Peter Waterman – England

Linked with The Voice of the Turtle, with Reflections on an Emancipatory Labour Internationalism … , with Surpassing the binary opposition between reform and revolution.

He says (about Archaic left challenges … ): ”… It is a counter-hegemonic movement from the period of national-industrial-colonial capitalism. This was a machine-age capitalism, and it gave rise to mechanical interpretations of Marxism. MR belongs, more specifically, to the ‘Marxist-Leninist’ (Maoist) tendency and is linked (in more than a cyberspace sense) with the International League of Peoples Struggles, (ILPS) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). This movement considers discussion and analysis of the rights and wrongs of globalisation to be a derogation from a 100-year-old Leninist theory of imperialism. It is therefore suspicious of or hostile to the anti-globalisation movement. The only concession it will make to the new movement is that it has managed to capture a widespread and multifarious discontent internationally. It therefore becomes a suitable object for penetration and/or competition. This movement pursues a Marxism of binary opposition, a Manichean Marxism with oppositions … “. (full long text).

Read: Global Social Labour Movement, Updated June 30, 2006.

Peter Waterman - England one redim 70p.jpg

Peter Waterman – England

Read: From Decent Work to The Liberation of Time from Work.

Abstract: The traditional international union organisations are currently engaged in a series of ’social partnership’ initiatives at global level. Prominent amongst these is that addressed to ‘global governance’. This project comes from outside and above the unions, is addressed to the existing hegemonic interstate instances, and is carried out primarily by lobbying.

This orientation is increasingly challenged by a ‘global justice and solidarity movement’, more concerned with the democratisation of the global, and more oriented to consciousness-raising and mobilising than lobbying. The new movement, moreover, operates in places and spaces, with forms and understandings, that relate rather to a contemporary globalised-informatised capitalism than to the old national-industrial-colonial one which gave rise and shape to the international unions. Trade unions will have to abandon the discourse of global governance for that of global democracy, and to operate on the terrains of this new movement, if they are to effectively defend and advance worker rights and power under the new global dispensation … Introduction: (full text).

Read: World Social Forum: the secret of fire, 18 – 6 – 2003.

Peter Waterman (London 1936), began his working life with international Communist organisations in Prague (1955-8, 1966-9). He taught university in Northern Nigeria (1970-72). He spent 26 years at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, in the Labour Studies and the Politics programmes (1972-98). In the 1980s he published the Newsletter of International Labour Studies. Since 1984 he has specialised on the new labour and other internationalisms, and on (electronic) communications in relation to such. He has had attachments to universities in the UK, US, South Africa, Mexico and Peru. He published Globalisation, Social Movements and the New Internationalisms (1998/2001). He has written extensively and co-edited collections on (international) labour and on the World Social Forum. Pending publications include a collection of his papers in Spanish, a dictionary entry on internationalism, and a collection of his recent writings in English, From the New Internationalisms to the New Global Solidarity. He is currently writing his own international/ist memoirs. This document is in no sense the property of the author, though he would hope to continue to contribute to its development. It can be used, abused, improved and substituted for. He would, however, appreciate relevant reference to it and copies of any response to it.(

Read: … come down from your mountain! 3 – 2 – 2005.

Read: Cyberunionism.

Read: THE BAMAKO APPEAL OF SAMIR AMIN, A POST-MODERN JANUS? CSGR Working Paper of 25 pages, No. 212/06, October 2006.


Read: Trade Union Internationalism in the Age of Seattle, published 2002-10-04.

Read: First Reflections on The 3rd World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 23-8, 2003:

His Bio on IMDb.

The Turtle Salutes Comrade Waterman, whose name will be forever inscribed in fiery letters in the Annals of Stakhanovism!

His Books and Articles:
on Social Movement Unionism (in diff. languages);
on CES, Center for Social Studies;
in german on Netzwerk it;
on Europe solidaire sans frontières;
on Review of African Political Economy ROAPE.


the World Social Forum 2007 on;

The World Social Forum: challenging empires;

Tristesse und Suchbewegungen. Der Social Unionism und die Gewerkschaften in der Bundesrepublik (v.Peter Birke, 2004);

Parecon: Zu Besuch im Labor der Utopien, 27.09.2006;

Eine andere Welt – das Welt-Sozialforum.

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