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QuestionDoes our wealth depend on the 3rd world being poor? Tom Henze
Anthony Arnove: Because our wealth covers up an important fact, which is "our" is a collective term. And with all terms like "we" or "our" I think we have to be very careful about who we're referring to. If you mean "our" as in the people of the first world, if you take that as your reference point, the reality is the first world is not a unified entity. There are class divisions. There are social divisions in even the richest of countries, the United States, which mean there's not a unified interest. There's not a unified collective. There are people in the United States who benefit from the exploitation of the third world. That goes without question. But then there are also people who equally are disenfranchised, who are oppressed in the United States, and they don't benefit from the exploitation of a third world; and I think that's a very important point. So, to take the first group, those who do benefit from the exploitation of the world, there's no question that they benefit from the subjugation of the third world; that they benefit from the exploitation of their resources; their labor markets; from the social conditions that exist in those countries. They have an interest in continuing those social conditions. On the other hand, if you're a working class, if you're poor in the United States or in the first world, you do not benefit from that circumstance. In fact, right now you see growing - an income gap growing in equality in the rich countries, in the so-called rich countries, in the advanced capitalist countries, as the rich get richer and working class people find themselves in competition - with seeing their benefits eroded; seeing their wages eroded, because they're in competition with a global labor market, which means that they have less resources; that their living standards are being attacked. And then also, if you look at the third world itself, you find elites. You find individuals. You find people in positions of power in the government, in the economy, who benefit from that alliance with the rich countries, with the capitalists.