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The Other Davos: Globalization of Resistances and Struggles by Francois Houtart and Francois Polet

Published by Christava Sahitya Samithi (CSS), Thiruvalla, Kerela, India, November 2000. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.


Introduction: The Period of Inequalities
In a world where the future of humanity is directed by the logic of unbridled capital based on its own priorities, which are in turn based on the principle of maximum profit in the short term, individuals and people are subjected to the demands of several large global players.

Chapter 1: A Few Figures From the U.N., by François Houtart
The main function of economy is to contribute to the blossoming of all the people by ensuring material well-being and dignity. It is the reason why we consider it necessary to question the contemporary capitalist system. Never has humanity disposed of so many resources and technical means for resolving the problems of survival and well being.

Chapter 2. History and Lessons of Neo-liberalism, by Perry Anderson
The origin of what can be defined as neo-liberalism, as distinct from strict classic liberalism of the past century, is examined.  Some lessons can be learned for use by the left.

Chapter 3: The World Strategy of Capitalism, by Samir Amin
Profit for capital is guaranteed at the price of stagnation and growing inequality among the small minorities. This is a system that fatally engenders poverty, unemployment, and exclusion, often on a continental scale. Faced with these plans to pursue liberal globalisation, which does not concern the people at all, we must independently develop our own proposals for alternatives, based on social struggle which only the victims of the system can lead.

Chapter 4: Constructing Another Globalisation (Part I), by Christophe Aguiton, Riccardo Petrella and Charles-Andé Udry
The International Economic Forum met every year for almost twenty years at Davos, Switzerland, to re-orient the world economy according to the interests of capital. They have expropriated life, and the right of the poor to basic living. Their priorities do not take account of the living conditions, needs, aspirations and capabilities of some 5 billion human beings, but are exclusively concerned with the interests of the social groups which own the property and control decision-making regarding the allocation of the planet’s resources.

Chapter 5. The Broken Springs of Growth, by François Chesnais and Dominique Plihon
The financial markets have their own time-frame which is not that of the value-creation process and less still creation itself, with the slow-downs, or, worse, the interruptions in the returns process. It seems that the operators have no memory of past crises and do not even know, even through vague bookish memories, what happened in 1929 and in the 1930s and thus find themselves totally defenceless.

Chapter 6: The New Debt Crisis, by Eric Toussaint
The all-powerful multilateral institutions are not concerned about the satisfaction of human and social needs. Keeping poor countries in extreme poverty and using the debt of the poor countries as a means of exerting blackmail is an out-an-out contravention of human rights.

Chapter 1: A Strategy for the New Times, by Christophe Aguiton
Over nearly 20 years, neo-liberalism has continued to score points, but now the wind is changing, and it is our responsibility to make this change as visible as possible and to make it the focal point of a counter-offensive. The counter-offensive must be developed on practical and concrete issues, and also on the larger field of social alternatives to the disaster of neo-conservative counter-reforms.

Chapter 2: Alternatives to the Neo-Liberal Model
A critique of the model of society imposed on us, a model whose sole vision is of a merchant society, individualist and socially unjust and, above all, cynical. Some alternatives to some of the models for society are suggested.

Chapter 3: Beyond Neoliberalism, by Perry Anderson
A discussion of the options given by neoliberalism and goals beyond: Values; Property; Democracy. The dangers of false deregulation and the degradation of democracy. A plea in favor of a globalization of the social struggles.

Chapter 4: The Globalization of Social Struggles, by Samir Amin
There is a need for the social struggles to be globalized, for a reorganisation of the economic systems, for new ways of commercial interdependence and for monetary and financial interdependence.

Chapter 5: Constructing Another Globalisation (Part II), by Riccardo Petrella, Christophe Aguiton, Charles-André Udry
Through the struggles they are engaged in, the expropriated people of the world are creating a definition of a new anthropology for global life in the 21st century. . It is imperative that we define a new generation of public patrimonial rights covering goods and services considered indispensable for survival and the fair and efficient functioning of society and the earth’s ecosystem.

Chapter 6: Taking Back the Future of Our World, by ATTAC
In the name of a transformation of the world depicted as a natural law, citizens and their representatives find their decision-making power contested. Such a humiliating proof of impotence encourages the growth of anti-democratic parties. It is urgent to block this process by creating new instruments of regulation and control, at the national, continental, and international levels.

Chapter 7: Debt Cancellation (continued), by Eric Toussaint
It is imperative that we impose a tax on international financial transactions. We should urgently instigate an inquiry into the resources held abroad by the rich citizens of the Third World countries.  Expropriated wealth should be returned to the people.

Chapter 1: The Globalization of Resistances and Struggles
There are several objectives of the “Other Davos:” 1. To hear the voices protesting the structural injustices of the current economic system; 2. To raise awareness that we can plan the future differently, laying down networks, sharing information and expressing solidarity of action.

Chapter 2: The Other Davos in Action
Transcriptions of video recordings concerning the “Other Devos” made by Frank Millo and Victor Cohen-Hadria, during the meetings in Zurich and Davos, Switzerland, held on January 28-29, 1999, with statements and responses made to journalists during a press conference in Davos, January 30, 1999.

Chapter 3: The Platform of The Other Davos
Against the oppression and arrogance of the powerful, the outlines of a new world are being drawn. In this world, citizens and workers will decide on the distribution of wealth and the organization of work.

Chapter 4: Report of the Meeting
The World Economic Forum met in Davos at the end of January and simultaneously some sixty people met in Zürich (from 27th to 31st January 1999), called together by a number of interested organizations. The result was a critique of the current world economic order along with proposed alternatives.

Conclusion: It is Time to Reclaim the March of History
Strengthening and democratizing regional and international institutions is a realistic imperative. It is a condition for progress in international law and the indispensable regulation of economic, social and political relations at the global level, particularly in the fields of financial capital, taxation, migration, information and disarmament.

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