Skip to main content

New era globalisation post-Covid crisis? Moving away from protectionism, free trade

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Is globalisation over after the Covid-19 pandemic? There are three visible signs during the unending Coronavirus led health crisis, which substantiates the end of globalisation thesis. The first sign indicates reversal of capitalist globalisation led by market integrations. The people and their nation states are fighting the pandemic alone. As a result, there is growth of ultra nationalist and right-wing forces during this pandemic.
The second sign comes from the response to the global health crisis and search for anti-Coronavirus vaccine demands more coordinated international response. Many countries are cooperating with each other in research and development of vaccine.
The third sign comes from the failure of capitalist states and their healthcare facilities to deal with the pandemic. The liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation did not help people during this pandemic.
The last two signs reveal that it is imperative for global engagement for better health, sustainable happiness, lasting peace and prosperity for all. It is impossible to have an island of peace and prosperity when the majority of world population suffer in different forms of crisis. Therefore, the search for an alternative system that puts people before profit during all forms of global crisis.
Both the progressive and right-wing forces oppose globalisation today. The progressive forces oppose globalisation as it marginalises the masses and destroys environment by exploiting both human beings and nature. The right-wing forces oppose globalisation for their narrow and nativist Malthusian predicaments.
During this pandemic, the progressive forces blame the capitalist state and its failures to face the challenges of Coronavirus crisis whereas the right-wing forces oppose Asians, Chinese and migrants for the spread of the pandemic. In this context, there is a great deal of debates about the extent to which reshaping of globalisation is necessary to transform global economy and politics in post pandemic world.
The transformation depends on understanding our own experiences with the history of globalisation. It is time to move away from the preoccupation with the analysis of virtues or perils of globalisation. Such cost-benefit analysis of globalisation is unhelpful to develop an alternative and universal narrative, which keeps people and environment at the core of its analytical vision. 
The ferocity and proliferation of this pandemic obscures the fundamental global challenges and threats faced by the humanity due to the globalisation of capitalism.
Historically, globalisation of capital is the most dominant force for last three centuries of world history. In terms of the relationship between capital and labour, globalisation has passed through three different but interrelated stages.
The first stage of globalisation was a period when labour was absolutely free during the processes of production, consumption and distribution.
The second phase of globalisation was dominated by western colonialism in Asia, Africa and Americas. During this phase of globalisation, colonial capital was free to exploit both labour and natural resources in the colonised continents whereas the movement of labour was limited based on the requirements of the colonial powers. By the end of second world war, there was further limitation on the mobility of labour but there was relatively higher freedom for the capital.
The third phase of globalisation started with the capital-labour accord with the Washington consensus, which led to greater economic integration of markets driven by free trade in the world. During this phase of globalisation, the developed countries have followed protectionist economic policies and imposed free trade on developing and underdeveloped countries. The free trade was designed by the erstwhile colonial powers in a way that led to the concentration of wealth in the hands of few in the western world.
In order to succeed, the new era of globalisation needs to conceptualise globalisation in a different way by moving away from both protectionism and free trade under capitalism. The policies of both protectionism and free trade helps in the concentration of wealth and serves the interests of the same capitalist classes.
Progressives oppose globalisation as it marginalises masses. Right-wing oppose it for its narrow nativist Malthusian predicament
The processes of concentration of wealth trickled down to the capitalist classes based in the post-colonial countries. This created the conditions for the global capitalist alliances to control global resources in which states have become the facilitators.
The welfare orientations of the states and their role in providing public healthcare facilities were transformed and privatised to pursue profit by the capitalist classes, who took over all state resources and facilities. As a result, the states have failed to face global health challenges like Coronavirus pandemic. The competitive and hierarchical culture of capitalism has failed to face this global health crisis.
In this context, the intellectuals, public policy makers, and leaders need to articulate a new wave of globalisation breaking away from its old colonial and capitalist lineages. The ideological and structural delinking of globalisation from its previous regimes and phases.
The ideals of pluriveralism need to be the organising principles of globalisation driven by the workers of the world. The ravages of Coronavirus pandemic and other threats to the survival of human lives and environment depends on our commitment to the principles of cooperation.
The framework of democratic dialogue between individuals, states and societies can create meaningful and sustainable alternatives in the world, where ‘one lives for all and all live for one’. The shared vision for a collective global future and its success depends on our ability to embrace differences and celebrate our acentric uniqueness.
The articulation and fundamental commitment to this principle can start a new era of globalisation, which is free and fair for all. Such global perspective can radically transform world economy, where workers become shareholders of capital they produce. In this distinct phase of globalisation, it is important to create cooperative governance systems, which can transform gun, god and globalisation into workers internationalism.
The workers’ internationalism is not a utopia. The technology and digital revolution can help in realising the goals of workers internationalism guaranteeing peace and prosperity. The workers led democratisation of ownership of technologies and digital revolutions can shape global economy in four significant ways.
Firstly, the use of technology increases productive power of labour. The growth of productive power means labourers need to get their higher share of value that they add and produce by which they can enjoy more leisure time with their families and fellow human beings.
Secondly, the workers-led digital revolution reduces competitiveness among workers, which can create conditions for greater cooperation among workers.
Thirdly, the use of technology reduces cost of production. It can help consumers to get their everyday products in low cost. The quality of life increases with the declining cost of living.
Finally, technology can help in providing information on conditions and cost of production to the consumers. The flow of information can create an interactive process and environment for the greater understanding between consumers and producers. In this way, technology can create social market as a means of exchange by dismantling digital divide.
The forward march of workers-led globalisation based on internationalism is the only way to realise greater goal of the universalisation of global citizenship. This new wave of alternative globalisation and all its possibilities depend on our progressive struggles and commitment for a better world.
---
*Coventry University, UK

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

World Bank proved right, Narmada is already a destructive project: Medha Patkar

By Rajiv Shah  Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar has said that the World Bank’s independent review mission, which brought out the Morse Commission report , has been proved right: The Sardar Sarovar dam has not only failed to live up to the loud promises made for irrigating large arid areas of Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat, those who were displaced and resettled in Gujarat are getting increasingly restive as many of them are unable to get the promised water for irrigation and some for drinking water too. While 50,000 families have been resettled in three states and 20,000 have received land rights as land or cash, the authorities have not calculated what should be done with 15,000 families, whose houses are acquired for Sardar Sarovar but following changing backwater levels of the Sardar Sarovar dam, they are denied rehabilitation, Patkar tells Counterview in an interview (part1*): *** Q: What is the latest position in your view as far as the Sardar Sarovar dam is concerned?

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Industries dumping effluents into Narmada, destroying Adivasis' organic farms: Medha

By Rajiv Shah  Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar believes that it is not just rehabilitation issues which nag the Sardar Sarovar dam affected people, especially Adivasis who have lived along the Narmada river for centuries.  The river water is now facing excessive sand mining, on one hand, and effluent discharge in Narmada and its tributaries, on the other, making people increasingly restive, Patkar tells Counterview in an interview (part 2*): *** Q: Apart from rehabilitation, which other issues, in your view, are affecting people living next to the Narmada river today? A: Since in 2019, when they filled up the dam to the full reservoir level, 138 metres, we notice, the river is going down and down and down... Q: Is it because of the climate change? A: Partly, but the main reason is illegal, unbound, unwanted sand mining. Just as Yamuna got finished, Narmada is following the same pattern. We won the case against illegal mining. There are also a number of judgments, like

Vadodara violence: Fine Arts Faculty alumni raise fingers at Varsity's political appointee

Hasmukh Vaghela with PM Counterview Desk  In a statement, alumni of the Faculty of Fine Arts (FoFA), Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda, Gujarat, referring to the “violence” by right-wing groups for displaying “objectionable” paintings that “hurt religious sentiments” at the one of India’s top fine arts institute May 5, have taken strong exception to “the assault and rustication” of one of the students, and lack of action taken against those who “violated” the institution and committed the act. Floated as an online petition seeking wider support, the FoFA alumni, in their statement, addressed to the vice chancellor, MSU, said, there should be “thorough” investigation in the whole incident and “immediate action” should be taken against syndicate member Hasmukh Vaghela, MSU, who sparked the assault, and “other co-conspirators” for breaching “university code of conduct and unlawful activities committed in broad daylight”. While the alumni statement doesn't say so, Vaghela

Polygamy in India "down" in 45 yrs: Muslims' from 5.7 to 2.55%, Hindus' 5.8 to 1.77%, "common" in SCs, STs

By Rajiv Shah Amidst All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) justifying polygamy, saying it “meets social and moral needs and the provision for it stems from concern and sympathy for women”, facts suggest the the practice is down from 5.7 per cent of Muslim families in 1961 to 2.55 per cent in 2006.

Ukraine: Why Gandhi's thinking offers serious alternative to today's 'violent' civilization

By Prem Singh*  Splintered lies the ethics, In varying degrees Which both have bent The Pandavas less, the Kauravas more Oh, when will this bloodletting end …? – 'Andha Yug', Dharamveer Bharati. The Russia-Ukraine war shows no signs of ending. However, there continue to be constant statements, discussions, and write ups from leaders, diplomats, experts, officials, scholars and ordinary citizens on various aspects related to the war. Whatever the significance of this whole exercise in the discussion of the causes, implications, effects, consequences etc. of war, it has been if little help in exerting any positive influence. It seems that modern violent civilization doesn't appear to have many options, not only by politicians and diplomats, but also by various experts and scholars who have taken their stand on the war. It can also be said that that they do not perceive modern civilization as violent. The UN general secretary says that the Russia-Ukraine war is an absurdity, a

UK leader cites Indian farmers' struggle one of top global fights against neoliberal order

Counterview Desk  Jeremy Corbyn, member of the UK Parliament, former leader of the UK Labour Party and founder of the  Peace and Justice Project , in his  inaugural speech to the  Progressive International’s  Summit at the End of the World on May 12, 2022, has said, what is happening across globe suggests that "image of apocalypse -- bombs and raids, oil spills and wildfires, disease and contagion -- is a reality for people across the planet." In an adaptation of his speech, distributed by  Globetrotter , Corbyn, however, said, there are fresh examples action, too -- by Indian farmers forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw three neo-liberal laws;  by workers, communities and activists against the top giant multinational Amazon's "greed and exploitation"; and by Latin American people's struggle to say "no more to the domination by imperialism, the destruction of their communities and the abuse of their environments." Stating that this is n

This Maoist justified US, western Europe's anti-Soviet stance, even Bhindranwale

By Harsh Thakor*  A glaring example of the extent to which those seeking to identify themselves as revolutionaries can go in making odd compromises with those normally considered as “class enemies” in Marxist jargon is late Kondapalli Seetharamiah. Few know that this Maoist organiser two decades ago was so enamoured by the Chinese three worlds theory that he called for a united front with the United States and other western countries against what he considered Soviet social imperialism! This wasn’t the only “compromise” Seetharamiah made during his career as a revolutionary. On Punjab he took a most eclectical stand of supporting Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, thus soft-pedalling the terrorist Khalistani movement. Among his other opportunist alliances, about which few are aware of, include support to the Akalis in Punjab, on one hand, and the NTR Telugu Desam regime in Andhra Pradesh, on the other – all part of his anti-Congress thrust. Also known as KS, this Maoist started his career as

Custodial death of Muslim youth: Govt of India told to ratify UN convention on torture

Counterview Desk  Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and national convenor, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), Hooghly, West Bengal, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has drawn to the custodial death of a Muslim youth following his torture in police custody after registering a "false case" based on manufactured records. Seeking "proper investigation" the whole incident, Roy in his plea insists, the incident legitimizes his organisations' long-standing demand "for immediate ratification of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment." Text : Here I want to draw your kind attention to one incident of custodial torture by the Deganga police personnel and the subsequent custodial death of one Muslim man from the Other Backward Class community in Dum Dum Central Correctional Home. The name o