Global Justice School 2005

Alternatives II: Ideas for alternatives

14 June, Eric Toussaint



This contribution puts forward suggestions and alternative avenues for debate. They do not make up an all-inclusive programme, nor should they be seen as proposals to accept or reject en bloc. At best, they are a collection of necessary-but-insufficient conditions for charting the path forward.


A. Introduction on the conjuncture


-World economy: US and China as locomotives

-Periphery: accumulation of hard currency reserves

-The periphery is a net lender to the central capitalist countries

-The bourgeoisies and governments could change the world situation to the benefit of the dependent countries if they wanted to — but they won't

-Only the peoples in action can do it / Actuality of permanent revolution

-Regaining public control (public and collective property) over natural resources: the example of Bolivia


B. Reflections on the blockage of capitalist development in the periphery


C. Adopting methodology of the transitional programme


1. Breaking the infernal cycle of debt


 1.1. The Judicial Basis for Debt Cancellation


'Odious Debt'

According to Alexander Sack, who theorized this doctrine, "If a despotic power contracts a debt not in accordance with the needs and interests of the State, but to strengthen the despotic regime, to repress the population who are combating it, this debt is odious for the population of the State as a whole. This debt is not an obligation for the nation: it is debt of a regime, the personal debt of the authorities which contracted it; consequently, when the regime falls, the debt becomes null and void." (Sack, 1927).

'Force majeure'

The state of necessity


1.2. Other arguments and concrete experiences


2. Extra resources to finance development


2.1. Restitution of stolen property to the citizens of the Global South


-Ill-gotten goods



2.2 Nationalization/socialization of the domestic assets of dictatorial regimes


2.3 Making fraudulent capitalists pay their fair share

2.4 Monetary reform by redistribution 


2.5. On the international level, set up global taxation


2.5.1. Tax financial transactions

2.5.2. Taxes on DFI, on the profits of multinational corporations (MNCs) and other global taxes…


 2.6 Raise Official Development Aid to at least 0.7% of the GDP and completely change the thinking behind it. Instead of ODA, let's talk about Reparation Funds


2.7 Levy an exceptional tax on the estates of the very wealthy


3. A new development strategy


3.1   End Structural Adjustment Policies


3.2 Ensure the return of privatised strategic sectors to the public domain


3.3    Adopt a partly self-based development model  


3.4 Act upon trading practice


3.5. Guarantee people's right to circulate and to settle


4. New rules of good financial practice


4.1   Re-regulate the financial markets


4.2   Control capital movements


4.3 Eliminate tax havens


4.3   Adopt rules to ensure the protection of countries which have recourse to external indebtedness      


4.4 Adopt rules to ensure the protection of countries which have recourse to external indebtedness


4.5   Democratic control of political indebtedness


5. Further indispensable measures


Arms expenditure


Multinational corporations (MNCs)


Global public goods


6. What future for the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO?


7. Venezuela and ALBA