Globalisation today

This booklet is for activists. Those of us who are struggling in our communities, homes and workplaces, in campaigns and in programmes of social justice. Those of us concerned with the future of the planet and relations between men and women.

It is also a booklet for anyone interested in the world around us and questioning why wealth and power are so unevenly distributed.

It is not about economics and it does not assume that we need to know anything about what academics and other “experts” call “economics”. In fact all the economists and academics, all the rating agencies and the auditing firms who are quoted so extensively at the universities and in the financial media as experts, have mostly been wrong about the current system. They are also wrong in responding to what they now call “a recession” by calling on us once again to be reasonable, to temper our demands, to make sacrifices and to trust them once again to be the experts who can get us out of the mess – the mess they got us into in the first place.

The booklet assumes only that you regard the economic system as produced by human beings, as a result of choices made by governments and people who have wealth and power ...and that other choices are possible.

This booklet tries to help us understand the system of world capitalism and, particularly, why this system is now threatening our very existence.

Nearly 20 years ago, when South Africans began to look forward to freedom from apartheid, ILRIG began programmes on globalisation because then academics and experts and employers told activists to be more realistic in our demands for a better society, and used the notion of “globalisation” as a stick to discipline us and lower our expectations for the new South Africa. ILRIG produced a series of booklets called An Alternative View of Globalisation to unmask the political agenda behind this celebration of the term globalisation.

With the current crisis in the world we are now launching a new series: Alternatives to Globalisation because the idea that there is an alternative to capitalism is an idea whose time has come.

 

Feminism for today

This booklet is directed at women and men involved in struggles for democratic rights, against evictions, and water cut-off s, for treatment for HIV/AIDS, for job security and a living wage, and for access to land and livelihoods. It tells us that we can’t win any of our struggles if women and men do not stand

side by side as equals. That we undermine our struggles for a better life and for real democracy if we continue to place obstacles in the way of the full freedom for women in all decision-making – in political life, in the workplace and in the home. We call the booklet ‘Feminism for Today’, mindful of the fact that many people are scared of the word, are scared of being called a “feminist”. That many activists would prefer to speak about “gender” or “women”, as something more neutral and less divisive, or about the “women’s movement” as something that we all can support – as long as it doesn’t really challenge our existing structures.

It is time that activists understand the challenge of feminism in its own words. In the same way that we haven’t been shy to say that it is our right to have democracy, free water and electricity and a living wage, so it should be our right to challenge male domination. So we are calling a spade a spade, and naming our alternative what it is – feminism.

 

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