Little Red Blogger

This blog looks at radical politics(with a libertarian socialist slant), music and culture. Marx to Mises, Girls Aloud to Steve Reich...

Location: Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Tension Between Localism and Internationalism in the Left

Maxspeak's post I think highlights a key tension in left-wing thought between that of the local and that of the international. He does this through looking at the infamous Walmart and their effects on local and small businesses. The traditional state socialist approach to Walmart is found in Doug Henwood's approach to corporations, he argues that socialists must live up to their name and 'socialise' these corporations. Also Henwood is very sceptical towards the way that small businesses treat their employees in terms of working conditions and union recognition.

The mutualists would disagree with this position seeing the corporation as a state created and state subsidised entity and that consequently the existence of such entities in any post-capitalist society would be untenable. So by rejecting the corporation in its traditional form then you have to reject the current mode of 'globalisation' in its corporate/mercantilist form. However some of the new style localists reject any form of global co-operation what-so-ever. Now I see this as wrong-headed in that any post-capitalist future must be an inherently global project based around global linkages and global co-operation between communes, co-operatives, small businesses etc...

In short Walmart is the wrong type of 'globalisation' based on shakey mercantilist foundations and severe market distortians in favour of larger corporate entities.