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ON INCIVILITY AND TRANSNATIONALITY : TOWARDS ALLIANCES OF CRITICAL HOPE – I

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A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005.

On Incivility and Transnationality :

Towards Alliances of Critical Hope

Steps towards critically engaging with Muto Ichiyo’s concept of transborder participatory democracy

Part 1 | Part 2 (external link)

A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005[i]

Jai Sen, independent researcher and member CACIM, New Delhi, India – July 2005

Even if this panel, and so this paper, is in his honour, I had not planned to start my paper by eulogising Muto Ichiyo (henceforth Muto san). But when I re-read his work over even just the past decade and a half, and only that part of his work that relates to civil alliance – and he of course has a much longer and wider career behind him – I was so strongly reminded of his enormous contribution to helping so many of us glimpse the larger picture, and to not get lost in the details. To read the text of history, and not get lost in the footnotes. His remarkably integrated and holistic vision, his wonderfully positive and hopeful vision, his persistence is looking also at the horizon, his insistence on looking for and articulating alternatives – and crucially, his insistence that life as it is being lived out by movements is itself the seed of other societies, other futures, and therefore of the role that movement plays in our lives. His extraordinary control over language, his ability to nuance what he says and yet remain forceful and direct. And finally, I was of course reminded of how powerfully he had read history, perceiving and articulating by as early as 1989 the possible emergence of a global people’s alternative to the emerging global state, and where he first posited not just this but how this could be brought about, through his concept of transborder participatory democracy, and later, through an Alliance of Hope. As someone who moved from civil activism during the 70s and 80s to becoming, in the 90s, a student of popular movement and the emergence of transnational civil alliance, and of the language and culture of alliance, I am deeply indebted to him.

Towards building an alliance of critical hope with Muto san and others at this conference, and with the aim of pushing forward the ground opened up by him in the exploration of new worlds through the Alliance of Hope he has proposed[ii], I propose in this paper to attempt to critically engage with and explore what I see as some of the key issues contained in his concept of ‘transborder participatory democracy’ : Questions of what I term transnationality and incivility, and – drawing from the work of John Brown Childs – also of communality and transcommunality[iii].

I also do this in the belief that to critically engage with his thoughts might perhaps be the finest way to honour a great thinker.

One of the strengths of Muto san’s work is that it transports us. As is the case, perhaps, with any great thinker, his use of language – including the new terms he coins and deploys – challenges us and makes it really seem as if the other worlds he is referring to are, in Arundhati Roy’s wonderful phrase, already breathing[iv]. By doing this, he gives new meaning to our lives, and implicitly, he also argues that the emerging movement towards transborder participatory democracy carries and embodies certain values and meanings, resonant of other worlds.

This may be true – indeed, I personally believe that it is true – but if so, then all the more, I think it becomes vital for us not to just accept these terms but to critically and deeply comprehend them. In his work and in the vision he has given us, Muto san uses many terms that need this care. ‘Peopleness’, ‘inter-people autonomy’, ‘interactions’, and even just the terms ‘people’ and an ‘alliance of hope’ are some of these.

Finally, by engaging with these terms and concepts, I am led to also engage to some extent with his more general concept of an Alliance of Hope, and in particular his proposals for how social transformation can come about.

In order to cover this ground, I will first revisit and discuss some of what I feel are Muto san’s essential propositions, but in terms of complementary concepts I put forward : The dialectic of transborderism and nationality; The dialectic of civil and incivil; and Communality and transcommunality. I then, as much to illustrate my arguments as to substantiate them, look in a little detail at the surprising way in which two of the better known civil internationalists in history, Marx and Engels, negotiated the issue of nationality and transnationality, and also draw lessons from the experience of a major movement in Asia, around the Narmada dams project in India, as well as of a ground-breaking civil campaign around two related projects in Latin America, the Polonoroeste and BR-364 Extension projects in Brazil. All this is preceded by the immediately following section, which can hopefully serve both as a prologue to this undertaking and also as something of a summary.

A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005.

Prologue, and in a way, a Summary

Transborder / transnational civil activism – or ‘internationalism’, as it has till recently been termed, and this is one of the issues at stake – has historically played, and continues to play, crucial roles in developing and promoting regimes of universality, such as human rights, peace, ‘the environment’, and social, economic, and environmental justice, and through this in the defence and promotion of democracy and equality. We are intensely witnessing this in our own times, both in the very visible series of ‘global civil actions’ that have taken place in recent years around issues of trade, debt, and world governance (Seattle, Washington DC, Prague, Gothenburg, and Genoa, and most recently in Edinburgh, around the G8 meeting), and war (the worldwide demos on February 13 2003), and also in the sustained work of issue-based organisations such as Amnesty International and Greenpeace over the past several decades. It is equally taking place, though less visibly, through the work of the hundreds and now perhaps thousands of transnational civil alliances (TNCAs) that have grown over the past two decades or so and are active across the world, smaller and larger, largely between voluntary organisations (NGOs) and popular movements, in both the South and North (however inadequate these terms are). And, as it were thrown up by this torrent, we are also witness to the gradual but persistent crystallisation of more specific and institutional, major world civil initiatives such as PP21 and the World Social Forum. As a whole, this extraordinary phenomenon is both a product and a manifestation of globalisation (using the term in its much wider sense). As Muto san and others have shown us, all this would seem to mark a new phase of human history.

Civil internationalism of course not a new phenomenon, with the early campaigns dating back to the first half of the 19th century, including the work of Thomas Paine and then of Marx and Engels, and where the latter of course are widely acknowledged with having changed the world (though interestingly, the portrayal was perhaps never projected as it is today, of creating a new world[v] ). But there are some who argue that the phenomenon we are witnessing today – which Muto Ichiyo has conceptualised as ‘transborder participatory democracy’[vi], and Richard Falk and then Jeremy Brecher and his colleagues see as ‘globalisation from below’[vii] – has reached the stage where it is tending to restructure world politics as we know it[viii]. One key dimension of this is that these initiatives have grown to such a scale that they seem to now both constitute and represent struggles over meaning, in terms of cultures of politics. Certainly, they are contributing to a much more messy democracy than we have known so far, from the global to the local, and through this to the need for reconceptualising the academic fields of ‘international relations’ and development studies, among others, as well as of politics and political practice itself[ix].

However significant (and celebrated) such action might be, both in history and more contemporarily, my experience of this as an activist and then as a student suggests that much remains to be understood in terms of what actually happens in such situations. First, the entering and negotiation of transnational, transborder space has its own dynamic and compulsions. Among others, these compulsions at the minimum include civil actors needing to negotiate the powerful currents of state and national politics and geopolitics, and also to communicate across cultures at several levels.

This is where problems start rising. On the one hand, transborder politics create dynamics where we either see some actors seeming to transcend their more conventional local and national identities and taking on a new and somewhat imagined one – which I tentatively term ‘transnationality’ – and to work from there, or where others bestow on them this status. This especially seems to happen in the course of collective initiatives; and as further campaigns and alliances develop it is frequently the case that it is from among these individuals, who excel in this work, who come into further positions of leadership.

On the other hand, the demands of real-life politics – such as the intersections of these dynamics and currents with the perceptions, struggles, rights, and aspirations of more ‘local’ peoples and conditions – and, at the other end, dealing with those who believe it is they alone who legitimately represent state-nations – seem to lead some transnational actors to strategically using to their advantage both their national and other more local and domestic identities and categories and their new ones, at both levels, as well as geopolitical realpolitik. Ideology and instrumentality both come into play. Though not declared, the ‘transnational’ becomes intensely rooted in the national, and leadership and influence centralised.

In short, to the opposite of transforming power relations in this dynamic they often seem to be only further concretised, and caste and class dominance strengthened, to a point where the ‘civilisation of globalisation’ – which is one way of portraying recent global civil action[x] – seems to also become the globalisation of certain very particular norms of civilisation. In general, meanings seem to sometimes become inverted in the course of this turbulence.

All this is however, I suggest, paralleled by the contemporary emergence at a world scale of two other phenomena that I believe we must also grapple with, and that make life, democracy, and struggle only that much more messy. First, and especially in the decade during which the Alliance of Hope was first envisaged, the 1980s, and since then, we are witnessing the powerful emergence of what I term ‘incivil’ or insurgent alliance, of peoples who have been historically and structurally marginalised by the so-called ‘civil societies’ of the world, not only at ‘domestic’ or national levels but also at the transnational; and second, especially in the course of the ruthless expansion of the neo-imperialism that that we are witnessing during these present decades, there is equally a dramatic expansion of transnational and global uncivil alliance, of fundamentalism, terrorism, and reaction.

Although my acceptance of this ‘separateness’ runs against Muto san’s theorisation of transborder participatory democracy, and also of Brown Childs’ concept of transcommunality, I suggest in this paper that we, and especially those of us who belong to what I term the ‘civil’ world, need to recognise the structural dynamics and dialectics of civility, if we are to build not only an alliance of hope, but of critical hope. While I respect the depth of hope expressed by Muto san and others in the formation of the Alliance of Hope, I believe that we need to be more cautious, and – to draw from Brown Childs’ admonition – more respectful of different histories, different memories, and different hopes. I do not see this, as some may do, as a position of scepticism, let alone pessimism; it is one, I believe, of critical awareness and critical engagement.

A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005.

Beyond this, I believe and suggest that even as we, as concerned activists and scholars, work to build alliances of hope, we also need to address questions of what the general condition is in these terms, in the societies in which we live, and of how the political culture we are forging can become a more general and shared one, and not restricted to activists and scholars. Even as we engage ourselves in the tasks of building particular alliances and networks, and networks of networks, we need to recognise that these are so far tending to remain, when all is said and done, what are still effectively reduced to being vanguard situations and not a general culture in society – and even if all analysis suggests that contemporary movements otherwise want to be past that stage and culture of politics[xi].

There is no question that we want something different; but what then is the means, the process, by which this might take place ?

In short, yes, we must struggle to build alliances for hope – and I only wish to also emphasise the plural – but we must also not confuse doing this with social transformation itself. The task remains to struggle to understand how we can move beyond building alliances of alternative politics into building general cultures of politics and life. Secondly, when activists and other concerned people get together – whether locally, nationally, or transnationally – we easily slip into calling ourselves ‘the people’. However diverse the attendance at our meetings might be, they are necessarily limited, and ultimately this becomes little different to the claims made and roles played by earlier internationalists. As Peter Waterman argued back in 1993,

As with the old internationalism, however, major problems remain [with the new]. One is of communicating the convictions of the active minority to larger constituencies or communities that are inevitably mired in national or even local problems. Another is empowering these for a do-it-yourself internationalism.

……

The death of the old internationalism and the birth of the new global solidarity require us to reflect on the meaning of solidarity as the value central to both. Solidarity has at least five aspects or components – identity, reciprocity, affinity, complementarity, and substitution. …. It could be argued … that solidarity should not simply be reasserted alongside liberty and equality, but prioritized as the most relevant and urgent of three. Liberalism and the bourgeoisie prioritized political liberty; the proletariat and socialism, economic equality. Solidarity – a recognition of the common needs of a differentiated humanity, in and against a world of variable freedom and wealth – would seem to be the value typical of the new social movements and the new understanding of global interconnectedness[xii].

Finally, there are often serious issues of intercultural communication. It is well recognised and established that this is most definitely is a part – and a crucial part, and instrument – of ‘globalisation from above’ (as opposed to globalisation from below, henceforth also ‘GfB’). I am referring here to the language and politics of domination as well as of ‘communication’. Especially in the course of international – which is of course inherently intercultural – and especially transnational endeavour, there is always a subtext to exchange, and this subtext too easily gets buried / is left ignored – except within the hearts and minds of those participating. But this is a crucial aspect of the movement building we are speaking of, not to speak of GfB itself as a movement. As I understand it, this also has at least two dimensions :

(a) Intercultural communication between groups / entities from different parts of the world who are collaborating / cooperating, as a consequence of different historical experiences, and –

(b) Intercultural communication between those who are uni-cultural and those who are already multi-cultural, pluri-cultural – which tends to include most of what is today the leadership of the transnational networks. My experience is that there are often profound communication gaps, as well as dynamics of subordination as well as resistance and struggle, which play themselves out in such situations[xiii].

These tendencies and dynamics are only heightened in the present context of the onslaught of imperialism, in the course of the fragmentation and communalisation that is taking place, and in the context of contact between the civil and the incivil. While I deeply respect Brown Childs’ advocacy of the concept of transcommunality, which in part – because of its emphasis of a shift from a politics of conversion to an ethics of respect for differences – is addressed precisely to these concerns, at the same time his call only underlines the relevance of this question to our search.

Our thinking about other worlds must therefore confront and address these other forces, these other dynamics. When others who we are not in dialogue with are building their other worlds, we cannot build ours alone. To do so throws up complex challenges and paradoxes in terms of core issues of civil and political praxis, such as ‘Who legitimately represents the people ?’ – and indeed, what is representation, how can it take place, and who are ‘the people’ ? Which is the real globalisation from below ? And how can we ensure that initiatives we take do not in any way reflect an assimilationist, integrationist approach ? And ultimately, there is the question : Whose world is it, anyway ?

Muto Ichiyo’s ideas : Towards critical engagement

Over the past decade and a half, from 1989 – at the founding of the PP21 process at Minamata – through to 2004, at the Alliance of Hope meeting in Geneva, which was, I understand, an encounter of regional networks set up in 1993, Muto Ichiyo has, through his successive works, painted an extraordinary picture of the emerging world, not only of what is possible in terms of world transformation but of what is already happening. (For those who might find this useful, I give, in an Annexure to this paper, a first list of Muto san’s works in this area.[xiv] )

Most of us here are familiar with his work, so I do not need to even attempt to do an exhaustive account of this picture here; nor is this the purpose of this paper. Instead, and at the risk of doing some injustice to the integrity of the full picture he has painted, I want to focus only on certain propositions he has put forward – propositions that I think are crucial to his vision but where I think they need some further discussion in terms of their content and meaning.

A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005.

The first proposition I want to look at is the question of the transborder, or of the transnational, and as related to the national. This however is also closely related to the second issue I will discuss, the question of civility and more specifically what I term incivility. And these in turn are related to the third issue I want to raise here, mostly in order to close the circle (but where I do this more passingly, because of the length of this paper), of communality, and drawing from the work of John Brown Childs as well as Muto san, of transcommunality[xv].

Among other things, the third issue for me closes the circle because Brown Childs’ concept of transcommunality, and his concerns behind it, are – in my understanding – very similar to Muto san’s concept of ‘interpeople autonomy’, which is an integral part of his concept of transborder participatory democracy[xvi], and I believe that Brown Childs’ more elaborate treatment of this idea can surely help deepen our understanding both of Muto san’s propositions and of what is to be done – or to echo Brown Childs, what is being done, and how ?

The dialectic of transborderism and nationality Muto san’s call for a transborder participatory democracy, and to realise this in an Alliance of Hope was, and I think remains, both normative and phenomenological – looking at the world as it is unfolding. The first quote is from his first speech in 1989, and the second in 2004 :

As we have said, our alternative model of development is not a utopia. It is rooted in reality – in the reality of the world today, in the reality of the people, and – most importantly – in the reality of the people’s movement. Even so, we must not naively conclude that because of the growing power of the people we can expect some day to wake up to a changed world. We cannot reach this new world without a serious search. We need to identify in the people’s struggles of today those facets which reflect the new realities of the world, and in particular those facets which point to a liberated future. And we need to find ways to consolidate these elements and relate them to the 21st century to which we aspire. In other words, we need bridges. As one such bridge, we propose a new concept of political right and political action, which we provisionally term “transborder participatory democracy.” We present this as the specific people’s alternative, the counter-system, to stand against the particular formation that oppressive power has taken in our time : The state-supported globalization of capital. Transborder participatory democracy is the name both of a goal and of a process. As a goal it means worldwide democracy practiced by the people of the world. It is a picture of a world order clearly distinct from the conventional idea of world government or world federation, which presupposes states as the constituent units. Yes, as our goal, it still remains a remote vision of the future. As a political process, transborder participatory democracy has two aspects. First, it is a practical method for criticizing, confronting, intervening, and changing the power formation of globalized capital. In this sense, it is a form of action that corresponds both to present socioeconomic reality and to the logic and necessity of the people’s movements. Second, in the process of transborder political action, the people’s groups and organisations gradually form themselves into transborder collations, eventually leading to the formation of a transborder “people”, by which the division of the world into North and South can be overcome[xvii].

And :

What we need in this historical setting is a global democracy based on the global constituency — the people themselves. This corresponds to the newly emergent situation where the global power center exercises its power all over the world and where transnational capital regards the whole world as its unitary arena of accumulation.

We were searching for a way to such global democracy when we inaugurated the People’s Plan 21 (PP21) in 1989. In August that year, a coalition of Japanese people’s movements and action groups hosted the first PP21 program comprised of 19 international workshops, conferences, and festivals, most of them held in the midst of communities, where 360 activists from Asia, Pacific and other continents met with thousands of Japanese activists, and worked out the Minamata Declaration. Together with 17 regional organizations that co-convened the program, the participants agreed to make it a continuing process. The second PP21 program was held in Thailand in November-December? 1992, with increased grassroots and international participation and adopted the Rajchadamnoen Pledge. Earlier, in August 1992, people’s movement representatives from six Central American countries met in Managua together with a Japanese PP21 group under the aegis of the newly organized PP21 Central America and issued the Managua Declaration.

A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005.

In these declarations, we developed a new concept of global democracy, which we termed “transborder participatory democracy” with the people of the world as the constituency. The transborder participatory democracy we posited is a dynamic process as well as a goal. It is a permanent democratization process based in “democracy on the spot” emancipatory transformation of everyday relationships in the family, community, workplace, and other institutions of lifeextending beyond social, cultural, and state barriers, and reaching, influencing, and ultimately controlling the global decision making mechanisms wherever they are located. In the Minamata Declaration, we declared that “all people, especially the oppressed people, have a natural and universal right to criticize, oppose, or prevent the implementation of decisions affecting their lives, no matter where those decisions are made.” This right, we proclaimed, is more fundamental than any artificial law or institution established by the state and means the right of the people to cross all borders, national and social, to carry their struggle to the exact sources of power seeking to dominate or destroy them. PP21 in Thailand, concretizing this line, called for participatory democracy at the community, national, and global levels. No doubt, the global power situation calls for such political action and such global democracy[xviii].

On the one hand, the phenomenological side of his call back in 1989 has of course been greatly reinforced by what has happened in the subsequent decade and a half, during which time transnational action has exploded[xix]. On the other, the normative content of these propositions has also been greatly reinforced in this period – a period that has seen the collapse of the Soviet Union and the immediately consequent and triumphant projection of the concept not only of ‘civil society’ but of a ‘global civil society’ – terms that are resonant with meaning for everyday life, not to speak of politics and political and cultural practice.

These terms have also come to be insistently pressed by certain sections of society both in the North and the South, among them perhaps especially representatives of NGOs who see themselves and what they do as this new world embodied, and who have also been strongly encouraged (and munificently supported) to do so by the Bretton Woods institutions, by certain sections with the UN system, and by certain non-governmental and governmental funding organisations in the North. The relatively easy acceptance and adoption of these terms, concepts, and field by journalists, columnists, and some academics, and the plethora of work that has come out over this period that uses these categories has also tended to reinforce the impression that ‘this is what is happening’; that this is what the world is about. As a result, the terms – rather like the term ‘NGO’ – have crept into and got embedded in our consciousness, and therefore also in day-to-day cultural and political practice.

Drawing however, from my own experience in transnational activism and then as a researcher in the field, and indeed also as a transnational socially and existentially[xx], I would like to suggest that transnational civil activism and alliance building is often not quite what it seems, or that is projected to be, or even that it is intended to be. In this section, I look at the question of the transnational; and in the next at that of the civil.

On the one hand, transnational civil work, and especially during moments of intense association, often leads to the idea that what is happening is that a community is being formed, of people coming from different realities but sharing certain values and bound together in this enterprise of analysing global forces, of strategising and dreaming of and working towards other worlds that transcend local realities, and who during those periods of association seem almost free of local obligations. The values often but not always include a deep mistrust of global institutions, and more generally an alienation from the nation-state.

On the other hand however, at other times, and a little contradictorily, alliance work is also suffused to a far higher degree than the terms suggest, with intensely communal interests, nationalism, and nationality, and the issues and demands these terms carry. Identity plans important roles. The latter is a contradictory reality that we need to accept and confront, not only of the contemporary and emerging world but of transnational action itself – at least, at the present stage of human development, where the vast majority of us are rooted in the local and the national.

In terms of the former, I have found it useful to compare my assessment with Waterman’s portrayal of the realities of internationalism in the 19th century :

Yet if the old internationalism is dead, the internationalisms of the new social movements (women, ecology, peace, human rights) are alive and kicking. The problem is that even those involved in the internationalist activity of the new emancipatory movements tend not to reflect on their own energetic efforts and creative practice. Far less do they refer back to that of the 19th century.

Confronted by the contemporary combination of increased “interdependency” and continuing threats to democracy, the international solidarity of democratic forces is both possible and more urgent. Given such a possibility / necessity, we need to come to terms with classical internationalism. A critical appreciation of it may liberate us from chains we did not know we were still carrying, and provide with both old and new tools for our present work.

Nineteenth-century proletarian internationalism certainly did exist, but its growth was due to unique conditions, and it was a complex and contradictory phenomenon. One needs to distinguish between many types of socialist and proletarian internationalism, between different levels, and their differing relations with non-proletarian internationalisms (religious universalist, liberal cosmopolitan, radical-democratic). One major characteristic of the old type was that it was largely a “nationalist internationalism” – in the sense of attempting to win nation-states for peoples without them, and rights within them for workers without such.

A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005.

The decline of socialist internationalism (and its transformation in to its opposite in a Comintern subordinated to Soviet realpolitik) was due to the disappearance of the specific conditions that gave rise to early internationalism. Early socialist and proletarian internationalism was based on the exclusion of the new class from the polity and the feeling that both labor organizers and socialist intellectuals (often underground or exiled) that their community was thus an international one. It was easy for them to imagine industrialism and capitalism as replacing all other previous processes and structures; as simplifying all relationships into those of international capital faced by an internationalist working class[xxi].

In terms of the latter issue, the reality is that transnational action is often based on and requires strong action at the local and national levels, and a strong knowledge of and embeddedness in the national terrain. This is moreover true not only of the societies and peoples around whose lives most transnational activism is taking place, in and of the South, but also of the North. This has its strengths – such as popular content, and the democratisation of the local and national even as one works transnationally – but also its drawbacks, such as partisan or compromise politics. There are some very real practical implications of this acceptance for the practice of alternative politics and culture.

But what too often tends to happen is that we – both activists and researchers writing on transnational work – tend to project the transnational alone, sometimes as a kind of ‘pure’ world unsullied by the messy realities of everyday life. ‘The transnational’ becomes another world, lived and imagined. Activists come to be imbued with and engrossed with what I am provisionally terming ‘transnationality’, a citizenship of transnational space and of a community bound by this experience. Many seem unable to negotiate the two realities at once, especially in the public realm; some become uprooted from their local worlds. It is almost like living two lives. And some end up claiming the authority of local rootedness and using it, but without actually enjoying it.

As I try and show later on in this paper, even two of the most celebrated internationalists in history, Marx and Engels, based their work of building what was then called (and till very recently, was still called) ‘international’ solidarity on their strong roots among German workers, both in Germany and in exile, and indeed, without this base, could perhaps never have achieved what they did – but where this reality is little projected and therefore its meaning is, I think, barely recognised, and might even be somewhat unacceptable to some. On the other hand, as I understand it, it is almost always precisely the strength, legitimacy, and moral authority that local and rooted work offers, that makes transnational work work.

I have referred first to Marx and Engel’s experience to highlight this question – and take the liberty of doing so at this conference focussing on Asian movement – simply because of the iconic nature of their contribution. But I of course also do so because I feel sure that we ourselves would not want to draw sharp geographical boundaries, especially in relation to a subject such as transborder participatory democracy – and moreover where the boundary between what we term ‘Asia’ and ‘Europe’ as ‘continents’ is anyway so completely artificial, Eurasia being the only continental landmass that has been divided in this way ![xxii]

But my work on the internationalisation and transnationalisation of more contemporary movements, around issues in India and Brazil, suggests that this is often – though by no means uniformly – also true of contemporary internationalist and transnational work. I therefore draw out here, in this section, a few key lessons from the Asian experience, the highly celebrated movements and campaigns around the Narmada dams project in India, which came in their time to be one of the most extensive (and also most ambitious) transnational civil campaigns that has ever taken place, and further on in this paper I illustrate my argument with a more detailed presentation of issues from this experience.[xxiii]

The ‘Narmada Action Committee’ that took shape, with members from countries right across the North, and the protocols and systems that they progressively forged, led to the creation of a very real ‘community’ that existed for several years in the 90s. Focussing here on the area I am exploring in this paper, of contradictory currents, and not the alliance’s achievements, the first and most glaring issue that arose is that the campaign came to quite heavily play partisan politics in the US, the most powerful shareholder in the World Bank, in order to get what it wanted. Perhaps because the participants were innocent at that time of the larger picture, or over-eager in their efforts, they also strongly in general played the ‘North’ card in the Bank in their attempt to mobilise political support for the struggles of the peoples of the Narmada valley against the dam – by using the unjust and skewed economic and political power of Northern countries within the Bank to achieve their ends. The full story of the Narmada campaigns is of course much more complex than this, but this, which does not fit at all with the idea of how strongly these campaigns contributed to democratising politics at the national and global levels, is also a part of their reality.

Other related aspects that are equally little known and hold many lessons for students of transnational alliance, are that all the extensive campaigns that took place in Northern countries across the world in solidarity with the movement in India (the Narmada Bachao Andolan, the ‘Save the Narmada Movement’) were deeply rooted in ‘domestic’ and ‘national’ concerns, politics, and issues. This was true from Finland and France across to Japan and Australia, as well as in the US. In many ways, the solidarity campaigns were taken up in those contexts and became as strong as they did precisely because participation in the international campaign also helped their local politics along. The ‘Narumada’ campaign in Japan, for instance, which was one of the strongest contributions to the international Narmada campaign, was directly related to and grew out of existing campaigns around ODA (Overseas Development Assistance), and more generally about accountability in politics within the country[xxv].

Other more problematic dynamics of the transnationalisation of the campaign included the foregrounding of the cause of the ‘tribals’ in the national and international campaigns, and the, as it were, ‘backgrounding’ of the very real fact that relatively prosperous, non-tribal middle farmers were in many ways the backbone of the local movement, and therefore of the international campaign. I outline this issue in a little more detail, later in this paper.

A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005.

Another aspect was what was in some ways a disempowerment of those in local struggle, by virtue of the loci of decision-making being moved completely outside of their worlds and access, as the campaign moved from their local state capitals to the national capital, to the international capitals of the world; and as a result of this, the possibly inadvertent but nevertheless very real strengthening of a process of the ‘representation’ of local interests in the transnational coalition and in international arenas by the more cosmopolitan, English-speaking sections of the movement – which in other words meant a silent strengthening of conventional class, caste, and other social relations, an aspect that I focus on more centrally in the next section.

And another shift was the cultural-political, which happened along with the shift in the loci of decision-making. As the Narmada movement advanced, and specifically as it advanced into the territory of its perceived enemy, its vocabulary changed, over time but progressively, from articulating and defending the cultural rights of the peoples it was working with, in particular the Adivasis, and looking for alternative futures, to being concerned with critiques of what the state technocrats were doing and increasingly, to ‘how to do things better’ than them; in short, to speaking the language of their opponents – and therefore in some ways to losing the very ground it stood on. And along with the change in vocabulary, the composition of those who could speak for it, was necessarily also consolidated in sections who could speak this new language best.

But beyond all this, as the international campaign came together, the ‘Narmada community’ also embarked upon a process of gaining visibility and legitimacy for the campaign in the conventional international world, including through nominating the leaders of the Indian movement – in other words, members of the community – for several major international civil awards. By doing this, and while gaining respectability for the campaign within the international mainstream, as the campaignists – especially from the North – became engaged with yet other such campaigns, inspired by their experience here, the NAC to some extent also became a world of its own, bound by affinity but also citizens of an imagined transnational world community.

Another interesting and possibly significant pattern that goes beyond the Narmada experience is how many of the actors in the NAC went on to play central roles in other alliances and campaigns, and in other related institutions. At one level, this is not surprising, given the intense skills displayed by the individuals, and the rich experience they were able to draw on, but at another level, and without imputing any personal motives, it is also troubling that in civil work the same individuals tend to remain in leadership roles despite the formal positions of commitment to democratic process, and especially when this is seen in relation to the issues raised in the next section, of the dominance of the civil.

While one is tempted to dismiss this as a function of how few individuals there are who work at the transnational level, this question becomes disturbing when one compares this pattern with what is happening in mainstream civil society, at the transnational corporate level : This is a crucial component of this integration of the TCC [transnational capitalist class] as a global class. Virtually all senior members of the TCC—globally, regionally, nationally, and locally—will occupy a variety of interlocking positions, not only the interlocking directorates that have been the subject of detailed studies for some time in a variety of countries, but also connections outside the direct ambit of the corporate sector, the civil society as it were servicing the state-like structures of the corporations. Leading corporate executives serve on and chair the boards of think tanks, charities, scientific, sports, arts and culture bodies, universities, medical foundations and similar organizations in the localities in which they are domiciled. Those actors known in the terminology of network theory as “big linkers” connect disparate networks, and in the case of the leading members of the transnational capitalist class this frequently crosses borders and takes on a global dimension. But this global dimension invariably also connects with national and local organizations and their networks[xxvi].

Abstracting from this experience and augmented also by lessons from other such experiences, to the opposite of power relations being transformed in the course of campaigns ands alliances, from the local to the global, there is reason to think that they sometimes seem to be only further concretised in the course of campaigning, and as a consequence caste, class, and geopolitical dominance come to be strengthened. In general, meanings seem to become inverted in the course of this turbulence. The moral authority that is the real strength of popular and civil movement, is weakened. In some blurred ways, transnationality begins to discard and threaten what it grows out of. All this also throws up complex challenges and paradoxes in terms of core issues of civil and political praxis, such as of the legitimacy of representation – and indeed, what representation is, what legitimacy and authority are and how they arise, and who ‘the people’ are.

In turn, these processes of inversion, alienation and fragmentation are further compounded by contemporary dynamics that both Muto san and Brown Childs have drawn out in their respective work, through the fragmentation and ghettoisation that the current phase of globalisation and imperialism is bringing upon us : A major problem of the twenty-first century will be the crisis of diverse, often competing, social/cultural identities among people uprooted by corrosively powerful global economic combines. This crisis will be significant not just in itself, but because it has the direct consequence of undermining coordinated resistance to the destructiveness of globalized systems of power. In an era rushing toward mindless materialism, propelled by powerful, unfeeling economic syndicates that uproot body and soul, more and more people will seek refuge in compartmentalized forms of social identities. However, the search for safety in such sealed compartments is by itself largely illusory. Fragmented, isolated, and unknowing of, or hostile to, one another, people are more, not less vulnerable to the very forces of destruction from which they seek escape[xxvii].

In sum, my limited experience suggests that the work of transborder alliances is fraught with undercurrents that we must pay attention to.

A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005.

I end this section by pointing out that not surprisingly, Muto san has clearly read many of these possibilities in his own experience, and addressed at least some of this ground in his work. In his 2004 address, for instance, he urged NGOs to focus on working within their national contexts, on the historic task of building what he terms ‘on-the-spot’ democracy, towards the wider transformation that we must work for[xxviii]. As I discuss below however, my own sense is that in terms of transformation, this advice and approach too is fraught with contradictions that we also need to recognise and address.

The dialectic of civil and incivil In this section, I try to deconstruct the term ‘civil society’ and to comprehend it in terms of the meanings it holds for the struggle for building other worlds, especially as they play themselves out in the course of alliance building.

Put bluntly, I believe – and suggest – that all too often in the course of the exercise of civil alliance and solidarity, and of the celebration of life that this seems to suggest, there are also undercurrents at play : Undercurrents that tend to deeply only reinforce the status quo. Undercurrents where the power and influence of middle and upper sections of societies all over the world (class-wise, caste-wise, race-wise, and to some degree and in some areas, also gender-wise) over their respective societies is only growing, notwithstanding other demographic changes that are also taking place that suggest some degree of ‘upward’ mobility; and undercurrents where – I suggest – the new transnational and global civil alliances that we are seeing growing before us (and in which some of us are taking part) are sometimes also vehicles for the growing power of a new transnational class that is emerging, with these sections linking up across the globe[xxix] – and where many if not all these alliances are, both consciously and subconsciously, acting out what I suggest is the historical role of civil society, to establish control and hegemony over society at large, and especially over what I have earlier termed ‘uncivil society’ but am in this paper calling incivil society. I explain the differences in a moment.

Within this perspective, the fact that we quite often see sections of global civil alliances being quite willing to at times strike alliance with capital and corporation should therefore be of no surprise. For this is a necessary part of what they feel they have to do, in terms of their caste, class, and race roles, and of the vision that these sections have, of how the world should be.

As I see it, this is a part of what ‘civil society’ is meant to do, and has always done, so far however more within and in relation to local and national societies : To establish ‘civility’, to subjugate and ‘civilise’ the incivil and the uncivilised, in the name of bringing order into society. I suggest to you that ‘civil society’ is not just the wonder story of social capital that proponents of both concepts argue, in that space between the individual (or the family) and the state. It is that, yes, but it is also much more; the power relations of civility – of being civil, and of civil-isation – have also to be read. And as we enter the transnational age, this dynamic is now also playing itself out there.

Once again, it should be no surprise that Muto san has also raised this question in his writings : What is termed “international civil society” in this sense seems to be very close to what I mean by Alliance of Hope. However, I have some reservations about calling it international civil society although it is understandable that civil society is emphasized as against the state. First, civil society is largely a creation of the modern nation state. It is demarcated by national borders and filled with nationalist substance. That is why you call it “inter-national civil society.” Shouldn’t we envisage broader social relationships beyond national borders, instead of linking already nationally constituted civil societies? Second, as a concept modeled after European experience, civil society carries with it strong European flavors. I am afraid efforts to deodorate it may turn it into a meaningless abstraction. For instance, is Islamic Ummah a civil society? Civil society is a historical product — a product of modernity which is the creation of the West. Aren’t we where we face the entire consequence of modernity? Third, does civil society include all the residents in a certain territory as its full-fledged members? Weren’t the working class in the 18th- 19th century considered outcast of civil society? Aren’t there their equivalent in civil societies of today? Are “illegal” migrant workers members of civil society? Last but not least, isn’t it necessary to transform civil society itself for it is where exploitation of labor takes place and dominance of the poor by the rich, of women by patriarchy, and other social-economic forms of dominance are entrenched. Civil society approach does not give us a guideline as to how civil society should be transformed.

A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005.

There is no doubt that civil society with all its values, and for that matter modernity as such, should be considered an important element to be integrated with global society of the future and it is a heritage having rich potentials which will be positively displayed through exposure to, and interaction with, its external. But I am afraid that making it the single model of global society, if with thoughtful redefinitions, may bind our hands too tightly. By calling it alliance of hope, I want to keep it more flexible and open-ended[xxx].

And :

The challenges we face at the end of the 20th century are unique. For globalization of capital supported by the global power center has not only made the world smaller, but also has telescoped major events and problems having arisen in the past centuries into the present. This defines the nature of alternatives we are committed to create. …. To simplify, the present condenses in its midst at least the following problems and their legacies:

  1. Thousands of years of domination of women by men;
  2. Five hundred years of domination of the South by the North; the conquests of the people and their civilizations in the “new continent” legitimated the notion of conquest in general — the conquest of people by the “civilized” and the conquest of nature by human beings…[xxxi]

Because however, I am interpreting and using the term ‘civil society’ differently to the way it is normally done, and even perhaps to the way Muto san has done, and also because I am introducing what might perhaps for some be new terms, ‘incivil society’ and ‘uncivil society’, let me explain.

Again, I am firstly suggesting that ‘civil society’ is not what the text books say it is, that almost neutral (and neutered) “space between the individual (or the family) and the state”, but rather just what the term says : Civil society – a society that is ruled by norms of ‘civility’; a society that has become – in its own terms – ‘civilised’. In such societies, there is – by definition – no room for sections that do not follow the rules of being civilised, which are of course set by those who consider themselves to be civil and civilised. To the contrary, the civilised feel threatened by those who do not conform (and who they therefore term ‘uncivil’, ‘anti-social’, ‘deviant’, and ‘wild’), and by the very existence of an uncivil, and they seek to subjugate it, convert it, tame it, civilise it; if it become sufficiently docile and domesticated, to then ignore it; and on the other hand, if it is too assertive, to attempt to destroy it, exterminate it. Only in the most civilised ways, of course. In short, it is – in their understanding – the historical task of those who arrogate this term to themselves, to ‘civilise’ society and to establish a civil order – which most centrally means to establish hegemony over all those who (and all that) they consider to be uncivil.

The ‘civil’ of course are those who we now refer to as the middle classes and above, and earlier as ‘the gentle folk’ (and where in English we still use the term ‘gentleman’), and in the part of India I come from, Bengal, we have the term bhadralok, the ‘well-mannered people’, the ‘civil class’, which is the class that permanently rules that state – and notwithstanding having a government of the left in power for the past twenty-eight years continuously, and who might otherwise have been expected to challenge such an order. This record itself speaks for the power of civility.

The norms that are established (read imposed) to define and enforce civility of course vary from context to context, and are also mediated by processes of globalisation such as colonisation, but I suggest that in all cases the term ‘civil society’ most meaningfully refers to those sections of society who are considered by some self-appointed guardians to be ‘civil’, or ‘civilised’.

As others have shown, so-called ‘civil societies’ have historically emerged through intensive processes of civilising societies, in particular through the establishment of enforcement agencies such as the police but also through the establishment of homes and institutions where these ‘unruly elements’ were ‘civilised’ through the teaching of reading, writing, dressing, table manners, and bathroom manners[xxxii]. In my earlier writings on cities, I have used the term ‘unintended’ for this phenomenon, in an attempt to describe and denote the dynamic tension that exists between different worlds, and argued that the unintended are today in fact building separate, parallel societies, and ‘cities’, of their own[xxxiii]. But the terms civil and uncivil – and as I will argue, incivil – also serve this purpose.

Let me also now explain my use of what are apparently derogatory but in any case clearly provocative terms, ‘uncivil’ and ‘incivil’. I purposely use these terms, in an insurgent manner : First, in order to focus on the subjective and dialectical reality of civility; second, in order to make clear how ‘we’ see ‘ourselves’ as well as ‘them’, and to make ‘us’ constantly conscious of this; and third, in order also, by contradistinction and opposition, to signal the resistance of such peoples to the singular and hegemonic norms of the civil – and indeed, to implicitly suggest that there are many civilities, many different forms and modes of civilisation. The distinction I will draw in a moment between ‘uncivil’ and ‘incivil’ is also with this same dynamic in mind.

In support of my usage, I will only add that whereas Dalit activists in India (and where the term ‘Dalit’, which is their own term, in preference to say Gandhi’s term Harijan (‘children of god’), and means ‘oppressed’) have easily grasped the meaning of the term ‘uncivil’ and also its usage, more ’civil’ activists and researchers have objected to it – as indeed, some do to Dalits calling themselves oppressed. To use North American slang, they just don’t seem to get it. But this is precisely the struggle : To see the world from the other’s point of view, and especially from that of the oppressed.

In sum, as I understand them the essential points here are that :

  1. Certain sections of society have historically taken it upon themselves to civilise society, and especially the ‘uncivilised’ and unintended;
  2. Society can, in this sense, be broadly classified into the intended and the unintended, the civil and the uncivil; but –
  3. Those who have been historically marginalised, excluded, and oppressed by civil societies are today in the historic process of building their own civil societies, informed by their own norms and values.
  4. A paper for a presentation to be made in Panel One, ‘The Long March of 50 Year People’s Movement : The Works of Muto Ichiyo’, on Day One of the 2005 IACS Conference ‘Emerging Inter-Asian? Subjectivities in Cultural Movements’, sponsored by Inter-Asian? Cultural Studies and hosted by the Korean National University of the Arts at the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, July 22-24 2005.

    So far, I have mostly only referred to class. But the way this plays out in reality is that this is also a function of caste (occupation determined by descent), in those contexts where this applies (right across south Asia, reaching deeply into southeast Asia, covering a billion and a half people) and also of ethnicity and race, which of course need no explanation.

    So in short, those who constitute ‘civil societies’ are in general middle or upper class, middle or upper caste, and white (or at least, ‘fair’, and where in many societies ‘fairness’ of complexion is something that the upper castes and classes aspire to); and people of colour who they allow to join them. And those who constitute the ‘uncivil’ – as perceived by the civil – are the lower classes, the lower castes (and the outcastes), and in general people of colour, and especially the black, other than those who have been successfully domesticated and ‘civilised’ – but who are often also left in a tragic middle world, a second class denizen.

    In these terms, the gender division and discourse is perhaps less obvious, and needs a more nuanced discussion than there is space for in this paper. But one could easily say that it also applies here, in the same and in many other ways. Think, for instance, of the (male, civil) association of ‘the feminine’ with ‘the wild’, the uncontrollable, in so many cultures, and in so many religions; the systems put in place to ‘husband’ and control this nature; and in particular the structure and ideology of patriarchy that is prevalent across the world, South and North, where women are seen only as property and as vehicles for reproduction of the (hu)man species, therefore justifying the system of ‘husbanding’ and domestication, and – just as the ideology of the state dominated by civil society does – giving men the license to inflict domestic violence on them, as and when they feel it is required.

    Having put forward my larger point, I want to now draw a line between what I am referring to as the ‘incivil’ and the ‘uncivil’.

    As Muto san also flags in his 2004 paper, as cited above, and as we all know and perhaps agree on, a large proportion of the ordinary people of the world who ‘civil societies’ see as ‘the uncivil’, resort to taking part in what are termed ‘illegal’ and ‘unauthorised’ activities, including living in extra-legal settlements or practising extra-legal occupations, or migrating illegally, only because social and economic exclusion, persecution, and devastation leaves them with no options – and where they are then criminalised and stigmatised by civil society for their actions. On the other hand however, all over the world we are now also seeing these sections, who have been historically oppressed and marginalised, organising themselves – and where in contexts such as India, they constitute the majority of the population they are slowly not just accumulating but also asserting power, often (though not always) in insurgent ways that challenge the ruling civil society. As I see it, this historically unintended world is a new society in the making – and of its own making.

    Beyond this however, but interacting with it and sometimes overwhelming it, lie other worlds of exploitation, such as child prostitution, bonded labour and other slave trade, trade in organs, the drug trade, and religious fundamentalism; broadly, where the criminal, the mafia, and the criminalised lumpen rule – those who in India are referred to as the ‘anti-social’ but where in more analytical language refers to people who are involved in activities that constitute what Deepak Nayyar and Julius Court refer to as the ‘public bad’[xxxiv]. And as these authors point out, just as there are ‘global public goods’, there are equally ‘global public bads’ (and where racism, militarisation and the arms trade, and war should surely also be included in this list).

    Without elaborating further here on this complex point, I suggest that we need to make a distinction between these two realities, and that this is of vital consequence to the task of building other worlds, and especially in terms of building alliances of critical hope. It is one of the curious ironies of academia that although there have been countless publications in this broad area, there has been little attempt to develop terminology that distinguishes such realities; but perhaps this is also not surprising, since most academics still come from civil society. In short, I propose that we adopt the terms ‘incivil’ for those who are oppressed, victimised, but building insurgent societies, and ‘uncivil’ for those, though also resisting civil society and subverting it, whose motives and work is criminal and exploitative. I am aware that the dividing line between ‘incivil’ and ‘uncivil’ is blurred – but we need to recognise that there are at least three worlds, and that they co-exist in dynamic tension.

    While saying this, and with an eye to the points that Muto san and Brown Childs make regarding ‘interpeople autonomy’ and transcommunality, I need to underline that I am not saying, by suggesting the existence of an incivil and an uncivil, that there is and that we must accept an irreconcilable and permanent opposition. I am only arguing, perhaps even in common with both of them, that this reality poses a profound challenge to all of us, as to how we are going to address it.

    Many of us have worked and struggled with these questions for many years, without a clear approach as yet[xxxv]. When asking the question some years ago as to what can be the alternative to this, I myself phrased it as how we could achieve a ‘civilised transition’ to another future[xxxvi]. I now realise that I have to rethink my language, and what I actually mean – because the achievement of a ‘civilised transition’ too often signals not emancipation but domestication and subjugation[xxxvii]. At the very minimum, I agree that we need to look closely at Brown Childs’ concept of transcommunality and working with an ethics of respect, recognising the diversity of the world.

    At the risk of taking several liberties at once, I suggest – on the basis of my work on the dynamics of transnational civil alliances, and more recently on the World Social Forum – that there is much reason to believe that this broad sketch of a process of ‘civil’ domination also applies all too widely to emerging alliances[xxxviii]. This is not to say that indigenous peoples such as the Aborigines of Australia or the Indians of Latin America, or the Dalits of India and south Asia, are not also establishing transnational or global alliances – they are; but it is to suggest that the centres of power in global civil alliance are still very strongly located in the North, and in the ‘North within the South’, among middle and upper castes and classes and whites; and that transnational incivil alliances are still all too dependent on these power centres, even if they are conscious of this centrality and reality of power. And beyond this, wherever mixed alliances have appeared to take shape, or even in most of the big actions even in multicultural countries such as the US, such as Seattle in November 1999, Washington DC in April 2000, or Quebec City in 2001, people of colour, indigenous peoples, and in general the incivil have so far hardly been seen; and that by and large, all these initiatives are still dominated by members and organisations of ‘civil society’[xxxix]. These are hard realities of transnational alliance and action today.

    Contd. in Part II

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