martes, 26 de junio de 2007

Vattimo, Taylor y Rorty sobre la globalización

Gianni Vattimo, Charles Taylor y Richard Rorty juntos en un conversatorio sobre la globalización, ocurrido en 2001:

VATTIMO: President Bush holds that globalization helps the world’s poor, but they are not persuaded by him. Neither are those who rally against
globalization—the so-called “people of Seattle”—who do not really represent the poor. Not to mention the underdeveloped nations, who are also not very enthusiastic about Bush or about his view. Why? In theory economic trade should bring about benefits and advantages for all, since this is what happened with Western capitalism: it expanded borders, increased production, wealth and so on. Why, then, are we so dubious?

TAYLOR: The example of the great industrial process of the nineteenth century shows that while industrialization may be good for all in the long-run, in the short-term it may have catastrophic effects on most of the population. Among those negatively affected are those whose jobs are most at risk because the great industries might be shutting down soon. This situation could continue for quite a long time and a lot of people simply will not be there any longer to enjoy the positive benefits associated with long-term effects. This is why we are comfortable with an economic politics of small assistance for all. In this respect, history demonstrates the absurdity of the former position, and the truthfulness of the latter.

VATTIMO: I share your point of view. Indeed, I believe that the developed nations should be more favorable to this project of social welfare, even though they are dissatisfied with it.

RORTY: I’d like to start by making two points. First, as Taylor has said, the history of Western capitalism demonstrates how hard the creation of new wealth can be on the poor. Recognizing this fact, some of the Western democracies have created social safety networks. The problem is that we have no equivalent for the national government at the global level, no government charged with the welfare of the species as a whole. It would have been better if economic globalization had taken place only after the creation of a world federation and of a supra-national government that would try to create a global welfare state.. Unfortunately, the global economy arose before we had set up what Tennyson once called the “Parliament of Man, the federation of the world.” My second remark is that in a globalized labor market the standard of living of the workers in the old democracies will sink dramatically. We thus run the risk of a social revolution that will endanger democracy even in countries where it has long been established.

VATTIMO: In sum, the question of globalization, albeit utopian, is also and foremost a matter of democracy. Before the advent of economic globalization we should have put in place a world federation, with the awareness that in the past the economic processes unfolded in a different manner. The European Union, for example, has begun to organize itself as an economic community with respect to its most important substances like coal and steel in order to move closer, recently, to a form of economic unity, which should eventually lead to political unity.

I realize, though, that the single currency, and its weakness since it was first introduced into the European Union, seems to depend on the fact that people do not believe in it, because they do not sense a strong political entity behind it. We cannot continue to act as if economic development were a natural fact. This situation reminds me of Nietzsche’s statement to the effect that “so far there must have been a few supermen.” True, the
present technology of communication between governments and non-governments makes older models of development look too ‘natural.’ We need a stronger and more effective political unity; otherwise it is a factual given that since the multinationals make huge earnings they cannot support a stronger political action on the part of the European community. So we find in the foreground the question of how democracy is to be realized. It is an extremely pressing question insofar as it bears upon the political evaluation of contemporary movements: the unpopular image of the Seattle movement as a group of anarchists who destroy everything or into groups of people who, like hippies sing songs, has been produced by same media that serve the interests of multinationals (...).

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