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Since developmentalism is rooted in equality, justice and independence, the US painted it as the first step towards godless communism, forever tarnishing it in Americans minds. Then, in 1953, President Eisenhower launched the war on development by appointing the Dulles brothers – who had represented the Cuban Sugar Cane Co. and United Fruit Co. – as Secretary of State and CIA Director. When Iran elected a fervent developmentalist President, Mohammad Mossadegh, the Dulles brothers set out to destroy him and his country, a project that remains a White House priority.

Ike’s anti-development policy was called Capitalist Modernization Theory: Western societies are inherently progressive in ways older civilizations can never be, and the wealth they generate is distributed unevenly because some people work harder than others. But the only road to economic evolution and social modernization leads through free trade, individual effort and capitalism, and those who stray from the path will be destroyed.

So thorough was the anti-developmentalist campaign that the US carried its attack to the UN, where it blocked all resolutions recognizing food, shelter and national development as human rights. Learning of this a horrified Harold Pinter wrote, "The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis. "U.S. foreign policy is best defined as follows: kiss my arse or I’ll kick your head in. It is as simple and as crude as that. What is interesting about it is that it’s so incredibly successful. It possesses the structures of disinformation, use of rhetoric, distortion of language, which are very persuasive, but are actually a pack of lies. It is very successful propaganda. They have the money, they have the technology, they have all the means to get away with it, and they do.” – Nobel Prize lecture, 1958.

https://herecomeschina.substack.com/p/how-america-impoverished-the-90

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Alice Amsden judged ("Escape from empire") that the US hegemony was relative decent concerning industrial development up to about 1973 – provided that you didn't turn to the Soviet Union for help. For example, South Korea run an almost Stalinist development policy (see Ha-Joon Chang), with full support of the US – but of course South Korea supported US global designs through thick and thin.

But after that she agrees with you.

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"European nations imposed political control over most of Africa, Asia, and Oceania, and employed it to exploit natural resources and cheap (or forced) domestic labor."

It's so curious you didn't include the genocide of the Americas in your list, which should be no less than a fifth "bad development."

At any rate, you are probably right that reparations could never be determined by our ancient, decrepit, and often contradictory legal system with it's boolean decisions of who is right and who wrong, and the common grotesque statutory decisions which frequently emanate from it. But your phrase:

"These 'bads' have been, and continue to be, debated and while learning about each of them is to be encouraged, they do not have direct political or financial consequences on today's world."

This is a patent absurdity. How can history exist if they have no "direct political or financial consequences on today's world?" I think there is a reason economists in general have a bad reputation, even if yours are better than most. When your models and reality fall into contradiction you choose your models every time. And what's worse, you don't even see it as a problem.

To paraphrase Max Plank, in his infinite wisdom, said the ultimate truth: science can only advance one funeral at a time.

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I am from and live in Brazil. I was once lectured by a Frenchman for having three kids and the impact that would have on the environment. Don't take this as a serious comment on the (very nice) article by Branko, I am just venting a bit.

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The BBC interviewer is so obnoxious that he’s painful to watch. He’s also inconsistent — one moment he attacks Guyana’s president for not getting a better deal with Exxon, the next he accuses him of allowing oil and gas production.

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Branko misses what is "bad." He says: "The ideas, floated from time to time, for monetary compensation for such ills are far-fetched and unrealizable. Nor is there any ability to clearly identify the “culprits” and the “victims”. Colonial relations have contiued to this day as neocolonialism and Branko's dismissal of reparations argument is based on his biased, ideological view of the world. ODA based on "charitable" impulses has been self-serving. The Global North contiues to colonize the Global South and there needs to be massive ongoing resource transfers to compensate and achieve a just world.

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Perhaps the flip-side to your comment is how remarkable China’s industrialisation and rise is. It’s achieved without the first three “bads”, and China looks like it is going to avoid the fourth bad if it achieves carbon neutrality at much lower per capita emissions compared to the US, Canada and Australia, and the EU.

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Really, without the "bads"?

The 1st bad: What else to call it but the ongoing colonisation of Tibet and Xinjang? And what is China doing now but preparing for the next colonisation of Taiwan?

The 2nd bad: The total number of people enslaved during the heyday of the transatlantic slave trade was maybe 15 million. In China, there is more than 5 million forced labourers -- all from the non-Han ethnic backgrounds -- just today.

The 3rd bad: Today's "belt and road" initiatives ushering poor countries into indebtment are a not a bad analogy to the "colonial contracts".

The 4th bad: "if it achieves carbon neutrality" -- that is a very big IF considering the trajectory on which China is: adding coal plants and emissions year by year. If this blinding pace and acceleration continues, China is on track to exceed United States' cumulative CO2 emissions within a decade. And of course let's not forget China enabling active CO2 denialist countries like Russia.

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Anything you are listing is fundamentally wrong and just based on western narratives aiming to discredit China. It is a mainstream infested rant regurgitating fabricated sinophobic western allegations not in the slightest backed by facts, no matter if it is the 'debt trap' - which in fact has been set by western institutions like the IMF and the Worldbank for decades or baseless stories about 'genocide' regarding Uyghurs and the distorted narrative of China as the world's worst environmental polluter while China's investment in renewable energy sources has been a multiple of that of Western Europe and the USA combined.

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China IS actually the biggest users of coal in the world. Nobody should deny that. But China is also the supremely biggest investor in solar panels. Nothing is clear black-and-white in this world.

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Hypocrisy, finger wagging and lectures are the West's dominant exports these days.

The rest of the world can be forgiven for being tired of it, I should think ...

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Exactly as Mahathir Muhammed of Malaysia said at the UN Summit in Rio de Janeiro 1992. And better rhetorically than even Fidel Castro did.

Now, of course, the oil should stay in the soil. Including the oil for example UK takes up from the North Sea. A general ban of oil (and coal) extraction should of of course help development of other possibilities. And sun & wind energy is already cheaper than oil, see for example https://ourworldindata.org/cheap-renewables-growth. So I don't understand what we are waiting for. It is not technical solutions.

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Mahathir's address is stored at https://www.jstor.org/stable/25770405. We who are not logged in can at least read the first 9 entries, and even they are rather sharp.

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He was not “lectured,” that is the format of the program, Hard Talk. The host is the same with all guests, including politicians and NGO heads from rich countries. Guests go on the program for the opportunity to answer.

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When we talk about previous “stock” of emissions, do we have a data showing the emission rate through years? Ideally for past 50-100 years.

Cause if it has an exponential grow, then the responsibility of the rich countries might be seen a bit differently.

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As you are probably aware we are unlikely to agree regardless of how many "facts" "opinions" or "anecdotal evidence" we throw at each other.

The sole "owner" of everything of any value was a Communist Party - of course, by proxy - i.e. members of the party (I assume Branko's parents) were beneficiaries and there were more of Serbian Nationality in the positions of power and ability to benefit.

Since 1949 Yugoslavia distanced itself from Moscow and Tito used Moscow only as a game piece when he wanted to threaten the West. I had to leave because of refusing to join Communist Party and being called out as "Techno Manager" - whatever the hell that meant. Getting an apartment or being promoted was out of the question. You mean outcry for "exploitation" not exploration (damn the automatic spell checker)- Personally, I despised nationalism's propaganda as much as the alternative. During my close to eight decades on this earth I realized that "truth" is also relative and depends on observer.

It was fun to hear from you - I have Serbian friends in the USA as well as Belgrade, so I am afraid we may have some mutual acquittances wherever you are ;-).

The way I stumbled on Branko's Blog is funny coincidence - he has the same last name as the current Croatian President (A complete Idiot btw.)

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Corr. Mea culpa, you DID mean cry for exploration - I was not following oil industry and was not aware of people pushing for drilling in Croatia.

Also, when I said "One of the rare Croatians in that position", I was referring to a position, not to INA. They were ALL members of the Communist Party.

My comment about Serbian friends applies to Branko more than to you and you are right, I did sound nationalistic.... Nationality did play a role but being a member of the ruling class is where it was at.

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Reading Branko's posts makes me feel thousand years old, though I have only a few years on him.

"Equality" is a myth and any kind of attempt at reparations or redistribution is naive (stupid?). I was born only few hundred miles from Branko but we could have been born on different planets. Yugoslavia drained Croatia's resources for half a century and while Branko lived a privileged life, studied abroad etc. I worked my ass off as did my parents. It never occurred to me that someone "owes" me.

Fifty years in North America thought me that USA is the worst country in the world except for all the others.

Enjoy the Capitalism while it lasts (Freedom Of Speech & Private Property)

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Although Branko’s post is above the petty squabbles, and he is fully capable of responding, I cannot remain silent about the basis of your claim. Could you please clarify which Croatian resources were drained by Yugoslavia over 50 years? I claim to have some knowledge on this subject. I am Croatian, lived in Croatia until the early 1990s, and worked in the Croatian oil industry, which was the only major natural resource, relatively speaking, and was exclusively exploited by a Croatian-owned and controlled oil company.

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Vedrane, first of all, "Croatian owned" was smoke and mirrors just as was "worker's ownership". You are correct, INA was in Croatia and I even played cards (preferans) with one time direktor (Gabrijel Santo) one of the few Croatians. in that role.

I am talking about straight out plundering of a products of Croatian enterprises and labor (as a "resource"). Just to give you an example (We are talking early 1970-ties)... trying to modernize production in Zagreb, Germany offered us machinery on credit with no down payment; Duty of 100% was due to Belgrade in German Marks which had to be bought at 4 Dinnars (If I remember correctly) while Jugoslavenska Narodna Banka was paying us 2 Dinars for the same Marks which Tourist industry was collecting.

I have no idea what kind of shell game was going on with oil and you are right, it has never been much of a resource. So to conclude, I was not talking about natural resources, though some of that was going on as well (Aluminum, for one)

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Please clarify for me, Dinko: who really owned the Croatian "resources," or as you call them, "the products of Croatian enterprises and labor"? Was it the Serbians, communists, the Federal Government, Moscow, or someone else? Indeed, playing cards with someone can be a unique way to gather and verify information. It's a fact that all the CEOs of INA from its inception in the mid-1960s until the late 2000s (when MOL took over) were Croatian, as were the top executives of most of its subsidiaries. Before independence, all but one of these CEOs (the exception being a former Prime Minister) were respected industry professionals. I didn't grasp your example of anecdotal plundering, so I find it hard to comment on that. The Yugoslav economic model in its final years was likely a basket case , but the Croatian nationalist outcry for "exploration" was mostly founded on skewed perceptions. How else can we explain that the economic gap between the developed regions (like Slovenia and Croatia) and the less developed ones (like Kosovo and Macedonia) didn't narrow, but remained constant? Yes, there were financial transfers from Croatia and Slovenia, similar to how wealthier EU countries contribute to Croatia today, but these regions also gained from cheap labor and natural resources.

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I believe it would be fairer if the developed world would be willing to share their tacit knowledge on development methods with less carbon emissions with the developing world.

It is well-known that knowledge dissemination is a crucial factor in solving international wealth inequalities.

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What, no mention of resource curse?

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Even if in Haiti, France and the United States today paid the historical debt for the odious debts imposed there, there would still be a lack of a political culture in Haiti that would not squander that reparation.

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Only money can do nothing. There must be technically competent people in a country to cultivate it. And with that cultivation will also political culture follow. Not the other way about.

Now, a lot of Haitians are educated – but they get no jobs in Haiti. They emigrate to Canada to drive taxis there. Or at least they did twenty years ago. Haiti, you see, is not permitted to support industrialization in the way all Western industrialized countries did in the 19th-20th centuries (also Japan, of course). Perhaps Haiti is too small, perhaps it would have to band together at least with the other Caribbean islands... But yet, trusting only the "markets" will get them nowhere. And trusting the dominant powers will not even get them as far as that.

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In a sense it’s still the rich world that’s benefiting from cases such as Guyana, given I believe it’s Exxon that in developing and receiving most of the proceeds.

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Raw materials are very dangerous to be dependant on. They need not many people to extract, so little money will stay in the country. Of course, one can do like the oil countries did in the 70s and raise the permittance fee – but they had no use for the money so it ended up in bank accounts and fed the global inflation at the time.

The only way to get rich is investing in modern industry,

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