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Economic and Social Liberation

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One rainy day, we shut down the World Economic Forum.

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What does 'liberation' mean? Many ideas of freedom exist: Negative freedom (freedom from); Positive freedom (freedom to).

I believe that to be liberated is to be able to fulfil our potentials. Our society is at a point where in some ways we are more aware than ever before.

Yet this awareness can not correspond into any actual change because our economic system is still locked into a deterministic structure. People resign themselves to the ruthless logic of "The invisible hand of the market" -where mainly the rich win and the poor lose out, because, we are told, 'that's the way things are'.


This table of contents is structured in a loop. With each page, scroll down the bottom and click 'next' and you will go to the next page, until you eventually return here.

The main contemporary hegemony: Economic Rationalism

Critiques of the System

The Commons: what we collectively share

Alternative economic systems existing within capitalism

Economic systems beyond capitalism

Is Everything Political?

Responsibility and Radicalism

Labour solidarity

Building hopeful politics in Oz

'Revolutionary love'

Living in community

Methodology

Self-awareness and freedom from determinism

Link to a participant's story about the Seattle protests against the WTO- November 30 1999.

Story of my first big protest against the World Economic Forum

Political Websites

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At WTO mini-ministerial, Homebush (Moz)

Before 'terrorism' became a name to hang our fears on, I and many other people were anxious about something else.

It might seem bizarre to the outsider, but my fears centred around institutions that spoke not in a language of 'good and evil', 'deliverance and retaliation', but rather in words such as 'fiscal policy', 'harmonisation' and 'corporate citizenship'.

In other words, they were global financial institutions, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), The World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), The World Economic Forum (WEF).

Institutions whose public relations strategy is twofold: a squadron of police greet the masses on the streets with batons and riot gear, whilst smiling faces reassure the TV cameras that they care deeply about the world's poor and are actually fighting poverty.

Like the terrorist protagonists that had entered our midst, such institutions are faceless: bureaucrats and corporate lobbyists scheme behind closed doors using 'invisible hands'. Their decisions fundamentally shape our 'way of life', and that of our world.

For all you historians who shook your heads at the Imperial European carve-up of Africa in 1884, seeing its continuing tragic consequences: Stand awake! Many decisionmakers now are just as greedy, and just as sheltered from the effects of their decisions as those people were then. It is up to us to ensure that it is not another repeat of history.

Global Trade Watch, the NGO Mike set up with help from yours truly

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"The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems— the problems of life and of human relations, of creation and behavior and religion."

"The love of money as a possession— as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life— will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease."

John Maynard Keynes

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