Yash Tandon is the author of numerous books and is an Honorary Professor at Warwick and London Middlesex Universities in the UK. He is the Founder-Chairman of SEATINI (Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute), and former Executive Director of the South Centre, a think tank of the Global South.
Developing countries reliant on aid want to escape this dependence, and yet they appear unable to do so. This book shows how they may liberate themselves from the aid that pretends to be developmental but is not and cautions countries of the South against falling into the aid trap and endorsing the collective colonialism of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). An exit strategy from aid dependence requires a radical shift in both the mindset and the development strategy of countries dependent on aid and a deeper and direct involvement of people in their own development. It also requires a radical restructuring of the global institutional aid architecture.
It is not war with bombs and drones. But trade can be as lethal, and as much a ‘weapon of mass destruction’, as bombs. Trade in the capitalist-imperial era kills people; it drives people into poverty; it creates wealth at one end and poverty at another; it enriches the powerful food corporations at the cost of marginalising poor peasants; it turns the poor into economic refugees in their own countries, or migrants. For the last five hundred years trade has been a serial war against the peoples of the South. It has been a story of relentless war against the countries that supplied slaves in the pre-capitalist period and commodities since the beginning of the industrialisation of western economies. The inequities of the global trading system are glossed over in an ideological camouflage – the all-pervasive ideology that under ‘free trade’ the resources of the world are most efficiently and productively allocated on the basis of comparative or competitive advantages. This is a gross myth. Free trade is a fantasy. There is no evidence that ‘free trade’ or ‘fair trade’ ever existed since the dawn of capitalism.