Galeano’s iron laws on Globalization

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1. The international labor division consists of some countries specializing in winning and others in losing; the latter continue to work as servants of the former.

2. The defeat of the have-nots has always been implicit in the victory of the haves; the labor of the have-nots has always generated their own poverty since it has fed the wealth of the haves.

3. The strength of the globalized system rests on the necessary inequality of the parties that make it up –and this inequality assumes ever more dramatic proportions. The dominant classes in poor countries have no interest in finding out whether patriotism could be more profitable than treason or if begging and dependence are the only possible way for their countries’ international politics. Countries thus end up mortgaging their sovereignty, because we are told ‘there is no other way’.

4. The globalized system is very rational from the point of view of their foreign owners and of our ‘hambourgeoisies’ that have sold their soul to the devil at a price that would have shamed even Faust.

5. But the globalized system failed to foresee a minor thorn in its side: what we have too much of is people. And people reproduce. They make love with enthusiasm and without precautions. More and more, people are left on the verge of the road, jobless. This systematic violence, not always apparent, but real, is mounting: its crimes cannot be read in the red press, but in UN statistics. So, the empire gets worried: unable to produce more bread, it does what it can to get rid of those sitting around the table. “ Fight poverty! Kill a beggar!”, a master of black humor wrote on a wall in the city of La Paz.

6. The globalized  system thus convinces poor people that poverty is the result of not avoiding having children. So it now proposes, with more panic than generosity, resolving the problems: Population control measures are the preferred policy.

7. We have social classes, and the oppression of one class by another; the system calls that ‘adopting a Western lifestyle’.

8. The ‘order of the day’ is the daily-humiliation-of-the-masses –like it or not, an order nonetheless, we must say.

9. But Poverty is not written in the stars; underdevelopment is not the result of an obscure will of God. People are waking up, and are demanding changes.         (Eduardo Galeano, Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina)

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