This is an amazing article. It’s long, but take the time to read it. A lot of what Roy says about capitalism rings true – other articles like her one on the Maoist guerillas in the forests that I read I think in 2010/11 is of a similarly powerful ilk.
A lot is covered: feminism, tribal rights, development, capitalism , the role of NGOs, arts, economics.
The point about NGOs being receptors for radicalism, feelers and tentacles of the all-powerful corporations is essentially what I’ve been feeling for a long time – the thing that concerns and niggles me about NGOs that I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on. Apart from the fact that a lot of the money doesn’t reach the right places, problems of inherent corruption and local bureaucracy, of de-readicalising and brain-washing vulnerable people (children, uneducated women, marginalised groups etc), there is the underlying fact that a lot of these supposedly independent organisations are funded by companies with corporate agendas. Political agendas. Just because an NGO isn’t backed by this or that government, doesn’t mean it hasn’t got a set of fundamental rules to work to – and at the end of that line of thought – some of these conglomerates are backed by governments, so it all comes full circle.
Capitalism is disease, and it can’t be inflicted on developing countries in such a selective manner. The Ford/Rockefeller/Bretton Woods/Washington Consensus/IMF/Bill Gates Foundation/World Bank/WHO/Monsanto/Rio Tinto (I could go on..) mode of doing things artificially replicates the most unjust and inequitable sections of American and Westernised society. It’s disgusting – why should the promotion of inequality and uneven wealth distribution be heralded?
Development is essential for millions of people in the developing world – but it needs to be equal, and not sponsored by some hulking corporation with a biased political agenda.