1994

PCDForum COLUMNS

Column #66: Paul Hawken and William McDonough, "Making Commerce Sustainable." Sustainability requires fundamentally redefining the policy framework for commerce. Outlines basic principles for such a redefinition.

Column #67: Herman E. Daly, "When Protectionism is a Good Thing." While protecting inefficient domestic monopolies is generally inefficient and should be avoided, protecting a domestic market from predatory pricing by those who fail to include full production, social and environmental costs in pricing is essential to true economic efficiency and should be encouraged.

Column #68: Atherton E. Martin, "To Help the South Support the Peoples' Agenda." Through grassroots initiatives, people the world over are struggling to create local economies based on principles of participation, self-reliance, equity, and sustainability. The World Bank and other official agencies should either find ways to support them or get out of their way.

Column #69: Willis W. Harman, "Getting Serious About Sustainability." The unsustainability of modern life is grounded in a materialistic, reductionistic scientific worldview that is at odds with reality. There is need for a fundamental cultural change that is in fact underway.

Column #70: Anwar Fazal, "Development for People." Economic globalization has obvious benefits for transnational corporations. It runs wholly counter, however, to the need of people to develop local self-reliance and self-determination as the foundation of authentic development.

Column #71: Sarah L. Timpson, "Instead of Growing Economies Let’s Development Human Societies." The single minded pursuit of economic growth has proven to be socially destructive. We should be clear that our goal is to develop healthy human societies.

Column #72: Clarence Shubert, "Creating Family-Friendly Cities." The transfer of the functions of the family to the market is at the heart of social breakdown. Publicly funded services cannot replace the family as the basic social unit. We need to create urban environments that give families a clear role and support them in that role.

Column #73: Robert J. Berg, "The World Bank: Is Anyone Tending the Store?" Evidence of serious weaknesses in management competence, integrity, and accountability at the highest level of the World Bank raise questions as to its desire and ability to achieve needed reform.

Column #74: David C. Korten, "The U.N. and Bretton Woods: Rethinking Global Governance." In a world that requires a democratic global governance structure capable of dealing with complex multi-sectoral goals and issues it is inappropriate to isolate responsibility for economic governance in the undemocratic, single purpose Bretton Woods institutions. GATT, World Bank, and IMF should be brought under the jurisdiction of the United Nations.

PCDForum ARTICLES

Article #5: Herman E. Daly and David C. Korten, "A Case of Job Protection Most Economists Have Overlooked." Mainstream economics is an obsolete discipline because its pre-analytic vision assumes the economy functions independently of the eco-system. It therefore has nothing to say about sustainable development, the fundamental issue of our age. Rather than retrain, as they advise workers in other obsolete industries to do, economists have chosen to assume that sustainable growth is sustainable development, with disastrous consequences for society.

Article #6: David C. Korten, "The GATT and Democracy."The GATT agreement approved by member governments and now awaiting approval by national legislative bodies would create a new World Trade Organization with sweeping powers to overturn national and local legislation deamed to be a barrier to trade. It is a frontal attack on the democratic principle that sovereignty resides with the people.

Article #7: James Robertson, "People-Centered Development: Principles for a New Civilization." People-centered development is about facilitating a transition to a new post-modern, post-European civilization based on principles defined by opposites to the principles of the civilization it replaces.

Article #8: Walden Bello, "Dark Victory of the New World Order." The structural adjustment that has devastated debt burdened Southern countries and the insecurity and deteriorating working conditions being experienced in the North stem from the same cause: the policies of an ideological alliance centered in the United States aimed at turning back an assault on the economic hegemony of U.S. corporations by the Asian NICs. This article, based on Walden’s important new book Dark Victory, spells out the connection.

Article #9: Gustavo Esteva, "Mexican Indians Say No to Development." The Chiapas rebellion is a new kind of revolution aimed not at capturing state power, but rather at reclaiming local economic and political space. It is perhaps the first revolution of the 21st century.

PCDForum PAPERS

David C. Korten, "Sustainable Livelihoods: Redefining the Global Social Crisis." This paper suggests that the crises of poverty, unemployment, and social disintegration all share common roots in the destruction of the roles of households and communities by transferring their functions to the market. It suggests that one step toward resolving these crisis is to focus not on creating jobs, but rather on the creation of livelihoods.

David C. Korten, "Sustainable Development Strategies: The People-Centered Consensus." Presents reflections on current trends in development thinking as revealed in deliberations at the Society for International Development’s 21st World Conference in Mexico City, April 1994. It focuses on fundamental differences between the people-centered consensus and the human development consensus that define basic unresolved issues in the current development debate.

David C. Korten, "Sustainable Development: Conventional versus Emergent Alternative Wisdom." PCDForum. Much discussion of sustainable development is rendered unproductive by the fact that the participants are starting from fundamentally different assumptions. This document was produced for the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress in preparation for an expert working group meeting on sustainable development. It contrasts the conventional and the emergent alternative wisdom on sustainable development. It is a useful point of departure for any discussion of sustainable development as it encourages participants to make their underlying assumptions explicit and public.

PROPOSALS FOR GLOBAL ACTION

David C. Korten, "Proposal for an International Convention to Establish Legal Standards for the International Debt Obligations of National Governments." Addresses the issue of how to make the multilateral banks accountable for assuring that loan obligations meet basic standards for democratic review and approval. Suggests an international convention to set standards by which the legitimacy of international governmental loan obligations would be determined. Loans not meeting those conditions would have no legal standing and be non-collectable by the lending institution.

Helena Norberg-Hodge, "Building the Case Against Globalization." An issues guide for groups working on the international campaign to stop globalization. Presents a rich array of arguments as to why the current trend toward a globalized economy works against the human interest.