‘Only we can save the source of life and society: Mother Earth. Our planet is under a death threat from predatory and insane capitalism. Another world is not only possible, it is indispensable, because otherwise, no world will be possible.’
Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, gave this remarkable opening talk at the summit of the Group of 77 plus China, meeting in Santa Clara, Bolivia, on June 14, 2014.
Fifty years ago, great leaders raised the flags of the anticolonial struggle and decided to join with their peoples in a march along the path of sovereignty and independence.
The world superpowers and transnationals were competing for control of territories and natural resources in order to continue expanding at the cost of impoverishing the peoples of the South.
In that context, on June 15, 1964, at the conclusion of an UNCTAD [United Nations Conference on Trade and Development] meeting, 77 countries from the South (we are now 133 plus China) met to enhance their trade bargaining capacities, by acting in a bloc to advance their collective interests while respecting their individual sovereign decisions.
During the past 50 years, these countries went beyond their statements and promoted resolutions at the United Nations and joint action in favor of development underpinned by South-South cooperation, a new world economic order, a responsible approach to climate change, and economic relations based on preferential treatment.
In this journey the struggle for decolonization as well as for the peoples’ self-determination and sovereignty over their natural resources must be highlighted. Notwithstanding these efforts and struggles for equality and justice for the world’s peoples, the hierarchies and inequalities in the world have increased.
Today, 10 countries in the world control 40% of the world’s total wealth and 15 transnational corporations control 50% of global output. Today, as 100 years ago, acting in the name of the free market and democracy, a handful of imperial powers invades countries, blocks trade, imposes prices on the rest of the world, chokes national economies, plots against progressive governments and resorts to espionage against the inhabitants of this planet.
A tiny elite of countries and transnational corporations controls, in an authoritarian fashion, the destinies of the world, its economies and its natural resources.
The economic and social inequality between regions, between countries, between social classes and between individuals has grown outrageously. About 0.1% of the world’s population owns 20% of humanity’s assets. In 1920, a business manager in the United States made 20 times the wage of a worker, but today he is paid 331 times that wage. This unfair concentration of wealth and predatory destruction of nature are also generating a structural crisis that is becoming unsustainable over time. It is indeed a structural crisis. It impacts every component of capitalist development. In other words, it is a mutually reinforcing crisis affecting international finance, energy, climate, water, food, institutions and values. It is a crisis inherent to capitalist civilization.
Read the full speech at Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute