Book and film reviews

The hatred of the West

How the poor peoples defend themselves against the economic world war

From Jean Ziegler, C. Bertelsmann, Munich, 2009, ISBN 978-3-570-01132-4, EUR 19.95

(Original edition in French “La Haine de l'Occident”, 2008).

(Published in GralsWelt 56/2010)

We have already quoted the non-fiction author and globalization critic Jean Ziegler several times in the GrailWorld (e.g. in the box "Monetarism or human rights?" in "The start of the 21st century under "Economy and Social Affairs"). He is a sociologist, politician, professor emeritus at the University of Geneva, winner of the Human Rights Literature Prize. From 2000 to 2008, he was UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

In his latest book he points out, from his own extensive experience, the “hatred of the West”, which we have not sufficiently recognized. A hatred that has by no means only reached political extremists or religious fanatics, but is also shared by well-educated, qualified personalities from developing countries.

Although this hatred has its historical roots in the time of colonialism, it is fueled again and again by the plundering of underdeveloped countries, which is still practiced. Development aid or the slogans “democracy” and “human rights” preached by Western politicians are only experienced by the masses of people in poor countries as cynical pseudo-arguments to conceal a brutal, racist system of exploitation in which after the colonial era only the rulers changed and the methods of rule were refined . The oppression and plundering of the world's poor has not changed since the end of colonialism.

The well-traveled author Ziegler uses terrifying examples to show how the rigorous approach of capitalist corporations, supported by their governments, in interaction with the corrupt elites of developing countries leads to poverty, hardship, hunger, disease and environmental disasters.

After the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, capitalism conquered Russia, China, India and many other developing and emerging countries on a much celebrated triumphal march. This supposedly progressive development towards globalization, deregulation, and free economy brought the countries of the South by no means democratic reforms, serious governments, respect for human rights, or a reduction in hunger. Rather, a predatory, capitalist system of exploitation emerged. This inhuman global economy is supported by UN organizations such as the World Bank or the World Monetary Fund, which, according to their statutes, would be obliged to promote underdeveloped countries and eradicate poverty. No wonder that some believe it is a "capitalist world conspiracy".

The latest book by Jean Ziegler is required reading for anyone who wants to be seriously informed about the background of the world economy and world politics from a professional point of view.