The creation at one pole of the labour process of simple processes (whether carried out by humans or machines) requires, at the other pole, the design, development, control, maintenance and management of these same processes. On the one side, we have ordinary, bulk processes, and on the other, sophisticated labour. The extent to which the ordinary bulk process will be carried out by humans or machine is determined by competition between the two – something greatly affected by the price of labour. That competition, in final analysis, is really competition between ordinary labour and the sophisticated labour that brings machines into being. In the post-war period Third World labour tended to be relatively excluded from the global labour process as the imperialist countries invested in semi-automated production. In the ‘neoliberal’ period the reverse tendency occurred as ‘hyper-globalisation’ sought to super-exploit abundant cheap labour. Over the last several years, the world economy has again started to reset as the super-abundant global cheap labour supply in China, Eastern Europe and elsewhere started to dry up. What seems likely to determine the extent and contours of globalisation into the future is not technology. Both tendencies require technology, though in different areas. Where imperialist states and corporations choose to invest is what determines what types of technology will be developed.
This book provides a critical investigation of what has been termed the ‘global justice movement’. Through a detailed study of a grassroots peasants' network in Asia (People's Global Action); an international trade union network (the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mining and General Workers); and the Social Forum process, it analyses some of the global justice movement's component parts, operational networks and their respective dynamics, strategies and practices. The authors argue that the emergence of new globally connected forms of collective action against neoliberal globalisation are indicative of a range of variously place-specific forms of political agency that coalesce across geographic space at particular times, in specific places and in a variety of ways. They also argue that, rather than being indicative of a coherent ‘movement’, such forms of political agency contain many political and geographical fissures and fault-lines, and are best conceived of as ‘global justice networks’: overlapping, interacting, competing and differentially placed and resourced networks that articulate demands for social, economic and environmental justice. Such networks, and the social movements that comprise them, characterise emergent forms of trans-national political agency. The authors argue that the role of key geographical concepts of space, place and scale are crucial to an understanding of the operational dynamics of such networks. Such an analysis challenges key current assumptions in the literature about the emergence of a global civil society.
"Over a hundred years since the beginning of modern imperialism, the former colonial world is still prevented from joining the club of imperialist powers. The gap between rich and poor countries is not narrowing but growing. China is usually presented as challenging the dominance of the United States and other rich countries. However, imperialist domination over the most sophisticated aspects of the labour process gives the rich countries and their corporations control over the global labour process as a whole – including in China. Third World producers are forced to specialise in the opposite types of work – in relatively simple and low-end labour, for which major price markups and large profits are rarely possible. This is the kernel of unequal exchange in world trade. The imperialist system develops two types of capital – monopoly and non-monopoly capital – and two types of societies – rich, monopoly, imperialist societies and poor, non-monopoly, ‘Third World’ societies. China’s ascendance to become the most powerful Third World country in no way threatens to topple continuing imperialist dominance. Most contemporary Marxist writing has not been focused on global income polarisation and imperialist exploitation of the poor countries. For this reason, it has been unable to explain how exactly the same countries continuously reproduce their dominance. However, the actual conditions of the neoliberal world economy have made explicit how this happens through the labour process itself. In doing so it has also shown how Marx’s labour theory of value can be concretely applied to the conditions of monopoly capital today.
conditions. In Chapter 6 , the book underlines and expands on the role of neoliberal globalisation in increasing inequality in the region, and consistently undermining many democratic governments’ effectiveness in tackling that inequality. Increasingly in Latin America, democratic regimes are seen not as the protectors of the liberties of their peoples, all their peoples, but as agents of neoliberalism. They have become, as Nef terms them, ‘receiver states’, ‘highly transnationalised and weak … [acting] in partnership with foreign creditors and
6 Carnival Against Capitalism: global days of action and photographs of resistance C a r n i va l s A g a i n s t C a p i t a l were mounted on numerous Global Days of Action in the late 1990s, signalling the emergence of a movement against neoliberal globalisation and for global justice. The first global street party was called on 16 May (M16) 1998 by London Reclaim the Streets (RTS) and the newly founded People’s Global Action (PGA) to coincide with the G8 summit in Birmingham and the following week’s WTO ministerial meeting in Geneva. Over thirty street
in May 1968 and two moments of the contemporary anti-capitalist movement, the indigenous Zapatista movement in Mexico and the anti-capitalist protests in Genoa in 2001. The movement becomes global: from 1968 to 2001 The resurgence of a global movement against neoliberal globalisation in the late 1990s resonated with the global movement of 1968.14 While these two movements appeared and evolved in different historical and spatial contexts and had particular and distinct political agendas, they shared ideological affinities, common ideas, strategies and tactics. Long
of industrialisation was varied across the North, but radical and trades movements succeeded in attracting adherents through appeals to their customary rights and combining familiar rituals with the novelty of D. Massey, For Space (London: Sage Publications, 2005), p. 5; D. Featherstone, ‘Towards the relational construction of militant particularisms: or why the geographies of past struggles matter for resistance to neoliberal globalisation’, Antipode, 37:2 (2005). 1 Conclusion313 mass processions and demonstrations.2 Owenite socialists envisaged unity above
. (Morales, 1998: 125)1 Our concern in this book has been to go beyond the simplistic and superficial gloss on the growing resistance to neoliberal globalisation as an emergent global civil society. In the preceding chapters we have done this by critiquing existing discourses and developing our own conceptualisation of Global Justice Networks (GJNs) which we have then grounded through three case studies: PGA (Asia), ICEM and the Social Forum process. We consider each of these examples of GJNs, comprising differentially-placed and resourced social movements, trade unions
9 Joel Sternfeld’s anti-photojournalistic images of Genoa J o e l Sternfeld’s Treading on Kings: Protesting the G8 in Genoa is a series of twenty-seven formal portraits, which form the basic body of a book, published on the occasion of an exhibition of Sternfeld’s project at the White Box Gallery in New York.1 The photographs were taken during the anti-globalisation protests in Genoa in 2001, and document the diversity of participants in the transnational movement against neoliberal globalisation. The movement, which took to the streets in Seattle, Prague
attests. 7 The emergence of Chávez, I argue in this book, was strongly influenced by these processes and the effects of neoliberal globalisation. The figure of Chávez emerged due to an economic crisis, much of it caused by neoliberal restructuring. The Venezuelan people rejected these neoliberal reforms, and the political system which implemented them, and Chávez responded to that rejection by running for president on an anti-neoliberal and anti- puntofijista ticket (see Chapter 2 ). Unlike Fujimori, however, who on winning office