Sources of hope

Friday 11 October 2002, by Laurent Menghini

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Hope did not come from Rio. It did not come from Johannesburg. It comes from Porto Alegre, Seattle or Genoa. It comes from the growing convergence of the movement against capitalist globalisation and the ecology movement; an alliance which is indispensable to any serious advance. The ecologist movement must emerge from the trap of lobbying, for which Johannesburg marks a stinging defeat.

It is not enough to have the ideas and arguments to convince. It is necessary to constitute a social relationship of forces, and only the oppressed can do it. Social and ecological struggles should be supported and popularised, whether we are talking about Amazon Indians, Nigerian women against Exxon, or French farmers against GMOs.

The social movement must integrate ecological imperatives. It should make a sharp critique of the development of the North and defend another perspective, another growth, North and South. Anti-capitalism should be at the heart of this movement: the current damage is essentially the result of the very dynamic of capitalism. It is necessary then to reject privatisation, commodification and deregulation.

Far from helping the poor, deregulated world trade submits them to the ill winds of monetary and financial fluctuations. The developing countries should be able to protect their economy and production, and above all seek to satisfy their needs through their internal market. Their development should take a different road than that followed by the North, for which the whole planet is now paying the price.