Deglobalization, or finding a way forward backwards

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3 - Offshoring ban and green taxation

This approach, where social and ecological considerations converge, is doubtless the most faithful to Bello's original theories. Although offshoring (moving production and jobs to cheaper sites abroad), an ever-recurring bugbear, actually remains a very marginal phenomenon at present, it could eventually trigger a radical reaction in the form of legislation to ban outsourcing and relocating abroad. In a similar register of ideas, green taxation, which is rapidly gaining momentum, could also help deglobalize: viz. by imposing a carbon tax at the European borders, for instance, or a mileage tax on heavy-duty lorries. (These and other forms of environmental protectionism are still on the drawing board.)

This is where French philosopher Edgar Morin takes his stand. "Deglobalization fights against offshoring, its wastefulness and the destruction of local relations: the production of a fruit yoghurt now requires 10,000 kilometres," he fumes. Deglobalizing is about "stirring up resistance to consumerist brainwashing", he adds, albeit taking care to avoid falling back on nation-state isolationism. Morin proposes moving towards a "pluralistic economy" combining globalization and deglobalization - returning to local production, even while promoting international solidarity and cooperation.

 

4 - Pulling out of the euro

While this is the most controversial approach, it is increasingly hailed as a way out of the crisis for ‘peripheral' countries such as Greece and Ireland. The idea, in the short term, is to enable these countries to devalue their currency, which would give their economies a badly-needed shot in the arm. "Discarding the euro is the most effective way to counter ongoing globalization. It's the first thing to do," maintains Greek economist Costas Lapavistas.

The proponents of a return to the French franc are all convinced that the European currency, overvalued against the dollar and the yuan, is a drag on French competitiveness. Jacques Sapir, for example, has long advocated the use not of a single currency, but of a common currency by which the Eurozone would keep the euro for purposes of external trade, while reverting to national currencies for trade within the zone.

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