Friday, June 10, 2011

Arab revolutions mask economic status quo

Despite talk of a "new social contract", financial powers seek to maintain their grip on the poor of the Middle East.


Mark LeVine

"The World Bank and IMF have been restructuring the economies of the Middle East for decades, with largely negative results. Yet they are poised to play a major role in the post-revolutionary efforts to stabilise Egypt, Tunisia and other post-authoritarian states.....

But the new era was stillborn; Egypt would soon be far too tightly enmeshed within the US-led order to pursue an independent path towards development, continuing a history of frustrated economic development that stretches from the mid-19th century....

Ultimately, what this analysis reminds us is that even if IMF or Bank officials might have gone a bit soft, the US under President Obama, as under his predecessors, has as little interest or ability to change a system it has profited from enormously over the past half century. Ultimately, neither the generals of Egypt's Supreme Military Council, nor the barons of Wall Street (and their allies among the generals in the Pentagon) will willingly allow anything more than "cosmetic changes" to the political economy of either country....."

No comments: