Identità tribale e mondializzazione (ing. & fr.)

Tribal identity and globalization

Characteristic of a necessary stage in the development of human societies in evolutionary thought, the tribe is, in “classical” anthropology, an operating model  of “stateless societies”. In its broadest sense, it appears as an instrument for classification and  hierarchisation of societies and cultures. Like the ethnic group, the tribe presents identity features shared by the populations concerned. Decolonization and postmodernist deconstruction of these two notions have very clearly called into question ethnic classifications, but much less clearly the use of the term “tribe”. Reflecting the persistence of this identity referent – vigorously reaffirmed in recent decades – in the representations of the populations of a part of Africa and the Middle East, where the tribe is a name sharing reality – a local categorization, the Arabic qabīla for example – and nominative – used to identify individuals and groups, these names are perpetuated in a secular way. Continue reading

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Le donne e la globalizzazione – Silvia Federici (Ing. & Fr.)

Women and Globalization  Silvia Federici

“Globalization” has been described in different ways. In the literature emanating from the international financial institutions, it is portrayed as a more effective system of economic management, ensuring the free circulation of goods and enhancing the “comparative advantage” of different countries, each presumably utilizing its resources to the best effect for both local populations and world development. Policy-analysts thus stress the globalization of financial markets, capital investments, new technologies which, we are told, will lead in the foreseeable future to increased prosperity also in the “developing” countries. My own perspective is that “globalization” is a strategy seeking to determine a process of global proletarianization and the formation of a global labor market as means to cheapen the cost of labor, reduce workers’ entitlements, and intensify exploitation. These, in fact, are the most unmistakable effects of the policies by which globalization is driven. But however defined, the social and economic consequences of globalization cannot be denied. After two decades of globalizing interventions in the world economy (creation of the World Trade organization (WTO), structural adjustment, TRIPS, etc.) one billion people live in conditions of “absolute poverty” (UN Population Fund 2001). Meanwhile, the Third World debt has increased from $800 billion in 1980 to a staggering $2,900 billion in 1999 (World Bank 2000), precluding the possibility of repayment, while the predicted industrialization of the Third World has not materialized despite the proliferation of Free Processing Zones (FPZs). Most important, mechanisms are now in place – debt servicing, structural adjustment, import liberalization and, crucial to all, generalized warfare – that systematically lead millions of people away from their means of subsistence, uprooting them from their lands, their jobs, their countries, in what appears as the largest proletarianization and migration process since the turn of the 20th century (Federici 1992; 1999). Continue reading