Last updated: 01 Aug 2014 10:52
“Ask the people of the Philippines, whose country is hailed as a top ten reformer in the Doing Business rankings. As a result of the changes made to acquire this honour, the Philippines has become the third most popular destination for foreign acquisition of land in the world, with 5.2 million hectares sold off since 2006. Or the people of Liberia, another top ten reformer in the eyes of the World Bank. In Liberia, giant palm oil and rubber producers have bought up more than 600,000 hectares of land, leaving communities without essential resources to sustain their livelihoods. The same story can be told in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Mali and now, it seems, Ukraine.
So when we read the headlines and grand rhetoric about Russian aggression and human rights abuses, we should remember that what is being fought for in Ukraine is the ability for western leaders and institutions to impose the neoliberal trickle-down economic model. A model that has proved to devastate small businesses and farms, fuel inequality all over the world and concentrate wealth and power in ever fewer hands.
The people of the Ukraine are paying a terrible price for their country’s rich and fertile land. They are being ripped apart in a tug of war between two camps; neither of who have their best interests at heart. Welcome to the politics of the 21st century.
Martin Kirk is Head of Strategy for /The Rules, a global collective of organisers and activists working to tackle the root causes of inequality and poverty.
Frederic Mousseau is Policy Directory of the Oakland Institute and co-author of the report Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict.”