On the CADTM’s strategy

4 November 2020 by Eric Toussaint

(CC - Pixabay)

First, a few key words to present the CADTM and its strategy:

  • Radicality
  • Convergence
  • Unity
  • Plurality
  • Internationalism – Antiracism
  • Transversality: for the CADTM, debt is a transversal theme, as are feminism and eco-socialism
  • Continuity-tenacity
  • Mobilization

Next, some explanatory notes on these key words [1]

Radicality: the CADTM provides analyses that go to the root of problems, especially the mechanisms that generate illegitimate debt. Then the CADTM proposes solutions that deal with the root of problems. The CADTM has drawn up a series of solutions, some of which are particularly aimed at ending illegitimate debt. The CADTM considers that an anti-capitalist, anti-patriarchal, social revolution is required with ecologist, feminist and socialist perspectives.

Convergence: the CADTM has always tried to work towards the convergence of as many movements as possible, whether they be political, social or others, so that we can agree on a common platform and on actions that further our fight for radical change.

Unity: the aim of convergence is to bring about the broadest possible unity on clear objectives.

Plurality: since its beginnings, the CADTM has brought together people and movements from different political and philosophical horizons who subscribe to the CADTM’s political manifesto. In the early days this was the Bastille Appeal, drawn up in 1989; then it was the Political Charter and the Organizational Charter, both adopted in 2009 and provisionally amended in 2019-2020 in view of the Global Assembly of the CADTM in 2021.

Internationalism - antiracism: these are at the core of the CADTM’s convictions and actions.

Transversality: the CADTM treats the issue of illegitimate debt, whether public or private, as a transversal theme, as it does feminism and eco-socialism.

Continuity-tenacity: the CADTM has been constantly active since its creation in 1990, with the fight against the system of illegitimate debt as its central theme. We avoid getting dispersed across multiple issues that are better treated by other movements. We also avoid trendy topics and refuse to abide by issues imposed by donors, so that we can preserve our complete independence. The tenacity evinced by the CADTM sometimes means swimming against the tide.

Mobilization: the CADTM is convinced that lobbying will never really change things. To transform the situation, you need the most massive and unified popular demonstrations possible; and also the self-organization of oppressed men and women.

Of course there could be other key words on this list.

Important note: the CADTM Belgium and ATTAC-CADTM Morocco share the joint international secretariat of the CADTM Global Network.

The last word: the CADTM is aware of being a small organization despite its presence in over 30 countries across four continents. The CADTM is not trying to imitate the Frog who took himself for an Ox.

Translated by Vicki Briault and Christine Pagnoulle.


[1This short text is part of what I explained as an introduction to the opening plenary of the CADTM’s meeting days in Liège on 17 October 2020.

Eric Toussaint

is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège, is the spokesperson of the CADTM International, and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France.
He is the author of Greece 2015: there was an alternative. London: Resistance Books / IIRE / CADTM, 2020 , Debt System (Haymarket books, Chicago, 2019), Bankocracy (2015); The Life and Crimes of an Exemplary Man (2014); Glance in the Rear View Mirror. Neoliberal Ideology From its Origins to the Present, Haymarket books, Chicago, 2012, etc.
See his bibliography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89ric_Toussaint
He co-authored World debt figures 2015 with Pierre Gottiniaux, Daniel Munevar and Antonio Sanabria (2015); and with Damien Millet Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank: Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers, Monthly Review Books, New York, 2010. He was the scientific coordinator of the Greek Truth Commission on Public Debt from April 2015 to November 2015.

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