Globilization and political resistance movement of the world's oppressed people

The Diminishing Return of the Fate of the World's Oppressed People
Hre Mang
April 2006.

Globalization and resistance political movement

Now, people say, we live in a global village when and where information is transmitted through analog or digital signals, no longer carried by slow and heavy ships. Moreover, a commodity produced by the east corner of the world can now be utilized by the westerners within a couple of days. Today, who is walking on the Hollywood red carpet is viewable by almost everywhere around the world. Knowledge spread everywhere, wealth dominates every corner. "The world's competition is no longer how many miles your long range missiles can travel within one minute, but how fast is your modem," says Thomas Friedman. People can no longer be lulled by falsification of the ancient myths. The world is now connected everywhere, "no where to hide." The satellite camera can now take the whole world's image, and digitalize every single piece as necessary. The availability of the electronic mails, telephone services, and the free chatting software, free PC to PC calling software, etc., in short, the globalization, the rise of modern technology along with the drastic change of modern thinking and social behavior shape the modern global political phenomenon, international system, and the driving factors of relationship among nation states. As a result, the freedom movement of the world's oppressed people is somehow dismaying and the dimension of the international support for such movement has changed significantly. Most severely, the role of armed struggle for freedom is victimized and required to be replaced by a new face of freedom movement as demanded by the time.

During the cold war era, almost everyone sided either with the communist or the west and the most driving factor was super political power competition driven by possession of the most powerful weapons-nuclear warheads. Possession of powerful weapons and having strong political alliance were the strongest determinant factors in one's foreign relation. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the economic success of the USA, the driving factors for the international relation have changed from war oriented international agendas to other factors. Now, with the existence of nuclear warheads in several countries, the probability of conventional warfare is reduced and is no longer a threat to modern world, for the eminent collateral damage has reduced the probability for conventional third world war. Therefore, the new agendas of the world nation states, focusing the long-term economic survival and security of the country, occupy a larger role in the modern international relations. Moreover, the escalating global competition for resources and market share posits the essential reciprocal relationship among nation states that marginalizes the world's moral concern for the oppressed people groups around the world. Not only that the global ideological trend, necessitated by the rising nature of global terrorist threat, and the need for nations to push a strong commitment to cooperate to enforce collective moral norms, has changed the way nations support political method for liberating oppressed people groups.

Although ideologically incompatible, driven by economic necessity, the relationship between China and the USA can no longer be distant and rivalry. Proven by the recent trade deficit occurred due to the China's game play on its currency, the USA is, by no means, in control of the relationship unilaterally. The US's economic interest is above its interest in saving the Tibetan people or the Taiwan issue. The rise of powerful nations, such as India and China, and the growing regional institutions, such as European Union, ASEAN, etc. have caused significant changed in the international setting that no country stands alone or no country is holding the total power to change the whole course of the modern global system.

The changing nature of international as well as regional inter-governmental ties has made impossible to isolate a country by the rest of the world. The necessity of sharing interests, resources, and opportunities shapes the world political phenomenon. More than the moral imperatives and concern for the oppressed and the social injustice of any government, the self interest of nations, driven by the competitive nature of modern capitalism, is put above all in designing foreign policy, while the world's natural resources shows diminishing return. Constructive engagement, regardless of disagreement in domestic issues, becomes a must in the modern world. China now becomes the world's second largest oil consumers, hunting energy across the globe. With its fast growing economy, China, once the world oil exporter, now has to make alliances around the world oil rich countries. The Middle East, which once experts assumed as having been deposited with unlimited old resources now proven to be limited, while the world's energy consumption rises drastically, that the future obviously is uncertain, how long the available natural resources will able to meet the growing demand of the world population.

Day by day, the world's richest class of people get richer, and the poor poorer, regardless of the world events. In the USA, the world's father of democracy, there are more than 40 million people without health insurance and millions depend on public assistance. For the poor, there seems no way to jump up to the next level of social class-middle class. The US companies, outsourcing productions and employment opportunities caused millions loss of job, leaving the poor poorer and the needy with no way out. Hence, the modern trend of globalization moves in favor of capitalists and the ruling class of the world population. The concern for millions of the world's needy individuals and the sufferings of the oppressed people groups is secondary to the able nations' self interest driven by profit oriented inter-governmental relations. In other word, within the contemporary global political system, the cause of the domestically left-behind social class and of the oppressed people groups around the world has no significant impact relation among nation states. Regardless of differences in ideology, Communist countries and democratic countries can now shake hands with smiling faces and cooperate to meet each other's collective interests.

The rise of stronger regional bodies, such as North America Free Trade Nations, the Arab League of Middle East, the European Union, the Association of South East Asian Nations, and economic associations, etc. prevents the possibility of international intervention in one nation's domestic issues by any supper power without interfering the regional ties of that nation. At the same time, the growing sense of differences in socio political cultures, value system and world views also helps preventing foreign interference in any nation's domestic agendas. The situation in Iraq and Afghanistan is unique. Therefore, any nation that has strong ties within its own regional political context becomes more comfortable than ever, regardless of the ugliness and ruthlessness of the ruling government. The nature of global political association has changed from two major alliances style, the west vs. the communist, to regional alliances and economic ally. Moreover, the rise of borderless capitalist giant companies, that usually distance from its own government's political stance, focusing on the open market share, also has significant influence on the decision making process for international relations. The hunt for market share and resources become major driving factors of nations around the world, preventing regime change or total replacement model of political change even when such ruling government is brutal enough to be named "axis of evils." Therefore, preferring systematic transformation model of social political process for political change without threatening their own national economic and strategic interest, nations are reluctant to support armed struggles and violence movement against the ruling government.

The rise of international terrorism and its negative impact on resistance political movement

As mentioned above, what had happened in September 11, 2001 was not suffered by the Americans alone. Many foreign nationals who worked in the World Trade Tower died. Many share holders of the US stock market lost in millions in 2001 as a direct impact of it. Millions of travelers around the world were affected. The consequential hunt for terrorists, the World Trade Towers bombers, cost loss of many Afghans. The hunt for international terrorist networks also revealed the world's longtime underground political movement, their networks and links, how weapons were transported, how terrorists were trained, necessitating a new and strengthened international ties and cooperation against international terrorists. Second to or equal to the modern nations' economic incentives, collective action against such international terrorist network becomes a major driving factor in designing foreign relations. Along the hunt for resources and market shares, the fear of terrorist act plays a major role in the current international system. The fear is added by the easy access of modern weapon technology, which might have fallen in the hands of such underground terrorist network, requiring a tighter relationship and stronger commitment to put such important technology under control.

Unfortunately, the definition for terrorist and freedom fighter become more confusing as well as synonymous in some occasions. The Palestinians Hamas, now the winning party, is categorized by the US and Israel as terrorist organization. But proven by the last election, for the Palestinians, the Hamas members are freedom fighters, and for the Iran, a longtime political ally. Moreover, the existence of such underground facilities, even when such facilities provide means only for the freedom fighters, opens high potentiality for terrorists. For example, once supported by the US, the Taliban's underground facilities to overthrow the Russian invasion later became the golden place where Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist groups took military as well as terrorist training to bomb the World Trade Towers and plotted several attacks on the US embassies and facilities. As a result of the "fight on terror" the US has made laws, "Patriot Act" "Material Support Act" that flatly categorized the underground political armed force movement under the same category, blocking thousands of victimized refugees and asylum seekers from entering into the US. That one's freedom fighters is another's terrorists and vice versa.

Moreover, the easy access to modern technology and information networking changes the nature of modern underground political movement, which has both advantages as well as disadvantages for the oppressed people around the world. Unfortunately, the progress of ideological trend, especially among the oppressed people groups, stays much slower than the development and availability of modern technology and resources. Many of the world's underground political groups still function without much policy as well as strategic change, following the ancient or traditional resistance movement model that had been used since the ancient Chinese revolution, the Vietnamese revolution, the American revolution, etc. Meanwhile, the younger (x) generation has been mostly influenced and their thinking being shaped by the modern socio cultural norms, that the traditional resistance movement faces its diminishing return even within its own society. So, the modern resistance movement is still in limbo in search of modernized strategy to match with the contemporary international political phenomenon. In a stable society, systematic lobby and civil disobedience is still effective, such as gay rights movement in the US, students' protest in France against the France new labor laws, the Thai and Pilipino' opposition movement, the Muslim world's protest against the Prophet cartoon publicized in Demark, etc. But for the underground political movement, especially when the target is brutal regime, the effective strategy and viable political policy are still under search, and the existing strategy faces its diminishing return. Favoring strong and effective international or regional inter-governmental institutions, the contemporary global political trend victimizes the resistance movement of the oppressed people groups around the world. Although the US has been shouting loud against the Chinese oppression against the Tibetans, and the Russian's human rights violations against the Chechens, the president of the United States, Mr. Bush, no longer remembered the tears and cries of the oppressed people when he had fun and beer with the Russian president, Mr. Putin, in his Texas ranch and when he had press conference in in front the White House with the Chinese leader, Mr. Hu. So, sadly, the concern of the world's supper powers toward the world's oppressed people is minimal in its impact, and substantially just like a neighbor's consolation to his neighbor's crying child who had been disciplined by the parents. In other words, the stable nations' loud voices in support of the e causes of the world's oppressed people groups appeared to be just their own self justification to release themselves from the moral obligation imposed by their own conscience, but not that they would do their best within their power to free the oppressed people groups and the left-behind social class of the contemporary world order.

Contemporary humanitarian assistance and its impacts on the oppressed people's freedom movement

In recent decades, the world's humanitarian assistance to the needy people has increased. The inter-non-governmental organizations, religious in-kind institution and faith-based organizations, refugee and immigration services and so on have improved the global concern for the least fortunate people around the world. At the same time, the intellectual movement, social and humanitarian developmental projects, academic workshops and seminars have helped a lot in promoting the cause of the least fortunate and oppressed people. The globalization's negative impacts made the unpreventable spread of contagious diseases through human flow, the exodus of refugees, immigrants, and exchanges of labor forces that necessitated collective movement to prevent the unwanted social and human problems, leaving no society alone. Although the world's altruistic contribution helps the survival of millions of the global citizens, from political aspect, such contribution sometimes derailed the political end goal of the oppressed people groups one way or another. Ideologically, as the western thinkers used to say "Nationalism is a threat to democracy," and in many cases, due to the political restraint, the freedom movement of the world's oppressed people receives less attention and assistance from sympathizers.

For a good example, in the case of Burma, the world knows the death of thousands of students and innocent civilians at the brutal hands of the military leaders since 1988 Burma nation-wide pro-democratic movement, the only imprisoned noble laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, many prisoners of conscience in Burma jails, the flow of hundreds of Burmese refugees, the drastic spread of deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, etc. However, foreign assistances for the Burmese pro-democratic movement, hundreds of refugees and internally displaced people is minimal compared to the foreign aid that helps to the survival of the brutal military regime , if counted both direct aids to the regime government and the governments' benefits through the foreign investors and political alliances and economic partnership. And it is needless to meion, the minimal of zero assistance received by the non-Burman ethnic groups who have been struggling for freedom for more than five decades. Therefore, any assistance that goes to the oppressed people not even enough just to survive at their desperate lives condition. Therefore, such humanitarian contribution does help at least o tsome extent to the cause of the oppressed people groups, but never been to back up their national political survival to meet their political end goal, except for a few exceptional cases.

In short, the rise of globalization and the international terrorist network that have shaped the contemporary international and regional relation among nations marginalizes the cause of the oppressed people around the globe, and threatening their traditional method of political resistance movement without a viable new strategy for a new face of their freedom struggle. Meanwhile, although the increasing contributions of the non-governmental organizations, the inter-governmental organizations, international and regional bodies, and religious institutions still play an important role, the fate of the world's oppressed people's political survival is threatened to its lowest level of status quo. As much as the modern capitalism categorizes the global citizens into the haves and have not, the contemporary international political system classifies the global citizens into the rulers class and the oppressed. There seems no rising international system that would save the daily diminishing identities of the world's oppressed people groups. No savior no salvation, the world is moving in favor of the oppressors, whether economically or politically. In a sorrowful word, the contemporary global system has now revealed its real teeth, the "modern systematic slavery."

In a modern society, when an employer stated "HELP IS WANTED" in front of the company building, it means "PREY IS NEEDED" from whom the company owner would exploit the labor. Politically, when a nation says, "WE STAND FOR YOUR CAUSE" it means, "WE WANT TO ENSLAVE YOU"

Note: The author is a Chin student democratic activist, since 1988, leaving his higher level studies at Mandalay University , Mandalay, Burma.