rn- regarding the development of an effective global movement…


Richard Moore

Dear rn,

Only July 30, I sent out a posting entitled "rn- broadbased actions against
globalization".  In that was a speech by Thomas Kocherry, and a mention of
the National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM).  These two paragraphs,
in particular, started me thinking about movement strategy...

    For the first time such a mass campaign is taking place. The
    victims of globalisation are asserting their rightful place
    in this planet. We feel an urgent need to create a new
    paradigm of development and politics, a paradigm in which
    all human beings have the right to live, with equal access
    to the resources and opportunities.

    About the writer: Thomas Kocherry, an Indian priest, lawyer
    and trade union leader, is a prominent leader of the
    traditional fisherpeople's movement in his country. He is
    one of the moving forces behind the World Forum of
    Fish-harvesters and Fishworkers and can be contacted via
    email at: •••@••.•••

I've written in the past that a successful movement against globalization
must be based in the West, since that's where the overwhelming power is.

On the other hand, I must acknowledge that Western populations are the
least likely to get stirred up over the fundamental issues.  The 'slow
boiling' approach is very effective - conditions in the West aren't
declining precipitously enough for ordinary people to feel a sense of
urgent danger to their own way of life.  Also effective is the power of the
media over Western minds.  As we recently observed re/Yugoslavia, the media
is capable of 'selling' almost any interpretation of events it chooses -
irregardless of what the facts might be.

In the third world, however, media repitition of Big Lies is not so
effective.  The realities of globalization are 'in the face' of third-word
peoples and there is a much broader constituency there for radical analysis
and for effective collective action.  I receive mailings from several
third-world groups who are involved in struggle, and most of them seem to
be very sensible people with a clear understanding of their situation and a
strong dedication to working for change.

I believe there are some lessons we can draw from the US Civil Rights
Movement of the sixties.  The movement began in the South, among those most
directly effected, but it gained its overwhelming political power only when
Northerners (who were considerably more numerous) responded sympathetically
and demanded reform.  The movement could not have begun in the North but,
in the final analysis, it could only be won in the North.

For better or for worse, Western populations seem to be strongly motivated
by sympathy for perceived underdogs.  This tendency is systematically
exploited by our elite leaders - whenever they want to wreak havoc, they
always gen up some underdog whom they can pretend to be 'saving'.
(Remember the baby-incubator scam?  Or the poor, innocent KLA?  Or the
'endangered students' in Grenada?)


I'd like to invite discussion on the following line of thinking...  Perhaps
the third world is the most likely source of a strong global movement
against globalization - or more accurately, _for global democracy,
self-determination, and sustainability.  Perhaps the most likely path for
the movement to follow is to first become strong and unified in the third
world, and for Westerners to be drawn in primarily out of sympathetic
support.  Once engaged, Westerners would find themselves confronting the
political hegemony of the capitalist elite in their own societies, and
perhaps this would encourage the necessary degree of 'radicalization' to
complete the creation a deeply committed and potent global movement for
societal transformation.

I'd like to hear people's thoughts on this scenario.  If it holds water, I
could imagine some new and different directions for Western organizing
aimed at accelerating the development this particular scenario.

Consider, for example, how those of us in the West could best support and
synergize with the heroic efforts of people like Thomas Kocherry and his



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