the Disillusioned kid: Make Capitalism History
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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Make Capitalism History

Make Poverty History looks set to be a major campaign this year. Bringing together campaigns around third world debt, trade justice and for more and better aid they have mobilised over 300 groups, huge numbers of celebrities and thousands of grassroots supporters (the police are already predicting that the MPH demo in Edinburgh which will take place in July to coincide with the G8 Summit will attract 200,000 people). The white band which symbolises it has become ubiquitous and is apparently very trendy (Tony Blair made a point of being seen wearing one), there's even an online version (which you can see in the top left-hand corner of this website) available here.

Clearly anything which gets people involved in changing the world for the better is a good thing and there is no doubt that if even a fraction of MPH's demands were implemented it would save hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives every year. I would very much like to see the reforms advocated by MPH implemented in the aftermath of this year's G8, but I'd also very much like to see the G8 - a unelected, self-appointed, all male world government - gotten rid-of entirely. And if they could take the capitalist-imperialist system they run with them, that'd be nice.

I'm not naive enough to think that any of this will be easy or that it can be acheived over night, but I am wary of going cap in hand to our leaders and "asking" them to help those suffering in the Third World, particularly when they are as flagrantly illegitimate as the G8. If we want concessions from them (whether on the issues with which MPH is concerned or on global warming, the arms trade etc.) we should demand that they accede to our wishes. If they don't it's up to us to raise the costs of their refusal until it becomes impossible for them to continue their non-compliance.

Fortunately the Dissent network's working along these lines already.

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