Is Global South being robbed & corrupted & scorned for it?
An interesting article by Caitlin Johnstone titled “Robbing the Global South, then scorning its poverty: notes from the edge of the narrative matrix” gives much food for thought. She quotes Michael Parenti “poor countries are not under-developed”…they are over-exploited”.
She claims the poverty of the developing world is as a result of western theft & exploitation & she likens it to ‘mugging someone and then scorning them for their empty wallet”. She goes on to say that the western civilization prides itself in being better at killing and stealing than others and admits that the West continue its invading and plundering of nations while justifying.
She also brings to the surface the profiling by West and showcases how China is always described as “Chinese Communist Party” to immediately bring negative emotions in people. This profiling is being done to individuals & countries West feels a threat or West wants to bully into submission. The main objective of this exercise using Western media & its other foot soldiers is to detach the people from those being targeted.
Re-colonization of former colonies is resuming under different nomenclatures & those that are blocking it are at the receiving end of West’s soft & hard tools!
Global North became rich after plundering Global South during 500 years of colonial rule. Europe’s industrial revolution came from forced labor, stolen resources, illegal taxes, genocide, displacement of natives, planned disease & unimaginable crimes against humans and even animals.
Imperials left only after preparing an economic & trade order to be dictated by them with their rules & laws & an education system that would church brown sahibs and western bootlickers. The educational-social system did not encourage nationalism & scorned those that though western-educated understood the discriminations natives were subject to & wished to reverse them.
131 countries make up the Global South covering countries in South America/Caribbean/African Continent/Asia Asia-Pacific (without Australia & New Zealand)
How many of the Global South are in debt to Global North & how much does Global North make from interest paid in dollars by Global South for loans given by Global North ruled international monetary agencies? How much is the Global North still reliant on the Global South which is often ignored?
Doesn’t the Global North appropriate tens of billions of tonnes of raw materials & hours of human labor per year from Global South? Will Global North have smartphones, laptops, computer chips & cars without Global South who manufacture them? Why are salaries in the Global South kept below that of Global North? What about the discrepancies in the taxing & import/exports of goods?
The New Political Economy, covered the unequal exchange in the 1980s & 1990s as a result of neoliberal structural adjustment programs of IMF which were imposed on Global South nations. It is estimated that the Global North drains from the South commodities worth $2.2trillion per year which would suffice to eliminate extreme poverty globally. The journal estimates that from 1960 the total drain (from South to North) is $62 trillion. The net growth in the North relies on appropriation from the rest of the world. The Global South is clueless about this reality. Global North includes US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, Korea & rich economies of Europe.
It is estimated that for every dollar of aid Global South receives, they lose $14 in drain through unequal exchange rates which varies from country to country (this omits other losses that include illicit financial outflows & profit repatriation). Wake up to the reality that poor countries are developing rich countries – not the other way round. Pro-Western economists justify low wages in South though such has to be seen as part of inequalities for political power.
[Plunder in the Post-Colonial Era: Quantifying Drain from the Global South Through Unequal Exchange, 1960–2018 by Jason Hickel, Dylan Sullivan & Huzaifa Zoomkawala]
Global North rules all international decision making apparatus. IMF & World Bank are monopolized by Western nations. The same happens in all of the international trade organizations. Global North are the creditors who use their power to dictate economic policy in nations they place in debt via loans. Global North also controls 97% of the world’s patents. They have the most powerful companies which are propped up by their governments & now function as transnational corporations some of which are more powerful & rich than nation states. These MNCs/TNCs use their clout to make demands on Global South on the camouflage of investment which invariably ends up draining profits back home to Global North. Why is Global South unable to understand these links & how the world actually runs? The Global North may be sophisticated, but the resources are in Global South.
Notice how IMF structural adjustment programs also target the working sector demanding cuts in wages, reduction of labor rights & other welfare measures in exchange for loans! The aim of these conditions was to facilitate cheap labor for Global North corporates resulting in Global South being dependent on Global North firms for ‘investments’ & jobs and these factories use cheap labor to provide for the people in Global North. See how the best of fruits, vegetables etc always get exported to the Global North for their consumption & the left overs are consumed by the Global South that grows them!
While the Global North preaches ‘democracy’ will it consider giving fairer economic opportunity for Global South on par with Global North? Will they allow developing nations to use tariffs, subsidies to build sovereign economic capacity on their own? Would they consider bringing labor wages on par as per their “equal” mantra often subject to international forums only.
The reality that has to be understood is that there is unfair play economically & politically which is why the developing world can develop only to the level Global North allows it to. That China has done the unthinkable is why China has become the enemy of the Global North. That Russia is also gaining momentum is why Global North is unified in trying to prevent such.
Where does India fit in – India has given up its non-aligned policy to become partners with US though India’s friendship with Russia is kept on track. Global North is exerting tremendous pressure on India vis a vis this stand & India will be recipient of these displeasures by other means.
There is another reality that we cannot ignore – there are ultra-rich in Global South while there are poorer segments of society in Global North. 1% hold global wealth. The rest are just managing.
Infrastructure-wise the Global North is more developed but living conditions of some in the North are worse than in Global South. Inequality prevails everywhere – within countries & societies, regions & continents. There are inequalities in health, education, income & living conditions. The best of medicines, clothes, toys, foods etc are available in some countries while the worst are dispatched to the rest. Every inequality is an opportunity for those who wish to gain profit.
Yet can wealth be measured in terms of money alone – Bhutan happy index claims otherwise. Many in Global North who have been living high-work pressure lives are now seeking solace in mindfulness & yoga as a means to detox their minds & bodies. Inadvertently the Global South clamour to go to Global North & take over the lifestyle that many are giving up. So we are seeing another form of reset.
Today with rising populations, dwindling resources, there is a clamour to secure the resources that are in Global South control & bring them under iron fist of Global North’s corporations. We see this happening using deteriorating economic and political conditions as a landscape prepared for this ultimate goal. Sri Lanka is a case in point where we have to wonder how far the economic & political collapse was engineered to enable Global North to dictate to Sri Lanka & ultimately control its future. Similarly, we are seeing the world being reset and the future looks bleak unless the vast majority of people realize what a handful are up to.
Are Global South being corrupted & robbed by the very rich nations & their entities that scorn them thereafter?
Shenali D Waduge