BUENOS AIRES: Ceaseless change seems to be at the heart of today’s global civilization. Because of this, countries that consider their domestic realities as sacrosanct find themselves unable to assimilate change or foresee its direction. To them, change appears as something irrational, even as a catastrophe.
As we saw in the anti-IMF protests in Prague recently, and last year’s street protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle, such fears are spreading far and wide. People increasingly see change not as something that enhances their freedom and dignity but as a force encouraging avarice and unfairness. By concentrating wealth narrowly, globalization produces more threats than opportunities. The difficulty in transferring knowledge and new technologies from the center to the periphery, for example, widens economic disparity and subjugates some countries to a new form of colonialism. Seeing this, many people fear a new dominant class intolerably manipulating globalization for its betterment.
By limiting prospects for growth for many people, today’s international economic order is inconsistent with the ideals of the great democratic revolution of our century, which says that no inhabitant of the world should be left behind. For those peoples and countries now marginalized from the process of technological development, production, and exchange I believe that only one viable option exists: a new assertion of themselves as independent states, regionally integrated in as many ways as possible.
Only with independence does the confidence for greater participation come, and greater participation means improved governance, both in the international order and domestically. Ungovernablity arises from attempts to maintain control over people and places who are marginalized from participating in decisions that determine their daily lives. Citizens and countries alike become “ungovernable” when they see themselves as passive instruments of decisions taken by a closed elite that rules by transforming them into a mute “mass”.