tom9351 on Wed, 31 May 2000 07:49:58 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Bologna - No OECD: Small global enterprise vs. neo-liberalism

We call on all kinds of medium-scale, small, even individual firms and
businesses to subscribe to the following declaration. They may be
multimedia centers, social service providers, arts and crafts workshops,
publishing houses, co-ops, Ltd.'s, joint-stock companies etc.  For further
info on the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development]
summit in Bologna, you can see <>, though
there isn't much stuff in English.  To be in Bologna in those days (June
12-15) is not necessary, we expect companies from as many countries as
possible to join us in spirit.  The deadline for the subscription is June
6th. Please forward the declaration to all those it may concern. Each time
a new company subscribes, please send the updated copy to 

Small global enterprise vs. neo-liberalism

Bologna, Italy. During the 2nd week of June the OECD [Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development] will hold a summit conference on
small and medium-scale businesses in the age of globalization.  We have
set up small and medium-scale enterprises. We experience the processes and
results of global production every day.  In spite of the worn-out rhetoric
about innovation and globalization, this summit does not provide for the
existence of innovative, "atypical"  entrepreneurs, because the only
companies who are represented by such bodies as OECD (or WTO, for that
matter) are the ones founded on exploitation and/or the plunder of public
funds and resources. 

What does "global enterprise" mean?

To some, it means the opportunity for enormous profits: in the poorest
areas of the world it is possible to exploit wo/men and children for more
than twelve hours a day, for ridiculous wages, usually less than fifty
dollars per month.  It means thirteen-year old girls locked in sweatshops,
with neither emergency exits nor fire extinguishers. It happened in
Shenzhen, where 83 under-age workers were burned alive.  It means total
unconcern for people's safety, like in Bhopal, India, where Union Carbide
gassed the whole city, killing 500 people and blinding thousands.  It
means unlimited access to public sunk funds, in order to produce
anti-social commodities, and then criticize state/government control when
it's time to pay taxes (e.g. FIAT, which the Italian state has propped up
for more than fifty years). 

To us, global enterprise is the opposite:

it is an adventure of mind and action, to produce goods, information and
services that make the environment liveable, fill the infosphere with
intelligence, turn our lives for the better.  It is the creation of a
global network to escape both the dictatorship of finance and the power of
state mafias.  The only real innovation is produced by free entrepreneurs
of this kind, for they are not idolaters, they do not worship any state
godfather-like patronage system, nor do they surrender to corporate
neo-liberal obsession. 

For this reason, in the days of the OECD summit, we will side with free 
people, not with free trade.

We will fight to turn globalization into an egalitarian process, so that
all workers of the world can stick up for their rights, every man and
woman has freedom of movement and does not suffer exclusion, and the
products of collective knowledge enter the public domain and become
accessible to everyone. 

1) Wu Ming (factory of literary design and multimedia productions), Bologna.
2) Coop. Soc. Grado 16 (education, research and social intervention), Bologna

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