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Friday, 10 November, 2000, 17:43 GMT
Naomi Klein answered your questions
The Canadian journalist Naomi Klein has become an unofficial spokeswoman for the anti-globalisation movement.
Her best-selling book, No Logo, documents the popular backlash against the increasing economic and cultural reach of multinational companies.
She claims that the anti-globalisation protesters represent a more democratic alternative to corporate domination of the world economy.
And she reckons that this movement is becoming increasingly powerful. Politicians and big business ignore it at their peril.
Do you share this vision? Do you think it is nonsense?
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I am also talking for those other people who are doing fantastic work who do not get an opportunity to speak for themselves or who get misrepresented.
Speaking as a Canadian, our public services are what define us as a nation. To me this is a frightening extension of the World Trade Organisation.
The movement that I have been tracking is very broad. These international institutions have created a coalition for us and this extension into services is very much a part of that. It brings all these opposition groups together who are fighting for public education, public healthcare, environmental sustainability and so on.
Lee, Winchester, England:
I am not a nationalist. I consider myself an internationalist. I feel we need to reject this paradigm of pro-globalisation camp versus the anti-globalisation camp and force the discussion to be become more sophisticated by saying this is the kind of globalisation we want.
There is nothing inherently good or bad about the free trade of goods what is being debated is the preconditions that are being attached to that trade. What countries are being told they have to do to change themselves - privatise and liberalise their services for example. There is nothing inevitable about that in that it is a very clear political agenda which I reject, while still considering myself an internationalist.
James Taylor, United Kingdom:
This is watching power shift from points close to home to faraway points, for example, the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank and the IMF. The issue is about taking back that power at a local level.
Asif Khan, UK:
However, as corporations have globalised our politicians have accepted the idea that they can't do anything anymore because the corporations are so hyper-mobile; they can just leave if we do not play by the rules.
But our governments get together all the time - for example, in the Hague, the Apex summits, G7 summits and so on and what they do is they agree to give up power because it is easier to agree to them all giving up power rather than getting together and agreeing to make global rules and regulations to counterbalance the growing power of corporations.
This is why we are seeing citizens around the world forcing their way onto this international stage by protesting and rioting outside of these meetings. They are saying what is going on is not OK and that their interests have to be represented as well as the interests of corporations.
Amoroso Gombe, Kenya:
I think poor countries do need investment but the problem with that argument is that it is used to say that we have to accept all of the investment on the corporations' terms and that is what I am rejecting.
Take Nike, for example, the reason there is a campaign against Nike around the issue of sweatshop labour is not because people like me are picking on Nike.
Workers in Nike factories in Indonesia, Vietnam and China have organised wildcat strikes, putting their jobs on the line, in order to get unions into these factories. These people are not saying they do not want Nike factories but they are saying they want to take the seed of investment and turn it into real development.
However, when these workers have tried to improve the conditions of their low wage jobs and make good of this promise of development, the factories move to another country.
Benjamin Davies, USA:
I don't think we are moving to this promised peaceful future. If we look at what is happening now at the US election, we have the two main candidates fighting with one another over who is the bigger hawk and who is going to spend more on military spending.
What we see is that war itself is trade and it is very profitable.
Ed Barker, UK:
There are issues on which the two parties diverge - trade is not one of them. However, it was significant that Nader's voice was heard so strongly despite all the efforts to silence him.
Dayanand Kathapurkar, India:
Andrew McCartney, UK:
Progressive forces have been arguing in favour of internationalism for a long time - we are ones that wrote the UN Charter and we need to reclaim the language of globalisation and international interconnectivity. Of course we are using these tools to connect better with each other.
Branding succeeds because society has failed by leaving these ideas unattended. Brands are the only ones speaking to young people in the language of inspiration. It is a failure of politicians, parents and communities and that is why we are seeing the rise of this kind of branded self-identification. We want more meaning in our lives unfortunately we don't get it through our running shoes and laptops.
P. Jones, UK:
This movement is remarkably non-ideological in that the idea that knits together all these pockets of activism around the world is simply the idea of self-determination and getting back some control over their communities and economies.
I do not believe there is one ideology that will reach around the world. We need to find a belief system that rejects that sort of "one-size fits all" ideology systematically. This movement has no Bible or manifesto but we can agree that we have the right to the basic level of self-determination and democracy.
It has grown from something that started only five years ago to something that is starting to look like a mass movement. People feel themselves to be part of something global - there is diversity and it isn't monolithic.
I didn't use to be so optimistic but I decided I did not want to live that way anymore. I also believe optimism is a choice - I made it and I believe that optimism is contagious and I so encourage you Trevor to try it.
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