Politics
If you become involved in the political process, you can help to determine the shape of the world you live in, both locally and globally.

If you don’t, someone else will do it – and you may not like the result.
 

Ten Ways to Make Globalisation Work for Everyone

First published in Corporate Knights, April 2004.

One Planet, One Responsibility, One Vision

  1. ESTABLISH A WORLD PARLIAMENT
  2. Picture this. A World Parliament, one MP for every ten million adults on the Earth, elected by a single transferable ballot. 630 global MPs, directly representing the people, 3 from Canada, 30 from the US, 120 from China. A Parliament that would produce the legislation that is so urgently needed at the global level. We live in one world. We need to govern ourselves democratically as one world.

  3. REPLACE THE IMF, WORLD BANK WITH AN INTERNATIONAL CLEARING HOUSE….
  4. The market fundamentalists who run the World Bank and the IMF are effectively bankrupting many nations in the developing world, just as some predicted, 60 years ago. When Britain sat down with the US at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944, Britain’s John Maynard Keynes had a better idea, which was shot down by the Americans. ("Absolutely, no.") He said let’s set up an International Clearing Union, with its own currency, the bancor. All trade between nations would use the bancor. Every country would have an overdraft facility, and all trade surpluses and deficits would have to balance, globally. Any country using its bancors to finance a trade deficit would be charged interest up to 5%, and have to devalue its currency. Any country running a trade surplus would be charged interest at 10%, and have to revalue its currency. All trade would balance, and debtor nations would be brought back to equilibrium. The wealthy nations would no longer be able to turn the screws on the poorer nations. "Lord Keynes was right…. The world will bitterly regret the fact that his arguments were rejected." (Geoffrey Crowther, Editor of The Economist)

  5. …AND A GLOBAL RESERVE FUND
  6. Keynes’s proposal also involved setting up a Reserve Fund to receive the interest payments from both debtor and surplus nations. The fund was to be used for security, disaster relief, and reconstruction. It could also be used to accelerate solutions to climate change, tackle endemic diseases, fight illiteracy, and clear landmines.

  7. REPLACE THE WTO WITH A FAIR TRADE ORGANIZATION
  8. On paper, the World Trade Organization is governed democratically. In practice, its agenda is pre-arranged in The Green Room by the US, the EU, Canada and Japan. They promise to reduce trade tariffs and barriers, but then they go and raise them. We need a Fair Trade Organization, which would establish global standards for social and environmental responsibility, and impose penalties or sanctions when they were breached. We’d have healthy and safety standards for the whole world, not just for individual factories. It would also prevent the formation of monopolies, as we do in Canada.

  9. PROTECTIONISM FOR JUNIORS, FREE TRADE FOR ADULTS
  10. Let’s face it – every developed nation got there by using trade tariffs and barriers to protect their fledgling industries. Britain thrashed India by emasculating its cotton trade; Japan climbed on everyone’s backs by virtually banning all imports. Free trade makes sense for mature industries, but no sense for juveniles; they need protection, so they can grow to compete. Do we let the Maple Leafs compete with the PeeWees? I mean – duh!

  11. ESTABLISH A WORLD ENVIRONMENT ORGANIZATION
  12. We need a World Environment Organization (and a Court) to ensure the protection of the global commons, which is currently being torn apart in a dog-fight between the world’s corporations. We need to protect the oceans, the sky, the rainforests, the world’s fresh water supplies. If they fail, we all go down with them. It’s only common sense.

  13. ESTABLISH A GLOBAL CORPORATE CHARTER
  14. Global corporations can be an enormous power for global good, when they behave responsibly. When they don’t, however, the results can be terrible. Right now, corporate charters require that directors must maximize profits for their investors; no wonder some behave like global psychopaths. So let’s create a Global Corporate Charter, by which directors are required instead to protect social and environmental assets, while gathering their goodies.

  15. …AND A GLOBAL CHARTER TREATY
  16. But how to make it work? We need a global treaty, to set a date by when all corporations that wish to trade globally must have the new charter, to take effect as soon as 40 nations have ratified it. It’s only fair, to have a fair set of rules. Without them, everyone is losing in the global dogfights.

  17. REDEFINE FIDUCIARY TRUST TO INCLUDE ECOLOGICAL TRUST
  18. Listen up, all you accountants! We need you to apply your belief in integrity and good book-keeping to the world’s social and ecological assets, as well as its dollars. We need you to create a new ethical standard that takes "fiduciary trust" to a higher level, so that it no longer unwittingly destroys the tree, while picking the fruit.

  19. BELIEVE THAT IT IS POSSIBLE

There is an eternal impulse within the human spirit that dreams of higher things. On this spiritual level, global democracy, fair trade and corporate responsibility are inevitable. We just have to believe in ourselves, and make it happen.

With appreciation for George Monbiot’s The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order (www.monbiot.com)

Guy Dauncey is the author of Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change and Earthfuture: Stories from a Sustainable World (New Society Publishers). www.earthfuture.com.