GLOBALISM OR ARPATHEID ON A GLOBAL SCALE?
The confusion created in the dominant discourse between the concept of "free market economy" and that of "capitalism" is the root cause of a dangerous relaxation of the criticism levelled against the policies implemented. The "market", which naturally refers to competition, is not "capitalism", the content of which is specifically defined by the limit to the competition therefore implicit in the monopoly of private property, including the oligopolistic control (by certain groups, to the exclusion of others). "Market" and "Capitalism" are two distinct concepts, the really existing capitalism being the very opposite of the what the imaginary market constitutes.
On the other hand, the capitalism abstractly viewed as a mode of production, is based on a market integrated into its three dimensions (market for products of social work, financial market and labour market). However, the capitalism considered as a really existing global system is based on the universal expansion of the market in its first two dimensions alone, since the creation of a real world labour market is obscured by the perpetual existence of national political boundaries, despite the economic globalisation, which is therefore always truncated. Hence, the really existing capitalism is necessarily polarising on the global scale and the unequal development it engenders becomes the most violent and increasing contradiction that cannot be surmounted through the logic of capitalism.
The "Centres" are the product of history, which permitted, in certain regions of the capitalist system, the establishment of a national bourgeois hegemony and a State that can equally be referred to as national capitalist. Bourgeoisie and bourgeois State are inseparable in this context and it is only the so-called "liberal" ideology that can speak of a capitalistic economy, setting the State aside, contrary to all expectations. The bourgeois State assumes national dimensions when it controls the accumulation process, certainly within the limits of external constraints, but that is when such constraints are highly relativised by its own capacity to respond to their action, or even to take part in formulating them.
For their part, the "peripheries" are simply defined in negative terms : they constitute the regions that are not established as centres in the global capitalist system. They therefore represent countries and regions that do not control locally the accumulation process which is consequently influenced mainly by the external constraints. For this reason, the peripheries are not "stagnant", although their development is not similar to the one characterising the centres in the successive stages of the global expansion of capitalism. The bourgeoisie and local capital are not necessarily absent from the local socio-political scene and the peripheries are not synonymous with "pre-capitalist societies". But the State's formal existence is not synonymous with the national capitalist State even if the local bourgeoisie amply controls this machinery inasmuch as it does not control the accumulation process.
The coexistence of centres and peripheries thus defined in the world capitalist system at each stage of global development is clearly obvious. The question therefore does not lie in this recognition ; it consists in knowing whether the peripheries are "moving towards the crystallisation of new centres". More precisely, it is a question of knowing whether the forces operating in the global system are advancing in this direction or are otherwise moving in the opposite direction, beyond the changes affecting such forces in between the development stages of the entire system.
In its globalized expansion, the really existing capitalism has therefore always fostered inequality between peoples. Such inequality is not the outcome of circumstances peculiar to any given country or time ; it is the product of the immanent logic of capital accumulation. Racism is therefore the inevitable outcome of this system. In the discourse on the dominant vulgar ideology, free-market economy naturally ignored the disparity between individuals and between peoples, thereby promoting democracy. In practice, the really existing capitalism is another thing altogether, creating inequality between peoples and therefore breeding fundamental racism.
In the current era of neo-liberal globalisation, this notion claims that the page of inequality between peoples is apparently being turned. It is purported that the new globalisation offers a "chance" to those countries that accept the inherent challenge and know how to intelligently get integrated into the system. These countries could then "catch up with" the former centres. We will however realise that it is nothing of the sort. On the contrary, the new forms of monopolistic domination of the centres in the whole system account for further polarisation and increasing inequality between peoples. The logic of this globalisation consists in nothing other than that of organising apartheid on the global scale.
Globalisation is imperialism
Imperialism is not a stage, not even the highest stage, of capitalism : from the beginning, it is inherent in capitalism’s expansion. The imperialist conquest of the planet by the Europeans and their North American children was carried out in two phases and is perhaps entering a third.
1. The first phase of this devastating enterprise was organized around the conquest of the Americas, in the framework of the mercantilist system of Atlantic Europe at the time. The net result was the destruction of the Indian civilisations and their Hispanicisation-Christianisation, or simply the total genocide on which the United States was built. The fundamental racism of the Anglo-Saxon colonists explains why this model was reproduced elsewhere, in Australia, in Tasmania (the most complete genocide in history), and in New Zealand. For whereas the Catholic Spaniards acted in the name of the religion that had to be imposed on conquered peoples, the Anglo-Protestants took from their reading of the Bible the right to wipe out the “infidels”. The infamous slavery of the Blacks, made necessary by the extermination of the Indians – or their resistance – briskly took over to ensure that the useful parts of the continent were “turned to account”. No one today has any doubt as to the real motives for all these horrors or is ignorant of their intimate relation to the expansion of mercantile capital. Nevertheless, the contemporary Europeans accepted the ideological discourse that justified them, and the voices of protest – that of Las Casas, for example – did not find many sympathetic listeners.
The disastrous results of this first chapter of world capitalist expansion produced, some time later, the forces of liberation that challenged the logics that produced them. The first revolution of the Western Hemisphere was that of the slaves of Saint Domingue (present day Haiti) at the end of the eighteenth century, followed more than a century later by the Mexican revolution of the decade of 1910, and fifty years after that by the Cuban revolution. And if I do not cite here either the famous “American revolution” or that of the Spanish colonies that soon followed, it is because those only transferred the power of decision from the metropolis to the colonists so that they could go on doing the same thing, pursue the same project with even greater brutality, but without having to share the profits with the “mother country”.
2. The second phase of imperialist devastation was based on the industrial revolution and manifested itself in the colonial subjection of Asia and Africa. “To open the markets” – like the market for opium forced on the Chinese by the Puritans of England – and to seize the natural resources of the globe were the real motives here, as everyone knows today. But again, European opinion – including the workers’ movement of the Second International – did not see these realities and accepted the new legitimising discourse of capitalism. This time, it was the famous “civilizing mission”. The voices that expressed the clearest thinking at the time were those of cynical bourgeois; like Cecil Rhodes, who envisaged colonial conquest so as to avoid social revolution in England. Again, the voices of protest – from the Paris Commune to the Bolsheviks – had little resonance. This second phase of imperialism is at the origin of the greatest problem with which mankind has ever been confronted : the overwhelming polarization that has increased the inequality between peoples from a maximum ratio of two to one around 1800, to sixty to one today, with only 20 percent of the earth’s population being included in the centers that benefit from the system. At the same time, these prodigious achievements of capitalist civilization gave rise to the most violent confrontations between the imperialist powers that the world has ever seen. Imperialist aggression again produced the forces that resisted its project : the socialist revolutions that took place in Russia and China (not accidentally in the peripheries that were victims of the polarizing expansion of really existing capitalism) and the revolutions of national liberation. Their victory brought about a half century of respite, the period after the Second World War, which nourished the illusion that capitalism, compelled to adjust to the new situation, had at last managed to become civilized.
The question of imperialism (and behind it the question of its opposite – liberation and development) has continued to weigh on the history of capitalism up to the present. Thus the victory of the liberation movements that just after the Second World War won the political independence of the Asian and African nations not only put an end to the system of colonialism but also, in a way, brought to a close the era of European expansion that had opened in 1492. For four and a half centuries, from 1500 to 1950, that expansion had been the form taken by the development of historical capitalism, to the point where these two aspects of the same reality had become inseparable. To be sure, the “world system of 1492” had already been breached at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth by the independence of the Americas. But the breach was only apparent, because the independence in question had been won not by the indigenous peoples and the slaves imported by the colonists (except in Haiti) but by the colonists themselves, who thereby transformed America into a second Europe. The independence reconquered by the peoples of Asia and Africa took on a different meaning.
The ruling classes of the colonialist countries of Europe did not fail to understand that a new page of history had been turned. They realized that they had to give up the traditional view that the growth of their domestic capitalist economy was tied to the success of their imperial expansion. For that view was held not only by the old colonial powers – primarily England, France and Holland – but also by the new capitalist centers formed in the nineteenth century – Germany, the United States and Japan. Accordingly, the intra-European and international conflicts were primarily struggles over the colonies in the imperialist system of 1492. It being understood that the United States reserved to itself exclusive rights to the whole new continent.
The construction of a great European space – developed, rich, having a first class technological and scientific potential and strong military traditions – seemed to constitute a solid alternative on which to found a new resurgence of capitalist accumulation, without “colonies” – that is, on the basis of a new type of globalisation, different from that of the system of 1492. The question remained of how this new world system could differ from the old, if it would still be polarizing like the old one, if on a new basis, or if it would cease to be so.
No doubt this construction, which is not only far from finished but is going through a crisis that could call into question its long-term significance, will remain a difficult task. No formulas have yet been found that would make it possible to reconcile the historical realities of each nation, which weigh so heavily, with the formation of a politically united Europe. In addition, the vision of how this European economic and political space would fit into the new global system, which is also not yet constructed, has so far remained ambiguous, not to say foggy. Is this economic space to be the rival of the other great space, the one created in the second Europe by the United States ? If so, how will this rivalry affect the relations of Europe and the United States with the rest of the world ? Will the rivals confront each other like the imperialist powers of the earlier period ? or will they act in concert ? In that case, will the Europeans choose to participate by proxy in this new version of the imperialist system of 1492, keeping their political choices in conformity with those of Washington ? On what conditions could the construction of Europe become part of a globalisation that would put a definitive end to the system of 1492 ?
3. Today we see the beginning of a third wave of devastation of the world by imperialist expansion, encouraged by the collapse of the Soviet system and of the regimes of populist nationalism in the Third World. The objectives of dominant capital are still the same – the control of the expansion of markets, the looting of the earth’s natural resources, the super-exploitation of the labour reserves in the periphery – although they are being pursued in conditions that are new and in some respects very different from those that characterized the preceding phase of imperialism. The ideological discourse designed to secure the assent of the peoples of the central Triad (USA-Canada, the European Union, Japan) as been refurbished and is now founded on a “duty to intervene” that is supposedly justified by the defence of “democracy”, the “rights of peoples”, and “humanitarianism”. The examples of the double standard are so flagrant that it seems obvious to the Asian and Africans how cynically this language is used. Western opinion, however, has responded to it with as much enthusiasm as it did to the justifications of earlier phases of imperialism.
Furthermore, to this end the United States is carrying out a systematic strategy designed to ensure its absolute hegemony by a show of military might that will consolidate behind it all the other partners in the Triad. From this point of view, the war in Kosovo fulfilled a crucial function, witness the total capitulation of the European states, which supported the American position on the “new strategic concept” adopted by NATO immediately after the “victory” in Yugoslavia on April 23-25, 1999. In this “new concept” (referred to more bluntly on the other side of the Atlantic as the “Clinton Doctrine”), NATO’s mission is, for practical purposes, extended to all of Asia and Africa (the United States, ever since the Monroe Doctrine, reserving the sole right to intervene in the Americas), an admission that NATO is not a defensive alliance but an offensive weapon of the United States. At the same time, this mission is redefined in terms as vague as one could wish that include new “theats” (international crime, “terrorism”, the “dangerous” arming of countries outside NATO, etc.), which plainly makes it possible to justify almost any aggression useful to the United States. Clinton, moreover, made no bones about speaking of “rogue states” that might be necessary to attack “preventively”, without further specifying what he means by the roguery in question. In addition, NATO is freed from the obligation of acting only on mandate from the United Nations, which is treated with a contempt equal to that which the fascist powers showed for the League of Nations (there is a striking similarity in the terms used).
American ideology is careful to package its merchandise, the imperialist project, in the ineffable language of the “historic mission of the United States”. A tradition handed down from the beginning by the “founding fathers”, sure of their divine inspiration. American liberals – in the political sense of the term, who consider themselves as the “left” in their society – share this ideology. Accordingly, they present American hegemony as necessarily “benign”, the source of progress in moral scruples and in democratic practice, which will necessarily be to the advantage of those who, in their eyes, are not victims of this project but beneficiaries. American hegemony, universal peace, democracy, and material progress are, joined together as inseparable terms. Reality, of course, is located elsewhere.
The unbelievable extend to which public opinion in Europe (and particularly the opinion of the left, in places where it has the majority) has rallied around the project – public opinion in the United States is so naïve that it poses no problem – is a catastrophe that cannot but have tragic consequences. The intensive media campaigns, focused on the regions where Washington has decided to intervene, no doubt partly explain this widespread agreement. But beyond that, people in the West are persuaded that because the United States and the countries of the European Union are “democratic”, their governments are incapable of “ill will”, which is reserved for the bloody “dictators” of the East. They are so blinded by this conviction that they forget the decisive influence of the interests of dominant capital. Thus once again people in the imperialist countries give themselves a clear conscience.
The legacy of the XXth century : the South confronted with the new globalisation
1. During the post World War II period, which I call the “Bandung period” (1955-1975) the States of the Third World had instituted policies of (real or potential) autocentric development, almost exclusively on a national scale, precisely in an effort to reduce world polarisation, to “catch up”. The result of the uneven success of these policies was to produce a contemporary Third world composed of countries very different from each other. Today we can distinguish the following three groups :
(1) The capitalist countries of East Asia (Korea, Taiwan and Singapore) but also, behind them, other countries of Southeast Asia (first of all, Malaysia and Thailand), like China, in which growth rates have risen, while in almost all the rest of the world they were sinking. Looking beyond the crisis that has gripped them since 1997, we must henceforth count these countries among the active competitors in world markets for industrial products. This economic dynamism has generally been accompanied by a lesser aggravation of social imbalances (a point that we need to discuss case by case, making finer distinctions), by a lesser vulnerability (because of the intensification of intra-regional relations in East Asia, similar to that in the European Union), and by effective State intervention (the State retaining a determining role in the implementation of national strategies of development, even when they are open to the outside).
(2) The countries of Latin America and India, which possess equally great industrial capacities. But regional integration is less marked there (20 % for Latin America). State interventions are less consistent. And the widening of inequalities, which in these regions are already enormous, is all the more tragic because growth rates remain modest.
(3) The countries of Africa and the Arab and Islamic worlds, which on the whole have remained locked into an outdated international division of labour. They are still exporters of primary products, either because they have not entered the industrial era or because their industries are fragile, vulnerable, and non-competitive. Here social imbalances take the form chiefly of an expansion of the destitute and excluded masses. Not the least sign of progress in regional (intra-African or intra-Arab) integration. Growth almost non-existent. Even though the group includes “rich” countries (oil exporters with small populations) as well as poor or very poor countries, not one of them is an active agent that participates in shaping the world system. In this sense they really are completely marginalized. These countries might be analysed in terms of three alleged models of development (based on the export of agricultural products, on mining, or on income from oil) and of the different social hegemonies that emerged from national liberation. We would then see clearly that the “development” in question was hardly more than an attempt to join in the global expansion of the capitalism of the time and that, under these conditions, the appropriateness of the term is doubtful, to say the least.
The competitiveness of their industrial production is not the only difference that separates the active peripheries from the marginalized ones. There is also a political difference. The political powers in the active peripheries, and behind them the society as a whole (for all its social contradictions), have a project and a strategy for carrying it out. That is plainly the case of China, Korea and to a lesser degree, India, certain countries of Southeast Asia, and a few Latin American countries. These national projects are confronting those of globally dominant imperialism, and the result of this confrontation will shape the world of tomorrow. The marginalized peripheries, on the other hand, have neither their own project (even when a rhetoric like that of political Islam claims that they do) nor their own strategy. It is the imperialist circles that “think for them” and that have the exclusive initiative for “projects” concerning these regions (like the association of the EEC and the ACPs countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, the “Middle East” project of the United States and Israel, and the vague Mediterranean projects of Europe), which are not in fact opposed by any locally initiated project. These countries are therefore passive subjects of globalisation. The increasing differentiation between these groups of countries has exploded the concept of the “Third World” and put an end to the united front strategies of the Bandung era (1955-1975).
Nevertheless, observers are far from unanimous in their evaluation of the nature of the countries of the former Third World and of the prospects for capitalist expansion there. For some, the most dynamic of the emerging countries are on the road to “catching up” and are no longer “peripheries”, even if they are still at an intermediary level in the global hierarchy. For others (including myself), these countries constitute the true periphery of tomorrow. The contrast between centers and peripheries, which from 1800 to 1950 was synonymous with the contrast between industrialised and non-industrialised economies, is now based on new and different criteria. These can be identified through an analysis of the five monopolies exercised by the Triad, to which we shall return.
In any event where industrialisation has made the most marked progress, the peripheries always contain huge “reserves”, by which I mean that very large, although varying, proportions of their labour forces are employed (when they are employed) in activities having low productivity. This is because the policies of modernisation – that is, the attempts to “catch up” – impose technological choices that are themselves modern (in order to be efficient, perhaps even competitive), choices that are extremely expensive in terms of the utilisation of scarce resources (capital and skilled labour). This systemic imbalance is further aggravated whenever the modernisation in question is accompanied by a growing inequality in the distribution of income. Under these conditions the contrast between the centers and the peripheries remains extreme. In the former this passive reserve, which does exist, is a minority (varying from time to time according to circumstances but almost always, no doubt, less than 20 %). In the latter it is always a majority. The only exceptions being Korea and Taiwan which, for various reasons, including the geostrategic factor that has been extremely favourable for them (they had to be helped to confront the danger of “contamination” by Chinese communism), have enjoyed a growth unparalleled elsewhere.
What about the marginalized regions ? Are they a phenomenon without historical precedent ? or are they, on the contrary, the expression of a permanent tendency of capitalist expansion, a tendency that was slowed for a time, after Second World War, by power relations that were less unfavourable to the peripheries as a whole ? In the latter case, it was this exceptional situation which, despite the differences between the countries making up the Third World, was the basis for their “solidarity”, in their anti-colonial struggles, their demands regarding prices of primary products, and their political will to modernise, a will to industrialise that the Western powers tried to thwart. It is precisely because the different countries achieved different degrees of success on these fronts that the cohesion and solidarity of the Third World were eroded.
In this respect some countries are qualified as being “marginalized”, the phrase suggesting that these countries are “out” of the global system, or at best integrated into it only superficially, and therefore that their development implies their being “more” integrated. In fact all the regions of the world (including so called “marginalized” Africa) are equally integrated in the global system, but they are integrated into it in different ways. The concept of marginalization is a false concept that hides the real question, which is not : “To what degree are the various regions integrated” ? But rather : “in which way are they integrated” ?
Africa was integrated into the global system from the very start of building of that system, in the mercantilist phase of early capitalism (1500 to 1800), and then during the colonial period (1880-1960). The results of this mode of insertion into world capitalism were also going to prove catastrophic for Africans. First, it delayed – by a century – any commencement of an agricultural revolution. A surplus could be extracted here from the labour of the peasants and from the wealth offered by nature without investments of modernisation (no machines or fertiliser), without genuinely paying for the labour (reproducing itself in the framework of traditional self-sufficiency), without even guaranteeing the maintenance of the natural conditions of reproduction of wealth (pillage of agrarian soils and forests). Simultaneously, this mode of development of natural resources tapped into the framework of the unequal international division of labour of the time, thereby excluding the formation of any local middle class. On the contrary, each time the latter started the process of its formation, the colonial authorities hastened to suppress it.
As a result, today most so-called “less developed countries” (LDCs) are, as everybody knows, located in Africa. The countries which today make up this “fourth world” are, for large part, countries destroyed by the intensity of their integration in an earlier phase of the global expansion of capitalism. Bangladesh is also an example, the successor state of Bengal which was the jewel of British colonisation in India. There are only a few countries that are “poor” and non-integrated or little integrated in the global system. Perhaps yesterday we could count North Yemen or Afghanistan. Their integration, which is underway to date, like the integration of others yesterday, produces nothing more than a “modernisation of poverty” – shantytowns taking on the landless peasants. The weaknesses of the national liberation movement and of the inheritor states of colonisation date back to this colonial fashioning. These weaknesses are therefore not the products of a pristine pre-colonial Africa, which disappeared in the storm – contrary to the ideology of global capitalism which endeavours to derive its legitimacy by hearkening back to it with the usual racist discourse. The “criticisms” of independent Africa – which address its corrupt political middle classes, its lack of economic direction, the tenacity of its rural community structures – forget that these features of contemporary Africa were forged between 1880 and 1960.
2. Let us suppose that the present dominant tendencies remain the principal active force determining the evolution of both the system as whole and its various component parts. In that case, what might be the evolution of the relations between what I shall call the active army of labour (the totality of workers engaged, at least potentially, in competitive activities on the world market) and the passive reserve (the others that is, not only the marginalized and the unemployed but also those employed in low productivity activities, who are condemned to poverty) ?
According to some observers, the countries of the Triad will pursue the evolution initiated by their choice of neo-liberalism, and consequently a large reserve army of labour will be reconstituted on their own territory. I might add that in order to maintain their dominant position on a world scale, these countries may reorganise themselves chiefly around their five monopolies, thus abandoning whole segments of “traditional” industrial production that become commonplace and are relegated to the dynamic peripheries but kept under control by the exercise of these monopolies. In that event, this reconstituted reserve army would be all the larger. In the peripheries concerned we would also find a dual structure characterised by the coexistence of an active army (employed in the “commonplace” segments of industrial production) and a reserve army. So in a way, the evolution would bring the two groups center/peripheries closer together, even though the hierarchy was maintained by the five monopolies.
A great deal has been written on this subject and on the profound revisions it implies not only in the very concept of labour but also in the concept of the relative homogeneity produced by a national productive system, and even in the concept of the contrast between the centers and the peripheries. The “end of labour” that has been announced in accordance with this line of thought, the so-called new “network” society, and the recomposition of social life by and around the interaction of “projects” (what is sometimes called the “society of projects”, as opposed to the fordist industrial society), these are some of the problems which futurology places on the agenda. In whatever form they are expressed, these propositions no longer envisage the possibility that societies can remain even relatively homogeneous, thanks to the generalisation of a dominant form of social relations. Everywhere, in the centers as well as the peripheries, there would necessarily be economies and societies advancing at different rates of speed. In different places there would be a “first world” of the wealthly and the well off, enjoying the comforts of the new “society of projects”, a “second” world of heavily exploited workers, and a “third” (or “fourth”) world of the excluded.
The political optimists may say that the juxtaposition on the territories of the centers and peripheries of an active army and a reserve army will create the conditions for a renewal of significant class struggles, capable of radicalisation and internationalism.
My reservations about these hopes are based on two observations that may be summed up as follows :
(1) In the centers, it will probably be impossible to reconstitute a large, permanent reserve army and to refocus the economy on activities connected with the five monopolies. The political system of the Triad will hardly permit that. In one way or another, then, violent explosions will cause the movement to branch off from the paths laid out by the neo-liberal option (which will therefore become untenable). It will turn either to the left, in the direction of new and progressive social compromises, or to the right, in the direction of national populisms with fascist tendencies.
(2) In the peripheries, even the most dynamic of them, for the reasons given above it will be impossible for the expansion of modernised productive activities to absorb the huge reserves presently occupied in low productivity activities. The dynamic peripheries will therefore remain peripheries that is, societies riddled with all the major contradictions produced by the existence of modernised enclaves (even large ones) surrounded by vast areas that are only slightly modernised, these contradictions helping to keep them in a subaltern position, subservient to the five monopolies of the centers. The thesis (developed by the Chinese revolutionaries, among others) that only socialism can solve the problems of these societies remains true. True, that is, if by socialism we mean not a formula that is completely worked out and supposedly definitive, but a movement articulating the solidarity of all, carried out in accordance with people’s strategies that ensure the gradual, organised transfer, by civilised means of the vast reserves into the modern enclaves. That requires delinking understood as the subordination of external relations to the logic of this popular, national stage of the long transition.
I should add that the notion of “competitiveness” is misused in the dominant discourse. There it is reduced to a micro-economic concept (the myopic view of the director of an enterprise), whereas it is the productive systems (which are historically national) whose efficiency as a whole gives their component enterprises the competitive capacity in question.
On the basis of the observations and reflections set forth here, it can be seen that the world outside the central Triad is made up of three levels of peripheries.
- First level : the former socialist countries, China, Korea, Taiwan, India, Brazil and Mexico, which have succeeded in building national productive systems (and which are therefore potentially, if not actually, “competitive”).
- Second level : the countries that have embarked on industrialisation but have not succeeded in creating national productives systems : the Arab countries, South Africa, Iran, Turkey, Latin America. In these countries there are occasionally found “competitive” industrial establishments (thanks in particular to their cheap labour), but no competitive systems.
- Third level : the countries that have not entered into the industrial revolution (roughly speaking, the ACPs). These are potentially “competitive” only in domains where natural advantages are the controlling factor : mines, oil, tropical agricultural products.
In none of the countries of the first two levels has it been possible to absorb the “passive” reserves, which vary from 40 % (in Russia) to 80 % (in India and China). In Africa the proportion is plainly close to or greater than 90 %. Under these conditions, to talk about a strategic objective of becoming “competitive” is to delight in meaningless words.
The renewed monopolies of the imperialist centers
1. The position of a country in the world pyramid is defined by the level of competitiveness of its products on the world market. Recognising this truism in no way implies that one shares the commonplace view of popular economics that this position is achieved by the application of “rational” economic policies whose rationality is, precisely, measured by the yardstick of its obedience to the alleged “objective laws of the market”. I suggest that, absolutely to the contrary of this nonsense that is taken for granted, the “competitiveness” in question is the complex product of a cluster of conditions operating in the whole field of reality – economic, political and social. Further, that in this unequal combat the centers take advantage of what I call their “five monopolies”, articulating the action of all for maximum effect. These five monopolies therefore challenge social theory in its totality. In my opinion, they are as follows:
(1) The monopoly in various areas of technology, which demands gigantic expenditures that only the state – the big, rich State – can conceive of sustaining. Without this support, which is never mentioned in liberal discourse, and especially the support of military spending, the monopoly in most of these areas could not be maintained.
(2) The monopoly of the control of global financial flows. The liberalisation of the establishment of major financial institutions operating on the world financial market has given this monopoly an unprecedented effectiveness. Not so long ago the major portion of the saving of a nation could circulate only in the space – generally national – governed by its financial institutions. Today this is no longer the case : savings are centralized by the intervention of financial institutions whose field of operation is now the whole world. They constitute financial capital, the most globalized segment of capital. Nevertheless, this privilege is based on a political logic that ensures the acceptance of financial globalisation. This logic could be challenged by a simple political decision to delinking, even if it were limited to the domain of financial transfers. Moreover, the free movement of globalized financial capital takes place within a framework defined by a world monetary system. That system is based on the dogma of the free appreciation of the value of currencies by the market (in accordance with a theory holding that money is a commodity like any other) and on reference to the dollar as the de facto universal currency. The first of these conditions is without scientific basis, and the second functions only because there is no alternative. The national currency of a particular country can satisfactorily fulfil the function of an international currency only if the conditions of international competition produce a structural surplus of exports from that country, ensuring that it will finance the structural adjustment of the others. In the XIXth century, that was the case of Great Britain. It is not the case today of the United States, which, on the contrary, finances its deficit by the loans it forces on others. Nor is it the case of the rivals of the United States, Germany’s surpluses having disappeared after unification, and Japan’s being utterly inadequate to the financial needs of the structural adjustment of others. In these conditions financial globalisation, far from being a “natural” development is, on the contrary, extremely fragile. In the short run it engenders only a permanent instability, and not the stability necessary for the process of adjustment to operate efficiently.
(3) The monopoly of access to the natural resources of the planet. The dangers that the mindless exploitation of these resources poses henceforth for the planet – dangers that capitalism, which is based on nothing more than a short-term social rationality, cannot overcome – reinforces the significance of the monopoly of the already developed countries, whose only concern is to prevent others from adopting their own wasteful practices.
(4) The monopoly in the field of communication and the media, which not only homogenize at the lowest level the world culture that they transmit but also open up new means of political manipulation. The expansion of the market of the modern media is already one of the major factors in the erosion of the concept and practice of democracy in the West itself.
(5) Finally, the monopoly of weapons of mass destruction. This monopoly which was limited in the post war period by the bipolar structure of world power, has again become the absolute weapon that American diplomacy reserves for its sole use, as in 1945. Although “proliferation” entails the obvious danger of spinning out of control in some unforeseen way, in the absence of democratic world control of a truly global disarmament, there is no other means by which this unacceptable monopoly can be combated.
Taken together, these five monopolies define the framework within which the globalized law of the value expresses itself. Far from being the expression of a “pure” economic rationality, which can be separated from its social and political setting, the law of value is the condensed expression of all these conditioning factors. I maintain that these factors cancel out the significance of the industrialisation of the peripheries, devaluing the productive labour incorporated in its products while overvaluing the alleged added value attached to the activities through which the new monopolies operate to the benefit of the centers. They therefore produce a new hierarchy in the distribution of income on a world scale, which is more unequal than ever, subordinate the industries of the peripheries, and reduce them to the status of subcontractors. This gives polarisation a new foundation that will determine its forms in future.
2. The system of global and international institutions is being currently reorganised with a view to reinforcing the above mentioned monopolies of which the Triad’s centres benefit.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) was established precisely to strengthen these “advantages” of transnational capital and establish their legitimacy for the ruling of the global economy. The so called “rights of industrial and intellectual property” are conceived with a view to perpetuating the monopoly of transnationals, guarantee their super profits and create additional enormous obstacles for further autonomous industrial development in the peripheries. The scandal that major pharmaceutical multinationals claiming a right to free and exclusive access to the market everywhere in the world, to the prejudice of any attempt to produce locally cheaper medical drugs is a good example of that pattern of an “apartheid on a global scale” : while the peoples of rich countries will have access to efficient medical care, the others (the peoples of the South) are simply denied this right to life. Similarly the offensive of WTO aiming at integrating agriculture in the global deregulated open market will simply destroy any attempt of countries of the South to ensure food security, and furthers throw into poverty hundreds of millions of peasants in the South.
The logics which commands these policies of systematic overprotection of northern monopolies denies the validity of the dominant discourse with respect to the advantages of the so called “free trade, free access to markets”. These policies contradict brutally that discourse, which is therefore nothing but simply “propaganda”, i.e. lie.
That logics is clearly formulated in the strategy of WTO aiming at developing an “international business law” which is given priority over any national legislation. The scandalous project of a “Multinational Agreement on Investment”, prepared in secret by OECD countries, is part of that plan.
In contrast with this project legalising apartheid on a global scale, what is needed is an “international (global) law of peoples” (not a law for business, as if business interests constituted the exclusive legitimate rights). In that frame can we hope to develop a new, higher law that will guarantee that everyone on the planet is treated with dignity, which is the prerequisite for their active, creative participation in building the future ? A complete, multidimensional body of law that deals with the rights of the human being (both men and women, of course, in full equality), with political rights, social rights (to life, to work and to security), the rights of communities and of peoples, and finally with relations between States. That is certainly an agenda that will take decades of reflection, debate, actions and decisions.
The principle of respect for the sovereignty of nations must remain the cornerstone of international law. And if the framers of the Charter of the United Nations chose to proclaim that principle, it was precisely because it had been denied by the fascist powers. In his poignant address before the League of Nations in 1935, Emperor Haile Selassie had made it clear that the violation of that principle – a violation that the democracies of the time had accepted in cowardly fashion – tolled the knell for the organisation. That today it is the democracies themselves which violate this fundamental principle with equal brutality is not an attenuating circumstance but, on the contrary, an aggravating one. Moreover, it has already marked the beginning of the equally inglorious end of the United Nations, which is treated as a bureau for rubber stamping decisions taken elsewhere and carried out by others. The solemn adoption of the principle of national sovereignty in 1945 was logically accompanied by the prohibition of recourse to war. States are authorised to defend themselves against anyone who violates their sovereignty by aggression, but they are condemned in advance if they are the aggressors. Yet NATO member countries have been the aggressors in former Yugoslavia.
No doubt the interpretation of the principle of sovereignty given in the United nations Charter was absolute. Today democratic public opinion no longer accepts that this principle authorises governments to do whatever they want with the human beings placed under their jurisdiction, a change in attitude that represents definite progress in the moral conscience of mankind. But how are we to reconcile these two principles that can conflict ? Certainly not by eliminating one of the terms – either the sovereignty of States or human rights. Because the path chosen by the United States, followed by its subaltern European allies, not only is certainly the wrong one but also conceals the true objectives of the operation, which have nothing to do with respect for human rights, notwithstanding the media blitz that tries to make us think so.
The United Nations should be the place where international law is elaborated. There is no other that can be respected. To accomplish this task the organisation will have to be reformed. Thought will have to be given to ways and means (including institutional innovation) of enabling real social forces to be represented there beside the governments (which represent them only very imperfectly at best). The organisation will have to set itself the goal of integrating into a coherent whole the rules of international law (respect for sovereignty), the rules concerning the rights of individuals and peoples, and those concerning economic and social rights, which are forgotten in the standard liberal list and which necessarily require that markets be regulated. That is enough to provide an agenda heavy with questions that I shall not attempt to deal with here, as the answers would inevitably be too brief. There is no doubt that the process will be long. But there is no shortcut : the history of humanity has not yet reached its end ; it will continue to progress at a pace in accordance with its possibilities.
The other major “international” institution which is instrumental for the implementation of the “apartheid on a global scale” plan of transnational capital, supported by the governments of the Triad, is NATO.
World geopolitics constitutes the framework within which all development strategies necessarily unfold. This is the way it has always been, at least so far as the modern world is concerned – that is, the world capitalist system since 1492. The power relations that give the geopolitics of the successive phases of capitalist expansion their configuration facilitate the development (in the ordinary sense of the term) of the dominant countries and constitute a handicap for the others. The present time is characterised by the deployment of a United States project of hegemony on a world scale. Furthermore, today this project occupies the whole stage alone. There is no longer any counter project aiming to limit the space controlled by the United States, as was the case during the period of bipolarism (1945-1990). In addition to its original ambiguities, the European project has itself entered a phase where it is receding into the background. The countries of the South (the Group of 77, the Non-Aligned Nations) which during the Bandung period (1955-1975) had the ambition of forming a common front to oppose Western imperialism, have given up that idea. Even China, which is going it alone, scarcely has any ambition other than to protect its national project (which is itself ambiguous, incidentally) and does not pretend to be an active partner in shaping the world.
The hegemony of the United States rests on a major pillar : its military power. Built up systematically since 1945, and covering the entire planet, which is divided into regions, each belonging to a “US military command”, this hegemony was forced to accept the peaceful coexistence imposed by Soviet military might. When the so-called Cold War was over, in spite of the collapse of the USSR whose alleged “threat” had served as a pretext for the establishment of the US military system, Washington chose not to dismantle that system, but, on the contrary, to strengthen it and extend it to the regions that had hitherto escaped its control.
The preferred instrument of the hegemonist offensive is therefore the military. US hegemony, which in turn guarantees the hegemony of the Triad over the world system, therefore demands that its allies agree to follow in the American wake, like Great Britain, Germany and Japan, acknowledging the necessity of doing so, and acknowledging it without any emotional crises or any hand-wringing over “culture”. But that means that all the speeches that the European politicians feed their audiences about the economic power of Europe have no real significance. By placing itself solely on the terrain of mercantile disputes, with no project of is own, Europe is beaten in advance. Washington knows that very well. NATO speaks today in the name of the “international community”, thereby expressing its contempt for the democratic principle that governs that community through the United Nations. In the American debates concerning the global strategy in question, human rights and democracy are rarely mentioned. They are invoked only when it is useful for the implementation of the global strategy. Hence the dazzling cynicism and the systematic use of the double standard.
It is not hard to know both the objectives and the means of the US project. They are constantly set forth in a language whose chief virtue is candor, even if the justification of the goals is always drowned in the self righteous talk characteristic of the American tradition. The American global strategy has five objectives : (1) to neutralise and subjugate the other partners in the Triad (Europe and Japan) and to minimise their capacity to act outside the orbit of the United States ; (2) to establish military control through NATO and to “Latin Americanise” the pieces of the former Soviet world ; (3) to exercise sole control over the Middle East and Central Asia and their oil resources ; (4) to break up China, ensure the subordination of the other big States (India, Brazil), and prevent the formation of regional blocs that might be in a position to negotiate the terms of globalisation ; (5) to marginalize the regions of the South that do not represent any strategic interest.
WTO and NATO, replacing the United Nations, are the main instruments of the new “global order” (disorder) i.e. the new apartheid global imperialist system. Other institutions of the global system also play some role in that frame, while only supportive of WTO and NATO overall strategies. That is the case for instance of the World Bank. This institution, often pompously presented as the major “think tank” formulating strategic choices for the global economy, is certainly not that important. World Bank is hardly more than a kind of Ministry of Propaganda for the G7 in charge of producing slogans and discourses, while actual responsibility for making economic strategic decisions is reserved to WTO and for political decisions to NATO. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is more important, albeit not as much as is being usually said. As long as the principle of flexible exchange rates govern the international monetary system and as long as IMF is not accountable for the relations between major currencies (dollar, mark-euro, yen), the Fund operates only as a kind of supreme currency authority for the south, governed by the North.
3. In the framework of globalized capitalism, the comparative competitiveness of the productive systems in the Triad and in the peripheral worlds, and the major trends of their evolution, are without doubt important factors in the prospect for the medium long term. Taken as a whole, they produce almost everywhere economies that function at several speeds : certain sectors, regions and enterprises (especially among the giant transnationals) are registering strong growth rates and realizing high profits ; others are stagnating, declining, or breaking up. The labour markets are segmented so they can be adjusted to this situation.
Once again, is this really a new phenomenon ? Or, on the contrary, does functioning at different speeds constitute the norm in the history of capitalism ? In that case it was only an exception that this phenomenon was attenuated during the post war phase (1945-1980) because at that time the social relations necessitated systematic interventions by the State (the Welfare State, the Soviet State, the national State in the Third World of Bandung). The State facilitated the growth and modernisation of the productive forces by organising the requisite transfers between regions and sectors.
So it is not easy to sort out from the tangled reality those phenomena that are part of significant long term trends and those that depend on the particular circumstances of crisis management. In the present phase, the two groups of phenomena are both very real. There is the aspect “crisis and management of the crisis”, and there is the aspect “ongoing transformation of systems”. The main point I want to emphasise is the following : the transformations in the capitalist system are not the product of meta social forces to which we must submit as to laws of nature (accepting that there is no alternative), but the product of social relations. Accordingly, there are always different possible options corresponding to different social equilibriums.
Thus we are confronted with a “new question of development”, which makes it more imperative than ever to go beyond the limited vision of “catching up” that was dominant in the XXth century. To be sure, the new question of development includes a dimension if not of “catching up” at least of expanding the productive forces. And in this sense, certain lessons from the past, remain valid for the future. But it also obliges us straight away to give much greater importance than in the past to what is required for the construction, on a world scale, of another society.
Conditions for an alternative to globalized apartheid
1. There are no "capitalist expansion laws" asserted as a quasi-supernatural force just as no historical determinism existed prior to history itself. The trends inherent in the concept of capital always come up against resistance by forces opposed to their effects. Real history is therefore the outcome of this conflict between the logic of capitalist expansion and those arising from the social forces' resistance to its expansion.
For example, the industrialisation of the peripheries in the course of the post-war period (1945-1990) is not the natural outcome of capitalist expansion but rather that of conditions posed to the latter by victories of the national liberation process imposing this industrialisation, to which the globalized capital was adjusted. For instance, the declining efficiency of the Nation-State, as a result of capitalist globalisation, is not an irreversible determinant of the future. On the contrary, the natural responses to such globalisation can give unexpected clues to global expansion, for better or for worse, depending on the circumstances. For example, the environmental concerns in conflict with the capital logic (since the latter is naturally a short-term concept) could bring about substantial changes in capital adjustment. Many more examples can be cited.
The effective response to the challenges can be found only if it is understood that history is not commanded by the inevitable deployment of "pure" economic laws. It is produced by social responses to the tendencies expressed by such laws, that in turn define the context of social relations in which these laws operate. The "anti-systemic" forces - the possible designation for this organised, coherent and effective refusal of unilateral and total submission to the exigencies of these so-called laws (which, in fact, constitute the law of profit peculiar to capitalism as a system) -- influence real history as much as the "pure" logic of capitalist accumulation. They command the possibilities and forms of expansion then deployed in the contexts organised by the said forces.
The proposed humanist response to the challenge of globalised expansion of capitalism is by no means "utopian". On the contrary, it is the sole realistic project possible in the sense that the beginning of an evolution in its direction must quickly rally powerful social forces capable of imposing logic. If there be any utopia, in the common and negative sense of that term, it is actually that of the proposed management of the system limited to its regulation by the market.
To identify the conditions of this humanist alternative, it is essential to start with the diversity of the aspirations motivating social mobilisation and social struggles and perhaps to classify these aspirations subsequently under five headings : (i) aspiration for political democracy, rule of law and intellectual freedom ; (ii) aspiration for social justice ; (iii) aspiration for respect for various groups and communities ; (iv) aspiration for improved ecological management and (v) aspiration for a more favourable position in the global system.
It can easily be recognised that the protagonists of the movements meeting these aspirations are seldom identical. For instance, it is imagined that the concern to offer the country a higher position in the global hierarchy, which is defined in terms of wealth, power and autonomy of movement, will constitute a major concern among the ruling classes and authorities even if this objective might win the sympathy of the population as a whole. Aspiration for respect -- in the full sense of the term, in other words, respect for a really equal treatment -- can mobilise women as such, or a cultural, language or religious group subjected to discriminations. The movements inspired by such aspirations may be trans-classicist. On the other hand, the aspiration for greater social justice, defined at will (in conformity with the wishes of the movements motivated by such aspiration) -- for improved material well-being, a more pertinent and effective legislation or a system of social relations and a radically different system of production -- will almost inevitably find expression in class struggles. This can take the form of a claim by the peasantry or by one of its groups for agrarian reform, property redistribution, a legislation favourable to tenant farmers, more favourable prices, etc. It can may be expressed in the context of union rights, labour legislation, or even a demand for State policy that would enhance its effective intervention in favour of workers as far as the nationalisation, joint management or more radically labour power. But it can also appear in the form of demands by groups of professionals or entrepreneurs claiming tax relief. It can be channelled through claims concerning all citizens, as testified by the movements pressing for the right to education, health or housing and, mutatis mutandis, the right to a suitable environmental management. The democratic aspiration can be limited and definite, particularly when it inspires a movement fighting against an undemocratic authority. At the same time, it may be integrative and can therefore be conceived as the lever helping to promote all the social demands.
A current distribution chart of these movements would certainly show vast inequalities in their presence in the field. But we know that this chart is not static because in the event of a problem, there is almost always a potential movement to find an appropriate solution. However, it would necessarily smack of naive optimism to imagine that the resultant of the chart of forces operating in these very diverse fields will promote the coherence of a joint movement mobilising societies to press for enhanced justice and democracy. Chaos stems as much from the nature as from the order. Similarly, one would be naive to overlook the ruling authorities' reaction to such movements. The geographical distribution of these powers and the strategies they develop to meet challenges facing them at both local and international levels, respond to considerations other than those underlying the aspirations in question.
In other words, the possibility of drift on the part of the social movements, their exploitation and manipulation also constitute some of the realities that could eventually render them powerless or compel them to adopt a perspective different from theirs.
There is a global political strategy for world management. Its objective is to ensure the maximum disintegration of potential anti-systemic forces by contributing to the decline of the State system. As many Slovenians, Chechens, Kosovos and Kuwaitis as possible ! The use of demands for recognition and even their manipulation, are welcome in this regard. The question of community, ethnic, religious or other forms of identity therefore constitutes one of the major concerns of our era.
The basic principle of democracy -- which implies real respect for national, ethnic, religious, cultural and ideological diversity -- cannot be circumvented. Diversity cannot be managed in any fashion other than the sincere practice of democracy. Otherwise, it inevitably becomes an instrument that opponents can utilise for their own purposes.
In the Third World of Bandung, the national liberation movements often succeeded in uniting the various ethnic groups and religious communities against the imperialist enemy. Whereas the ruling classes in the first generation of African States were often really trans-ethnic, few power systems were able to manage such diversity democratically and consolidate the achievements, if there were any. In this regard, their meagre propensity for democracy produced results as deplorable as in their management of other problems facing their societies. With the ensuing crisis, the ruling classes in desperate straits, and helpless, often played a decisive role in resorting to community withdrawals as a means of prolonging their "control" of the masses. However, even in many authentic bourgeois democracies, community diversity is often far from being managed correctly.
The success of culturalism measures up to the inadequacies inherent in the democratic management of diversity, culturalism being understood in the assertion that the differences in question might be "primordial", and should "have priority" (in relation to the class differences for instance) and sometimes are supposed to be "trans-historical" ; in other words, based on historical invariants ( this is often the case of religious culturalisms which easily leads to obscurantism and fanaticism).
An essential criterion will therefore be proposed for enhanced understanding of the jumble of demands for recognition at social and other levels. The aspects considered progressive are the claims intended to fight against social exploitation and pressing for increased democracy in all of its dimensions. On the other hand, all the claims presented "without a social programme" (because that is said to be unimportant !), claims purportedly "not opposed to globalisation" (because that may also be insignificant !), and that are presented, a fortiori, as falling outside the concept of democracy (accused of being "western") are clearly reactionary and they absolutely serve the interests of the dominant capital. All the same, the latter is aware of the existing situation and supports such claims even when the media take advantage of their barbarous content to denounce peoples who are victims of the system using or even manipulating such movements.
The humanist alternative to apartheid on the global scale cannot be sustained by backward-looking nostalgia ; neither can it be based on the assertion of diversities inherited from the past. This will not be effective unless it comes within a framework resolutely oriented towards the future. This entails going beyond the truncated and polarising capitalist globalisation, constructing a new post-capitalist globalisation based on real equality among peoples, communities, States and individuals.
Inherited diversities create problems because they exist. But in concentrating on them, one loses sight of other diversities that are otherwise more interesting -- those that the future invention necessarily generates in its movement. The concept associated with such diversities proceeds from the very concept of emancipatory democracy and the perpetually uncompleted modernity accompanying it. The creative utopias around which may crystallise peoples' struggles for equality and justice always find their legitimacy from the multiple systems of values. The systems of social analysis -- their necessary complement -- are inspired by social theories which are themselves diverse. The strategies proposed with a view to moving effectively in the suitable direction cannot themselves be the monopoly of any organisation. These diversities in the future invention are not only inevitable ; they are also welcome.
2. The alternative to global apartheid is therefore a pluricentric world, in which less unequal economic and political relations between regions and countries which have inherited the destructive effects of polarisation produced by the expansion of capitalism are systematically organised through a complex set of negotiations, policies and regulations aiming at :
(1) Renegotiating “market shares” and the rules of access to them. This project, of course, challenges the rules of the WTO which, behind all the talk of “fair competition”, is exclusively concerned with defending the privileges of the oligopolies that are active on a world scale.
(2) Renegotiating the systems of capital markets, with a view to putting an end to the domination of financial speculation and orienting investment toward productive activities in the North and South.
(3) Renegotiating monetary systems, with a view to putting into place regional arrangements and systems that would ensure the relative stability of exchange rates, supplemented by the organisation of their interdependence. This project challenges the IMF, the dollar standard, and the principle of free and fluctuating rates of exchange.
(4) Starting establishing a worldwide system of taxation – for example, by the taxing of income derived from the exploitation of natural resources, and the redistribution of these funds for designated purposes around the world according to appropriate criteria.
(5) Demilitarising the planet, beginning with the reduction of the weapons of mass destruction in the arsenals of the most powerful countries.
This programme for the reconciliation of globalisation with local and regional autonomies (what Icalla pattern of delinking appropriate to the new challenges) would include making a serious review of the concept of “aid” and addressing the problem of democratising the United Nations system. That system could then get down to effective work on disarmament (which would be made possible by the formulas for national and regional security associated with the reorganisation of regions) and prepare the way for the establishment of a globalised tax system (related to the management of the natural resources of planet). It could also supplement the United Nations with the beginnings of a “world Parliament” capable of reconciling the demands of universalism (rights of the individual, of collectivities, and of peoples ; political and social rights etc.) with the diversity of historical and cultural heritages.
Of course, there is no chance of gradual progress toward the realisation of this “project” as a whole unless there first take shape, at the level of Nation States, social forces and projects that can carry forward the necessary reforms, which are impossible within the limits imposed by liberalism and polarising globalisation. Whether it is a question of reforms in a particular sector or of larger visions of democratisation of societies and their political and economic management, these preliminary stages are indispensable. Without them, the vision of a reorganisation of the world that could bring it out of crisis and make development “take off” again, will inevitably remain completely utopian.
This last consideration obliges us to make room for proposals for immediate action, around which real political and social forces can be mobilised – first at local levels, even if they have a broader aim (“globalize the struggle”). I am thinking here of the many types of regulation that could be implemented rapidly in every domain : economic (for example, taxation of financial transfers, abolition of the “fiscal paradises” that are tax shelters for foreign capital, cancellation of debt), ecological (protection of species, prohibition of harmful products and methods, initiation of a globalized system of taxes on the consumption of certain non renewable resources), social (labour legislation, investment codes, participation of peoples’ representatives in international bodies), political (democracy and individual rights), and cultural (rejection of the commodification of cultural goods).
But the programme for the medium term that I have suggested is not merely designed to modify the forms of market regulation so as to protect the weak (classes and nations). Its political components is no less important. The key ideas in that component are disarmament and the elaboration of a new system of international law governing individuals, peoples, and States.
The challenges and the alternatives are therefore : either neo liberal globalisation which in fact leads naturally to global apartheid, or polycentric negotiated globalisation along the lines briefly described above.