The dominant trend of our time is globalization, taking such forms as the elimination of trade barriers, downsized governments, greater reliance on the private sector, reduced regulation of business, and an increasingly global economy. Many people interpret this as economic progress, basically a good thing. But others view this form of globalization as political regression, threatening to destroy democratic institutions and turn the clock of human progress centuries backward to something resembling feudalism.
Capital, with the help of international agencies like the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and other institutions, is shaping national policies in order to strengthen its global control over political, economic and cultural life. Capital has always been global. Its boundless drive for expansion and profit recognises no limits. From the slave trade of earlier centuries to the imperial colonisation of peoples, lands and cultures across the globe, capitalist accumulation has always fed on the blood and tears of the peoples of the world. This destruction and misery has been restrained only by grassroots resistance. Today, capital is deploying a new strategy to assert its power and neutralise peoples' resistance. Its name is economic globalisation, and it consists in the dismantling of national limitations to trade and to the free movement of capital.
Important factors in globalization are the rise of transnational corporations and the consequent diffusion of new technologies and common work practices. The operations of these giant corporations, together with the revolution in communications technology and transportation, have enabled the growth of truly global systems of production and distribution. Globalization has been accelerated by important policy and institutional changes, including the dismantling of trade barriers and capital controls, and the creation of a multinational trade regime regulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Certain Islamic scholars oppose the distorted globalization which is presented by the western communities. They see it as western values aimed at dominating the world's institutions, nations and individuals. For instance, they view the internet and other forms of information technology are instruments being used by the west to "globalize cultures".
In August 1997, around 50 representatives of peoples' organisations from the South and the North met in El Indiano (Spain). The objective of the meeting was developing common plans against the commemoration of the GATT and the WTO (1998) and developing lasting instruments of communication and coordination in the struggle against the WTO and other 'free'-trade agreements. The organisations represented included mass-based farmers' movements from India (KRRS), Philippines (KMP), Indonesia (KAP), Brazil (MST), Peru (CCP) and Bolivia (FCB), indigenous peoples' organisations from Nigeria (MOSOP) and Mexico (CNI and Asamblea de la Resistencia Civil from Chiapas), trade unions from Nicaragua (CST) and diverse organisations from the North. It was decided to call the new network "Peoples' Global Action against Free Trade and the WTO", in short Peoples' Global Action (PGA).
The first worldwide co-ordination of local actions against 'free' trade took place during the WTO ministerial conference in 1998 and was a huge success: many different demonstrations, actions and Global Street Parties took place all over the world from the May 16 - 20, in a total of 29 countries.
Globalization is a two-level political transformation: a centralized world government is being set up, while simultaneously nation states are being aggressively undermined by a whole range of assaults from privatization to engineered currency crises to massive anti-government propaganda. National sovereignty and democracy are being replaced by global bureaucracies under direct elite control, thus officially and permanently institutionalizing absolute elite hegemony.
Only about 20% of the American economy involves any foreign trade; roughly 80% of the economy is entirely domestic, and these numbers have not changed much since the early 1980s. It is simply not true that globalization is preventing people from having a say in the economy.