Stop! Another World Is Possible

By George, Susan | The Nation, February 18, 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Stop! Another World Is Possible

George, Susan, The Nation


For a magic moment, the citizens' movement was no longer on the defensive. From Seattle to Genoa, via Washington, Prague, Quebec, Nice and a dozen other destinations, the dispiriting decades of unbridled corporate greed and freewheeling financial markets seemed to be drawing to an ignominious close, smothered under their own sheer awfulness. Or if such a perception was mere wishful thinking and a bit premature, at least neoliberalism was under credible and forceful attack.

Negatively labeled "antiglobalization" by the media but known to its thousands of participants and millions of sympathizers as the movement for global justice, the nebula of protest and proposals was coalescing and gaining strength. The corporate and political elites could no longer meet in plush peace and confidential quiet to do their deals, and were obliged to retreat to fortresses whose defenses the demonstrators regularly stormed both physically and ideologically. The winds of history were blowing in a new and refreshing direction.

Then came September 11. Like the rest of the world, Europeans were shocked and horrified, especially by the sheer scale of the destruction and the potent symbolism of the targets, but in another and admittedly limited sense, we'd been there before. We'd had bombs in our metros, terrorist attacks on our railways and exploding cars in our streets, not to mention centuries of wars, invasions and occupations.

As the initial trauma wore off, we also tried to analyze what precisely lay behind the attacks and to ask political as well as moral questions. While everyone agreed that nothing could justify the terrorist attacks on the United States, some also recalled another September 11 when the American-sponsored coup d'etat in Chile brought down the democratically elected Allende government, ushering in a fascist regime that murdered and "disappeared" thousands. American support for the contras in Nicaragua; the training of Latin American torturers in North America; the attacks against weak and defenseless countries like Panama, Grenada and Sudan; the bombing and blockading of Iraq leaving civilians dead and maimed but Saddam Hussein firmly in place--all these were remembered and discussed, as was the crucial US role in the endlessly destructive Israel-Palestine war.

While the prestigious French daily Le Monde headlined "We Are All Americans," others felt that this assertion very much depended on "which" Americans. Yes, without question, if it meant mourning for the victims and their families; no, if it meant unqualified support for the corporate, financial and government elites, and for business as usual.

Nor were we surprised when these same elites in Europe, our neoliberal corporate adversaries and their domestics, instantly seized upon the atrocities to advance their cause. By the morning of the 12th they had already sharpened their sticks. Using crude, faulty but sometimes effective logic in an attempt to intimidate and criminalize the citizens' movement, they declared, "You're antiglobalization, therefore you're anti-American, therefore you're on the side of the terrorists." For weeks, the media gleefully and unrelentingly framed their coverage and their questions in that light alone.

So we've had to explain incessantly why such arguments are not just wrong but pernicious, and we've refused them the pleasure of painting us into the villain's corner they had reserved for us. We reject as well the "antiglobalization" label and, in order to counter accusations of "anti-Americanism," stress our ties with our American friends in the global justice movement. We've also continued to mobilize, and on that score, it's gratifying to report that September 11 has had relatively little long-term impact. Although virtually unreported in the mainstream press and, alas, with zero effect on the negotiations themselves, the recent WTO ministerial meeting in Doha, Qatar, brought far more people into the streets than had gathered in Seattle.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Stop! Another World Is Possible


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?