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Through the Internet, a movement began to develop in opposition to the doctrines of neoliberalism which were widely manifested in the 1990s when the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) proposed liberalisation of cross-border investment and trade restrictions through its Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). This treaty was prematurely exposed to public scrutiny and subsequently abandoned in November 1998 in the face of strenuous protest and criticism by national and international civil society representatives.
Neoliberal doctrine argued that untrammeled free trade and reduction of public-sector regulation would bring benefits to poor countries and to disadvantaged people in rich countries. Anti-globalization advocates urge that preservation of the natural environment, human rights (especially workplace rights and conditions) and democratic institutions are likely to be placed at undue risk by globalization unless mandatory standards are attached to liberalisation. Noam Chomsky stated in 2002 that
The term “globalization” has been appropriated by the powerful to refer to a specific form of international economic integration, one based on investor rights, with the interests of people incidental. That is why the business press, in its more honest moments, refers to the “free trade agreements” as “free investment agreements” (Wall St. Journal). Accordingly, advocates of other forms of globalization are described as “anti-globalization”; and some, unfortunately, even accept this term, though it is a term of propaganda that should be dismissed with ridicule. No sane person is opposed to globalization, that is, international integration. Surely not the left and the workers movements, which were founded on the principle of international solidarity—that is, globalization in a form that attends to the rights of people, not private power systems.