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This short book deconstructs the assumption that global poverty has fallen dramatically, and lays bare the spurious methods of poverty measurement and data on which the dominant prosperity narrative depends. Here is carefully researched documentation that global poverty—and the inequalities and misery that flourish within it—remains massive, afflicting the majority of the world’s population. Donnelly goes further to analyze just how global poverty, rather than being reduced, is actually reproduced by the imperatives of capital accumulation on a global scale. Just as the global, environmental catastrophe cannot be resolved within capitalism, rooted as it is in contemporary mechanisms of exploitation and plunder, neither can human poverty be effectively eliminated by neoliberal “advances.”
The Lie of Global Prosperity convincingly exposes the spurious arguments used to justify economic policies that exacerbate hunger, misery, and environmental degradation worldwide, revealing the absurdity of the claim that poverty has been dramatically declining under global capitalism in the new millennium. This book is much needed in the struggle for a world truly free from poverty, exploitation, and the denial of basic human rights.
In this short, incisive, no-nonsense, and easily accessible book, Seth Donnelly demonstrates the great lengths taken by international organizations, such as the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, to disguise the dire realities of global poverty and world hunger through the flagrant misuse of statistics. Unable substantially to reduce world poverty under the current imperialist system, the dominant interests of the capitalist world economy seek to do “the next best thing”: to define it away, even while world hunger and deprivation increases. Reading The Lie of Global Prosperity will leave you shocked, angry, and, most important, informed.
A bleak look at the propagandistic world of development goals and the international comparisons of poverty, hunger, housing, and health on which they rest. Global statisticians have ways of making the data talk, but as with all forms of torture, the result is not the truth. It is, merely, what the sponsor would like to hear, and what he would like the rest of us to believe.
Donnelly shows how militarism and neoliberal trickle down capitalism are continually putting millions in extreme misery and deprivation, part of the policies leading to the phenomenon of massive displacement and forced migration. It’s a book complex in its analysis, yet accessible to academics and activists alike. The Myth of Global Prosperity is a great contribution to all those struggling to make a different world.