For many countries, the 1990s were a decade of despair. Some 54 countries are poorer now than in 1990. Countries such as the US, Norway, Japan, Germany and France have per capita GDPs which are 20 to more than 100 times greater than countries like Ethiopia, Malawi, Afghanistan and Bolivia.
Whereas global population is a little over 6 billion, we have according to an estimate, 3 billion living under conditions of food insecurity, one billion without access to clean water, 2 billion without electricity and 2.5 billion with no sanitation conditions.
In India, the media periodically highlight how the poor starve as the surplus food grains rot in government godowns. The latest is the starvation deaths of Sahariya tribal population in the Baran district of Rajasthan, and the poor people of the Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. Despite this admission of facts, the World Bank insists that globalisation promotes social justice.
Is it then possible to agree with the World Bank? If misery looms large as described above, will it not be appropriate to conclude that conflict, and not peace is going to be the global scene in the coming years? If the World Bank offers instances of successful ‘globalisers’, it has actually missed the vital point in this contention.
This point is that the growth has come not with a general improvement in social justice but “with costs in terms of internal democracy, human rights, and equality.” As a Latin American Military General once observed: ‘the economy is doing fine but the people in it aren’t!”
The new human being that this “borderless world” seeks to create “is no longer the worker or the citizen but the plugged in consumer who shares the common destiny of an undifferentiated humanity connected only by the Internet or the supermarket” (Alain de Benoist). Imbalances in global economy and social life styles notwithstanding.
Some of you may still be questioning the way we have treated World Bank, IMF and US Administration as bracketed together in pursuing the goals of globalisation. They constitute what is called ‘Washington Consensus’ group, that is to say, institutions headquartered at Washington but working for similar ends, viz., of promoting free trade and globalisation.
The ‘deeper meaning of globalisation’, according to a perceptive observer is that, “for the first time in history, economic and political space are no longer bound together”. Concretely this means annexation of economic sovereignty, while political sovereignty is maintained through a formal recognition of equality.
The US could handle these contradictions through subordinating the political sovereigns under a hierarchical global order under its leadership.