Let them treat us like cows
The poor of this Earth shout in the face of globalization’s avalanche. The phenomenon of globalization consists of the inter-dependence of the economies of many countries, especially in the financial sector, which now controls the economy to decide the path of international politics and acts with despotism in the national politics of the most disadvantaged countries. The powerful don’t hesitate to denounce and even organize terrorist conspiracies, massive destruction weapons, nuclear devises and chemical and biological weapons that they contributed to make in exchange for raw materials and labor force that they exploited in an inhumane way.
Since centuries ago, the desire to control a country’s or a zone of the planet’s riches has moved superpowers to invent dangers and aggressions that have been imaginary or promoted by their agents to take on wars in the name of religion, of civilization, of supposed natural borders or of the sinister doctrine of “vital space.” Humanity’s history has been marked not by scientific, technical, social or artistic achievements, but rather by the battles, the changes of dynasties or the conquests of defenseless peoples in front of the aggressors’ prepotency that ignored every right, despised their cultures and subjected the communities. This is how history is taught since centuries ago.
When we believed that there was nothing left to see, we have witnessed – after the still suspicious and not solved terrorist aggression of September 11 – a war of aggression and the conquest of the Iraqi people, since Iraq revealed itself as an entelechy in the name of a “preventive war.”
Globalization is the fundamental characteristic that emerged with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and with the dismemberment of the USSR in 1991. And when we expected, with the disappearing of the soviet threat, that the inhumane resources destined to military organizations that stood since the Fifties to go towards the construction of a just social peace with solidarity, we witnessed the astronomical increase of spending in weapons. The military budget almost reaches the fatidic number of 5 percent of the GDP in the United States. This quantity would cover the basic needs of all humans: hunger and endemic diseases would be eradicated, all communities would have basic education, water would be treated as a source of life, the natural environment would be protected and the reproductive health of women would be insured in a world where in the span of one century, the population has multiplied itself by six in a crazy race towards death: from 1.2 billion people in 1914 to 6 billion in 1991.
(Globalization does not aim at conquering countries like it happened during the colonizing periods camouflaged with Christianization, civilization and the opening towards other societies, but rather at conquering markets because, according to the financial analyst George Soros, “these markets vote everyday and are the ones that give sense to the State, not politicians.”)
That explains the fear of many in front of the decisions of the Commerce ministers that got together in Cancun two years ago. They despised the opportunity to reform the unjust rules of commerce that harm the poorest countries of the planet. The failure of these negotiations has led us back to already overcome protectionist positions against which the WTO was constituted. NGOs denounce as inadmissible that the richest countries charge the highest taxes on the products of the poorest countries whose subsistence economies are supported in the agricultural sector.
The richest countries destine close to 3 billion dollars every year for domestic agricultural subsidies, six times more than their aid for the development of the poorest countries on which they dump their production surplus and ruin their traditional ways of life. Only in the United States, the government gives 3 billion dollars to its cotton producers, when they could acquire the product for a third of that amount in countries that have produced it for centuries and that cannot compete with subsidized products of developed countries.
Emerging civil society asks itself through NGOs if it is fair that a European cow receives 2.5 dollars in subsidies everyday while half of the planet’s population survives with less than two dollars. The privileged Japanese cow, according to the World Bank, receives 7.50 dollars.
This is why the poor, after expressing their desire to “become globalized” in order to participate in the benefits of authentic development, would be satisfied if they were treated like cows, even those that are not Japanese.
Carlos Gª Fajardo
Translated by Carlos Miguélez