Chomsky and Globalisation (Postmodern Encounters) by Jeremy Fox

By Jeremy Fox

Naom Chomsky, the 'Einstein of recent linguistics', is both famous as an uncompromising political dissident and social critic. His place is an strange one, viewing the unfold of a unmarried worldwide culture-achieved in the course of the international circulate of knowledge items and photographs - as leading to type of cultural, imperialism from which in simple terms the Western international can actually gain.

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54 A common argument in favour of unregulated free trade is that it will lead to a general rise in living standards. 55 Although it does seem a little hard to believe that everyone is going to win out in a competitive free market system, claims to this effect are sometimes made. For example, no less than the head of the World Trade Organisation, the New Zealander Mike Moore, reported in June 2000 on some research that had been conducted by academics at the Universities of Tel Aviv and Sussex: [T]he more open an economy to trade, the faster it can catch up with the developed countries.

In a similar way, technology is being used for profit and power rather than humane purposes. The invoking of classical liberal economic theory serves as a cloak for the real aims of global capitalism (pursuit of enormous profits, enrichment of a small élite, further impoverishment of the poor). Technology is being integrated into this profit-oriented strategy in a way which creates ‘a form of progress without people’, but ‘not as a consequence of the nature of technology or the pursuit of efficiency and cost-effectiveness’.

The restructuring of loans in the 1980s by the IMF and World Bank involved their re-negotiation, so that the debtor nations had to pay much more interest and often had to raise prices, cut services (schools, hospitals, road-building) and hand over control of their economies to Western agencies and investors. Chomsky refers to the restructuring process at a number of points in his writings, quoting Chossudovsky on the application to 50 RESTRUCTURING OF DEBT Russia of what was essentially ‘a carbon copy of the structural adjustment program imposed on debtor countries in the Third World’ by the IMF and World Bank.

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