Trump. Brexit. Le Pen. Decades of suffering under pro-corporate neoliberalism have fueled toxic right-wing nationalism around the world.
But progressive movements rallying around the likes of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn show that in this strategic moment, we can build a progressive internationalist movement that rewrites the rules of the global economy and finally wins the world we deserve.
Our world is in crisis. The neoliberal global economy is disintegrating, and the nationalist far-right is filling the void. By using fear to manipulate people’s suffering, nationalists pit workers against each other, fueling the race to the bottom that neoliberal globalization set in motion.
In the U.S., nationalists like Trump and Bannon scapegoat Muslims, Mexicans, and other people of color for the suffering of those left behind by global neoliberalism. Across the globe, we see the same terrifying partnership of nationalist and xenophobic politics as the alternative to forty years of failed free market deregulation, privatization, and uncontrolled growth in inequality. Racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities are under attack in the US, France, Russia, India and China. But hostility among working people of different backgrounds only benefits the people at the top: billionaires, corporations, and the politicians who serve them.
Nationalism is not a real alternative to neoliberal globalization, but a progressive internationalism can be. Through transnational solidarity, not hatred and competition, we can build the power necessary to control corporations across borders and end the race to the bottom. Where the nationalists see a new era of international conflict over a declining pool of resources; we demand instead a revival of global growth in the only way possible: an economy that raises everyone up together.
Decades of neoliberal globalization have created a truly global economy. For the first time, the fate of each individual in the world is materially connected to the fate of all. We work together in hidden, world-spanning production chains controlled by multinational corporations. But corporations use their control to divide us and fuel a destructive race to the bottom in wages, working conditions, and environmental standards.
These dynamics are causing economic inequality to get worse in all countries: deindustrialization has destroyed large parts of nations most thought secure, while informal employment has exploded in economically unstable countries. Workers in all nations now share a common experience of instability, uncertainty, and extreme pressure, increasingly finding themselves either unemployed or overworked.
The root causes of economic suffering in the U.S., Vietnam, Mexico, U.K., China, India, and other countries around the world are global. As long as corporations are allowed to exert downward pressure on wages and standards everywhere they operate, workers will never have the power to maintain good wages, organize for better working conditions, or demand a fair share of the profits created through automation.
In this moment, powerful progressive movements have rallied around Bernie Sanders in the U.S. and Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K. and won national support for universal healthcare, free higher education, and an expansive vision of economic justice. These successes show that people are hungry for bold alternatives to both free market austerity and nationalist scapegoating. However, these progressive programs are only economically possible with revived economic growth, whose fruits are distributed in an equitable way.
The fate of workers in developed countries like the U.S. is not at odds with workers in the global south, but intimately tied up with it. National victories can only be protected if we have more power than the multinational corporations who oppose them. If we let corporations keep building power internationally, we will continue to find ourselves losing battles we had just won. The precondition for achieving a decent life for workers anywhere is a genuinely global and enforceable regime of labor rights, including a global minimum wage system, global limits on the working day, the global abolition of child labor, global monitoring of working conditions, and a global right to organize labor unions.
We have to go beyond a vision of national social democracy to an ambitious progressive internationalism. We can and must build international solidarity between working people and progressives across borders to constrain global corporate power and lift all people out of the insecurity and despair that neoliberal globalization has created.
Many countries have endorsed the principles behind this demand in piecemeal fashion. These same countries have created effective global regulatory institutions, such as the WTO and IMF, to protect the interests of investors and creditors. No such institutions exist to ensure the rights of labor. Justice Is Global aims to change that.
Justice Is Global is gearing up to provide the tools and resources we need to build a powerful progressive internationalist movement. Just some of what we have planned:
- Tools to lobby your representatives for the Justice Is Global jobs and progressive trade platform.
- Translations of our resources into multiple languages.
- A series of analyses from progressive internationalist leaders on how we got where we are and what we need to do now.
- Social media toolkits to spread the campaign online.
A platform that unites local and global action by connecting leaders and groups around the world.
Sign up to get updates, resources, and first news on the official Justice Is Global launch later this year