We, the people marching in the streets of Seattle against the World Trade Organization in late 1999, in
reality demanded only one thing: that moral matters be considered in every step of the trade
negotiations there, which would craft the global economy in a powerful, lasting institution,
and which would permanently cement the powerlessness of governments in the face of
Groups that differed widely in tactics and analysis, stood together in calling for morality
in world trade - morality of respecting the Earth, morality of peace, morality of solidarity
with the poor and with workers everywhere.
Apologists for the WTO told us that their organization should be independent from such
morality, that moral questions should be dealt with elsewhere. But this is the same line that
defends businesses and corporations from accepting responsibility for their actions, because
they are just out to make money, and which defends militarism and nuclear weapons because they
are just out to protect national security. They say that moral questions should be dealt with
outside corporate boardrooms, outside the armed forces.
But the people on the streets said "NO!" to all this. Moral considerations should be part of
everything we do, every institution we create, every market force harnessed to our advantage.
You cannot relegate responsibility to other spheres, other agencies, other people. Moral
matters are every individual's concern. How we deal with moral choices is what makes us human,
and standing up for one's convictions is what makes us strong.
Back to Corporate Rule.