The financial crisis in the global north did not and has not affected the south as much as it has done to the north but we are getting there slowly. The unstable economies in Italy, Spain , Greece and almighty USA is definitely not a positive signal for the global south who largely depends on the north for aid and remittances.

When the centre (north) can no longer hold, things will fall apart in the south. Most sub Saharan countries are heavily western-aid dependent and any financial instability in the former will be felt as a tsunami in the latter.  Even middle income economies like china have the potential to suffer from it. Had China not acted really fast to buy some shares in the US companies and pumped a lot of cash into the economy, she too could have fallen victim. This was what prevented Chinese jobs from being lost to redundancies, hence preventing increased unemployment rate.

One’s house can surely not be on fire and you leave it to go and put out your neighbour’s. Self-preservation is nature’s first law. There is every possibility that aid will be drastically reduced to the global south and plunge those lives and livelihoods into social and economic cataclysm.

What does this mean for capitalism or, most importantly, commons?   It is not unlikely that a modern version of ‘the scramble for and partition of Africa  would rear its ugly heads again. This time it will be the scramble for and partition of the global south. Capitalists would want to think that opening more businesses and controlling more ‘economic colonies’ in the global south in search of consumers and cheap labour will be the best option. The profits will be used to service their debts or deficits back in the north and impoverish the south the more.

It goes without saying that commons will be enclosed and ecosystems will be degraded. Land owners will become labourers as these sub-Saharan countries have very high illiteracy rates and would therefore not likely compete in the job market of the factories. ‘Expatriates’ will have to be shipped to the south to control the labourers. Without the least intention of being a prophet of doom, this is a possibility. Refusal to let these multinational companies in to one’s country could result in aid withdrawals by their home governments. Mining leases will be negotiated at the detriment of the vulnerable governments and their people, and their lands may be left unreclaimed. Social structures will be broken!

Let’s hope that the global north does not sneeze for too long, lest the global south catch double pneumonia or even Tuberculosis.



  1. ngoziokei Says:

    There is a relationship between the poor and ecosystem good and services. Everyone is affected by ecosystem degradation,the poor suffer the harmful effect disproportionately. When there is global increases in food/water avaliability, stimutanously there is global decrease in terms of food/water availability in Sub-Saharan African, Asia and latin America. The poor also suffer from loss access to ecosystem through privatization of what were formerly common pool resources. For example inland and coastal fisheries, which are of great values to the poor. http://www.wri.org/publication/content
    With the colonisation of south Africa by British, the Boers declayed war on Britain. The Boers (untrained/ill equipped) natives beat Britain, which inturn led to the scrample for and partition of Africa by the different colonised masters. http://www.cusd.chico.k12.ac.us/-bsilva/projects/scramble.

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