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The Live 8 Revolutionaries Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by aGn, India Sep 1, 2005
Human Rights   Opinions
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The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) run on the simple, efficient and inherently unfair principle of one dollar, one vote. British political commentator, George Monbiot, says in a very clear and uncomplicated way that “to pass a substantial resolution or to amend the way they operate requires an 85% majority. The United States alone, which possesses 15% of the stock in both organizations, can block a resolution supported by every other member state.” In theory, both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are supposed to be helping poorer developing and underdeveloped countries in re-energizing their economies and gaining some amount of competence.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) works on the principle that every member nation has one vote. Within the World Trade Organization, the G8 consists of America, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Russia and Japan and it is these eight countries that call the shots. In recent times we have seen attempts made by some third world countries to put up a solid front against the G8, who we can tentatively call the eight richest people on the planet. For the time being the G8 is confident and imposing.

The United Nations is a coalition, a global coalition. Its major goals are to maintain peace, justice, and human rights at an international level. It is run and ruined by the five major powers of the Great Dread who hold the keys to the Security Council and are possessive about blocking democratization. The role of the United Nations in terms of health and labour may not be very widely debated but their activities regarding the defense of human rights and the administering of peace has been nothing short of ridiculous.

The self proclaimed “Ruler of the Free World,” George W. Bush and his personal Jesus, the Pope, are about as steadfast about their beliefs (some if not most, being devoid of the concept of reality) as Saddam was when he claimed the US army was shivering in their boots outside Baghdad. As long as Bush is in the Whitehouse and almost any pope is in the Vatican changes of policy regarding various contentious but important issues, ranging from homosexuality to contraception, will be neatly nailed inside a thick iron coffin and deposited at the bottom of the ocean.

It is the collective conscience of these organizations and individuals that Bob Geldof is hoping to appeal to. Fat chance! Let me begin by explaining how I genuinely feel about good old Bob, his best friend Bono and other wannabe pseudo-revolutionaries in the world of music. I think they have hearts of gold. They want to eradicate poverty across the world, beginning with Africa, destroy AIDS and bring equality and justice to all. They did a lot of good after the Live Aid performances back in 1985 and have managed to raise important funding for their respected goals. While I love them all for that, I also think that in the long run they are hurting the global movement for peace, justice and poverty reduction more than they are helping it. Bono, Bob and the lot of them are politically naïve. For them the best way to eradicate poverty is to appeal to the conscience of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the G8, George W, and the Pope. For them a slogan, “Make Poverty History” is good enough because it has a ring that you can march to.

The global movement woke up to the issue of poverty and AIDS, especially in Africa, around the same time that the rock stars did. There has been a marked difference in which the politically oriented masses have proceeded in the past few years. People who have been actively campaigning for an end to poverty or for effective methods of controlling AIDS have recognized that by and large these are complex issues that cannot be dealt with in one stroke of the brush. The question of poverty reduction is deeply connected to issues of fair trade, and international justice. It is also related to an understanding of the fact that while a lot of the existing poverty is the product of terror regimes, like Mugabe’s, a lot of it is related to the direct actions of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, not to mention colonialism.

It has been recognized by a majority that the question of AIDS must be tackled alongside, and not in isolation of, integral issues such as homosexuality, false and utterly lethal macho male pride, contraception, religion and the importance of politics and public opinion. When the Church condemns the use of contraceptives and spreads idiotic doctrines as sex for procreation it kills millions. When Bush says he will not subsidize AIDS drugs to organizations or governments that do not have an abstinence policy he is not only being flamboyantly and passionately ignorant but he is also holding nations at the barrel of a metaphorical gun that at anytime might explode in their faces.

What Bob Geldof does is to legitimize these governments. He has no vibrant criticisms of their policies; he believes that George Bush “has actually done more than any American president for Africa.” When Live 8 has ten simultaneous concerts across the globe it provides music on the scale of religion. It also leads millions of people, who are only beginning to get properly educated in politics, to think that the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the G8 are the only hopes that Africa has to be redeemed from poverty and death. Geldof, Bono and everyone else who campaigns from this platform of ignorance does more harm than good because with slogans like “Make Poverty History” they negate the fact that history, the fatal and brutal interaction with Europe and America, is what landed Africa in such a disarray to begin with. Bob Geldof could do more to change the world if he spent his time singing songs on the pavements where the real strength of the anti-poverty movement gathers. He should not be shaking hands with the eight richest men of the world but rather should demand that they abdicate their high morality and actually do something. Bob Geldof should join the millions on the streets who are fighting against the very people who are at root of the grief of Africa, the very people he is supporting with open arms.

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