Bad Aid (Throw Your Arms Around the World)


"According to the World Bank, for
every $1 of aid sent South, $25 goes to
the North in debt-servicing. It is a standing outrage."

What the G-7 wrought was a world of people who labor hard, but
nevertheless suffer usurious debt rates and have little space to
exercise their political desires. The New International Economic Order
(NIEO, 1973), passed by the UN General Assembly, carried a reasonable
platform for the transformation of the planet’s economic relations.
Trade regimes would be altered, so would financial devices and
restrictions on technology transfer. The dream was to shape the world
not toward outrageous profits, but toward genuine development. The G7
was formed to smash the NIEO. Its interests were toward Wall Street not
the Addis slum of Tekle Haymonot. The NIEO would have circumvented the
debt crisis that wracked the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America
in the 1980s. Absent the Contra strategy, there might have been the
possibility for the creation of stable political structures in much of
what would become the Global South. Debt and the absence of democracy
was the gift of the G7, and of course with petrodollars, the massive
expansion of the role of finance over the planet’s political economy.
One major function of the expansion of neo-liberalism (not mentioned by
David Harvey in his otherwise excellent short history) is the
orchestrated destruction of the NIEO, the highest point of the Third
World project.

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