Part 3 - De-Linking From the IMF Agenda
It is possible, however, to imagine an alternative to the dismal reality created by neoliberal policies and the noose created by the investment strikes of the world’s banking institutions.
The late Egyptian Marxist Samir Amin provided us with a framework for building an international agenda that prioritizes the needs of the world’s poor and dispossessed, an alternative to today’s globalization that is dictated by the interests of global capital.
In his interview with Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Amin reflects on the era of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and multi-polar globalization. This era, Amin said, was “a time when imperialism was compelled to make concessions and to accept the national-popular programmes of India and other African and Asian countries. Instead of the countries of the south adjusting to the needs and demands of globalisation, it was the imperialist countries which were compelled to adjust to our demands.”
By 2030, Amin continues, 85 percent of the population will be living in the Global South. The interests of the majority of this group are neglected by neoliberal policies that slash social spending and place social wealth in private hands. This 85 percent, Amin said, “can successfully de-link to various degrees in accordance not only with our size but also in accordance with our alternative political block, which would replace the core imperialist blocks which are controlling our countries today.”
The result of building such an alternative could indicate the ability of the world’s poor to “compel imperialism to accept [their] conditions or part of those conditions,” or to de-link.
Argentina’s poor and dispossessed are already challenging Macri’s agenda and pushing back against the constraints of global capital, having organized four general strikes since his term began in 2015. The country has been mired in protests similar to the cacerolazos that halted the streets of Buenos Aires during the 1998-2002 depression.
As Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research’s recent dossier points out, groups such as the Federation of Workers of the Popular Economy (CTEP) are creating cooperatives among the country’s growing sector of informal workers, providing “an illustration of how the working class has been fragmented and reorganised by neo-liberal policies.”
These efforts are not limited to Argentina. In the Indian state of Kerala, the Left Democratic Front government led one of the most successful rescue and reconstruction efforts in the country’s history after the most devastating floods seen in 94 years, despite an attempt from the country’s right-wing to not only neglect but actively stifle aid to the communist-led state.
In South Africa, shack dwellers of the Abahlali baseMjondolo movement are occupying lands and building homes, refusing to leave their dignity up to the whims of the State and the country’s elite.
Across the world, people, and people’s movements, are fighting back and creating alternatives to neoliberal policies.
As long as this happens, global capital will use any means that it has—whether through economic policy and coercion or through military force—to protect its interests. But, as Amin suggests, if the 85 percent of the world’s poor, from Argentina’s informal workers to South Africa’s shack dwellers, de-link from a neoliberal agenda and link with each other, they may very well be able to compel the current world order to accept their conditions and begin to create a future free from the shackles of global capital.