Create Global Alliances


by William Greider

"If Americans wish to repair their own decayed democracy, they must also make themselves into large-minded citizens of the world. To protect their own economic interests, they will have to develop an interest in the economic conditions of people elsewhere. ... American democracy is now imprisoned by new circumstances-the dynamics of the global economy-and this has produced a daunting paradox: Restoring the domestic political order will require a new version of internationalism.

As a political system, the global economy is running downhill-a system that searches the world for the lowest common denominator in terms of national standards for wages, taxes and corporate obligations to health, the environment and stable communities. Left unchallenged, the global system will continue to undermine America's widely shared prosperity, but it also subverts the nation's ability to set its own political standards, the laws that uphold the shared values of society. This reality constitutes the largest challenge confronting American democracy, one that underlies every other aspect of the democratic problem. The global economy has the practical power to check almost every effort Americans may undertake to reform their own political system-unless people learn how to confront the global system too. Elite political opinion holds that such resistance is undesirable and, in any case, impossible.

For ordinary Americans, traditionally independent and insular, the challenge requires them to think anew their place in the world. The only plausible way that citizens can defend themselves and their nation against the forces of globalization is to link their own interests cooperatively with the interests of other peoples in other nations-that is, with the foreigners who are competitors for the jobs and production but who are also victimized by the system. Americans will have to create new democratic alliances across national borders with the less prosperous people caught in the same dilemma. Together, they have to impose new political standards on multinational enterprises and on their own governments."

From William Greider, Who Will Tell the People (New York: Touchstone. 1992) pp. 377-378.

exerpted from the book

edited by Kevin Danaher

Common Courage Press
Box 702
Monroe, Maine 04951
phone - 207-525-0900
fax - 207-525-3068

Reforming the System

Corporations Gonna Get Mama