On the day that this paper was initially drafted, September 11, 1998,
media soundbites trumpeted crashing commodity prices, the collapse of Brazil's
currency, and the growing crisis in leadership in the United States, Japan, and
Russia. That day's financial pages revealed that in the preceding 24 hours,
stock prices plunged 15% in Brazil, 10% in Mexico, 7% in Spain, 5% in Italy, the
Netherlands and the Philippines, 4% in Germany and France and 3% in the United
States and United Kingdom: a typical day in the new volatile world economy.
Headlines the world over announce what has long been obvious to ordinary
people: the global economy is in deep crisis. The major current manifestation of
the crisis is financial. Capital is racing in and out of countries at lightening
speed - fueling false dreams as it enters and ruining lives and ecosystems as it
exits. What can only honestly be labeled a global financial casino is reaping
rewards for the few at a devastating cost to the many. An economic, social,
political, and ecological crisis which, in this century, rivals only the Great
Depression in its impact, is engulfing the planet.
As the crisis gathers
speed, thousands of individuals and groups that have been the victims and
critics of corporate-led globalization, including the International Forum on
Globalization (IFG), have been analyzing the crisis, its roots, its effects, and
its remedies. We do so as the architects of this crisis in the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), the Fortune 500, and the governments of the industrial
world offer mendacious and misleading explanations of the crisis and cobble
together feeble piece-meal solutions.
They, the architects, said this
crisis could never happen. Technology and globalization, they promised would
spur growth, prosperity and democracy the world over. Besides, they told us,
globalization is inevitable. "Not... [continues]
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