KOMMUNISTISCHE PARTEI ÖSTERREICHS

A different world is possible!

Theses of the Federal Board of the KPOe on capitalist globalization, neoliberalism and the "movement of Seattle and Genova", passed by the Federal Board on 4 Nov, 2001 as discussion basis

Definition: "Globalization" embraces a lot of intertwined processes: an increasing transnational movement of capital, goods and humans; closer networking by means of new communication technologies; a m ore complex international division of labour by distributing the production of goods and services to different places; a more rapid flow of ideas, pictures and consumer samples as well as consumer objects; an increasing consciousness for risks and dangers, which threaten the world as a whole; a quantitative rise and rise in meaning of transnational institutions as well as internationally connected political movements.

1.A new factor in the fight against the rule of capital and the most powerful states has developed with the emergence of globalization-critical or anti-globalization movements, the actions of which have caused quite a worldwide stir. Since the end of the 90ies a global network consisting from various ideologically and thematically different movements and organisations has been formed against neoliberal globalization. This heterogenous movement is not by any means against a globalization of social and political conditions which are the expression of the development of productive force in turn, but opposes the current form defined by capitalism and their inhuman and destructive consequences respectively. It demands an alternative development of world society against the protagonists of capitalist globalization: "A different world is possible".

The range of of people and groups participating in manifold actions of protest and resistance ranges from leftwing radical groups and supporters of the Zapatist rebellion to Communist unions and liberal eco-lobbies. Communists side with respectively take part in these movements.

Not only forms of fighting, actions and organisation of those new movements are broadly distributed but also the demands that refer to the global macro level and to regional, national and local levels as well: The common smallest (or even largest) denominator of the movement is the demand for a more democratic new world order - which many groups, however, think to be within a "tamed" capitalist system.

Together with this development new and unique ways of alliances and organisations go hand in hand, which would have to summarized as "networks", and a new political culture of co-operation among various groups as well. To a large extent this movement is based on innumerable local groups and initiatives, which are being networked but not subject to a uniform program or a central line.

Large consent exists between NGOs, social movements, left wing parties and various networks that form the core of the "Seattle movement" over a few demands which are stated again and again in various contexts: Remission of debts for so called developing countries, Tobin Tax, abolishing the unofficial world government of IMF/World Bank and WTO.

2.The process which is generally called "globalization" and which is understood as capitalist globalization has ist roots in the crisis of realization that led the Fordist regime of regulation to its limits from the end of the 60ies until the mid-70ies.

This strategy essentially directs at smashing the political, social and legal regularization framework which the Fordist-welfare state period of capitalist development has set up in a disputed manner, as well as to push through a comprehensive principle of competition which was first presented by national states orienting towards location policies (from "security state" to "the competitive state") in order to finally define individuals themselves as market subjects that are permanently competing within the framework of the so called New Economy.

This process was first pushed through in the western industrial nations and after the collapse of the Socialist states globally. The development, of course, did neither follow a master plan without any friction nor did grow naturally, but has to be considered the result of disputes and fight on different levels: Class struggles within the frame of nationalist states, disputes of different interests among national states and disputes among imperialistic blocks.

But certainly showing results that have changed both the perspectives and fighting conditions of leftwing and progressive forces in a decisive way.

Far from having lost both its exploitative and suppressive character, the capitalism of the 21st century differs in substantial aspects from the capitalism we knew at the beginning of the last century.

We are therefore required to further develop our theoretical conceptions of capitalism like on the other hand the movement against capitalist globalization as well. The term of Fordism that goes back to Antonio Gramsci makes possible a division into periods of 20th century capitalist development in particular in view to the modifications it underwent at its end as a result of the application of new technologies.

By traditional Fordism Marxist social science understands production rationalized by mechanization and division of labour on the basis of large industry. Hierarchical organisation of construction, development, production, and distribution correspond to that. Purchasing power which rises together with productivity ensures sales of mass-produced consumer goods. Especially after World War II Keynesian demand control and welfare state regulation developed on this basis.

The Fordist period of capitalist development was characterised in western industrial nations by class compromise which created relatively stable and regular conditions of work and social standards for a large part of the working population as well as relatively high wages for core staffs, basic conditions which supported mass consumption as well as Fordism-like mass production and ensuring workers ' loyalty to a large extent during the clash of the systems at the same time.

Neoliberalism is that strategy to overcome the crisis which was pushed through in connection with the fast development of productive forces (e.g. data processing technologies and communication technologies) at the end of the 70ies and through the 80ies first in the western industrial nations and replaced Fordist production way step by step.

This process entails profound modifications as far as gender relations is concerned by gender-typical modification in work, the way this process has been carried out in the Third World and the accompanying discussion about work at all as well as by new moments in familiy policying.

3.Neoliberalism targets at a change in world-economic structures. Its target is to subject
the entire globe to the exploitation needs of transnational capital and its institutions. This process of submission is not free of friction on behalf of the ruling. The disputes are reflected in different versions of the reaction to the dissolution of Fordism as well as different strategies of capitalist powers within world-economic framework. The last WTO-meeting of Seattle and the negotiations concerning MAI have failed for this reason. Symptoms are also the "euro-dollar" war and the military and barbaric conflicts in Central Africa and on the Balkans.

The recess of economic contrasts also causes the aggravation of political and military rivalries. The relevant estimates of the connection of capitalist monopoly and imperialist aggressiveness prove to be even more true today.

In particular, the contradictions of this formation processes can be seen at the new security doctrines of NATO and EU. On the one hand both NATO (Washington, 1999) and GASP (Helsinki, 1999) are orienting towards extended scenarios of threat, which to a large extent aim at containment of potential trouble spots "Out of Area". Thus the forced and institutionalized process of capitalist globalization should be secured after the collapse of the socialist states under the title "New World Order". The military structures of the Alliance and the Union have been intertwined for this purpose. At the same time the level of security policy presents a field of imperialist hegemony fights which can be seen not least from the restructuring of the European arms industry which is positioned as competitor to the appropriate US companies in a decisive way.

Globalization therefore means also militarization, not least concerning the so called internal security. Not only since 11 September 2001 the abolishment of boundaries of goods and capital-markets have been accompanied by ever rigid boundaries and militarizations of boundaries both for migrants and so called "losers in modernization". Progressive capitalist globalization means forced development of the "Big Brother Is Watching You"-state both at national and supra-national level.

4.Traditional political participants such as parties and trade unions reacted in different
ways to the anti-globalization movement and its subjects. While some parties oriented themselves relatively rapidly on an intensive networking with the movement - often still having some "avantgarde"-conceptions - has the international trade union movement so far linked with the networks of the movement only in form of various smaller national trade unions . Some trade unions in particular in the USA sometimes strengthen the rightwing nationalist protectionist wing of the movement if they refer to the movement at all.

For left wing parties and movements, also for the KPOe, the character of the anti-globalization movement is interesting,among other things, as the "focus point of social movements after years of political paralysis" (U. Brand) which connects and boosts national and local struggles and creates a resonance for manifold demands. Accordingly, our policy is required to perform in all aspects and access ("local government policy", "international relations", "union policy").

The Communists seek the dialogue with all progressive critics of capitalist globalization. According to their self-understanding they feel united with those sections of the movement which detect capitalism as basis of global injustice. Communists learn from and in the movement against capitalist globalization and put forward their own concepts , especially that a "fairer world" can be put into reality not together with transnational companies but only by fighting them and that this informal world government has to be abolished and international organisations such as the UN have to be changed substantially in order to fulfill a function when producing international justice.

Beyond that the network architecture of the movement proves increasingly more appropriate to today's conditions than various traditional and homogenously organized international structures and alliances. In the long run the anti-capitalist explosive force of the movement comes from the networking of innumerable "micro policies" which realize - because of their variety - the totality of capitalism and sets up contradiction and alternatives.

Communists should actively take part in anti-globalization or globalization-critical movents, such as the European Social Forum, ATTAC or others. The KPOe, of course, participates in the preparation for the demonstration against WEF-congress in Salzburg/Austria. Communists take actively part in international networking of the movements. Together with other European left wing parties and NGOs we want to play an active role during the preparation of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre/Brazil, a meeting, where globalization of the ruling will be opposed by a program of globalization from the suppressed. In the context of the Sao Paulo Forum as well as in other internationalist and regional connections the KPOe strengthens its co-operation with the manifold spectrum of progressive, left wing, revolutionary, socialist and communist parties. International networking, however, requires thinking in connection with and respect for difference and culturally special features. Respect for that variety is a political principle the application of which produces movement.

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