Justice for us

At this point in time the international political economy is dominated by the rich guys: the neo-liberals (of the Washington Consensus ideas, a new name for SAP like conditionalities on loans) and the even worse neo conservatives, who advocate for American dominance using military power as a threat and for war (like in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine). But there are alternatives, and as a small country with no prevalence on the agenda of the Big Bullies of the global right we can try to find our own way. The coalition of alternative visions of the world these days is called Global Justice Movement.

The Global Justice Movement is a very interesting “Movement of Movements”: a loose coalition of all kinds of alternative groups with their own specialties. They vary from Fair Trade (the capitalist mode of Global Justice) which in Malawi has approved Satemwa Estate. The conditionalities for this are opposite the IMF/Wolrd Bank/WTO conditionalities: for Fair Trade certification a product needs to be made in an environmentally and socially sustainable way. The small holders and laborers get a (more or less) reasonable wage or price. In developed countries products with Fair Trade certification fetch higher prices than traditional products.

There is Via Campesina (the way of the small holder farmer) that is advocating for better conditions for small holder farmers. At the SADC summit in Lilongwe in 2013 Via Campesina was represented by over 100 small holder farmers who advocated for seed sovereignty, which means that we own our own seeds, and are not threatened by the trans-national seed companies like Monsanto. These are patenting the rights to plant varieties like maize, and then charge us to use the seeds. Also they advocated for food sovereignty, which means that we should have the right to protect our markets from the trans-national capitalists who try to flood our markets with cheap imports, so our farmers cannot get a reasonable price for their products. Our government has the tendency of signing up to the policies dictated by Big Business, shored up by IMF, World Bank and WTO. These organizations always push for the One-Size-Fits-All of opening the borders, lowering tariffs and other barriers, so Big Business gets unhindered opportunity to make money of the ordinary citizen. This protest was organized in cooperation with the NASFAM. (National Smallholder Farmers Association in Malawi)

There is the World Social Forum, where the loose coordination of the Movement is taking place, the latest one in March in Tunisia.

Malawi has a world to win and nothing to lose from looking in this direction and growing its participation in the Movement.

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