Warren Wagar’s novel A Short History of the Future (first published in 1989, 3rd edition 1999, University of Chicago Press); see A World Party, Vehicle of Global Green Left, EcoSocialist Review, Spring 1992. While it is a far less than half-hearted attempt to actualize a real World Party, a transnational grassroots political force as unprecedented as the ongoing globalization of capital, I am trying to provoke the reader to investigate further. There is now an embryonic world party, the Transnational Radical Party, a project of the Italian Radical Party (http://www.radicalparty.org/home.htm). Its focus has been on gaining a moratorium on the death penalty worldwide, an international tribunal to try war crimes in former/present Yugoslavia (now at the Hague, the court that refuses to indict Clinton, Blair, NATO for its war crimes) and legalization of drugs. Up to now it has not addressed the challenge of constraining the global power of the transnational corporations and banks.
There is a World Party website (There is no World Party yet. It is just an idea.): http://csf.colorado.edu/wsystems/archive/praxis/wp/index.htm, includes archived discussion, extensive bibliography). The formation of several more transnational parties can be expected in this century, including at least one sponsored by the transnationals themselves.
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