Nos collectivités ne sont pas des marchandises!

Le miroitement des visions cosmiques de la mondialisation économique crée des lueurs d'espoir d'économies fortes, de travail abondant, d'opportunités et d'égalité pour tous; ainsi, la création d'un village global serait source de prospérité et de meilleurs standards de vie pour chacun. Pourtant, ces visions éblouissantes sont aveuglantes et cachent ce qui survient à ceux qui oeuvrent sous l'horizon.

Cet article révèle comment la mondialisation économique, par l'entremise du système éducatif et par d'autres voies, est utilisée pour marginaliser les gens à l'intérieur des marchés du travail. On y démontre comment l'adaptation des marchés du travail à la mondialisation des marchés et des entreprises a contribué au démantèlement des systèmes de sécurité sociale lorsqu'ils étaient en place et encourage une exploitation accrue des forces du travail là où ces systèmes sociaux étaient en voie de développement.

"La mondialisation économique est alimentée par la culture de consommation qui s'avère être environnementale-
ment, socialement, intellectuellement et spirituellement dévastatrice!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporations--
they are
seen as an
individual
and have the
rights of an
individual
under the law,
but neither
the social
responsibility
or
accountability
of an
individual.

 

Our Communities
Are NOT Commodities!

Jenn Thomas
Youth Action Group,
August 2001

 

osmic sparkle-eyed visions of economic globalization gleam with prospects of stronger economies, more jobs, further opportunity and greater equality; in turn, creating a global village of prosperity and higher standards of living for all. What is not shared in these prospects however, is that the glare off of these starry eyed visions is blinding the view of what is actually happening to those below the skyline.


A professor at Long Beach California State University enlightens his Intro to Sociology class: "The reason you are here," the professor explained "is because we live in a society that can’t find meaningful, constructive, engaging work for enough of its members. So we made up this thing called college to delay your entry into society for four or five years while training your minds to accept a system of discipline and control that benefits a very small percentage of the population. When you graduate, most of you will wind up working as waiters or dishwashers, or in other mindless, dead-end jobs. You will come home at night, get drunk, and watch television. Welcome to Sociology."

I am a student, who finds returning to university more and more of a challenge every year. Ironically, this is because the more I learn about why things are the way they are, the clearer the contradictions become, one of those being university itself.

Labour market trends and opportunities in the global economy are increasingly segregating the population into classes. Is this a new phenomenon, created at the evil hands of global economics? Of-course not. What I am talking about is the profit-motivated polarization of people through credentialism; separating those who have societal credentials and those who do not.

Ever more, to obtain a stable, well paying job, a post-secondary degree of some sort is at the very least a pre-requisite. Is this because of new complicated technology that only a college or university graduate could possibly understand? Is it because our "post-capitalist society" is in transition to a more knowledge based economy as opposed to one based on capital? Or might it even be a convenient consequence of structured inequality?

There is no doubt that education, regardless of form, is extremely important to social growth. In the specific context of economic globalization though, education is being used to marginalize people within labour markets. This immediately brings two fundamental conflicts to mind: access and ideology.

Inaccessibility to quality education is also inaccessibility to societal recognized credentials. With a cutthroat mentality, the global economy and its competitive labour markets are systematically excluding entire communities of the population; therefore, not only is it not benefiting the community, but it is further fostering poverty, vulnerability and exploitation.


In both the global North and South, social services and programs, such as education, are being commodified in private markets. This is resulting from the continual erosion of social funding via "cut-backs" in the north and "structural adjustment" in the south. The commodification of social investment is benefiting a holistic cycle of profit-motivated interests, from profit making itself to simple ideological reinforcement. This creates a mass illusionary environment, shifting the focus from the root causes of community impoverishment to simply an individual’s inability to keep up with the times.

Which brings us to the other underlying problem, fundamental ideological conflict. Higher education is a necessary tool to compete in a very competitive, now global, job market. But what are we competing for? Economic globalization is fuelled by a homogenizing consumeristic culture, which is being proven, environmentally, socially, intellectually, and spiritually, to be devastating! The vast majority of people are being pitted against each other in their own communities, in a global labour market based on economic rules made by and for the small profiting minority that don’t even have communities! Who makes up the majority of the small profiting minority? Corporations--they are seen as an individual and have the rights of an individual under the law, but neither the social responsibility or accountability of an individual.


The adaptation of labour markets to economic and corporate globalization is dismantling social security where it exists, and is encouraging further exploitation where social security is being constantly struggled for. For example, temporary, contract and part-time jobs are now rapidly replacing stable, decent paying jobs with benefits. As post secondary credentials become more and more common, and competition becomes heavier, so will the need for an even more discriminating labour market. Another example is the relocation of jobs from countries with higher or stricter labour standards, including wage and safety regulations, to countries with minimal or loosely enforced labour standards. This is the environment created--where workers are pitted against each other. We hear distracted beliefs like immigrants are taking all the jobs and undercutting wages, or if you refuse to buy products from companies that use exploitive labour practices, then you are hurting the workers! Once again, the focus is shifted from the root cause of unemployment and exploitation to individual workers.

The cause and effects of these labour market trends are scary, depressing, enraging, down-pressing and power stealing. Nevertheless, there is hope and alternatives and lots and lots of people (way more then ‘they’ want you to think) who are dedicated to actual life! Throughout this article the individualization of society has been cast in a negative light; well, now I would like to change tones. In my own personal, brief, twenty-year experience of living in an industrialized, G-8 country, I did not feel a sense of community, that is until I, as an individual, stood in solidarity with another individual, who stood in solidarity with another individual, who stood in solidarity with another individual, until the World Trade Organization and the Seattle police force had 50,000 fed up individuals standing in solidarity--as a community--on their hands.

Economic globalization is not in the best interest of people, it is in the best interest of profit. That works well if you happen to be a crinkly piece of paper with monetary value, but as living beings we cannot afford an ‘interest’ at the expense of life. When individual people decide not to play by the unjust rules of a fixed blinding game and alternatively start talking, creating and working with each other, it is then that we stand a chance for the only interest we really have, life itself.