06 May 2003


Once again, George Monbiot debunks the World Bank's assertion that the world is moving out of poverty. It is essential that we keep track of the world economy's actual movements, in a mode as close to ethnographic study as possible. I am, for instance, still trying to find verification for Mark Weisbrot's claim that the Latin American economy grew by only 7% between 1980 and 2000. A mainstream website claims a 7% growthrate for the Latin American economy in the 1990s alone. Where do these people get these figures? e-mail me and tell me what you think.

The substance of all of this is much more important to ecosocialism than it seems at first glance. The legitimacy of the current system is based in part upon official pronouncements that the economies, both local and global, of the world can support "development." Latin America has been classified as part of the "developing world," yet of course it can post a claim to being already "developed" in an important sense, and is merely being soaked to support the profit rate of elite multinationals.

The voice that uses statistics to argue that something is "broken" with the system is still marginalized, but there were press releases coming out of the WEF at Davos (for instance) to indicate that the voice that says the system is "broken" is becoming the secret whisper of the mainstream. There will have to be another capitalist crisis, another 1940s or 1970s, before ecosocalism can be a possibility yet. Stay tuned.


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