Documents : Fifteenth World Congress - 2003

A new world situation







6 The strength of globalized capitalism and the weakness of international interstate institutions


1 The emergence of a globalized capitalism would require a global government in order to master its contradictions, which have become more numerous, more acute, more contagious and harder to control since the end of the Cold War. But this kind of state or government is completely beyond imperialism’s reach.


Nonetheless, the dominant tendency of the past decade has been the emergence of and self-assertion by a series of international, state-like institutions. Despite their rivalries, the ruling classes have been won over to the idea of establishing an imperialist ’new order’. Economic globalization, which is very volatile, has ’spontaneously’ pushed onwards and increased the weight of regulatory bodies on both the regional/continental and world level. Their keystone is the IMF (plus World Bank) and WTO. NATO has amended its charter and imposed itself as the armed force of global capitalism. The G7 (plus Russia) is attempting to ensure a common political leadership. The process of institutional globalization is widening on the judicial level (International Court of Justice in the Hague, the CCI) as well as other levels less in the media spotlight (the OECD and Bank of International Settlements).


2 The attempt to legitimize and stabilize these institutions is running up against major contradictions: economic and political rivalries among the major powers themselves (including regional economic blocs), their lack of democratic, electoral legitimacy, and their openly partisan character in major conflicts (such as Iraq, Rwanda, Palestine and Serbia). Their popular legitimacy has been limited from the outset. These contradictions have been highlighted by the mobilizations ’against globalization’. Their capacity to govern the planet will be put to a brutal test by the turbulence looming on the horizon because of the US government’s war policy and the attempt to control the current economic recession.


Furthermore, the self-assertion of these non-elected institutions, in which the executive bodies dominate, and US unilateralist strategy, have further marginalized the UN (including its Security Council). Previously the UN supplied an institutional framework (its General Assembly and related agencies) in which the imperialist countries could be questioned and ’kept in bounds’ and certain ’progressive’ policies could be implemented.


The factor that has subjugated all this institutional architecture is the supremacy of US imperialism, which is more and more playing an international and unilateral role.