Social unease expands
A growing unease expands by the interrelated world. Not only through Europe, Latin America or great sectors of the North American society. It also happens in the enormous world of celestial vagabonds of the Internet that does not discriminate sex, color or beliefs. We know we are united by the word, even in the language of the hegemonic superpower, but which we have made our own while we learned to dominate the new technologies that can liberate us.
They constitute the new version of those youngsters that decided one day to break with a way of life that they found asphyxiating and launched themselves to the highways to flee from an oppressive routine.
They left their college campuses and broke their military cards to protest against a war in Vietnam with which they didn’t identify themselves. In the meantime, thousands of other youngsters in Paris also threw themselves to the streets to protest against the terrible sequels of an ethno-centrist colonialism in Africa and Asia that supported itself on the infamous premise of superiority of the white, Christian and Western population. But this time, professors and intellectuals accompanied these youngsters; they hugged each other with the strength of the slashes that came out in search of social rights that made the universal declarations of human rights real.
After May 1968 nothing has been the same. That’s why a state of unease was produced in the nineties that didn’t stop growing and took a human shape with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent crumbling of Soviet totalitarianism.
The West did not want to help the communities that emerged of the old Soviet Union to help them establish themselves as democratic and free societies with the right to administrate their resources and to participate in the universal market whose glories they had praised so much. Those were times of disillusion and of hopelessness due to how criminal mafias grew and military spending stretched. An unjust globalization was imposed in the name of the market laws serving the hegemony that announced a new imperialism. They acted the same way with the nations that emerged of the so-called Third World, which they wanted to keep dominating through corrupt leaders interposed for the service of large multinationals. That explains the abundance of civil wars with tens of thousands of dead people to take advantage of their instability and even of their hunger as a weapon of exploitation and domination.
The confessions of Nobel Prize in economics Joseph E. Stiglitz are irrefutable in “The unease of globalization.” “I write this book because I proved firsthand in the World Bank the devastating effect globalization can have on developing countries, especially the poor sectors of their population. I believe globalization –the suppression of the barriers to free commerce and the greater integration of the national economies- can be a beneficial strength and its potential lies on the enrichment of all, especially of the poor; but I also believe that for this to happen it is necessary to lay out all over again the way in which globalization has been administered.” He argues that “the politics of structural adjustment of the International Monetary Fund produced hunger and unrest in many places and the benefits were distributed without proportion in favor of the wealthiest, while the poorest sank deeper into poverty.”
Only a few, he continues, defend the hypocrisy of pretending to help underdeveloped countries by forcing them to open up their markets to the goods of industrialized countries and by protecting the markets of the latter: “this makes the rich richer and the poor poorer each time.” The Sept. 11 attacks shows him clearly that we all share a unique planet and we build a global community that must comply with some rules to interact, but these rules need to be “equal and just, they must attend the poor and the powerful and to reflect a basic sentiment of decency and social justice.”
The protests in the World Trade Organization Summit in Seattle in 1999 shook the world, but since that day the movement has grown and the outrage has expanded. Resistance movements came later in front of an unjust development model, in front of an orthodox way of thinking that threatened human dignity, that trampled on cultures and dared to announce a clash of civilizations after announcing the end of history.
But the process has reached its peak with an unjust war against which nations of every corner of the world protested, with an imperialist model of the most powerful nation of the world, followed with excessive servitude by Great Britain and Spain while they forced the poor nations that emerged from the USSR to join them.
The most serious problem is the disenchantment that leaders and politicians who have lied and to democratically elected representatives and who have utilized the subdued media to impose an arbitrary order produce on civil society.
This emerging and interrelated civil society shows its confusion in front of the American strategy and gets offended in front of the threat to the unity of a dynamic Europe. It does not understand the scary moves of financial groups, the sprout of organized crime, of weapon traffic and the complicity with drug traffic in the laundry of its deadly profits. It has witnessed the demolition of the democratic and economic progress in Latin America and now is bewildered by the threat of decomposition of the political order in Spain, where the scary Real Estate speculation powers have been able to threat the voting results in Madrid’s Assembly with the “everything’s valid, everything can be paid off and money is the boss.”
Carlos Gª Fajardo
Translated by Carlos Miguélez