South South Solidarity for Another Better World


Browse the contents of South South Forum 南南論壇:

2012 International Conference on Sustainability & Rural Reconstruction 可持續實踐與鄉村建設國際研討會

2011 South South Forums on Sustainability 可持續實踐南南論壇

Draft for discussion Click to read PDF version

生态文明与人类安全 (阅读中文版)

Ecological Civilization and Human Security

An ecological civilization, a civilization that nurtures ecological thinking and practice for the realization of sustainability, is intimately related to human security, for it is the harmonious symbiosis of inherently diversified civilizations and natural ecology that is the source of humanity. Humanity is suffering from the grave damages of the shifting of institutional costs in the advanced stage of capitalism – the globalization of financial capital, hence there is the conscious revival of “ecological civilization” alternative to capitalism. Under the threat of global crisis, nations of the South which have not yet been totally co-opted by globalized financial capital should build solidarity and cooperate in different fields concerned with the security and ecology of human existence. Together we should forge new forms of “communal mutuality”, forms of cooperation contributing to the building of the commons essential to ecological civilization.

We, participants of the First South South Forum on Sustainability, are deeply concerned about the global ecological crisis that jeopardizes human security. To confront it, we, the Global South, firstly would advocate Sovereignty, Security, and Solidarity (Three Ss) for Sustainability. The world can return to ecological civilization only through Sovereignty over the resources and the commons, guarantee of Sustainable Security, and strengthening of South-South Solidarity. Secondly, the South would construct discourses, institutions and cultures alternative to those that serve financial globalization, and repudiate the politics and unveil the backstage operations of transnational interests that go against the strengthening of the 3Ss. Thirdly, the South would forge broad alliances with social sectors in the North which identify with ecological civilization, and together resist malignant institutions that threaten ecological civilization and human security.

The above three points are derived from the consensus of the South on the root of the global crisis as presented below.

The South witnesses that the direct cause for the serious deterioration of human security is the millennium turn of the global debt crisis: bad debt has now shifted from developing countries, comprising 80% of the world population, to the advanced countries comprising 20% of the world population. The more modernized an advanced country, the higher its total public and private debts! What must be noted is that: the indebted advanced countries of the 21st century are rejecting the very institutions and schemes that they, as debtor countries in the 20th century, had imposed on countries of the South; not only do they not go for institutional reforms to reduce their debts, they even further excessively issue currency and government bonds and create global inflation, thus flagrantly externalizing the cost of its crisis, with its means becoming more and more peremptory!

The people of the South are realizing that: the nature of the global financial crisis is consequential of the transition in the 1990s from an imperialist geopolitics dominated by two oligarchies to one oligarchy after the disintegration of the other one, with the ensuing new global strategy of currency politics. If the hegemonic speculative financial capital and their discourses were allowed a free pass to rampage the world, if neoliberal financial capital were allowed to become an overwhelming kingdom unto itself, increasingly detrimental to the physical economy, rampant greed, vanity and insatiable desire for the ephemeral would prevail over the earth. The deterioration of ecology and human security will definitely be exacerbated in the new millennium. In view of these, we give our support to the current popular revolt in the West against the globalization of financial capital and the outburst of “Occupy Wall Street” movements with the articulated realization that “We are the 99%”. We stand together with the broadest majority of the 99%, including those in countries of the North.

The people of the South know that the root of wars and conflicts historically as well as the root of human insecurity and ecological devastation in contemporary times is precisely the continuous transfer of the costs of modernization by the advanced countries to the South. It is inconceivable that transnational capital blocs in pursuit of super profits and transfer of costs to the South will voluntarily restrain their greed; it is as inconceivable that mainstream politicians and scholars defending the institutional structure and discourses of their vested interests will voluntarily change. These interest blocs have usurped from the people the concepts of “freedom” and “democracy”, while they have always sought super profits through creating geo-conflicts and conducting subversions and conspiracies; yet, despite their rhetoric, their “neo-fascist” nature has exposed itself through their increasing military expenditures going parallel with their increasing debts, and their increasing militarism against countries of the South. Capital power has shifted from its general technique of tearing societies apart and driving civilizations into confrontation, to a more and more blatant transgression of the sovereignty of countries of the South by the oligarchic powers pressing for the last straw of financial expansion. This colonial aggression and capital expansion, a crime committed at the state level, has led to tragedy in human security and ecology; it has happened repeatedly throughout human history! This contemporary “neo-fascist” trend of expansion of financial capitalism reliant on military hegemony is the major challenge confronting countries of the South. Hence, the basic stand of the South is to oppose the intervention, under whatever pretext, of the internal affairs of sovereign countries by imperialist forces.

The Global South also realizes that humanity cannot depend on mainstream policies within the prevailing global institutions to resolve the crises threatening our existence. These policies are being manipulated by politicians in powerful nations to sustain financial globalization. While the UN Millennium Goal is deliberately neglected by politicians, the human security crisis and widening gap of inequality have become uncontestable facts. Since the end of WWII, international financial and trade organizations, manipulated by the North and inherently biased toward capitalist doctrines, have proved themselves inadequate and incompetent in their failures to alleviate the aggravation of human insecurity and ecological devastation that have resulted from the global expansion of capital. Thus, we demand a radical reorganization of these international organizations according to the principle of justice and equality; only when they represent more the rights of the South that constitute the absolute majority of the world’s population can they effectively coordinate the objective needs of humanity in the historical era of ecological civilization.

We stress that voluntary groups and people’s organizations taking part in anti-globalization movements should profoundly reflect on the harsh historical lessons: the pro-capital economic, social and political system we have built following the model of western developmentalism in the last century is the root of today’s mayhem. We need to give more emphasis on indigenous knowledge production and cultural regeneration, and learn from localized, sustainable practices organically generated in people’s daily lives that support the co-existence of human and nature. We need to take up an orientation that is pro-ecology and pro-people’s livelihood.

We call for the South to unite in solidarity and, based on the fundamental principles of the 3Ss, strive to build another world that is possible, that is alternative to the world of financial capital and imperialism – a better world, a diversified, inclusive and ecologically sustainable civilization in which human and nature co-exist harmoniously.

The First South South Forum, December 2011

(First draft prepared by the Organizing Committee of the First South South Forum on Sustainability)