Non-Fiction Books:

Politics as Usual

What Lies Behind the Pro-Poor Rhetoric



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Politics as Usual by Thomas W. Pogge
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Worldwide, human lives are rapidly improving. Education,health-care, technology, and political participation are becomingever more universal, empowering human beings everywhere to enjoysecurity, economic sufficiency, equal citizenship, and a life indignity. To be sure, there are some specially difficult areasdisfavoured by climate, geography, local diseases, unenlightenedcultures or political tyranny. Here progress is slow, and there maybe set-backs. But the affluent states and many internationalorganizations are working steadily to extend the blessings ofmodernity through trade and generous development assistance, and itwon't be long until the last pockets of severe oppression andpoverty are gone. Heavily promoted by Western governments and media, thiscomforting view of the world is widely shared, at least among theaffluent. Pogge's new book presents an alternative view: Povertyand oppression persist on a massive scale; political and economicinequalities are rising dramatically both intra-nationally andglobally. The affluent states and the international organizationsthey control knowingly contribute greatly to these evils -selfishly promoting rules and policies harmful to the poor whilehypocritically pretending to set and promote ambitious developmentgoals. Pogge's case studies include the $1/day poverty measurementexercise, the cosmetic statistics behind the first MillenniumDevelopment Goal, the War on Terror, and the proposed relaxation ofthe constraints on humanitarian intervention. A powerful moralanalysis that shows what Western states would do if they reallycared about the values they profess.

Author Biography

Thomas Pogge, Professor, Australian National University
Release date Australia
April 9th, 2010
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Polity Press
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