The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by Dennis De Peiza
The world, as we have come to know it, has, within the last quarter of a century, taken on a new face, as economic recessions have continued to wreak havoc. The rich countries of the world have had to reposition themselves as they attempt to maintain their economic dominance.
There can be no disputing the fact that the poorer nations of the world have suffered the indignity of becoming even poorer. The struggles of exploitation continue apace, and with this, the disadvantaged are basically the ones who have continued to feel the proverbial pinch of the shoe.
As a consequence of the global financial meltdown, the large economies of the world have taken a hit. This has since been followed by the global pandemic known as COVID-19. These two disasters have caused the superpowers of the world to stop, look, think and listen; or so it would appear. Whilst this may only be a temporary state, the reality is that they have been forced to go back to the drawing board, and to re-examine their outlook and strategies going forward. It is hardly unlikely that this would change their way of thinking or modus operandi.
The control which countries have exercised as the producers and distributors of the COVID-19 vaccine speaks volumes as to how they are able to manipulate the market. It would seem that they are hell bent on profiteering. To a large measure, the poorer countries of the world are required to pay excessively for supplies of the needed vaccines.
The inability to either source high volumes of the vaccines and, at reasonable prices, places an increasing strain on governments’ responses to combat the transmission of COVID-19, which is now the most dangerous threat to
Should this come as a surprise to most? Those who followed the reggae legend, the great Robert Lester Bob Marley, would come to understand the visionary that he was. He reminded the world that, “Man to man is so unjust.”
If the world is to accept that “man is his brother’s keeper,” then it is unacceptable that in a global pandemic, there would be claims made of the hoarding of COVID-19 vaccines and of price gouging. Reflecting on lyrics sung by Bob Marley, this could be a case that, “Some will hate you, pretend they love you now, then behind they try to eliminate you.”
Using what may be seen as an act of injustice which is being perpetrated against third world countries by the metropolitan countries, this gives credence to the continued cries of exploitation and suppression.
Looking at the world as it stands, the imperialist powers take pride in sending signals that they are supportive of addressing the needs of the oppressed people of the world. Many of their political manoeuvrings would suggest that they are well intended and looking to bring comfort to the world.
The political rhetoric would suggest that they are supporting changes in the world where colour prejudice and religious tolerance are denounced, and that political, economic and social enfranchisement is being pursued.
Somehow, much of this appears to be only cosmetic, as things remain in a state where the dominant world powers continue to dictate, control, and pursue policies in which elements of marginalisation and suppression are indirectly reflected. Moreover, what is politically intriguing is that whereas the superpowers of the world give with one hand, they willingly take back with the other.
The approach taken by the powerful industrialised nations is one that is camouflaged more than anything else. The world’s poorer countries are left in a quagmire, as they are virtually backed into a corner of having to tow the line and remain compliant by their dependency on foreign aid, access to foreign borrowing and the acquisition of other logistical and geographical support.
With the fear of being marginalised by way of being blacklisted or flagged as countries on the no-fly list, the end result is a high level of insecurity and discomfort. This plays a significant part in reducing the possibility that dependent colonies and even sovereign nation states would contemplate introducing any hardball measures in an effort to counteract prevailing circumstances.
This is a part of the extended problem colonies of the British Empire and those transitioning into republican
status continue to face.
The inability to compete on the world market in a new globalised, industrialised and technological age is simply problematic. As COVID-19 has dealt a severe blow globally, the industrialised countries of the world find that they are having to compete fiercely amongst themselves.
As a consequence of being outpaced, undercapitalised and under-resourced, third world countries and small island developing states are left as victims in a world of economic terror. The building out of vibrant economies that are not monoculture in nature, is urgently needed. The ability to compete in a globalised market will mean that rapid advancement is made in the areas of industrial and technological development.
In accentuating the progress to be made, a link ought to be made regarding the capacity of countries to reduce the potential brain drain. The human resource must be seen as the one which is needed to help make a difference to economic development and prosperity. Since labour is important and it matters, the time is more than ripe for a higher value to be placed on labour, and for clear signs that worker empowerment is on the cards.
Dennis De Peiza is a Labour & Employee Relations Consultantat Regional Management Services Inc. website: www.regionalmanagement services.com