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(en) Workers Solidarity #76 - What is the World Economic Forum?

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 14 Aug 2003 11:16:45 +0200 (CEST)

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[Unpublished as WEF meeting cancelled
The WEF has been described as the first "'true
International of capital". It's widely credited with being
the organizing force behind capitalist globalisation]

This October some 400 industrialists and assorted
hangers on will descend on Dublin for the European
summit of the World Economic Forum. The city centre
will be brought to a halt as the sort of globalisation
demonstration we have seen in Seattle and Prague occurs
in Dublin.

So what is the World Economic Forum? In its own words
"The Forum provides a collaborative framework for the
world's leaders to address global issues, engaging
particularly its corporate members in global citizenship.i"
That is from the WEF web page and despite the careful
spin should be worrying to anyone reading it carefully.

Across most of Europe and North America many believe
a rather pleasant myth. That is that we live in a
democracy where we the people have a real say in how
our regions are run. Sure individual politicians are often
flawed but we can punish them at election time. This
myth extends to the global level - here our democratically
appointed leaders make decisions on how the world is run
in the public view at global bodies like the United

So where does the WEF fit into this? It's not democratic
in any sense, being composed of representatives from
selected corporations who pay 30,000 plus a year for the
privilege. Yet it is one of the key bodies which decide
how life will be for the 6 billion of us who inhabit the
globe. Mary Harney acknowledged this in welcoming the
decisions of the WEF to come to Dublin. She said, "This
forum will have the capacity to influence change and drive
the reforms needed to build competitiveness and greater
social inclusion in the EU"ii.

So a glimpse of reality. You might have thought through
elections and referenda you decided on the direction of
the EU. But really it is a self-defined club of the worlds
top 1,000 companies that do so. Don't worry; there is
some Irish involvement. At least until recently AIB and
Eircom were both members of the WEF. Yep that's the
bank that refused to pass on the ECB interest rate cut to
borrowers and the company that saw tens of thousands of
people lose their savings in the privatisation share
disaster. The list of companies involved tells us quite a
bit about the WEF agenda. These include Microsoft,
Monsanto, Nike, General Motors and, until recently,
Enron. iii.

The WEF has been described as the first "'true
International of capital"iv. It's widely credited with being
the organizing force behind capitalist globalisation. From
bus privatization to bin charges, from health cuts to
education under funding the WEF is one of the key
international bodies pushing the agenda that makes these

Let us be clear though. The WEF is not run by stupid
people. It does not organise under the banner of 'lower
wages - bigger profits'. Quite the opposite in fact, since
globalisation activists brought its existence out into the
open it has promoted itself as a 'make the world a better
place' gathering of the global elites.

All over the island people are organising groups to oppose
the WEF conference, including a major effort which
begun at the 5th Grassroots Gathering. This is your
chance to have a go at the people who make the decisions
that fuck up this world - don't miss it.

i http://www.weforum.org/
ii http://www.entemp.ie/press03/220103.htm
iii http://nyc.indymedia.org/wefinfo/WEF_IMC.pdf
iv by Kees van der Pijl

The WEF meeting was cancelled shortly before WS76
went to print so this article was not printed

See also

* Against capitalist globalisation

This page is from the print version of the
Irish Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.

Print out the PDF file of this issue

Print out the PDF file of the most recent issue

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