In The Darker Nations, Vijay Prashad provided an intellectual history of the Third World and traced the rise and fall of the Non-Aligned Movement. With The Poorer Nations, Prashad takes up the story where he left off.
Since the ’70s, the countries of the Global South have struggled to build political movements. Prashad analyzes the failures of neoliberalism, as well as the rise of the BRICS countries, the World Social Forum, issuebased movements like Via Campesina, the Latin American revolutionary revival—in short, efforts to create alternatives to the neoliberal project advanced militarily by the US and its allies and economically by the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, and other instruments of the powerful. Just as The Darker Nations asserted that the Third World was a project, not a place, The Poorer Nations sees the Global South as a term that properly refers not to geographical space but to a concatenation of protests against neoliberalism.
In his foreword to the book, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali writes that Prashad “has helped open the vista on complex events that preceded today’s global situation and standoff.” The Poorer Nations looks to the future while revising our sense of the past.
Hardback, 300 pages
$26.95 / £16.99 / £28.50
Most fundamentally, Prashad’s book is a full frontal assault on neoliberal capitalism. Deservedly, he spares no political party, bank, or government linked to this most devastating edition of capitalism. Whether the collusion was willingly engaged in or merely the result of an unwillingness to lose personal or political power, Prashad paints a sweeping indictment of those who want to rule the earth with little or no regard for most of its inhabitants. While keeping firm hold to his left anti-imperialist foundation, Prashad acknowledges the shortcomings of social democrats in their attempts to compromise with the ravenous beast of neoliberal capital. Naturally, these politicians and parties get some of the blame for the economic devastation caused by the banks and other machinery of that beast; Prashad saves the bulk of the blame, however, for its rightful targets: the IMF, World Bank, finance capital, and the men and women who operate that beast.
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[Nandy] moved the Indian Supreme Court on grounds that an idea cannot be penalized. The Court responded that if an idea is offensive and creates social harm, there could be a penalty (“Yes, an idea can certainly be punished under the laws. An idea is a summation of verbal acts and it can be penalized”)...
A film is banned, an author is not allowed into a city. These are routine moments in the life of the modern State. Here the example is India. It could be any State...The prosecution of speech is a delicate affair, which in most cases is indelicately handed. It is always good to err on the side of suspicion when a State decides to take in hand the words of a citizen.