THE FIRST WORLD AND THE THIRD WORLD: Essays on the New International Economic Order by Karl--Ed. Brunner

THE FIRST WORLD AND THE THIRD WORLD: Essays on the New International Economic Order

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Increasingly, the so-called ""developing"" and/or ""less developed"" countries of the Third World have been banding together in international forums to assert their demands against the western capitalist countries. Two focal points stand out: OPEC and the UN General Assembly. The economic power of the oil cartel is not unrelated to the new strength displayed by the resource-rich Third World at the all-too-responsive UN. This volume is meant to provide ammunition for the western counter-attack. Although the six contributors muster an impressive list of academic credentials, the eleven pieces chosen for inclusion--only two appear here for the first time--were apparently written for general audiences, and are less scholarly than rhetorical. Editor Brunner, for example, spends two articles ""exposing"" the Marxist-Leninist ideology behind the ""New International Economic Order"" (NIEO) and extolling the superiority of the free market in creating wealth while enhancing freedom. He rails against western intellectuals who fall prey to Third World ""extortion"" out of feelings of guilt--a recurrent theme throughout the book, which includes Peter Bauer's essay, ""Western Guilt and Third World Poverty""--and warns that ""passive diplomacy"" coupled with the inevitable growth of international regulatory bureaucracies leaves the U.S. vulnerable to the new ideology. Most of the other essays--by Bauer, Henry G. Johnson, and Basil Yamey--expand or reiterate these themes. A welcome respite is provided by Rachel McCulloch's informative article tracing the history of economic policy in the UN, and providing the concrete analysis lacking elsewhere. McCulloch notes that the real power still rests with the U.S.-dominated IMF and World Bank, and cautions against withdrawal from traditional aid programs, which she believes to be more beneficial to the Third World than the policies they themselves demand. Also included is Daniel Moynihan's 1975 Commentary article, ""The United States in Opposition."" Noticeably lacking is any discussion of the work of leading theorists of under-development and unequal exchange. A book to warm the heart of monetarist Milton Friedman, but too summary for its own good.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1978
Publisher: Univ. of Rochester Policy Center Publications