Global Justice School, May-June 2005

Globalization, Cracks in Asia and Recompositions on the Left

Pierre Rousset, 15 June 2005



* Objectives of this report:

An era of instability.

1. An illustration of the imbalances created in the dominant order by capitalist globalization.

2. An illustration of the post-cold war imbalances in the regional power relations.

3. An illustration of recompositions under way on the left.

4. Introduction to few elements that are specific to Asia.

* Warning: Asia is extremely diverse!

--- From Laos to South Korea, from Sri Lanka to China

--- A very different history than the one of Latin America.

* The limits of the reporter: they should be obvious




A. Asian diversity and geopolitical unities

* Seen from within: does Asia exist?

--- The most diverse geopolitical entity in the world

--- Several regional poles. Unified neither by colonization nor by decolonization.

* Seen from the outside: a geopolitical whole forged by:

--- Rivalry among the big powers

--- The clash between revolutions and counter-revolutions

--- The Cold War

* Seen from one side and the other:

--- East and West


B. Capitalist globalization and its contradictions:

In search of a new mode of domination

* Beyond the economy

See: FI resolution on resistance to globalization

--- A universal "liberal" model of domination?

--- Implications on every level (the issue of territorial control)

--- Strength of the process and its Achilles heels:

- Overestimation of the social relationship of forces

- Insensitivity to the question of legitimacy

- Intensity of inter-imperialist contradictions

- Intensity of contradictions between factions in the dominant classes.

From Seattle to Cancun



Violence of the imperialist offensive (economic recolonization of a high-growth region)

End of equilibriums fixed during the Cold War (India/Pakistan)

A period of instability opens up in Asia

Combinations of crises

* On the economic level:

- See Husson on origins of the crisis

- A present issue: "regionalism" within or against capitalist globalization

* Regimes in crisis

- Importance of Suharto's overthrow in Indonesia (1998)

Delegitimation of the international financial institutions

- Importance of the (temporary) BJP's rise to power in India

The secular state put into question

* Military globalization and the multiplication of areas of tension

Brutality and limits of the US order

Political dynamics of "anti-terrorism"

From West to East:

- Wars and quagmires to Western Asia

- Nuclear proliferation and the Indo-Pakistani standoff in South Asia

- Importance of US intervention in the Philippines (Mindanao) in Southeast Asia

- A frozen situation in the Korean Peninsula in Northeast Asia

+ Rise of intercommunal tensions (crisis of socialist solidarity as a reference point)

* Self-assertion by regional powers

- Pursuit of remilitarization (including political remilitarization) by Japan

- China in East Asia

- India in South Asia

The new world disorder seen from Asia



* The antiwar movement and rebuilding solidarity

- The question of the link between resistance to neoliberal globalization and the struggle for peace: posed precociously in Asia

- The Okinawa Conference: rethinking international security from the peoples' point of view

- The Mindanao experience: weaving a fabric of concrete solidarity among communities

- Asian networks (ASA) and beyond?

* The Fourth World Social Forum (WSF) in Mumbai (Bombay): 2004

See the introduction to the FI resolution on resistance to globalization

- The specificity of the Social Forum process among the various forms of resistance (see this evening)

- The first test of internationalizing the WSF, beyond the Latin America/Europe axis

- The first test of rooting the Social Forum process in the East

--- India: diversity of its movements and pluralism of its society

--- Renewing the themes (nuclear issues, caste, communalism, etc.)

* The emergence of a new (pluralist) internationalism of radical parties

- The Philippines: an extreme example

--- Hidden pluralism (before 1985)

--- The crisis of the CPP and self-assertion of a diverse radical left

--- An apprenticeship in pluralism on the one hand and the culmination of its absolute rejection by Sison's CPP: assassination as a policy

- The experience of the Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference in Sydney

--- 1998: the pluralism of parties represented, the will to dialogue

--- 2002: the possibility of acting together? (the field of resistance to globalization)

- The meeting of "radical parties" in Mumbai and after.

- Parties from Europe, Asia and beyond: the new internationalism of radical parties? (see Penny's report).

Modification of the framework of action (after the Cold War)

Rise of a new political generation and therefore of reference points out of its own experience

- Times for a global reevaluation and the responsibility of (what remains of) my generation (see tomorrow).

- Strength in Asia (depth of experiences, social roots of the radical Left) and weaknesses (depth of failures and parallel monolithic traditions).