Proposed Change to Draft SOC on Economic Globalization

The following is a proposed rewrite of the first 52 lines of the Draft Statement of Conscience on Economic Globalization. This rewrite was developed in several sessions by a number of individuals from a number of Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Area UU Congregations, including First Universalist Church, First Unitarian Church, Unity Unitarian Church, Michael Servitas, UU Minnetoka.

UUs respect and affirm:
Our faith calls us to active participation in efforts to promote a world that is based on values of cooperation between cultures and nations, respect for diversity and human rights, and economic justice and environmental sustainability. We support global interactions that promote these values.

The values of our faith stand in stark contrast to a powerful, destructive force known as economic or corporate-led globalization.

Defining Economic Globalization
The conceptual underpinnings of economic globalization are fueled by the assertion that a single global economy with universal rules set by global corporations and financial markets1 (Maude Barlow) is in everyone’s best interest.

In reality, rather than serving everyone, economic globalization serves the interests of an elite minority, since it unleashes markets from regulations meant to protect national sovereignty, the democratic process, human rights, labor rights, the environment and social justice concerns. Key tools in this assault have been the creation of international trade agreements, tribunals, and enforcement measures supersede the legal systems of nation-states, and supplant their judicial processes by setting up independent dispute resolution systems that exist outside the confines of our courts and laws.2 The damage done by the trade agreements and tribunals has been increased by powerful international economic development organizations including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund who have forced free-market reforms on the struggling economies of many nations of the developing world3.

The trend toward globalization has sharply accelerated since the 70s due to a concentration of political power in the hands of the wealthy, the implementation of "free trade" accords such as NAFTA and GATT, the rise of pro-globalization media cartels (which are themselves active behind the scenes in advancing globalization), the rise of organizations advancing the agenda of economic elites, and the increasing economic and political influence of the Trans National Corporations4.

Because economic globalization promotes a system where practically everything (from goods and services, to health care and educations from water to plant, animal, and human genes) becomes privatized5, it is becoming increasingly necessary for the giant corporations to rely on US (and client state) military power to defend the so-called rights of the free market.

Who Is Affected by Economic Globalization

As the giant corporations increase their span of control over the economic and political lives of the peoples of the world, those with the least power suffer most. People of the developing world, indigenous people and people of color, and women and children bear a disproportionate burden of poverty and lack of basic human rights. This is also true for the environment: massive destruction of habitat and resources is happening much faster in the developing world, where the people lack the economic and political power to protect the natural habitat.

Although the initial brunt of the ills of economic globalization is borne more by the those with the least power, millions of citizens of the affluent industrialized nations are already experiencing job loss, tears in the social safety net, destruction of the environment, and a weakening of democratic institutions and citizen political power. This shift is a direct result of the logic of economic globalization, where the insatiable need for profit creates a spiral where wages fall, taxes are reduced and power becomes more concentrated in the hands of the corporate elites.

A UU Response to Economic Globalization

As people of faith, we have a responsibility to take a stand to make democracy work for all people, locally and globally. Thus Unitarian Universalists are called to bring an ethic of justice to our understanding of globalization and to do what we can to reverse the harm it causes here and abroad through informed and non-violent dissent. We are challenged to affirm our connection with all life and our responsibility for one another and for the planet that sustains us.6 ()

From here on we would continue with lines 53 – 91 of the Draft SOC

1 This is a statement (which we have further paraphrased) was attributed to Maude Barlow by the Arlington Street Congregation.

2 Also paraphrased from statements attributed to Maude Barlow.

3 Note that the first two paragraphs were taken in large part from the statement of the Arlington Street Congregation.

4  Paraphrased and altered slightly

5 Paraphrased and slightly altered from Richard L. Grossman, in a letter posted on’s website:

6 Note: this paragraph was taken from the statement of the Arlington Street Congregation.