Fighting global capitalism

Free trade

Submitted by martin on 9 February, 2008 - 9:15 Author: Paul Hampton

Whether you live in Mexico or Morocco, South Korea or Spain, you can buy food produced on the other side of the world. Toys made in China, jeans in Guatemala, trainers in Indonesia and cars made in Brazil are sold thousands of miles away. This is the golden age of world trade, if nothing else.

The world trade order today

Fair trade

Submitted by martin on 9 February, 2008 - 9:11 Author: Paul Hampton

Many of the young people, NGOs and unions who mobilised for the big demonstrations in Seattle in 1999, or in Edinburgh for the G8 summit, argue that the alternative to the neoliberal, free trade agenda of the multinationals, the big powers and the WTO is some sort of “fair trade”. Three million people have signed Oxfam’s petition to “make trade fair”.

Few opponents of free trade argue that trade per se is harmful, although the localisation school emanating from green politics certainly appears to do so. Instead most charities and NGOs want the rules of the game changed.


Submitted by martin on 9 February, 2008 - 9:08 Author: Paul Hampton

The most drastic alternative to free trade, popular on the green wing of the global justice movement, is localisation. Localisation means that: “everything that can be produced locally should be produced locally”.

According to Australian green Gary Buckman, the localisation school “generally sees global trade as an inherently destructive economic force and believes that the only way poor nations will get any richer is through less trade, not more”.

Socialist policy on trade

Submitted by martin on 9 February, 2008 - 9:07 Author: Paul Hampton

A revolutionary alternative to both “free” trade and “fair” trade is the perspective held by the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL). It is based on the core ideas of Marxists a century ago, applied to the circumstances we live in today.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels first wrote about world trade in the 1840s, when British capitalism was the dominant industrial force in the world economy and free trade had just become the commercial policy of the British government.

Workers' Liberty 3/17: free trade, fair trade, and socialism

Submitted by martin on 23 January, 2008 - 11:10 Author: Paul Hampton
Fair trade

Workers' Liberty 3/17 examines the facts about world trade, the arguments about fair trade, the lessons to be learned from the writings of Marx and Engels, and the outlines of a socialist policy. Download pdf here, or read online.

An appeal to SWP and Respect Students: don't let your leaders scupper left unity!

Submitted by Anon on 16 December, 2007 - 11:46 Author: Sofie Buckland

And let's be honest about what our disagreements really are... If different sections of the left can work together to defend democracy in NUS, why can't we work together to present a united challenge in the elections at the next NUS conference?

That was a question which members of Workers' Liberty/AWL were among the many people asking SWP and Respect students at the NUS Extraordinary Conference on 4 December. The response was universally positive - with a crucial exception.

A virtual picket line - a first in labour history Bruce Thu, 09/27/2007 - 23:28

I have been on many picket lines in my time but until today they have all taken place in the real world. Today saw the first ever strike and picket to take place in virtual reality. Second Life allows you to create a virtual person (or avatar) and go around doing the sorts of things you supposedly do in your normal life – like going on strike and picketing.