Phil Gyford’s website

New York Review of Books, 27 April 2006

From ‘The Global Delusion’ by John Gray:

…immigrants still make up only around 3 percent of the world’s population today, whereas in 1913 it was about 10 percent.


“To understand today’s globalization,” [Daniel Cohen] observes dryly [in Globalization and Its Enemies], “requires that one renounce the idea that the poor are stunted or exploited by globalization.” The poor of the world are not so much exploited as neglected and forgotten. At the same time the press and television are drenching them with images of the riches they lack. For the poor, globalization is not an accomplished fact but a condition that remains to be achieved. The irony of the current phase of globalization is that it universalizes the demand for a better life without providing the means to satisfy it.

And I’m always a sucker for amazing population growth statistics:

In 1913 Egypt had only 13 million inhabitants, today it has 70 million, and in 2025 it is expected to have over 100 million; but only 4 percent of Egypt’s land is arable.

Later, a reminder that whatever the US/UK/etc. says, stability is what they’re really after, not democracy:

The long supply lines of the global production chain extend into many countries ruled by authoritarian regimes. Any serious threat to these regimes will have global repercussions, and it will not be easy for democratic states to side with dissident movements. Free trade requires stability more than democracy, and this is especially true when production is globally dispersed. At the same time, stability is not ensured in the current state of international affairs. As in the past, states have divergent strategic objectives; they prize their own security highly and will seek to thwart global market forces if they seem to threaten what are seen as vital national interests. It is only reasonable to expect that these differences will sometimes lead to conflict.

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Monday 12 June 2006, 1:10pm

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