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Re: "The menace of globalization" ... for the Poor?

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
I suppose the poor are better off under the Government monopolies providing
for their needs for the past 50 years?  Probably not.  The author doesn't seem
to "care" that the poor have been equally oppressed, if not more, by the
abuses of their own governments in the recent past!!

While it is true that western imperialism has been a "menace", the homegrown
oppression has been even more outrageous!  It is preposterous to overlook this

Vamsi M.

Dharma Tejus wrote:

> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>  The menace of globalization
>  By Dr Mubashir Hasan, Karachi Dawn
>  THE United States and its European and Japanese allies, wanting to
> impose
>  upon the Third World a new economic and political order, are exerting
>  tremendous pressure on poor countries to swallow their strong
> medication
>  which unfortunately has a poor record of healing.
>  The new order's economic package consists mainly of lowering trade and
>  tariff barriers, eliminating state subsidies, deregulating economies,
>  establishing a free-market regimen, and dismantling public ownership
> of
>  means of production and distribution. The political package consists
> of
>  buying elected governments dominated by big money and supported by an
>  appropriate cast of middle classes.
>  The new world order is a threat, in many ways akin to the one posed by
> the
>  English 200 years ago. Naom Chomsky (Profit over People, Madhyam
> Books,
>  1999), drawing attention to only a single part of that infamous
> offensive,
>  reminds us that the English imperial power had imposed on the richest
> part
>  of India what it called "the Permanent Settlement." Forty years later,
> an
>  official commission had concluded that "the settlement fashioned with
> great
>  care and deliberation has unfortunately subjected the lower classes to
> most
>  grievous oppression... leaving misery that hardly finds a parallel in
> the
>  history of commerce", as "the bones of the cotton-weavers are
> bleaching the
>  plains of India."
>  However, the British governor-general concluded otherwise. In his
> minutes he
>  observed that "the Permanent Settlement," though a failure in many
> other
>  respects and in most important essentials, had this "great advantage,
> at
>  least, of having created a vast body of rich landed proprietors deeply
>  interested in continuance of the British Dominion and having complete
>  command over the mass of the people."
>  The contemporary imperial onslaught is of no less magnitude. Today,
> the big
>  financial and industrial powers of the world are creating a vast body
> of
>  super-rich industrial and financial magnates in Third World countries
> who,
>  as agents, are dedicated to ushering in the new economic and political
>  order. At the disposal of the super-rich of the Third World are huge
> sums of
>  money to buy and influence governments, politicians and national media
> and
>  to lure the cream of the conscious part of the so-called "civil
> society"
>  through financing an ever-expanding network of certain type of NGOs to
>  muster political support for their doctrine.
>  Bowing before the onslaught of privatization, deregulation and
> globalization
>  means a massive increase in social and economic inequality, a marked
>  increase in deprivation of the poor sections of society, a disastrous
> effect
>  on the environment, an unstable national economy, unprecedented
> enrichment
>  of the already wealthy and an upsurge of undemocratic tendencies. No
> country
>  has escaped it. In Pakistan, the process of privatization,
> deregulation and
>  globalization got started in the early '80s during Ziaul Haq's
> government.
>  The governments that followed accelerated the process. Prime Minister
>  Benazir Bhutto supinely signed the WTO charter and started following
> its
>  dictates with precipitous haste.
>  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif virtually made the Pakistani rupee
> convertible
>  and started selling public assets built over half a century at
> throwaway
>  prices. Political and economic havoc was the result. "In terms of both
>  growth rate and income generation openings, the economy has halted to
> the
>  extent that poverty has increased in Pakistan more promptly than
> ever... If
>  we fix 2,500 calorie intakes as an indicator of nutrition, 17 per cent
> of
>  the populace were deprived in 1987, but now the ratio has shot up to
> 30 per
>  cent. It implies that one-third of the population has not much to
> eat", says
>  eminent Pakistani economist, Dr Akmal Hussain. The Pakistani rupee
> plummeted
>  from less than Rs 10 to a US dollar in the '80s to more than 50 in the
> '90s.
>  The twin menace of inflation and unemployment raised its big head.
>  Governance was deeply scarred as there was an unprecedented decline in
> the
>  power of the state and its capacity to govern. There was a horrendous
>  increase in crimes by society and the state. The rule of law weakened,
>  liberal democratic forces retreated and the centrists and the
> left-of-centre
>  forces were thrown into the back seat. The forces of fundamentalism
> emerged
>  stronger than ever before. Predatory elites seized power. During the
> last 12
>  yeas, Pakistan has had five prime ministers, three caretaker prime
> ministers
>  and four general elections and now a military chief executive as head
> of
>  government.
>  Since the time of the dictator, Ziaul Haq, corrupt civilian
> administrations,
>  dedicated to privatization, deregulation and globalization, were
> lavishly
>  supported from the coffers of the Brettonwoods institutions. On one
> single
>  evening, television viewers in Pakistan saw their prime minister and
> US
>  energy secretary watch the signing of eight memoranda of understanding
> to
>  build thermal electric power generation plants in Pakistan. The total
> cost
>  of the plants was $3,500 million of which $1,400 million was the
> component
>  of corruption. Equity involved was $700 million with an annual rate of
>  return of 85 per cent. The International Finance Corporation, Private
> Sector
>  Energy Development Fund, of which the contributors are the US,
> Japanese,
>  French and Italian export credit agencies, supported some of these
> projects.
>  The part played by industrially and financially developed nations and
> the
>  Brettonwoods institutions in bringing about the current unfortunate
>  political and economic situation is huge. The conditions of structural
>  adjustment and other "facilities" imposed by the IMF and the World
> Bank
>  constitute powerful mechanisms of transfer of wealth from the poor to
> rich
>  countries. Acceptances of the gospel of the supremacy of market forces
> and
>  of the agreements under the banner of the World Trade Organization,
> have
>  resulted in massive transfers of wealth. According to one newspaper
> report,
>  the US Consul-General on Karachi informed a gathering that Pakistani
>  citizens had accumulated $ 100 billion in the United States.
>  Consider the case of Mexico. Naom Chomsky writes: "In the past decade
> of
>  economic reforms, the number of people living in extreme poverty in
> rural
>  areas increased by almost a third. Half of the total population lacks
>  resources to meet basic needs, a dramatic increase since 1980.
> Following
>  International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank prescriptions,
> agricultural
>  production was shifted to export and animal feeds, benefiting
>  agribusinesses, foreign consumers and affluent sectors in Mexico while
>  malnutrition became a major health problem, agricultural employment
>  declined, productive lands were abandoned, and Mexico began massive
> imports
>  of food. Real wages in manufacturing fell sharply. Labour's share in
> gross
>  domestic product, which had risen until the mid-1970s, has since
> declined by
>  well over a third. These are standard concomitant of neoliberal
> reforms. IMF
>  studies show 'a strong and consistent pattern of reduction of labour
> under
>  the impact of its stabilization programmes' in Latin America,
> economist
>  Manuel Pastor observes."
>  Post-cold war Russia made its currency convertible, sold off public
> assets
>  in a "big bang" privatization with catastrophic results, Bob Borosage
>  recently wrote in the Los Angeles Times (Dawn, Jan 25). A great nation
> has
>  been reduced to barter. Life expectancy has plummeted, plagues,
> poverty and
>  suicides have soared. Writing in The New York Times (Nov 11, 1999)
>  Blagovesta Doncheva says:
>  "The IMF and the World Bank are successfully devouring Bulgarian
> industry.
>  They have insisted on privatization of Bulgaria's plants and
> factories. In
>  many cases, the Bulgarian government which diligently follows the
> IMF's
>  advice sold these factories to powerful foreign corporations. And
> these
>  corporations often liquidated the businesses (a new way to fight the
>  competition!).
>  "What is the result? Hordes of unemployed workers, beggars in the
> streets,
>  old people digging in rubbish containers for some rag or mouldy piece
> of
>  bread."
>  The formula of cutting state assistance to industry in the interest of
> the
>  progress of economies of Third World countries is as false as that of
>  deregulation and globalization. There is no country in the world,
> including
>  Britain, the United States and Japan, which has become a developed
> country
>  without radically violating the doctrine of free market that is being
>  espoused today. England's as well as New England's textile industry
> had
>  developed by imposing harsh tariffs on imports, in the former's case
> on
>  Indian textiles.
>  India produced as much iron as all of Europe in the late 18th century
> of
>  British engineers were studying more advanced Indian steel
> manufacturing
>  techniques to close "the technological gap." Before the middle of the
> 19th
>  century, Britain was a protectionist country. By then its
> protectionist
>  policies had destroyed India's steel and textile industry. Only when
> it had
>  emerged as the leading industrial nation, it turned to liberal
>  internationalism. Even then the British Indian government made sure
> that 40
>  per cent of British textiles went to India. The United States kept
> British
>  steel out of its market to develop its own steel industry.
>  It is no secret that even today the leading aircraft manufacturers in
> the US
>  and Europe survive on account of large-scale subsidies received from
> their
>  respective governments. It is the same with high-tech industries of
>  communications and computers. Today, at a single university in a
> southern
>  state in America there are several scores of professors in the field
> of
>  bio-technology who do no teaching at all but are engaged in research
>  sponsored by the federal government.
>  In his book, referred to earlier, Chomsky quotes a report that a large
> part
>  of Pentagon's budget is devoted to keeping Middle East oil prices
> within a
>  range that the United States and its energy companies consider
> appropriate.
>  Pentagon's expenditure amounts to 30 per cent of the market price of
> oil.
>  Direct governmental participation was largely responsible for Japan's
>  industrialization before and after World War II. The phenomenal
> progress of
>  China in industrial field is wholly due to the guidance, assistance
> and
>  regulation by the state.
>  The sooner Pakistan revises its policies about the role of the state
> sector
>  in the national economy and about protecting its industry, trade and
>  agriculture, the better it would be for the country.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
> Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vamsi M.

This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/