Whose interest does the ten-year Strategy document for Africa actually serve? The World Bank has shown little insight into the real problems Africa faces, focusing instead on ineffective policies, support for repressive regimes and projects that are known to have failed.
After a brief period of destabilisation, self-justification and the occasional mea culpa, the very people and institutions that plunged the world into crisis have re-emerged unscathed, as the fount of truth and all reasonable policy.
"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
In a recent editorial comment, The Economist issued a solemn call to all believers in global capitalism not to despair, not to panick, and to do nothing that could endanger the capitalist system (October 18-24, 2008). The magazine invoked the words and spirit of its founder, the Scottish businessman, James Wilson, who, about 165 years ago, gave the paper the philosophy of "economic liberty".