Red-Green Alliance: A Green Earth With Peace And Room For Us All
Draft Globalization programme submitted by the National Board of the Red-Green Alliance/Enhedslisten, Denmark, to the party’s next Annual Congress on 5 – 6 October.
The world economy is characterized by major economic inequalities and by a production system that has already exceeded the limits of what is globally sustainable.
Today we see upheaval and war, recurring deep economic crises, climate change, over-exploitation of resources, deep poverty, slavery, increasing inequality, authoritarian and undemocratic regimes, and gross human rights violations. At the same time, we are approaching an ecological disaster with lightning speed. The main reason is that the capitalist system is based on exploitation and repression. It is also the main obstacle to solving the world’s problems.
Therefore, we need a new form of global production that accommodates people, communities, and the planet. Production must be organized according to human needs, and within the framework of what our Earth can sustain, and not according to short-term profit needs.
We must take the consequence that we only have one Earth, and that the earth’s resources are therefore our common responsibility and must be our common property. We will take power and property from the transnational corporations and build socialism.
The Consequences of Globalization
Global Capitalism And Growing Inequality
The difference between rich and poor countries we see today is not a coincidence, but a product of economic, military, and political processes. Globalization is the ever closer and more comprehensive exchange of capital, goods, information, and people between the countries of the world, with the consequence of increased interdependence. This development, that has made some countries rich, has made other countries poorer. At the same time, internal inequality in both rich and poor countries has risen strongly.
Capitalism is, and has always been, based on global exploitation. In the poor parts of the world cheap raw materials are produced, often in horrible working conditions, and with large environmental consequences. The cheap raw materials are transported to industrial areas where they are turned into finished products, which are then transported to be sold in yet other places. In particular, the large corporations with their headquarters in the rich countries have power over this production system and make huge profits from it. It is a production system that transfers enormous wealth from the poor to the rich countries and maintains billions of people in poverty. It is also a production system that leads to climate change and enormous environmental damage locally and globally.
The accumulation of capital in the rich part of the world also means building a financial sector in the form of large banks, private equity funds, and the like. They invest their capital in projects all over the world, and in this way help to control where to invest, what is invested in, and how to do it.
In many parts of the world, large populations are experiencing growing inequality, and cannot any longer hope for improvements in their situation. On the contrary, there children get poorer living conditions than their parents had. There is much greater insecurity in relation to jobs, social security, educational opportunities, etc. In many rich countries, recent years’ reforms have eroded wages, such that many low-wage earners must have more than one job in order to cope or must apply for assistance from relief organizations. More and more people can only get temporary jobs and live with great insecurity and lack of rights. At the same time, many jobs disappear due to automation. Many companies hire migrants under extremely poor conditions, which also pushes down pay and working conditions for others. In addition, organized crime grows in many places, thereby increasing insecurity and lawlessness.
Global Power Relations
Since its inception capitalism has been characterized by unequal power relations, violence, slavery, and exploitation. The industrial revolution was made possible by profits and commodities from the colonies and by fighting the colonies’ own production. Poor countries were maintained in subordinate roles as raw material producers, while rich countries developed industries.
Capitalism has always been global, and dependent on the world market – from the earliest slave shipments funded by Europe’s financial houses – to today’s sweatshops in Bangladesh. But the way this world market has been regulated has changed radically through history. Since Columbus landed in America, the European powers have divided larger and larger parts of the globe into vast colonial empires. In the early 20th century, the globe was almost completely divided in an imperial system, and a few rich countries dominated the rest of the world. Conflicts between various superpowers over their influence in the world led to two world wars.
After the Second World War, the United States has been the strongest economic, military, and political power. Most colonies have gained formal independence. And the imperialist countries of Western Europe have tried to develop a common imperialist structure in the form of the EU, which, in alliance with the United States, should safeguard the interests of European corporations in the rest of the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc reinforced US dominance across the world.
Today’s economic and political dominance is increasingly being challenged by other imperialist powers. This is especially true of China, which is not only the world’s second largest economic power, but which also expands its political and military influence, especially in Southeast Asia and Africa. In Europe there is intense conflict between Russia and the EU/US over the dominance of Eastern Europe. These developments increase the risk of trade wars and ultimately for military conflicts, where the United States, China, and Russia are more or less actively involved on either side.
Great powers such as China, the EU, Russia, and India represent their national corporative interests and not justice. Although countries such as Russia and China are increasingly in conflict with the Western capitalist countries, these countries are by no means an alternative to the capitalist system. Therefore, a fairer world economy requires a showdown with the entire global capitalist system, and not just the replacement of one dominant power with another. The global situation is further complicated by the fact that some countries are both subordinate in relation to the United States, and at the same time act as regional imperialist powers. We see this for example with Brazil in Latin America, and with Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.
The EU is based on the idea of a common European imperialism in relation to the rest of the world. We see this with predatory fishing off the coast of Africa.
Also, within the EU, wealth is being transferred from Southern and Eastern Europe to the EU’s core countries such as Germany and France. First and foremost, the EU works to give the big corporations the best opportunities to create profit by forcing privatizations and cuts in the individual countries, by means of the EU budget law etc.
Denmark is one of the imperialist countries that developed on the basis of colonialism. Denmark still functions as an imperialist country, which in its foreign policy supports the interests of large Danish corporations, such as A. P. Møller – Mærsk, that play a major role in US military logistics. Denmark also functions as part of European imperialism in the EU, and as a loyal ally to the United States.
Danish support for developing countries, which previously had the declared purpose of supporting the countries’ building and fighting poverty, is increasingly used to support large corporations and to promote imperialist policy.
The Power Of Corporations And Financial Capital
It is a fundamental dynamic of the capitalist economic system that it leads to accumulation of capital in the hands of large corporations, banks, and private equity funds. This dynamic is enhanced by bourgeois ideology and politics. Following the oil crises of the 1970’s, governments in the major imperialist countries have pursued a so-called neoliberal policy, through which trade agreements and deregulation of international financial markets have enabled these large corporations and financial institutions to grow to an unprecedented level.
International institutions such as the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, and the EU have played a central role as tools for this policy. Through these institutions, free trade agreements have been introduced which force the countries to open up their markets to large corporations. And through loan agreements, the poor countries have been forced to pursue a neoliberal policy, which includes privatization of transport, water, and public enterprises, plus cuts in welfare benefits such as education and health. The IMF and the World Bank have often given loans to dictators and tyrants, and the result of these agreements has in many places been a deterioration of the living conditions of the world’s poorest.
The latest trade agreements such as TTIP (EU and US), CETA (EU and Canada) and TTP (Asia and Pacific) imply a further shift in power for businesses and investors against democratic decisions, consumer protection, environmental legislation, and the like. They even make it possible for companies to sue states that carry out policies that harm the profits of businesses.
Globalization of capitalist production and the neoliberal politics, which has supported this, has also meant that many companies have moved their industrial production entirely or out of the old industrialized countries to countries with poorer wages, working conditions, and environmental regulations. This often happens in a situation where production is formally carried out by an independent local company, that is actually entirely dependent on the multinational corporations.
Slavery is more widespread today than when it was legal, and slaves are much cheaper today. Slavery is also found in Western countries, including in Denmark. Slavery exists in many parts of the business community, but especially where there is a need for unskilled labor. It can be completely ordinary goods such as clothes, fish, bread, chocolate, smartphones, etc., sold in our ordinary stores, where slaves have been used somewhere in the production chain. In addition, some slaves are used for prostitution and crime, among other things. Many children are exploited for crime, for example for cannabis production, as pickpockets, for fraud with welfare services, etc. So far, there is very little research on the economic importance of slavery.
The Internet has also given companies new opportunities to organize the production and sale of products around the world. It has increased their power in relation to employees and nation states: most of the world’s largest companies, measured in market value, are internet-based. The Internet has increased the opportunities for communication and knowledge sharing, but unfortunately, we also see an increasing tendency for people’s online activities to be monitored by both states and companies, and that personal data is poorly protected, collected, and sold as goods.
Deregulation of financial markets, together with the Internet, has enabled financial investors to move their money quickly in and out of local markets with devastating consequences for the local economy. This has given the financial sector and large multinational corporations huge power at many levels. When they can decide where investments will take place, they can push local governments to implement the policy they want. This has resulted in a shift in the power relationship between states and financial capital. It also means that the world’s wealthy people and large companies are increasingly saving their money in tax havens and thereby avoiding the need to finance nation states.
Through the cultural industry, mass media, and advertising, millions of people’s dreams are shaped into a particular image of prosperity and freedom, that has given American media and advertising companies cultural dominance. Against this background, global inequality today is greater than ever before. In 2017, the richest one percent of the population owned over half of the world’s wealth, while 70% of the population owned only three percent. The accumulated wealth in the hands of a small elite is used, among other things, to control the media, control the Internet, bribe officials and politicians, to establish and fund political parties, or to organize private armies.
Climate And Environmental Impact
The capitalist global production system is dependent on the massive use of fossil fuels. These are used in energy supply, transport, and industry, including in industrialized agriculture, where large multinational companies produce genetically modified seeds, fertilizer, and pesticides. Companies based on the oil and automotive industries, and not least the arms industry, are dominant in the capitalist economy, and are the largest polluters and consumers of resources.
The search for resources to support this production system continues to plunder new areas, where forests are cut down, where devastating mining is established, and where more and more people are displaced from land taken over by multinational corporations. Predatory fishing has already dramatically reduced the amount of fish in the world. Rivers and streams, drinking water reserves, land and sea are contaminated, and at the same time, the remaining resources are being privatized at an accelerating rate. In many places there is a hard battle for control of drinking water. Should it be public or private? The struggle for control over resources also takes place across national borders and leads to increasing tensions between countries and territories that risks triggering wars and civil wars.
Genetically engineered crops with associated fertilizers and pesticides are becoming increasingly widespread. This type of farming has devastating environmental impacts, and at the same time means that each year millions of farmers become dependent on buying new seed from large multinational groups.
The resulting climate change and destruction of nature and the environment have enormous health consequences for people worldwide, such as epidemics, hunger, malnutrition, allergies, problems with having children, and much more. Although it is the global North and the richest countries that historically bear the greatest responsibility for the climate crisis we are now facing, it is especially the poorest countries that pay the largest bill in terms of ruined basis for living, and rising poverty. The fight against global inequality is thereby also undermined by climate change.
At a global level, it is mainly women who work in agriculture and food production, and who care for the sick. In many places, this means a dramatic increase in the workload for women, now when the soil is exhausted, water resources are polluted, and health problems are increasing. The destruction of nature also increases global inequality, because it is especially the poor countries that are hit hard by droughts, floods and extreme weather.
The speculative financial sector also plays a dangerous role for the environment and climate. Already, there is massive speculation in energy prices, in food production, in land prices, and even in trade with CO2 quotas which, it was claimed, should reduce global warming.
Reactionary Movements And Authoritarian Governments
The enormous inequality and insecurity caused by globalized capitalism and neoliberalism has also led to dramatic growth in various forms of reactionary forces. Some places these take the form of xenophobic, nationalist, and authoritarian parties, which either come to power, or succeed in getting the traditional bourgeois parties and even the Social Democrats to take over much of their policy. This is true in the United States, in many countries in Europe, and in Denmark. At the same time, we are increasingly seeing the development of authoritarian states in many parts of the world, with the introduction of emergency powers, where human rights are undermined, and where mass media and the internet are used to manipulate and monitor populations.
Many places in the world we also see the rise of religious fundamentalism. It happens in all major religions: Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism. In many places, this takes the form of a national religious fundamentalism, such as, for example, the Zionist extreme right wing, Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism, Indian Hindu nationalism, and the Christian right in the United States.
At the same time, organized crime is growing all over the world. Partly in states where democracy is still new and fragile, and the old societal structures at the same time are weakened, and partly because of the demolition of democracy in the old democracies. Organized crime stands behind major economic interests, especially in relation to drugs, weapons, and human trafficking / slavery. At the same time, brutalization is growing in many places, with gangs controlling areas both in the country and in the cities. In many young people – especially men – there is enormous anger over the inequality in the community and the lack of prospects. In some places, cooperation between organized crime, gangs, and multinational corporations is seen.
All these very different kinds of reactionary movements have particularly dramatic consequences for women, indigenous peoples, LGBT people, and other vulnerable groups, including populations exposed to racism, religious persecution, homophobia, and the like. In many places in the world, the right to abortion has come under pressure, family law is tightened, the attacks on LGBT people are intensified, and racism is increasing. The scale of violence against women worldwide is alarming.
At the same time, we see a new phenomenon where certain nationalist currents in Europe, the United States and Israel attack parts of the population, such as migrants or Muslims, on the pretext of defending women’s and LGBT rights.
Today we see how a large number of large countries and territories are moving in an authoritarian and undemocratic direction. This applies to India, the United States, Russia, China, a number of EU countries, Turkey, Brazil, etc. The fight for democracy and for democratic rights is therefore more relevant than ever.
Wars And Conflicts
War and conflict are commonplace in many places. Wars and civil wars are in some cases due to local elites and dictators who trigger violence and oppression in seeking greater wealth and power. This can lead to armed conflict with competing elites or with popular resistance movements. In other cases, war and conflict are triggered by worldwide imperialism, where economic and military imperialist powers are fighting for control of world resources and territories, such as the wars in Congo, Iraq, and Libya.
Often these two sources are combined into war and civil war. Local elites and rulers seek help from imperialist powers, or they are trying – conversely – to camouflage these struggles for their own interests as opposition to foreign powers. On the other hand, imperial powers deliberately fan the flames of local ethnic and national contradictions in order to better exert their power in poor countries, and to ally themselves with changing local power interests.
At the same time, the arms industry has grown into a very large part of the economy. In some countries such as the US and Britain, the arms industry is such a large part of the national economy that the arms manufacturers have a great influence on the political decisions.
Migration And Flight
There is a big difference in whether people travel the world to study, experience, and become wiser, or perhaps because of love, or if people are being pushed to leave their local area. At the end of the 1800’s and early 1900’s, many millions of people were pushed to move from Europe to the United States in particular, because living conditions there were improved, so that more children survived, learned to read and write, and thus heard about the opportunities elsewhere in the world. On the other hand, they could see that in their home countries it was not possible to get a job, or to earn enough by cultivating the land, so that they and their family could survive. Today the same thing happens in many places in the world, especially in Africa.
Under capitalism, labor is a commodity in a labor market. When goods and money are increasingly being moved around the world, it also means that people are pushed to move to get jobs. It can be people in rural areas moving to the cities, and it can be people moving across borders.
Worldwide, millions of people are forced to leave their families and communities. This migration has many different causes: poverty, unemployment, war, persecution, human trafficking, climate change, and many other mechanisms, push people to move.
Climate change is increasingly sending more people away from drought, floods, extreme weather, depleted soil, and epidemics. Many try to reach Europe, but most end up in other poor countries.
Also, in Europe, we see a growing migration based on unemployment and unequal pay between countries. In some places there is a migration out of Europe, such as from Portugal, where many young people travel to Brazil, the United States, or Africa. In other countries, such as Greece, Spain and the Eastern European countries, migration to other European countries such as Germany, England and the Scandinavian countries is taking place.
Simultaneously, in many parts of the world, the mass media, advertising, and cultural industries cause people to dream that they can have a better future if they move to the rich countries. Often, the choice to migrate expresses both the escape from an inhuman situation as well as the hope for a better future.
Many migrant workers end up in very vulnerable positions with miserable pay and working conditions. It may be because their residence permit is tied to their contract, or because they have paid a lot of money to get to where they work. Often, the journey is paid by their families, and some are subjected to violence and threats, both against themselves and their families at home. In some cases, this is a matter of absolute slavery.
Miserable working conditions for migrants are seen in many sectors, among others in agriculture, fishing, construction, the textile industry, hotels, restaurants, and housework. There is a large export of women from poor countries, such as the Philippines and India, for housework in the rich oil states of the Middle East, the US, and Europe, including as au pairs in Denmark.
The neoliberal political agenda promotes migration, for example, the EU directives on the free movement of labor. On the other hand, the xenophobic and nationalist currents in most of the rich countries imply restrictions on the possibility of migration, especially against migrants from poor countries. This combination creates a situation where many migrants are excluded from having the same rights, the same pay, and the same working conditions as the local population. This creates pressure on pay and working conditions for everyone. The tightening of border controls also means that many people’s only ability to move from country to country is through illegal and often dangerous migration.
While the reactionary movements in many parts of the world are one of the reasons why people migrate or are forced to escape, reactionary movements in the lands to which they flee simultaneously exploit refugees and migrants as grounds for their xenophobic and nationalist policies. And many places the right to asylum has also come under heavy pressure.
Trade Unions, Social Movements And Resistance Struggles
A just world requires international organization of the working class, the political left wing, and other progressive movements. The corporations’ ability to move around production and labor creates global pressure on wages, working conditions, and environmental regulations. It creates a situation where workers around the world compete for the same jobs, but also a situation where many have direct or indirect colleagues in other countries. Nevertheless, the trade union movement is not sufficiently organized internationally.
The Red-Green Alliance believes that the UN International Labor Organization must be strengthened as part of securing decent pay and working conditions.
Although there are examples of trade union struggles that cross borders, for example, among dockers, airport staff, and within some multinational corporations in the service industry, the trade union movement has still not managed to organize enough across borders to seriously challenge the power of multinational companies.
The experience with labor organization shows that it is crucial to have a strong organization at the individual workplace, and to have the union members engaged in developing the demands to campaign for.
The Red-Green Alliance advocates a strong international labor organization with muscles to raise global demands for workers. It means a labor organization where it is possible to remain organized, even when traveling across borders, and where people working in the same company, or in the same sector across borders, can be organized together, and raise common demands. Some trade unions already cooperate, where members can transfer the union membership when they move to another country. We want to expand to several labor unions and to several countries.
An international trade union movement must, among other things, raise demands for reduced working hours, for dramatic boosts in the wages of global low-wage groups, for healthy and good working conditions for all, but also for changes in production toward sustainability. The Red-Green Alliance will work for the Danish trade union movement to take the lead in the fight for a strong, progressive, international trade union movement.
Another important force is the movement of indigenous peoples, peasants, and farm workers, including especially women, who are fighting against the plundering of land and nature by large corporations, and for local, collective, and sustainable agricultural production. These movements already have international collaboration and networks and play an important role in the fight against climate change and neoliberal globalization, and for local, sustainable, and democratic production.
The women’s movement has achieved great victories globally but is still far from reaching the goal. At the same time, there is a strong increase in resistance from reactionary forces. Therefore, there is still a need to strengthen the women’s struggle. Both in the struggle for equal pay and equal conditions in the labor market, but also in the struggle for the right to decide over one’s own body, including against violence and violations. The movement for free abortion in Poland and Ireland, the movement against violence in India, Argentina and Italy, as well as the #Metoo movement has helped put women’s struggle on the agenda, and has meant that far more women dare to speak up, and dare to tell about what they are exposed to.
The LGBT movement is an example of a movement that works internationally, and that globally has had good results, while being a great source of irritation to, and persecution from, many reactionary forces.
In many places, spontaneous protest movements arise. Sometimes destructively with burning and looting, sometimes with the formulation of progressive demands for better terms. Many of the participants have lost faith in democracy and in traditional parties, organizations and movements. In some places, the left has managed to connect with the protest movements, where, for example, there are struggles for the right to housing and a living wage.
The Red-Green Alliance desires
The Red-Green Alliance stands in solidarity with people and movements all over the world, fighting in the same direction as us. This applies to trade unions, women’s movements, LGBT movements, anti-racist movements, environmental movements, peace movements, movements for democracy, and socialist parties.
The Red-Green Alliance participates in and supports progressive movements locally and globally. We believe that it is through such movements that we can create change. Our main principle is direct solidarity across borders. This means that trade unions, the left, and other social movements must cooperate, help each other across borders, and make common solidarity demands.
The Red-Green Alliance works to strengthen the rights of indigenous peoples. At the same time in many places this will result in higher protection of important natural areas. It is also important when we discuss protection of important natural areas, such as the rain forest, the Arctic, etc., that the people who live there are included in the development.
The Red-Green Alliance supports peoples’ right to national self-determination and freedom from colonial rule. This applies not the least to those countries that are still colonized by alien powers. The Red-Green Alliance recognizes Western Sahara and a Palestinian state within the ‘67 borders. We support people’s right to use their own language in relation to public authorities and legal systems, and far-reaching regional and local self-government for national minorities. The Red-Green Alliance supports Greenland and the Faroe Islands’ right to independence from Denmark if they want it. Denmark must reach out to equal cooperation with the Faroe Islands and Greenland, and the Red-Green Alliance prioritizes cooperation with the left wing in the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
When democracy is to be strengthened, it is necessary to have democratic structures. Independent countries are an important framework for building and strengthening democratic structures. The farther away the decisions are made from the people they relate to, the harder it becomes for the people to influence them. This is especially true if the decisions are made in closed committees, etc., as in the EU, where the lobbyists have far more influence than the people.
The Red-Green Alliance will work for the development of international organizations based on democratic principles and respect for people and the environment, where there is transparency in the decisions and the possibility of real popular influence. The Nordic Council and the Council of Europe are examples of international organizations supported by the Red-Green Alliance, because they are based on democratic principles.
UN World Goals
The UN’s previous Millennium Goals from the year 2000 have contributed to major improvements for many people in developing countries. The global goals of 2015 go a step further and set ambitious goals for all people in all countries. We support the UN World Goal to abolish inequality and poverty, to secure decent jobs for everyone, to create a good environment and to ensure peace and justice. They point in the exact opposite direction to the development that global capitalism stands for. Nevertheless, almost all the countries of the world are officially behind the world goals. Some states and municipalities use the world goals as a framework for improvements. Some companies make an effort to meet one or more of the goals.
There are, of course, some that just give a little money for good purposes, and in this way hope to be absolved for all the bad things they do at the same time. But there are also real opportunities to create changes, just as many places have already succeeded in reducing pollution on the background of the ever-increasing environmental awareness. The world goals give focus and legitimacy to popular struggles and civil society on many points. The Red-Green Alliance will work to strengthen the work with the World goals, including the control of whether there is action behind the beautiful words, among other things, with support for critical journalism and also research in this area.
Local Sustainable Production
The production must work within the limits of what the globe can handle, and it must be based on people’s needs, and subject to the democratic control of the people. Therefore, the production must to a greater extent than today take place locally, i.e., close to where the consumption takes place. Local production provides better security of supply for the population in case of crises and minimizes the need for transport.
It is particularly vital that food production is organized so that all people are ensured healthy and tasty food, and so that the individual countries and regions have food sovereignty such that they cannot be extorted through a food embargo.
Therefore, we advocate a reorganization of Danish agriculture to become ecological, sustainable, democratic, and targeted for local needs. And so we also support movements in other countries for local food sovereignty.
We want Denmark to go ahead and show the way for change. Workplaces, schools, educational establishments, regions and municipalities must contribute. We will support proposals at all levels for conversions that benefit the climate and fight global inequality.
We will deal with all national rules, EU rules, and international rules that hamper our opportunities to make public procurement demands, to repatriate jobs and infrastructure for collective or national governance, and to enforce strict standards for climate, environment and working environment. In short, all the rules that make it difficult for us to take the lead and inspire.
Stop the Looting of People and Nature
We are opposed to large corporations plundering natural resources and exploiting people, regardless of where it happens. We want to hold accountable Danish companies that participate in the plundering of poor countries’ natural resources or violate fundamental human rights in the global production. Therefore, we work for cross-border chain responsibilities, so that companies in Denmark can be held responsible for what their subcontractors in other countries are doing.
We oppose the fact that Denmark enters into trade agreements, participates in military interventions or other forms of trade and foreign policy aimed at supporting Danish companies’ interests at the expense of people and the environment in other parts of the world. Similarly, we oppose all initiatives in the EU that support the interests of European businesses at the expense of population and environment in other parts of the world.
A fair distribution of the earth’s resources requires massive redistribution, partly from the rich to the poor countries, and especially from the extremely rich elite to the rest of the world’s population. It requires key sectors such as energy, infrastructure, and the financial sector to be taken over by the people’s democratic control.
A global redistribution also means that rich countries, such as Denmark, have a climate debt to pay. Therefore, the Red-Green Alliance supports the requirement that rich countries pay compensation to poor countries, so that they cannot destroy irreplaceable natural resources such as rain forests. And at the same time, we must lead the way with a radical reorganization of our production, transport, and consumption. The Paris Agreement’s goal of reducing CO2 emissions is not ambitious enough and will also not be followed. We support all global commitments to stop the climate catastrophe. Useless and environmentally harmful activities must be abolished in favor of useful activities that do not harm the environment.
In order to support a global redistribution, we advocate fair trade agreements that give poor countries opportunities to build an export on fair terms with richer countries.
Assistance to developing countries is used both to combat poverty as well as for real support for development; however, it is also for political pressure, support for dubious regimes and business support for large companies. We advocate that Denmark should increase its development assistance significantly and reshape it to be targeted to the building of movements and civil society in the recipient countries. The main objectives should be to combat poverty, to strengthen local populations, to support democracy, and the real development of the economy of the recipient countries, and to defend the environment.
The international tax system helps to maintain global inequality between countries. The developing countries must therefore have massive support for building secure and solid local tax systems. The current corporation tax accrues to the countries where companies have their headquarters or are placed in tax havens. Instead, the Red-Green Alliance wants the taxation of the companies’ profits to be distributed according to which countries production is located in, and where the revenues are, so that there is a correlation between economic activity, value creation, and taxation. Finally, Denmark must be at the forefront of the struggle to get a minimum rate for corporate tax and be a pioneering country in implementing international standards that fight the tax avoidance of corporations.
Showdown with Tax Havens and Illegal Fortunes
Today, companies can avoid taxation by transferring their money to countries where they can be hidden from the tax authorities or where the tax is very low.
The latest financial scandals in Denmark and many other countries concerning, among other things, tax fraud with dividend tax, and money laundering, shows that the large banks (Danske Bank, Deutsche Bank, Nordea and others) are involved in concealing fortunes obtained in an illegal manner.
We are working for a global register of ownership of financial assets and penalties against countries and companies that hide money from the tax authorities. A global wealth tax needs to be introduced to ensure that the very rich pay their share of the global bill.
Property earned illegally must be confiscated.
In addition, national and international controls on capital movements and tax on financial transactions are needed to counteract short-term investments and to limit the ability of businesses to move money around the globe as they see fit.
Right to Asylum1
The Red-Green Alliance works to promote peace and conflict resolution in the world, so no one is forced to flee. But it will require a long, tough effort from many forces and at many levels to achieve this.
Therefore, we need to ensure reasonable conditions for the people who must escape.
The vast majority of refugees stay elsewhere in their own country or in neighboring countries. Many years in refugee camps without work help to break down people. Therefore, the Red-Green Alliance works for a refugee policy where Denmark and other rich countries give far more help to refugees around the world. And not least, that work is being done to build local workplaces and education, so that the refugees can live as normal a life as possible and are empowered to help to build a future. This will also encourage the opportunity for refugees to help rebuild their country when there is peace again.
We defend the right to asylum for people fleeing war and persecution, including because of sex and sexuality.
Proposal 1A: The Red-Green Alliance works to make permanent residency and citizenship much easier and faster than today.
Proposal 1B: Refugees who receive asylum must have the right to permanent residence, so that they do not risk later being deported.
Refugees who have received asylum must have the same rights to work, education, housing, health services, family reunification, etc., as other citizens in Denmark.
More and more people around the world have to move from their homes because of climate change. Rich countries like Denmark have a responsibility not only to contribute to the necessary changes in production, transport, etc., but also to contribute to these people getting new homes with the opportunity for work, education etc.
Proposal 2A: Denmark must go ahead in the struggle to create security for climate refugees and simultaneously work for international solutions to the climate refugee problem.
Proposal 2B: The right to asylum must therefore be extended to more people than it does today, including people forced to flee due to climate change.
Access to asylum needs to be improved. This means that Denmark must take more quota refugees, and that it must again be possible to seek asylum at embassies. The Dublin Convention should be repealed. And the brutal and inhuman forms of border control, which are exerted at the EU’s external borders, and through cynical agreements with dictators and authoritarian regimes, must be stopped.
Good Conditions for Immigrant Workers
Global inequality cannot or must not be solved through labor migration from poor to rich countries, but through redistribution of wealth – and by building local sustainable production, which can create local jobs in all countries. No man should be forced to leave their country and their family to work or to live in peace.
But as long as we have not achieved this, there will still be many migrant workers. Therefore, it is crucial to strengthen the trade unions both locally and internationally. If migrant workers are not to be used to squeeze pay and working conditions for the local population, then the trade union movement must organize the migrant workers and fight with them for the same wage- and working conditions.
It is central to this work that migrant workers who engage in struggles for decent pay and working conditions cannot lose their residence permit as a result of this union work. Therefore, the trade union movement must also be more present and offer people information, and the opportunity to be organized, before they leave the country. Especially in Europe, there is a need for a strong prioritization of the trade unions’ cooperation across borders.
The Red-Green Alliance works to strengthen the trade union movement’s opportunities for struggle, both in Denmark and internationally, among other things, by encouraging increased use of sympathy strikes and blockades (including that strikes and blockades be legalized in countries where they are not allowed today) and impose a ban against the import of strikebreakers in the context of union conflicts.
Proposal 3A: When rules need to be made regarding labor mobility, the Red-Green Alliance wants to balance two considerations. On the one hand, we want people to have the greatest possible freedom to travel to other countries and work if they wish. On the other hand, we do not want employers to use the access to labor imports to press wages and working conditions down.
We work to ensure that all workers have the right to travel freely and to seek work in any country, under the conditions that apply in that country. At the same time, we want to strengthen the trade union movement’s opportunities to determine under which conditions one can be employed in a particular company or industry.
Therefore, we work to ensure that companies do not have the opportunity to import labor, which will be used to undermine pay and working conditions. Therefore, labor can only be imported if the employer can document that employment is done according to ordinary collective pay and working conditions that the local union can approve.
Proposal 3B: We work to ensure that all workers have the right to travel freely and seek work in any country, under the conditions that apply in that country. At the same time, we want to strengthen the trade union movement’s ability to determine under which conditions one can be hired in a particular company or industry. It can for example be done by restoring the right to exclusive agreements.
We believe that both public and private employers, as a general rule, have to make job opportunities public, and contact the local job center and union before the jobs are filled, so that all unemployed have opportunities to apply for the job.
The judicial system must in practice use the opportunity to apply harsh sanctions against companies and their owners who hire people on slave-like terms. These include large fines, confiscation of profits, the imposition of prison sentences for those responsible, and depriving them the right to do business. Just as we will work to research what the modern slavery means to the world economy.
In addition, we will work for a responsible procurement policy, where the public sector ensures, as far as possible, that the products and services they buy are made by people with decent pay and working conditions – no matter where in the world the work is done – among other things by working for chain responsibilities and for transparency throughout the supply chain, such that those who sell goods must be able to account for their entire chain of subcontractors and are responsible for the entire chain.
We work for a social protocol in the EU that ensures that local salaries and working conditions apply to all.
The goal of the Red-Green Alliance is a world where people can live without fear of war, without want, and without repression and undemocratic rule. We believe it is possible to achieve this goal because the majority of the world’s population wants it.
The United Nations was formed after World War II on the basis of the massive desire of the peoples to avoid more wars, but also with a power distribution based on the power relationship between the greatest powers at that time. The UN is a necessary institution for dealing with conflicts. Global development means that the UN is more necessary than ever to deal with future conflicts over the dominance of the Pacific, the Arctic, perhaps in space, the competition for the last fossil fuels, water supplies, and other resources. At the same time, there is a need for vigor to be able to handle global problems such as finance capital’s irresponsibility, the climate problems, and to assume responsibility for climate refugees. However, the UN is not a peoples world parliament, but a cooperation between governments.
The Red-Green Alliance works to strengthen and reform the UN system, including the abolition of the veto in the Security Council, so that the UN will better be able to solve the major problems we face.
We want to shut down NATO, and as a step along the way, Denmark should withdraw from NATO, just as we also want to withdraw from the EU, and oppose the plans to build a EU army. We believe that Denmark should have a peaceful foreign policy that focuses on how we prevent and resolve conflicts rather than throwing ourselves into several headless attack wars.
Denmark, together with the other Nordic countries, must build capacity for conflict resolution, and research how to build peace and prevent war, instead of providing millions for research for arms production and military studies.
An active disarmament, among other things, in the Baltic Sea area, with mutually binding agreements on disarmament, could create far more security and stability than the arms race, which is just now underway. We also work for a world free of nuclear weapons. To achieve this goal, we support treaties on the reduction and dismantling of nuclear weapons and the requirement for nuclear-free zones. We oppose nuclear weapons in Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
We oppose the attempt by the imperial world to control, dominate and exploit the poor countries, even when the Danish state and alliances with which Denmark is affiliated participate. But we do not support other global, regional or local power interests, simply because they are opposed to the United States, NATO or the EU. Suppressors are suppressors, regardless of whether they currently are in opposition to the United States.
We want to stop the production and export of weapons and have a special focus on slowing Danish exports of weapons and surveillance equipment to countries that violate human rights. The Danish military, as we know it today, should be abolished and replaced by a smaller organization, that can make contributions to peacekeeping UN efforts. It is also important to have a state civilian emergency preparedness organization to handle natural disasters such as flooding and forest fires both in Denmark and internationally.
We support movements that fight for freedom and democracy against dictatorships and oppressive rulers and / or against imperialist military interventions.
Green Earth, Democracy and Socialism
Our goal is a society with democratic control over production. Production must be sustainable and work within the limits of what the globe can provide. To achieve this goal requires fundamental changes in ownership of businesses, land and natural resources. It is a global goal.
To ensure fair trade structures, global minimum wage standards and working conditions, etc., there must be institutions and bodies that can implement and monitor the new global framework and that can sanction infringements. Based on the UN, the Red-Green Alliance therefore works to establish new, binding and democratic global institutions. It is crucial for the Red-Green Alliance that new global institutions are democratic and aim to secure people and the environment.
There is an international need for democratization of the Internet to ensure that the new communication capabilities can be used to support democracy rather than the for monitoring and manipulation.
The Red-Green Alliance works for common ownership in many forms. Public authorities, employees, communities, and other associations of people must have direct control of production. This means that economic power is managed by the population and its elected representatives – at local, regional, national, and international levels. This will mean a radical expansion of democracy.
We need a green Earth where there is peace and where there is room for everyone, and where few have too much, and fewer have too little. •
Note: The Red-Green Alliance has adopted a large number of documents at Annual Congresses that discuss international issues and which still apply: UN resolutions from 2009 and 2012, Principle Program 2014, EU program from 2015, the production policy program from 2016, the feminist program from 2017 and the environmental program from 2018.
Submitted by the National Board (Hovedbestyrelsen) March 02. 2019 to the Annual Congress 2019, which will take place October 5-6 2019.
Translated from Danish by Van Presley.
This programme first published on the Transform Network website.