Social Solidarity, Democracy and Global Capitalism*

Authors


  • *This article is a revised version of the John Porter Lecture, presented June 4,1993 at the 28th Annual Meetings of the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association at Carleton University. I appreciate the helpful comments of Rosalind Sydie, Laurie Adkin, Graham Lowe, Donald Swartz, Bruce Turton and the anonymous CRSA readers. Thanks are extended to Barbara Heather and Trevor Harrison for their excellent research in preparation for this article, and to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for funding. The manuscript of this article was received in July 1994 and accepted in a separate review process by the Sociology Editor, Rosalind Sydie, in May 1995.

Abstract

Dans cette étude, nous examinons les hypothèses des partisans de la «mondialisation» et proposons des solutions totalement opposées. Dans la première partie, nous réfutons les arguments suivants au sujet de la «mondialisation»: la souveraineté nationale s'érode dans tous les pays; la part de propriété transnationale est plus importante que par le passé; la «mondialisation» constitue la conséquence inévitable du changement technologique; et la libéralisation de l'économie à l'échelle mondiale renforce la démocratic Dans la deuxième partie, nous examinons les solutions de rechange démocratiques que peuvent offrir les anciens et les nouveaux mouvements sociaux. L'utilisation de fonds d'investissement gérés par le public et engagés selon les besoins des collectivités est considérée comme une solution de rechange à l'orientation axée sur le marché mondial des entreprises transnationales.

This paper critically examines the assumptions of the advocates of “globalization” and develops an alternative that is the polar opposite. The first half of the paper challenges the following assumptions about “globalization”: that national sovereignty is eroding for all countries; that the level of transnational ownership is higher now than in the past; that “globalization” has been the inevitable result of technological change; that democracy is strengthened by global economic liberalization. The second half of the paper examines the prospects for the creation of democratic alternatives to globalization in old and new social movements. Socially controlled investment funds that have “location commitment” to communities are seen as an alternative to the globalization vision of transnational corporations.

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