Another World Is Quite Possible On The Basis Of
A Nature-Human Centric Agenda But It Is Really
Impossible If Approached Through Irrelevant
Issues And Incoherent Themes
1. The first meeting of the World Social Forum (WSF), Indian Chapter, is going to be held
at Hyderabad (India) from January 2 to 6, 2003. The meeting’s agenda has been captioned
in the phrase “Another world is possible” and “Another Asia is possible”. The meet is
expected to sort out the shape of “Another World” and “Another Asia”.
PDF OF THIS DOCUMENTS Another World Is Quite Possible On The Basis Of
A Nature-Human Centric Agenda
I. Wide Distance Between
Existing Realities & WSF Agenda
2. Like its earlier two attempts at holding big international gatherings (the first at Porto
Alegre ( Brazil) in January 2001 and the second at the same place from February 1-5,
2002), the WSF’s Hyderabad endeavour is also expected to draw a sizeable number of
participants who are eager to find a wayout of the prevailing general confusion all around.
But a look at the Hyderabad Agenda shows that the end result of the present effort is not
going to be different fromthe WSF’s previous two initiatives. That is, the emphasising of
incoherent themes, having no relevance to the existing world realities.
3. Briefly stated, the human world today is confronted with highly serious challenges,
unprecedented in its history. That is, a fatal environmental threat; an exploding human
development crisis marked by unprecedented inequality and poverty; US aggressive moves
to dominate and control the emerging global order; newly arising menace from the recently
refashioned fundamentalist trends like Hindutva, Pan-Islamism, Western Free Market
Philosophy, Marxian State-Managed Proletarian Utopia, etc. Apart from the abovementioned
life and death issues, the dangers coming from daily rising violence, crime,
corruption, woman and child oppression, minorities suppression, extinction of tribal and
aboriginal livelihoods, daily-worsening miserable conditions of different varieties of
unorganised labour (who collectively constitute more than 50% of the human world),
spreading terrorism (both nation state-sponsored and religion-oriented), attacks on human
rights and civil liberties in traditionally known democratic countries, like the US and UK.
Even a cursory glance at our world shows how the above-mentioned basic threats, serious
challenges and day-to-day dangers have made a hell of human life in the beginning of the
4. On the environmental front, the constantly increasing volume of green house gases
(GHGs), depleting global water resources, large-scale deforestation, degradation of more
than 60 percent of arable land, dying out of many bio-species and unsustainable use of
other natural products has created an existential crisis for the human race as well as other
bio-phenomena. The scientific community has since been highlighting the worsening state
of our environmental aspect. A large number of reports have already been released by
various renowned scientists on different environmental issues. Of these numerous reports,
those which have calculated the time frame in regard to the maturity of the crisis, two are
particularly worth mentioning. One is the warning sounded by 6,000 famous scientists of the
world in the year 2000 which emphasised that if the human community did not stop the
production of GHGs in a short span of time, the global warming would make the earth
uninhabitable for bio-life by the end of the 21st century. The other is the 2002-UN’s WWF
study which has warned that if the human community (especially the rich nations and the
rich persons) does not change its extravagant and wasteful lifestyle, our planet earth will
become unsustainable for human life within 50 years. Other scientific experts, who have not
committed themselves to any time-table, do admit that the environmental situation is highly
5. On the human development plane, almost all the global institutions concerned with
human growth, i.e., the UNO, WB, IMF, WTO, etc., have now been stressing the
unsustainable mode of our existing development model, mainly characterised by
unendurable inequality, inequity, poverty and injustice. The 2002-UN Human Development
Report expresses: the world’s richest 1 percent receive as much in terms of income as the
poorest 75 percent. The 2001-UN Human Development Report writes: “Of the 4.6 billion
people in the developing countries, more that 850 million are illiterate, nearly a billion lack
access to improved water resources, and 2.4 billion lack access to basic sanitation. Nearly
32 million boys and girls are out of school. And 11 million children under age five die each
year from preventable causes equivalent to more than 30,000 a day. Around 1.2 billion
people live on less than (the equivalent of) $1 a day (1993 PPP US $), and 2.8 billion on
less than $2 a day. Such deprivations are not limited to developing countries. In OECD
(Organisation For Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, more than 130
million people are income poor, 34 million are unemployed and adult functional illiteracy
rates average 15 percent.” This report further states that the richest 10 percent of the US
population ( around 25 million people) had a combined income greater than that of the
poorest 43 percent of the world’s people (around 2 billion people). The 1999-Human
Development Report says: that, by the late 1990’s, the fifth of the world’s people living in the
highest income countries had 86 percent of world GDP the bottom fifth just 1 percent, 82
percent of world export markets the bottom fifth just 1 percent, 68 percent of foreign direct
investment the bottom fifth just 1 percent and 74 percent of world telephone lines, today’s
basic means of communication the bottom fifth just 1.5 percent. The 1996 UN Human
Development Report tells: just three of the world’s richest people have the combined GDP
of the 48 least developed countries. The world’s 225 richest people have a combined wealth
of over $1 trillion which is also the total income of 47 percent of the poor who number 2.5
billion. The wealth of 32 of the world’s richest persons exceeds the GDP of South Asia
(India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives) plus Iran and
Interestingly, the Mughal Emperor at New Delhi (Like Jahangir, Shahjahan, etc) during
his climax of power used to have an annual income of Rs 15,000 at the present-day prices,
according to an expert estimate.
6. As regards the U.S. aggressive moves to dominate and control the emerging world
order, it (i.e., the US) is trying to act as the unchallenged policeman of the world. After its
single handed military success in Afghanistan, it has become more unilateralist and
belligerent. Now it has declared a perpetual war against its own alleged world terrorism, so
far defined neither by the UN nor some other UN member. The first targets of its offensive
include its so-called “rogue states” i.e., Iraq, Iran, North Korea, etc., which are UN members
and cannot by any logic be characterised as terrorists. There is worldwide disapproval,
including that from China, Russia and EC, of the newly-declared US offensive plan. But the
US has so far not relented on the launching of its new war project for establishing its world
7. Coming to the fundamentalist trends, the different varieties of religious fundamentalism
are creating hatred among various religious groups and conditioning the peoples mindset on
fanatic lines. Free market philosophy is creating unbridgeable divide between the haves and
the have-nots. The state-led communist utopia is keeping the workers backward and wageoriented.
8. As to the dangers arising from the daily-increasing violence, crime, corruption and the
deprivation of women, children, tribals, unorganised workers, etc., they have become a
general world phenomena, characterising every country.
9. The absence of the above-mentioned existing basic realities in the WSF Agenda
presented at its international meets since the Forum’s origin in 2001 shows the latter’s
distance from the living facts.
II. WSF’s Hyderabad Agenda
10. Taking up the WSF’s Hyderabad agenda, its central proposition aims at “conceiving
and constructing an alternative to globalisation in Asia.” But the pity is that the forum has
nowhere (neither in this agenda and nor in any of its other documents) and at no time
defined the concept of globalisation. However, a close look at its various vague and
disjointed views on globalisation shows that the WSF considers globalisation as some sort
of social system. This is nothing but a distorted understanding of this newly-emerged
11. What is globalisation and what are its demands? The facts indicate that
globalisation is a newly-emerged process which encompasses the whole world. In human
terms, it indicates that the human movement has become global. Since movement implies a
change in space and time, it follows that there has occurred a change in human spatial (of
space) and temporal (of time) position.
12. The change in human spatial position is evident from the fact that humans can now
travel from one place to another at the supersonic speed which was impossible some time
13. The change in temporal position is obvious from the new telecommunications,
internet and electronic media devices which have made human mental inter-action possible
at the speed of light. This facility has become common today. Some time earlier, it took
months to make such a mental contact.
14. Obviously, the above-mentioned changes are the direct outcome of the new
scientific-technological inventions and hence globalisation is an objective process and not
the creation of any subjective thinking.
15. Historical experience shows that all crucial scientific-technological changes have
always been followed by the corresponding social changes transforming the whole way of
human life, i.e., its way of thinking, working and organising. This can be seen from a whole
series of historical facts, e.g., the emergence of nation states with their respective
democratic party politics, free market economy and consumerist culture accompanying the
industrial scientific-technological revolution; the appearance of feudal states with their
respective feudal politics of “the divine right of kings to rule”, feudal economy and feudal
culture following the agricultural scientific technological changes.
16. Today, globalisation too represents a given stage of material and human
development, characterised by certain new processes of nature, like energy, materials,
space, information, biology and so on. This new level of scientific-technological process and
its impact on human understanding and living too demands the restructuring (or updating) of
the old continuing nation-state system and its corporate development model into a new
global social order. But the nation-states, led by the US are resisting this demand of the
newly-emerged process of globalisation and all those who are mistakenly opposing
globalisation as a system, representing new liberalism and domination of capital (or
imperialism), are lending help to the US-led nation-states in their effort to exploit the process
of globalisation for their respective national interests. Thus, the facts demand that the WSF
takes a realistic view of the objective phenomenon of globalisation which stands for the
restructuring of the nation-state system into a new global management.
17. The restructuring of the old nation-state system involves the following main points:
(A) A clear understanding of the present world reality: i.e., a world of inter-dependent
nations or a world of quasi-national and quasi-international states.
(B) The need for a clear vision: i.e., the vision of one world.
(C) The fundamental principle of one world vision: to put the people and the environment
at the centre of global activity. Approach towards people and environment be based on
(D) A democratic global order: UN to be based on the democratic principle of one-nation
one-vote; discarding of all privileges, like veto-powers; ensuring of a stable peace by
discarding the politics of super-powerism or hegemonism; and resolving of all conflicts
(E) Politics: based on peoples empowerment.
(F) People and environment-friendly development: characterised by a 2-sided priority—
i.e., people, on the one hand, and environment, on the other and based on the 5 principles
of environmental sustainability, equity, productivity, democracy and transparency.
(G) Economics: oriented to peoples development and environmental promotion instead of
being geared to corporate fundamentalism and state determinism.
(H) Culture: based on rational humanist thinking and democratic behaviour.
(I) Security: to be ensured in all walks of life, especially the livelihood security.
18. However, it is the nation-states, the promoters of corporate model and the opponents
of globalisation, who are resisting the above principles to be put into practice and thus
thwarting the onward march of human community.
19. Comparing the WSF’s six-point Agenda [i.e., (1) peace and security, (2) debt,
development, trade, finance and investment, (3) nation-state, democracy and exclusions, (4)
social infrastructure, (5) ecology, culture and knowledge, (6) Alternative and peoples
movement] with the above-mentioned demands of globalisation (para 17), one can see that
this agenda constitutes a jumble of vague and unrelated issues, having nothing to do with
peoples immediate and long-term interests.
20. The WSF’s vagueness and confusion with regard to the process of globalisation
stems from its age-old traditional sociology which emphasises one-sided human-centric
approach and self-reliant progress. Such a concept neglects the nature’s role in the process
of human origin and development and ignores the human mutual inter-action in generating
social progress whether it (i.e., social progress) pertains to a family or a nation-state.
Secondly, it arises from its wrong understanding of the process of globalisation which it
misinterprets as a global still system instead of being a process of human inter-action on the
global scale. The social system is still the prevailing nation-based corporate system,
operating in every country of the world. Thirdly, it comes from its (i.e., the WSF’s) failure to
see the root cause of the existing troubles in the fundamentals of the corporate system than
in its inessential aspects. Fourthly, it lies in its characterisation of present day capitalism as
new liberalism which denote that this capital is being provided to needy countries freely or
generously or a charity, while the actual reality is that the ongoing corporate capital is
becoming more and more protectionist. Already, this protectionism exists in developed
countries’ agriculture. Soon, it may affect their manufacturing sector. The corporate
protectionism may also spread to newly-emerged regional trading areas, such as NAFTA,
ASEAN, EU etc. Fifthly, it rests with its further interpretation of inter-dependent corporate
capital as imperialist capital that only indicates the Victorian stage of capital when the latter
(i.e., the Victorian capital) used to act also as a handmaid of its nation-state. The current
inter-dependent corporate capital, on the other hand, is solely interested in its own
enterprises, which are nowadays often located in more than one country and thus are not
III. Cause Of The Existing World Troubles
21. The long-term cause of the existing world troubles lies in the corporate system which
aims at profit maximisation or attaining the highest growth rate. Both the liberal and the
Marxist versions accept the growth rate as the single criterion of judging social prosperity
and progress. In their search for achieving the highest growth rate, both have been running
havoc with the environmental and the human development factors. Since the attainment of
money and power represents the maximisation of one’s (or self) interest, the whole world is
now chasing after these 2 “life-extending elixirs.”
22. The short-term cause of the existing world troubles rests with the corporate system’s
operational agency (or the government). Oriented solely by self-perpetuation, the leaders of
the national governments (based on the party system in every country) are mainly
concerned with the amassing of their own wealth and the holding of an ever-lasting power,
by fair means or foul, with no consideration to the mass interests or any enviro-bio issue.
Their pet lifestyle is “to say one thing and do the other.” They always shed tears for the poor
and the deprived, but at all times serve the rich and the dominant.
23. The sociological roots of the corporate system and its operational agency, firstly,
reside in the one-sided philosophical understanding of the Adam Smithean and the Marxian
development models (both of which have functioned as two standard development modes
of the ongoing, but now retreating, nation-state system in various parts of the world). This
one-sided understanding is that man constitutes the supreme phenomenon in the system of
nature on our planet and even in the universe. Obviously, it projects people as the sole
builder of human society and everything in it, disregarding the social truth that the change
and development in human society takes place due to a 2-sided inter-action, that between
nature and society, on the one hand, and within human society itself, on the other.
24. The second sociological mistake arises from the one-sided understanding of the
Adam Smithean and Marxian development models about the human nature. The Adam
Smithean economic model holds that humankind is selfish by nature. The Marxian economic
theory takes a confusing stand on the question of human nature. Firstly, it emphasises that
mankind is social by nature. The next moment it transfers the quality of being absolutely
social to the industrial proletariat (who is, according to it, destined to be the liberator of
humankind). And, finally, it passes the entire monopoly of the social characteristic on to the
communist party which alone, in its view, has the capacity to bring a social transformation in
25. In reality, however, humankind bears a 2-sided character: biological, on the one
hand, and social, on the other. The biological aspect reflects the individual existence of
mankind, while the social side denotes its social living, functioning and organising.
IV. A Realistic Response To The Existing World Troubles
Lies In Restructuring The Corporate System
On The Basis Of A Nature-Human Centric Agenda
26. Given the world corporate system as the cause of the existing world troubles, a
realistic response to the latter (i.e., the world troubles) is, and can be, to restructure (or
update) the existing world corporate system on the basis of a Nature-Human Centric
Agenda, comprising the following points.
Vision: The nature of our planet and the 21st century’s social reality of the interdependence
of nation-states provide the nature-human centric paradigm the vision of one
world, while the 1945-UN charter gives one the vision of sovereign and independent
nations, a vision contrary to the existing reality.
Fundamental Principle: The fundamental principle of the above-mentioned vision should,
firstly, be to put the people and the environment at the centre of global activity (i.e., to serve
the peoples interests, on the one hand, and to take care of the environmental conservation,
on the other).
Global Order: The fundamental principle of Nature-Human Centric Vision and its envirohuman
priority demands that the UN be restructured on a democratic basis, style and
organisation. But the UN, as it stands today, lacks this quality. The UN general assembly’s
structure and functioning is quite democratic. But its top decision making body, i.e., the
security council, is characterised by highly unfair and totally undemocratic norms i.e., the
permanent membership for the militarily most strong five nations and their special veto
Obviously, any attempt to fully democratise this body would, at this moment, encounter
stiff resistance from the 5-member privileged club. So, taking into account the existing global
power structure, it seems that the full democratisation of the security council will take some
more time. For the time being, the rule of special veto powers should be done away with,
while retaining the norm of permanent membership till the change in the ongoing balance of
power. All other seats in the security council should be filled through election by the general
The rich countries control over IMF and WB be reduced and the poorest countries be
provided more voice in the WTO.
Development Model: The fundamental principle of people-environment priority (which is
imperative for human development) demands a new type of development model that stands
for a five-fold fundamental principle, i.e., environmental sustainability, equity (to be ensured
by maintaining only 1:5 difference in incomes and by guaranteeing social security as a
fundamental right to all those who fall below the poverty line or are fully unemployed with no
support from any quarter), productivity, democracy and transparency. This five-fold
fundamental principle corresponds with the bio-social nature of humankind, i.e., it coordinates
man’s self-interest with his social interest.
The people environment based development model represents the updated concept of
development in contrast to the two traditional national development models, i.e., the
corporate-led and the government-directed. While the corporate-led development model
singles out profitability or productivity (which ensures the interests of money-owners alone)
as its sole aim, the government-directed one opts for socialisation (or the nationalisation) of
the means of production as its only goal (which serves the interests of the ruling politicians
and bureaucrats). Both these traditional national models, serve only the self interest of
humankind contrary to his bio-social character, i.e., comprising both the self interest and the
social interest. Again, they do not accord any priority to environment and any place to the
upholding of democratic and transparent norms in the economic or growth process. Further,
while the corporate model totally rejects the principle of equity (or social justice), the
government-directed one fully ignores that or political equity and productivity.
The Nature-Human Centric Model differs with both the corporate-led and the state-based
development models on the issues of their purpose, management and style.
While the corporate model stands for developing the capital and capital owners and the
state model advances the interests of its ruling politicians and bureaucrats plus the labour
aristocracy, the Nature-Human Centric one serves the interests of people and environment,
in general, and the poor and deprived sections, in particular.
In management, while the corporate sector upholds the monopoly corporate
management and control and the state sector supports the monopoly bureaucratic
management and control, the Nature-Human Centric development model stands for
democratic management and control of public limited companies by elected joint
committees, each comprising two-third elected members form ordinary share-holders, and
one-third elected workers representatives in place of permanent corporators.
In style, contrary to the authoritarian and secretive corporate and state style, the Nature-
Human Centric development model stands for democratic, transparent and accountable
Global Peace And Security: A Nature-Human Centric development model, first of all,
needs a stable and durable peace and security. To establish such a peace, it is necessary
that the politics of domination, privilege and special powers be discarded, mode of
confrontation and military solution be ended by total disarmament and vesting the full
control of nuclear weapons in the UN, political, economic and cultural inequalities be ended
and the development gap between the developed and the developing countries and that
between rich and poor be removed.
Politics: Nature-Human Centric politics requires a politics that is based on fully
democratic principles, functioning and structure. Such a politics necessitates the ending of
the rule of special veto powers in the UN system and the introducing of the principle
ensuring the maximum possible empowerment of the people in decision-making
corresponding to the necessary dilution of the party centralised power.
Economics: Nature-Human Centric economics demands a rational and realistic
economics whose concepts, laws and rules are required to be framed in the light of former’s
2 top priorities (i.e., humankind and environment) and 5 principles ( i.e., environmental
sustainability, equity, productivity, democracy and transparency). In view of human’s biosocial
nature, both Adam Smith’s basic economic principle of “self-interest” and Marxian
basic economic rule of state nationalisation of everything are one-sided in view of human’s
bio-social nature. But, ironically, both measure development, prosperity and progress in
terms of monetary growth and not in the context of human and environmental development.
Value System: Nature-Human Centric value system calls for a way of life (or lifestyle) that
is embedded in basic human and environmental values and promotes rational humanist and
environmentalist thinking, behaviour and organisation among the people.
Approach: Nature-Human Centric approach should stand for scientific realism which
studies and interprets natural phenomena in the light of scientific facts and social objects on
the basis of authentic information and data.
The above agenda enables us not only to face the challenges created by the
corporate mismanagement to the environmental and human resources, but
also provides us the way to make their judicious use in future. Above all, the
implementation of this agenda generates the most appropriate conditions for
the evolution of a rational human being and a reasonable and sensible
human community. 01-01-2003