Home > Uncategorized > Exploiting the South: power & knowledge

Exploiting the South: power & knowledge

from Asad Zaman 

This is the first of a sequence of posts on the current economic crisis in Pakistan. Although the discussion is in the context of Pakistan, all the poor countries in grips of the modern neo-colonial global system face essentially the same problems. The financial basis of the system is outlined by Jason Hickel in Aid-in-Reverse: How the Poor Countries Develop the Rich. He describes how the poor countries receive 1.3 Trillion USD in financial inflows, aid, etc. from the rich. But, the poor transfer 3.3 Trillion USD to the rich countries, essentially preventing any possibility of development of the global South. The financial inflows are really payments to the local power elites (army, bureaucrats, politicians, influential people, and media) as well as infrastructure and weaponry required to maintain the neo-colonial power structures for exploiting the resources, human and otherwise, of the colonized. The purchased power elites act on the behalf of the colonizing powers, and implement policies that impoverish and exploit local resources for the benefit of foreign corporations. But, other than this hard power, soft power in the form of control of media and education, is required to create the assent of the colonized to their own exploitation. Among the most powerful tools within this arsenal are false economic theories, which keep the masses and their university-trained thought leaders engaged in fighting phantom enemies. These economic theories are inherently incapable of recognizing and addressing the real sources of our problems, since history, power, armies, and politics are deliberately excluded from the scope of study. This first part merely explains the simple problem which is at the root of the current economic crisis, and the simple solution that could be implemented, if it was not against the interests of the global and local power structures. read more

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