News Release

“Global Democratic Revolution”

GEORGE MONBIOT
Monbiot, author of the new book Manifesto for a New World Order and winner of the 1995 United Nations Global 500 Award, is in New York City until Wednesday. He said today: “Many of the most important issues facing us — climate change, international debt, nuclear proliferation, war, the balance of trade between nations — can be resolved only at the global or the international level…. Our task is not to overthrow globalization, but to capture it, and to use it as a vehicle for humanity’s first global democratic revolution.

“There is already a global governance system in place, dominated by the rich and the powerful. We need a new kind of global governance based on global democratic principles and moral authority. I propose establishing new institutions and making sweeping reforms in salvageable existing institutions.

“Simply scrapping existing institutions would not be enough. The near collapse of the reviled World Trade Organization has not prevented injustice as the European Union and the U.S. have discovered that they are in fact better off without the WTO — they have now struck bilateral deals with most of the weaker nations, which are even more oppressive.”

* “In principle, the United Nations is a good idea but in practice, it helps the strong to bully the weak, for three reasons: The permanent members of the Security Council have been granted absolute power; tiny nations have the same vote as the very large ones; dictatorships have the same voting rights as the democracies, and none of the attendant governments have any obligation to refer to their people before voting. The first steps in democratizing the UN could involve scrapping the Security Council and vesting its powers in the UN General Assembly, weighting the votes of the member states according to their country’s size and their degree of democratization.”

* “While the UN is, in theory, reformable, the IMF and the World Bank are not…. When they were established in 1944, a much better idea had already been proposed by John Maynard Keynes: an International Clearing Union, a bank operating at the international level, in which nations held their trade accounts. They would be charged interest not only on their trade deficits, but also on their trade surpluses and therefore have a powerful incentive to ‘clear’ their accounts — in other words, to end up with neither a deficit nor a surplus….”

* “We also need some kind of a global trading body, if the weaker nations are to have any possibility of collective bargaining. The nations which are poor today would be permitted to follow the routes to development taken by the nations which are rich today: protecting their new industries from foreign competition until they are big enough to stand on their own feet, and making free use of other countries’ intellectual property, for trade within their own borders and with other poor nations. It is unfortunate that many progressives from rich nations, such as presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, portray attempts to curb back subsidies in rich nations, such as the recent WTO ruling against agribusiness cotton subsidies in the U.S., as a negative development. Such subsidies enrich large corporations while devastating millions of poor farmers around the world.”

More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020