PLATFORM STATEMENT - http://www.attac.org/
Financial globalisationincreases economic insecurity and social inequality. It bypasses and devalues people's choices, democratic institutions, and sovereign nations responsible for the common good. In their place it puts a logic that is purely speculative and only expresses the interests of multinational corporations and financial markets.
Against the background of a global transformation presented as inevitable, citizens and their representatives find themselves fighting to maintain the power to determine their destiny. This weakening and impotence nourishes the growth of anti-democratic political parties. It is urgent that this process should be halted by creating new regulatory and monitoring instruments, nationally, in Europe, and internationally. Experience shows that governments will not do that unless we encourage them. To face up to the dual challenge of a social implosion and political despair, it is necessary for citizens to take militant action.
The free movement of capital, fiscal paradises and the explosion in the volume of speculative transactions have forced nations to compete fiercely in attracting big investors. In the name of modernity, 1,500 billion dollars come and go each day on the exchange market in search of instantaneous profit, without any relation to the state of production and trade of goods and services. Such an evolution results in a constant increase in capital revenue to the detriment of revenue from labour, and increasing precariousness and poverty.
In the disguise of security, employees are now being invited to trade their retirement systems against a pension fund mechanism which results in subjugating their own companies even more to the only goal of immediate profitability, aggravating working conditions, extending the sphere of influence of the world of finance and persuading citizens of the obsolescence of solidarity arrangements between nations, people, and generations.
On the pretext of economic development and employment, OECD member countries have not abandoned the signing of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), which would give investors all the rights and impose all the obligations on nations. At the same time, the European Commission and certain governments intend to pursue their free-trade crusade through the New Transatlantic Market (NTM) agreement, which openly seeks to assure the hegemony of the United States in the audio-visual industry and dismantle the common agricultural policy.
Most of the gears of this machine of inequality, between North and South as well as inside the developing countries themselves, can still be stopped. All too often, the fatality argument feeds itself through the censoring of information on the alternatives. This is why international financial institutions and the mass media (the owners of which are often the beneficiaries of globalisation) have been silent on the proposal of the American economist James Tobin, awarded a Nobel prize of economy, to tax speculative transactions on the exchange market. Even fixed at a particularly low rate of 0.05%, the Tobin tax would gather close to 100 billion dollars a year. Collected, primarily, by industrialised countries, where the largest financial centres are located, the sum could be redirected to international organisations for activities aimed at fighting inequality, promoting education and public health in poor countries and food security and sustainable development. This kind of mechanism would put sand in the gears of speculation. It would feed the logic of resistance, give citizens and nations back some room to manoeuvre and in particular it would show that politics can be restored to its proper place.
With this goal in mind, the signatories have proposed to create the association ATTAC (Action pour une taxe Tobin d'aide aux citoyens), which would allow them to produce and spread information to act together, in their respective countries as well as at the European and international levels. With a view to preventing international speculation, taxing capital revenue, punishing fiscal paradises, stopping the extension of pension funds and, more generally, recapturing the spaces of democracy lost to the financial sphere and to oppose any new abandonment of the sovereignty of states on the pretext of ensuring the "right" of investors and merchants. It is simply a question of taking back, together, the future of our world.