ANTI-GLOBALIZATION IS A REACTIONARY MOVEMENT
Anti-globalization is taking a lot of its inspirations from the anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist movements of the early and mid 20th Century without realizing that the current globalization is not about one country invading another, albeit economically for raw materials, cheap labor, or local market. Globalization is about the economic integration of the world, following the leadership of information economy, as it is becoming more and more the determining sector of all national economies, and contrary to the raw materials, industrial labor, and national markets of the past industrial economy, the requirements of information economy are not and cannot be confined to any national economy.
The propagandists of anti-globalization cannot see the above new reality, and they repeat the premises of the old industrial world, national markets and nation states, and they hide their reactionary outlook, which is actually defending the return to the national economic models of 18th Century Europe, and they hide it under the slogans of so-called defending the poor and working people, whereas their reactionary outlook will bring more misery for the working people of the undeveloped countries.
In February last year, I wrote an article entitled "Globalization and Iranian Intellectual Circles":
Unfortunately all the issues I raised in that article not only are still valid but the Iranian leftists are more and more becoming reactionary by supporting the anti-globalization movement and they think they are helping the workers and people of Iran, the same way they thought supporting the Communist system was helping the Iranian working people, and were surprised that Iranian working people did not support the Communists, not because of any propaganda of the Shah or the Sheikh, but because they are bright enough to know that their ideal is not the socialist countries, which on one side created huge state ownership with Communist bosses, states that were more totalitarian than the worst of Capitalist countries, and on the other side created a culture of taking pride in misery and poverty, which the brightest of the poor people resent, as they wish to change their situation to that of prosperity, rather than to take pride in poverty, and they want introduction of equal opportunity for everybody to be able to achieve his/her best, rather than be happy with misery and poverty.
Today still the socialist solution is the shortcut dream of those who do not want to deal with the tough work on issues like taxation, to achieve social justice in a *property-owning democracy*, and are looking for a socialist panacea, nowadays if not in a state socialism, then in a liberal democratic socialism. If the ideal of Marx in his Holy Family was based on workers being the only class that do not want to exist and preserve themselves, these reactionary leftists of our times are in the footsteps of the most backward communists who wished to keep the misery of workers forever by taking pride in it. I have already written on the new arguments of socialist thought of our times before and do not need to repeat here:
Let's go back to the topic of anti-globalization reactionary movement, which is basically a movement led by the remnants of the left in the 21st Century. On the one hand the globalization of the world economy is moving ahead, and on the other hand this reactionary movement is advocating the return to the past as its lost paradise. If Marx himself was alive, he would be the first to say how reactionary the Marxists of our times are, for trying to turn back the wheel of history, rather than seeking solutions to the issues of justice in the new global economy, an economy which is a great advancement beyond the old capitalist and socialist economies of industrial society.
As I had noted before, countries like Japan and later Singapore, Taiwan, and now South Korea are planning and actively producing for this epochal change and their products have even taken lion shares of markets in the U.S., when our leftist intellectuals, following the reactionary leftists in the Western countries, are wasting the time and energy of our intellectuals, trying to find ways to block this historic advancement, an advancement which can actually be pivotal in the development of Iran into the 21st Century, when these intellectuals are instead working against the real interests of Iran, by supporting a backward path of anti-globalization, which is as reactionary as what Islamic Republic has been doing in the last 23 years, by isolating Iran from the world by supporting terrorism, which has hindered the active role of Iran in the global world economy. I wrote extensively about Iran and global economy in an article in January last year:
When our leftists look at the situations in Brazil and Argentina, instead of concluding that those corrupt states are going into bankruptcy not because of globalization, but because of having wrong decisions and wrong politics in this global market, they advocate that the reason for their collapse is the globalization, and under supporting labor against capital, they advocate a return to a self-sufficient closed economy, as a panacea for the current crisis of such bankrupt states. Of course, they say that they are taking the side of labor against capital, but the fact is that the main struggle in all the undeveloped countries at this juncture of history is between the modern information economy and that of the old smoke-stacked industry and remnants of feudal production, and the attempts of anti-globalization movement is *not* in finding social justice in the new information economy, rather it is in favoring the backward pre-information economy against the information economy.
Unfortunately all the talk of leftists about working people, is not about social justice, and is about the nostalgia of return to the past national economies, socialist or capitalist. In fact, people like John Rawls have done more work on the issue of social justice in this coming new society, than all the socialists put together, and the leftists still like to claim to speak for social justice. If their goal *was* to find social justice in the new economy, I would have applauded their efforts, but I see their outlook to be similar to those social feudalists who were attacking early industrial society from the view of the past, and not from the view of the future. My refutation of the leftist programs is not to downplay the issue of social justice in the new economies. Not only I do not deny the importance of the issue of social justice in the new economies, I have even done an attempt in theoretical understanding of it in my paper below
The current anti-globalization
movement reminds one of the feudalist opposition to the first crisis of
industrialism in Europe of 18th century, where the feudalists were blaming
industrialization for the problems, rather than blaming the problems of
infrastructure of Europe of the time, which was not conducive to the growth of
industrial society. Even in the best of the magazines with the
leftist mindset, one sees articles after articles against globalization, as if
this is the worst thing happening in the world. This is just a Luddite reaction
to the progress of our times, rather than trying to see what is blocking the
growth of post-industrial society in current epoch, and how to achieve the best
social justice in this upcoming world structure.
At a time when economists like Wassily Leontief introduced new theories of economics to understand the current information economies, our leftists are still reading the works that at best are historical pieces describing the old industrial economies, capitalist or socialist. Even a popular book like Megatrends of John Naisbit has better description of the real economies of today, than all the leftist literature, which are descriptions of economies that no longer exist, and are basically waste of time to read. They are like the literature of Islamists who are describing the world of 1400 years ago, and think that they are discussing the world of today.
The world is moving beyond the *industrial* society in both its forms of capitalism and socialism, and Iranian leftists are still misguiding the bulk of our intellectuals, as if the left has an answer for today's world, when repeating their thoughts of the industrial economies of 200 years ago. The best way to start finding solutions for issues facing Iran and Iranians in this day and age, is to drop the left and Marxism altogether. It has been a big mistake for our intellectual tradition to be reduced to the left, and the left has been like a virus among the Iranian intellectuals, for over a century, stopping our intellectuals from seeing the new developments in theory and social change, in economics, politics, and other areas of inquiry and social change.
Attempts to unite the left are like the attempts to unite Christian groups or Islamist groups. The schism of the left is the description of the reality that the time for these groups has long passed and the solution of current social and economic issues is found beyond the left. Pan-leftism is a useless ideology which thinks the backward left can do better if united. The left just like Islamism will always exist but the bulk of Iranian intellectuals should drop leftism and need to look beyond it, if they want to be able to find viable solutions for issues facing Iran and Iranians today, and they should not waste their time with the reactionary anti-globalization movement, which is another abyss like hezbe toodeh, that exhausted the energy of a generation of Iranian intellectuals, without helping the advancement of Iran and Iranians, and caused a resentment among the Iranian working people for the intellectuals, who became synonymous with toodehii, for advocating the pride in misery, rather than advocating for advancement of the life of working people to a more flourishing development, by supporting equal opportunity, pursuit of happiness, and democracy.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
Jan 1, 2003