The present analyzis made by the PARDEM (Parti de la Démondialisation – Party for Deglobalization) is about neoliberal globalization. It is in line with the other texts issued by the PARDEM that deal with deglobalization more specifically. Further to a certain number of authors, we show that neoliberal globalization is essentially a political process. It is rooted in the need for the dominating classes to thwart efficiently the social conquests made during the 20th century : the New Deal in the United States in 1933, the Front Populaire (the Popular Front) in France in 1936, the semi-public economies in Western Europe from 1944 to 1948, the social conquests in the 1960s and 1970s...
The neoliberal project, theorized right after World War II, was to unfold from the late 1960s and become widely spread in the early 1980s. Its main goal consists of the discreet and gradual suppression of Nation-States sovereignty, that is, the destruction of democracy and politics. Such is indeed the most efficient means to forbid any possible policies that might contravene the dominating classes' interests. This project is based on three pillars :
First pillar : free-trade. It does not make goods compete against each other only, but also social systems. In the long run, it makes unsustainable these systems that had granted social advantages in the postwar decades.
Second pillar : financial liberalization. This is free-trade applied to money, allowing financial and monetary flows to speculate massively and immediately worldwide, without restriction. World production is thus reorganized by favoring low-wages societies without any social security (in particular through off-shoring). States are threatened to see their public debt and productive economy destabilized if they do not implement neoliberal cardinal principles with docility.
Third pillar : international treaties and multilateral institutions. They are the guardians of the neoliberal world order, keeping it out of reach from any democratic pressure.
The way these three pillars are combined together aims at allowing business as freely as possible for multinational firms. These firms, owned by the dominating classes, are the fundamental vector to appropriate benefits for themselves. To ensure the system may last, a permanent ideological war is led thanks to the control of world mainstream media by the dominating classes.
No other political party makes that analyzis. None of them draws the obvious conclusions. Except the PARDEM.
Deglobalizing means retrieving national sovereignty – in other words, democracy is made possible again.
Deglobalizing will allow putting an end to free-trade, to the financialization of economies, to neoliberal international treaties and the supranational institutions established to implement them. Taking over the national subsidiaries of multinational firms and the multinational firms themselves in their home States, as well as the mainstream media, shall bring a fatal blow to the dominating classes in the countries that will know how to organize such a movement. This is the action taken by the PARDEM in France.
If you wish to learn more about deglobalization, please click on the link below :
I.- Neoliberal globalization : a political project in essence, rooted in the social and democratic conquests of the 20th century
Globalization is one of these words so much used time and time again in any kind of contexts – yet never fully clarified – that they lose all strict significance. The point is not to make a subtle yet useless distinction between the various meanings behind “globalization” once more, or have any other shallow discussions that this term may generate in particular. Let's put it once and for all : our topic is the neoliberal globalization that has began in the late 1960s to become the new, obvious form of capitalism in the 1980s and 1990s eventually. The point is not to assimilate this form of capitalism to the movement spanning centuries either – a movement that, since the great discoveries made in the 16th century, has witnessed the development of exchanges between the different societies throughout the globe, through colonization, the extension of capitalism and statehood, then the explosion in modern means of communication.
Capitalism chose globalization to avoid democratic procedures.
The phenomenon which preoccupies us is much more circumscribed. It could be qualified as the dominating classes' most political project since the great revolutions of the late 18th century. In fact, the issue was to transform capitalism institutional form so that it may avoid any political – and therefore democratic – pressure in the long term. In order to reach this strategic result, capitalism had to get out of the restrictive framework set forth by national sovereignty as much as possible. National sovereignty induced democratic procedures in Western countries automatically. It began to threaten profit rates in a lasting and significant manner. The continuity of capitalism itself could falter if the characteristic movement lasted – a movement that had started during the first half of the 20th century, after World War I.
Indeed, the political shape assumed by Western countries had triggered off a nationwide structuring of workers' and employees' movements in general in the early 20th century. After many tribulations and hesitations, they had organized themselves into national trade unions and political parties. At last, they could influence the law-making process – an unprecedented counterweight to the force of the capitalist dominating classes who had been used to the comfortable situation of having the political, administrative and juridical institutions at their beck and call during the whole 19th century.
In front of this threat, the first reaction was to dismantle the State's law-based political institutions as they could bring anti-capitalist forces to power. Even if, except for the Soviet Union as a first instance, it remained only a threat – a situation already intolerable for these ruling classes. Lasting social and political conquests were regularly obtained within the framework of representative system challenged by the radically subversive invention of grassroots political parties. We qualify these movements as “grassroots” because they were no longer confidential parties gathering the bourgeoisie, even the republican bourgeoisie, but political parties organizing the working class in a democratic movement. They were the complement to trade unions by providing them with concrete, substantial political and institutional outlets. Fascism, in the most critical instances, or the various antidemocratic tactics, was therefore the first reply from the dominating classes to the new threat. But the huge upheavals of World War II made clear that this solution could in no way be lasting – it even proved particularly counter-productive. As a matter of fact, the countries emerging from this trauma had taken a stance opposite to all the antidemocratic involutions that had occurred between the two world wars, democratizing the Western states like never before. The inner and outer threat posed by communist movements organized into powerful national parties, lasted and gathered momentum after the strategic part they had played in the victorious fight against nazism. In short, it became more than obvious that a much more efficient response than fascism had to be found.
This was even more obvious and pressing as the States' new political shape, in particular in Europe, had led to what we could qualify retrospectively as “mixed” – a mix between capitalism and the blueprint for a true State democracy. Of course, the way was still steep and hard before capitalism be truly rocked and wavered on its basis. However, this was the path that was followed undoubtedly. This meant the unprecedented extension of civil service whose growing workforce escaped labor market for life. This meant large scale nationalizations. This meant the Social Security taking up huge amounts on added value by socializing them directly. It rebalanced the power relationship between capital and work in a significant manner – a relationship that was wholly favorable to capital until then, by getting the wage-earners' status out of a purely contractual relationship. This meant the ever-increasing magnitude of labor law, the absence of mass unemployment, the political planning of economy, the growing part played by trade unions within companies. All this drew an institutional landscape unparalleled with the almighty capitalism in the 19th century, despite the vigorous popular revolts and the fierce social struggles that had happened during that eventful period.
Of course, there is no serious reason to call the 30-year postwar boom “les Trente Glorieuses” (the “Glorious Thirty Years”), as living and working conditions remained particularly harsh for the vast majority of the people. Yet, beyond that fact, it is important to get a clear view of the radical and structural change in the “economical” and institutional configuration that occurred during these decades in Western Europe.
It is important to get a clear view of the radical and structural change in the “economical” and institutional configuration that occurred during these decades in Western Europe.
The power relationship had totally changed in nature. The democratic processes – that really reinforced the working classes – won substantial victories on a regular basis. Capitalism lost ground objectively, sometimes in sectors absolutely strategic for it, such as power within companies. Or such as the discretionary control of added value, thanks to the mandatory withdrawal for social contributions all over the national territory and guaranteed by law. These classes that we qualify as “dominating” so rightly in the modern States, dominate only because their own social and political might is supported by the power granted by capitalism itself, which makes this specific mode of production work to their sole profit. The nature of capitalism is therefore fundamentally disturbed by processes in opposition to it. They begin to change the mode of production itself like in the postwar decades. It is the very foundation of the capitalists' domination that is jeopardized at its roots.
It can be easily understood then that the dominating classes had taken the collective decision to react vigorously to an existential threat so to speak.
As the fascist way had proved to be a particularly counterproductive dead-end in the medium term, the same advantages – that is, dismantling the democratic processes – had to be gained in a manner both more subtle and above all more efficient and lasting. Neoliberal globalization of capital will provide with the perfect answer. As a matter of fact, one cannot but see how spectacularly successful this winning strategy had been for the dominating classes.
The institutional configuration adopted by the political societies in the Western States in the 20th century, had proved inseparable from the democratic processes once the fascist test overcome. That very configuration had to be sterilized then. The core of the mechanism generating these democratic pressures within the European States was the outcome of several factors combined together. These factors were voting processes based on universal suffrage, a citizenry politically organized through powerful political party structures, and representatives who made national laws in sovereign States and were exposed to electoral pressures outside of Parliament.
These electoral pressures are much more structured than before
thanks to national political parties whose representatives depend on now for their re-election.
This combination allowed the mighty social struggles to become more efficient through improved trade union national structures. The new interaction with emerging political parties gave them access to direct legislative issues. These struggles were encouraged by the political victories they sometimes achieved. They could indeed put pressure on political party leaderships so that they could endorse their demands in parliament. It must be kept in mind that all these events were relatively new. They did not exist or so little in the 19th century. And the 19th century was the century of triumphant capitalism.
From this point of view, the 20th century is the century when capitalism was compelled to compromise on essential issues. It is the century of social conquests.
The transmission belt had taken several decades to be built between the grassroots democratic demands and the institutional superstructure. Yet, eventually, we had gotten a more or less operational functioning. Nevertheless, all this depended on the recognized capacity of the parliament – supposed to represent the nation's general willingness – to make laws in a general manner on all the issues that concerned the national community. In other words, no economical and social issue escaped it. That allowed democratic pressures to apply on the whole institutional and legal setup of capitalism, and get social and political advances as per the power relationship of the moment.
II.- A singular project is put into place : the discreet and gradual suppression of politics and democracy through the establishment of three strategic institutional pillars
The dominating classes had experienced the important growth of the capital supranational nature in the decades immediately preceding World War I (as well as in the 1920s but to a lower scale). An increased circulation of financial flows at an international level could be observed. A historical period could be witnessed when free-trade had been put forward – in fact the first neoliberal globalization of capital. From an “economical” strict point of view, the consequences had not been outstanding. But the point is not there. The years that followed World War I also gave the starting signal to big international institutions and ambitious international economic treaties. All the future characteristics of the present neoliberal globalization had been tested before World War II.
The dominating classes retained the all too strategic for them consequences thereof.
These three essential aspects – commercial and financial deregulation, international treaties along with the multilateral institutions that often go with them – had converging and complementary properties. They disconnected the structures and the economic choices from the national parliaments' abilities to intervene. Therefore, they separated economic policies from national democratic pressures by rooting out the Nations-States political properties. They freed capital from independent legislative initiatives, which placed it in an institutional environment that exceeded the capacities of national legal interventions and went beyond the framework of national power relationships.
However, given that the power relationship was not in favor of the dominating classes during the postwar years, there was no way to launch the neoliberal project (whose theory had been discussed as soon as the late 1930s) to a greater scale. Yet, in parallel with the temporary development of the welfare State, in opposition with the dominating classes' projects, the foundations and the institutions of what was to become neoliberal globalization later on, were quietly put into place.
Under American pressure, and with the help of European neoliberals from left and right, the foundations of the future European “Union” were laid, with the CECA treaty, followed by the Treaty of Rome in 1957.
With the help of a neoliberal staff crowding more and more the economic, monetary, banking and financial national senior administrations, a change was implemented in the way public budgets and monetary management were organized. An ever-increasing prominence for financial markets and their progressive deregulation in the long term was anticipated in the neoliberal pipelines.
International treaties began to proliferate, concerning more and more fields that had been until then the exclusive domain of sovereign States.
This is particularly the case for economic, and above all commercial, policies. In the early 1970s, a supranational round on commercial deregulation is set into motion with the GATT – a round never interrupted since – which generalizes free-trade like never before. It is also the end of the monetary system of fixed exchange rates established in the 1944 Bretton Woods agreements. In 1971, the United States decided to unpeg the dollar from gold unilaterally and imposed floating exchange rates.
Starting in the 1970s, the first consequences of the structural changes in the capitalism institutional form are not long in coming.
Structural unemployment reappears in Western countries. This was ablessing for the power relationships on the “labor market” and to discipline a wage-earning workforce which had never been so combative since the postwar years. The first signs of monetary and financial instability – which were to become persistent – did not take long to appear. But the essential was to come. It would happen in Europe in the 1980s. In 1983, the French government, headed by François Mitterand, initiated a complete U-turn. It launched a new, totally neoliberal policy, which favored economic contraction, a massive deindustrialization all over the country, monetarism, financial deregulation on an unprecedented scale and with an unparalleled speed, commercial deregulation, the first massive privatization of state-owned companies and finally, the establishment of a huge financial market widely open.
The first complete financialization of an economy took place in France, under a left-wing government, which included communist ministers at its inception.
Dissolving national sovereignty
Yet, there is more to it than that. Because with hindsight, it can be seen that the essential is not there – though without underestimating the extraordinary, lasting, negative impact of these structural reforms, which still underpins our national economy. Under Jacques Delors's direction, the Mitterrand administration launches a vast, very ambitious project to speed up massive deconstruction of the institutional foundations at the European level. These institutional foundations were the bases on which lied the political character of European societies. It meant dissolving national sovereignties. The European single market, then the single currency, and at last the enshrining into a constitution the European neoliberal treaties, all these great projects duplicate all our national institutions. These projects keep the institutions into place but empty them of any substantial content to the benefit of European institutions radically undemocratic, which are there only to enforce neoliberal treaties with no political responsibility at all. This institutional configuration endorsed neoliberalism as the most powerful political project. That is, removing the new neoliberal form of capitalism (commercial and financial deregulation) from any possibility to roll back and undo through social, political and electoral power relationships, by dissolving national sovereignties completely, which would be strictly supervised by non-political, non-democratic treaties and institutions.
Such are the three pillars of neoliberal globalization. They define it in the most realistic and rigorous manner : generalized free-trade, massive financialization of economy, all this sheltered by international treaties and supranational institutions that short-circuit all democratic processes.
The new form of capitalism has realized what the fascist attempt had been unable to do on a permanent basis. It managed to suppress the political character of State societies, with the populations of these States unawares of the gradual yet radical abolition of everything that could make democratic processes possible. Because the whole thing is made step by step, with extra care to leave into place officially the State institutions established by law such as elections, constitutions, parliaments, acts and laws – the principles being apparently safeguarded. Yet, all these institutions are sterilized, completely unable to contradict the treaties and institutions, whose content is outside their framework and dominate them on all the most structural issues. This last attempt by the dominating classes is therefore much more subtle, efficient, lasting, radical, than all the previous attempts – suffrage by census, plebiscitary autocracy, republics considered as the prerogatives of dignitaries and wealthy officials, fascism, etc.
Now we must understand how free-trade, the financialization of the economy, and international treaties converge and complement each other for this so strategic neoliberal project.
Why has capitalism taken this particular shape, which presents major drawbacks from an “economic” point of view however, drawbacks yet largely compensated by priceless strategic advantages ?
III.- The antidemocratic virtues of free-trade (for capital)
Like all the terms carefully crafted by neoliberalism, “free-trade” sounds good. Yet, its true meaning should shock anyone concerned about democracy. Free-trade of course deals with the way foreign trade is considered. However, foreign trade has an inevitable impact on a country's economy, that is, on the specific ways that any society has to produce goods and services. The different manners to organize foreign trade will have different consequences on the involved societies. When foreign trade between two given countries is considered in a global fashion, it is not just goods facing each others and competing with each others through different prices in appearance only. In reality, these are two differentiated social, historical and political systems colliding with each other, with nothing anymore to arrange institutionally these different ways of organizing production countrywide.
Free-trade is introduced as a factor for peace and openness, yet this is merely a flagrant falsehood, as on the contrary it is a powerful objective factor of destabilization and international tension.
To take one recent example : the “free trade” imposed by treaties between Germany and Greece did not seem to have gotten these two different societies and peoples closer together. The European “Union” neoliberal institutions are in general a most powerful factor of disunion between the different countries trapped in this aircraft under no other automatic pilot than the market itself, and that flies only into one direction – that of the dominating classes.
When we get free from the commodity fetishism, through prices that hide the essence of what makes up the reality of a given product or a given service, we may remember that prices are the outcome of countless interacting factors. Eventually, they have little relationship with a “market” : social and political power relationships leading to laws and regulations ruling labor, wages, safety conditions in the productive process, environmental laws, public infrastructures financed by public taxation, taxes on companies, social contributions, production organized region- and nation-wide, transmission of a collective know-how, monetary and bank system, public economic policies, etc. Needless to say the list is endless.
These social and political systems confront each others through foreign trade, with sale prices as the only and very simplistic and reductive information.
When two countries, with very different productivities, average wages and modes of production, contrasted social and political regimes, diverse taxation, various security and environmental constraints, trade together, they oppose each other’s respective “economy”. The word in itself is reductive and deceptive. Actually, two different prices for two similar goods express two extremely varied ways to organize society. The automatic confrontation between two differentiated prices cannot give justice to this huge contrast. The information on price is very poor and completely inadequate to reflect such complex realities.
Yet, the free-trade theory states that we should not bother about these huge contrasts. Free competition, solely guided by the confrontation between two prices, will organize automatically the adjustment between the two societies. Moreover, it will do so for each of them to their best interests.
These delirious prerequisites founded Ricardo's theory of “comparative advantages” – a theory a hundred times belied by facts and history.
When free-trade rules, the only “regulation” allowed therefore, is that of international market automatically. Each “economy” (that is, each society), because of this violent, international, unregulated competition, will have to give up economic sectors deemed “uncompetitive” worldwide. It will have to specialize itself only in productive sectors where this society manages to get the lowest prices on an international scale, except for goods and services that cannot be relocated. On such a worldwide scale, this theory – which would be laughable if it had not had so grim consequences – predicts without batting as much as an eyelid that everything will be balanced again, as much on the global demand than on the production level. The “market”, now worldwide, will be more efficient as each sector would have become more “productive”.
Of course, reality shows us a whole another picture.
Free-trade means refusing foreign trade regulation in other ways than prices on markets.
This brutal opposition between different modes of production, societies, political and social regimes, is an extraordinary factor of destabilization of the societies confronted to it. It is a very powerful factor of spectacular aggravation of inequalities between countries and inside each country. This is completely logical. Delicate internal balances (and unbalances) are no longer taken into account. The brutal opposition between two different economies makes whole sectors of production collapse inexorably. This system nails down Third World countries in fragile, less than profitable resource sectors of production. In a free-trade system, the speculation by big financial players is ruthless and uncontrollable. It makes impossible any development of a manufacturing sector. It pushes emerging economies like China for example, into mercantile strategies such as compressing their inner market which therefore sacrifices a balanced internal development in order to ensure the conquest of foreign economies. It pushes Western economies into structural mass unemployment and threatens all social rights. What a brilliant outcome !
Besides, economic history teachings remind us that reality could not be farther from the delirious assumptions supporting the hypotheses backing “free-trade”.
All the developments of the main Western economies and their expansion, happened under a protectionist regime.
The rare historical periods of generalized free-trade (like the last 19th century decades) ended up with crises and huge international tensions. This is still the case today. Furthermore, and contrary to the mainstream narrative, free-trade is not an automatic multiplier of foreign trade exchanges. Like any growth phenomenon, foreign trade depends on global demand. Yet, on the medium term, free-trade is a compressing factor of global demand – a deflation factor. After a certain amount of time, foreign trade cannot but suffer from deflation pressure mechanically exerted by free-trade which decreases prices and wages. A contrario, certain protectionist measures are a growth factor and therefore of trade structural development when they enhance national economic development efficiently.
The true-fake concept of protectionism.
It must be highlighted here that the term “protectionism” covers a weak concept, necessarily elusive, that may contain an infinity of different realities. The very concept of free-trade means only that any State legal intervention is forbidden on foreign trade when it is to regulate the confrontation between two differentiated economies and societies. As a consequence, all manners of trade regulation fall under the false-true concept of “protectionism”. It means that the main issues, political and not economic, which determine the various ways to control foreign trade, as contrasted as they may be, with some highly desirable while others are detestable, are all brought back to the same non-descriptive term : “protectionism”.
What free-trade denies is nothing more than the necessity of politics and democracy. This is its true function actually.
The “market”, through miraculous competition, is supposed to work in an efficient and peaceful manner. This is the main aspect to be considered when expressing a critical thought about this absurd opposition between “free-trade” and “protectionism”. In reality, it hides the true choice on which this opposition depends : either market, either democracy.
Market or democracy : you have to choose.
This should be clear to everyone. What sense does it make to fight to obtain an organization of work and production ? To get public infrastructures and decent retirement pensions ? To respect environmental balances and to eradicate mass unemployment ? What sense does it make to engage in harsh power relationships in order to reach all these goals, if in parallel, goods and services from radically different societies and working conditions, jeopardize the economic viability of these dispositions ? Better give up at once then the very notion of legal State and merchandize society completely – like the fanatical neoliberal ideologists advise us to do so.
Democratic processes are power relationships that do not play in outer space but inside a precise State territory. That is, where laws can be changed. Where lasting solidarities can be put into place, where social or political movements representing wage-earners’ interests can get organized efficiently. Where the population may become a citizenry and therefore weigh on the law-making process one way or another – when neoliberalism has not short-circuited national sovereignty. Where institutional balances may endorse legal victories. Nothing as such is possible from one country to another. Free-trade ignores such balances. For that very reason, it is encouraged precisely. On the long run, it makes obsolete any democratic dispositions obtained in a society, through the competition with another society where the production conditions have not benefited from similar progresses.
An unspeakable goal is hidden behind that ridiculous stance of arguments a hundred times debunked by facts – “free-trade enhances economies by compelling them to be more productive, more competitive, more specialized, it is a win-win for everyone, blah blah blah” – that nobody believes anymore, even those that still keep on talking that nonsense. Here it is : “You have to give up gradually all your social and democratic victories in front of the competition from countries deprived of social and democratic rights, and to which we have open our borders widely. A competition which compels companies to die or to adapt themselves and to coerce people into accepting an ever-ending decline in their rights for which they fought so dearly during decades of democratic struggles.”
The left-wing charitable souls brand such a discourse by arguing that the issue lies with our own national capitalists and not with the emerging economies that have put all their eggs in the mercantilist strategy basket. Rubbish ! That way, they are the “liberal” apostles of neoliberalism. In fact, they are delighted that the States do not control the economy levers anymore. For these left-wing charitable souls, their vision, their priority for decades, have not been either democracy or social progress. Their priority is the dismantling of States and national sovereignties, that they loath more than everything else, as they assimilate them to war and totalitarism. By looking like they champion the victims – and believing they are doing so for the most naïve – they defend as much as they can the institutional structures that have transformed our States into societies deprived of any political power. Then nobody disposes anymore of the collective means to weigh on economic and social structures.
Everyone can understand that social struggles
cannot get but what a State can do.
Of course, we could doubt all this as the State does not scrap and send all those antidemocratic treaties into oblivion and re-establish democracy instead – while it does not do so ! Both left and right leaders do not want it at all. A State that consents to remain in the neoliberal globalization straightjacket cannot put full employment into place, host democratic power relationships and allow room for social and ecological progress. Whatever the level of popular movement may be, this situation will continue as long as we do not require going out of that iron cage. The Greek example is a proof of that – should we need any proof thereof. The “social movement” cannot break on its own the neoliberal dead-block. Rather, the collective organization and the political structuring of the exit will do so – necessarily unilateral in the first instance – from the institutions that have replaced democracy by neoliberal treaties and institutions and imposed commercial and financial deregulation.
IV.- The financialization of national economies and public budgets : a weapon of mass destruction against democracy
Generalized free-trade is therefore the first strategic pillar of neoliberal globalization which imposes the dissolving of national democratic processes. The second pillar, which completes the first one to perfection, is the financialization of national economies. This process is even more complex that the previous one. Nevertheless, it is important to grasp its strategic effects more than its technical subtleties.
Reorganizing production on a world scale
and deregulating financial markets.
First, it is easy to understand that free-trade must be translated into a greater reorganization of production worldwide in order to generate the expected pressure. If production must be able to move where the production factors are the cheapest with equal productivity, capital must also be as much mobile so that Western capitalists that bet on that means of pressure may not lose their capacities to speculate in this process.
Nothing shall fetter movements of capital anymore in order to relocate world production where the power relationships are the less adverse to capital.
But the interest of this process for the neoliberal strategy goes farther than the production reorganization worldwide. Through financial markets, whose value has increased much more than tenfold nowadays thanks to worldwide financial deregulation, world capital owns a strategic weapon endowed with an importance and an efficiency that reinforce it like never before. All the States that do not protect themselves as far as financial movements are concerned, are now extremely vulnerable. As this process has been well under way for a few decades now, capital volume and volatility worldwide have reached proportions never seen before. With the help of electronics, speculative amounts comparable to a national public budget may appear or disappear in a split second. There again, economic dysfunctions linked to this process are actually gigantic. Of course, world financial crises have returned, shattering down real economies each and every time.
How could States negotiate with an anonymous computer line ?
The strategic advantages for the dominating classes are worth the trouble. Opportunities to speculate have taken on an unprecedented dimension. But above all, hugely enlarged, deregulated financial markets have become the quintessence of capitalism deep inner workings. Money seems to generate money magically. All positions are reversible at once. Only pure market logic works in an unhindered way. Face to face with the States, they represent world capital’s demands while the States cannot negotiate. How to negotiate with an anonymous computer line ? This stronghold, completely out of reach for government interference in the countries that consented to deregulation, represents the world capital trustee. It requires from these countries all the structural reforms that favor savage speculation possibilities to the maximum. If these reforms are not implemented deeply or quickly enough, capital is withdrawn massively then, thus destabilizing public budgets and productive economies.
There too, power relationships are incredibly favorable to capital, as they are radically free from any national constraint. In the same way than a State could free itself from free-trade, a State that would decide to suppress free movement of capital, could easily disengage from this incredible, antidemocratic constraint. Such a constraint is viscerally incompatible with politics in the strongest sense of the term (implying that societies choose their institutional framework and their own constraints). But there again, neither left or right, not even the FN (the far-right party Front National, the National Front,) offer to put an end unilaterally – as democracy and common sense require – to this incredible free movement of capital, in conjunction with generalized free-trade, and to this supervision of institutions by globalized capital.
These two pillars are therefore closely correlated, one supporting the other,
and the both of them moving into the same direction.
No democratic power relationships can compel capital to make the slightest fundamental concession. This is the end of politics. From there, this is the very end of democratic processes – which was, let’s remember, neoliberalism key objective, as the strategy led by capital to thwart the democratic threat in the post-war years. These two pillars are therefore the primary source of the institutional transformations that moved capitalism from a form submitted to democratic pressures, to a new form almost totally free from political and national constraints. This is the secret of its ten times increased power, the reason why we have sustained more than three decades of continuous social regressions in an apparently mysterious manner. Without a single power relationship that could bring capital to its knees. Without the least possibility to make any substantial social conquest, while sustaining the methodical deconstruction of everything we had toiled so hard to obtain collectively.
All the political and union leaders that do not offer a radical, immediate, unilateral break with these two primary pillars of neoliberal capitalism, have switched sides objectively, defecting to capital against labor and democracy. They must be fought step by step and replaced – without mercy.
V.- International treaties and supranational institutions : the capital's life insurance to avoid returning to national democratic processes, with the European Union as masterpiece
Remains the third pillar. It constitutes the juridical and political guarantee for capitalism that the first two pillars could no longer be touched. These two pillars are essential as they insure the strength of capitalism not only retrieved but also increased. It is made up of the international treaties and the ad hoc institutions that serve exclusively to implement these neoliberal treaties. They impose the iron restraints of commercial and financial deregulation to all the countries that sign these treaties and enter these supranational institutions, as well as the whole neoliberal program (we stuck to the essentials here). The most radical and successful achievement of this project is of course the famous European “Union”.
What a strange “union” than the one forcing on its members
deregulated competition as the sole and exclusive means
of economical cooperation.
It is indeed a union. Yet, the union between European dominating classes against the peoples in the European countries. A union set up with the complicity of the vast majority of the mainstream political circles and media, university and trade union elites. All these beautiful people agree on one point : no to suggest the dismantling of treaties and “independent” institutions piling up – independent from democratic pressures, that is. Treaties and institutions that impose to all the members of the “Union” these pillars of commercial and financial deregulation endowed with the qualities we just summed up roughly. With time, they proved themselves completely incompatible with democracy. This is the very reason why they have been designed and implemented. But the European institutions – like all the neoliberal supranational institutions such as the WTO or the IMF – add to the already radical project to suppress political possibilities. All the antidemocratic flaws specific to international treaties and supranational institutions complete and safeguard the first two pillars.
We should remember that these international treaties all share a common feature : to escape the ups and downs of democratic life linked to political changeovers and national democratic power relationships.
They have been designed to serve that purpose, first for rational motives as the only potential solutions to deal with specific issues like settling international conflicts or the status of non state territories (oceans, polar areas, space). Of course, it is obvious that if each and every time the least internal political change challenges a treaty, often multilateral, signed and ratified as per a lengthy and arduous procedure, it would make the whole thing useless. This is what ensures treaties their institutional stability, with a constraint much superior to law, which makes them comparable to constitutions. That is the reason why treaties were used only for very specific issues. All the other questions were to be sorted out by sovereign States according to political and democratic, and therefore national, procedures. This is what the dominating classes have well understood.
If they managed to include neoliberal principles and constraints into this procedure, non democratic and as permanent as a constitution, then the two cardinal pillars that replaced democracy like bad money replaces good money, would be sheltered from any easy step backwards, from any typical democratic or electoral pressure. Unless they denounce a treaty, which is always possible but costly in terms of international relationships.
The very sophisticated institutional maze of the European Union.
But the European strategy is far more complex than a mere piling up of treaties. It built up around neoliberal treaties a vast, ad hoc institutional array designed on purpose to translate neoliberal treaties into legal constraints. Without granting these institutions the least power to change a single comma in these treaties. As these supranational institutions do not emanate from a sovereign nation or a constitution – which is the same thing as only nations have legitimacy to hold constituting sovereignty – they cannot be said to represent and express the general will of a collectively sovereign citizenry. Therefore, they could not make laws directly. Nevertheless, they manage the monetary policy through the ECB for the countries included into the EuroZone for their misfortune. Their only directive is to contain inflation, with no transmission belt with the least democratic process. They check the free-trade overall scheme in a fussy fashion through the European Court of Justice. They enter into litigation with the States that would dare breach it. They never obey laws made in due form, therefore creating law rather than enforcing it.
They cook up directives that will have to be translated into as many national laws in a parody of “European parliament”. How such a parliament, without a State or a sovereign people, which cannot initiate bills, could make sense ? They control national parliaments that way, which totally contradicts the basic principles of any law State, and any democratic logic.
This construction slowly built aims to dissolve national sovereignties by doubling them with other institutions established as legally superior. This new hierarchy of legal norms puts treaties above laws and now our own constitutions include these very treaties. These institutions are out of reach for democratic power relationships, free from any consequences resulting from electoral changeovers. The European Union was built very gradually and did not need to destroy law States’ specific institutions formally for that purpose. The populations got used to this singular institutional environment that was never described as undemocratic. They did not notice the essential changes incurred until later, much later, if at all. In fact, only once a whole series of these infamous international treaties had already been ratified officially and that they were integrated into this array of supranational institutions always introduced as a peace guarantee on the continent – without ever bring the least supporting argument and with good reason. This discreet, complex, hidden and gradual aspect is the beauty of this antidemocratic trap set up by the European dominating classes somewhat chilled by the shocking backlash they experimented after their supporting fascist antidemocratic processes.
Here is the short presentation of the three strategic pillars of neoliberal globalization, the most efficient and subtle trap ever designed by the dominating classes to escape power relationships in democracy.
All this happens while the construction still benefits from the legal legitimation and action from the States, which therefore remain indispensable for this reason by guaranteeing social peace and juridical order. This is a dream of a martingale for capitalists – have the cake and eat it. All this with the unfailing support from both left and right. A perfect murder against democracy. But if we do not know that it is dead, how punish the murderer ?
In order to restore democracy by deglobalizing, we must have a realistic program. The PARDEM (Parti de la Démondialisation – Party for Deglobalization) designed it and offers it to the citizenry. It is the only political party that proposes to our fellow citizens a radical dismantling of all the neoliberal institutions that suppressed democratic processes at their roots. Since the dominating classes have been subtle enough to leave electoral processes and law State institutions, we have to grab them to restore the institutional conditions which alone allow democracy.
We have to do it while we still can and that we still remember the time when we were sovereign collectively, in order to trigger off this common jolt, a vast political movement to re-establish democracy. Since it is all about regain the State, we must have a precise, concrete, operational program, which anticipates all the innumerable obstacles to overcome that would be raised inevitably in front of such an endeavor. This can be successfully achieved by the way, for anyone willing to examine it seriously. We did so. We do have such a detailed program.
To access the PARDEM program, please click on the link below :
This program is indispensable for three major reasons.
The first reason is that such a break from the present state of our juridical, political and institutional order requires a massive and clear support from the nation. To achieve that purpose, an explicit and detailed debate is necessary prior to the conquest of power, so as to benefit from all the electoral legitimacy required to carry out the major constitutional and international changes that it supposes. Of course, a referendum will be proposed immediately after a possible electoral victory, in particular to suppress Title XVI from our constitution, which includes the Lisbon Treaty rejected in its previous form – the European Constitution Treaty – by the sovereign nation during the 2005 decision-making referendum. Yet, a referendum does not replace the major national agreement gained during national elections supporting a political program suggesting a precise procedure to exit the European institutions. Both of them allow the political party in charge of carrying out this vital break to draw support from a very clear and much indispensable democratic legitimacy. Both of them insure the voters that they do not enter a “Tsipras” or “a leftist left”, Mélenchon-style process : vote for me and I will negotiate after – therefore without any more precise, concrete content while committing oneself politically on but vague and contradictory goals. Like, for example, both promise to do everything to remain within the European Union, and to put “an end to austerity”. The working classes have well gathered on their side that those who do not require exiting from the neoliberal institutions right now, will never do so once in power. They do not trust these professional illusionists anymore.
The second reason is pragmatic yet essential in nature. A program that lists precisely the long series of all the actions required to carry out an exit from the European institutional order simultaneously and successively, is to be formulated. Only such a program allows ensuring and checking the consistency and the efficiency of such a political endeavor.
Its success supposes the first decisive measures – such as cancelling the debt, suppressing freedom of movement of capital, minting national currency, denouncing the treaties, nationalizing the bank sector, etc – be coordinated and enforced quickly. Therefore, they cannot be improvised or presented to the population and the neighboring countries at the very last moment, as if out of a surprise bag. That is, they cannot be implemented without benefiting from the legitimacy coming from the electoral blessing, when the electoral debates and therefore the electoral victory have been related directly to this issue. Here, the referendum procedures are way too much long to avoid immediate monetary and financial assaults, so predictable in such situations. Compared with the coming to power of a party endowed with the popular mandate to secede from the European Union, 1981 will look like a garden party. The same historical mistakes shall not be repeated.
There is a third reason for the PARDEM to have a vast, detailed government program. As it involves taking the government’s direction to restore the law State’s principles and deglobalize, it would be totally stupid to just go back to the previous time – that is, to the welfare State of postwar years. Admittedly, this would already be a huge progress indeed compared to the present tragic situation. But it would mean losing a historical opportunity to democratize the State and weaken capitalism in a very significant manner – which equals to the same thing for many an issue.
Naturally, the point is not to start another Soviet Union either. The historical counter-model exemplified by this attempt to build a State capitalism, with an authoritarian centralization, without including the necessity to democratize it, is the antithesis of our project. It is even less a project to build a North Korea, isolated from the rest of the world.
Deglobalizing does not mean autarchy at all.
Autarchy is a project as crazy as ridiculous.
The cooperation with all the countries that resist to neoliberalism – like for example a part of South America – is of course an objective that makes sense.
But trade exchanges, as any other exchanges, have to be planned with all the neighboring countries and others. France is among the top ten economic powers and all the main Western countries will be compelled to trade with us, as hostile to our project they may be. And so will we. The difference is we will be able to impose our conditions regarding imports again, like all sovereign countries and trading powers whose hands are not tied up in the “free-trade” trap.
Furthermore, it is more than probable that if such a project succeeds, it will foster a similar dynamic impulse in the countries fettered in the antidemocratic trap of the European “Union”. On the long run, we would have real partners, whom we could not only trade with, but also cooperate economically – which has been impossible to achieve for decades within the European “Union”.
Those, to the left, that condemn secession projects from the European Union on account of being “inward-looking” projects, are thinking with their feet. The EU and its automatic mechanisms of deregulated competition as the only means of economic trading between European countries, triggers off withdrawal nationalist reactions such as the ones which the FN (Front National / National Front) surfs on, and that this party fosters carefully. Those that want to keep the European institutions at any cost, even at the cost of democracy, also tread on real internationalism that allows sovereign countries to cooperate with others peacefully. An internationalism that permits the nations that choose progressive political parties to lead their States, the means to reinforce their emancipation through a close cooperation between them, like the most advanced South American nations are trying to do. Those that like the PARDEM, and in contrast with the FN, do not confuse nationalism with the political concept of nation, sovereignty with national selfishness, and propose to restore democratic processes and to dismantle neoliberalism, are the only ones to offer a realistic solution to allow international cooperation again.