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The following article appeared in Left Business Observer #95, November 2000. It retains its copyright and may not be reprinted or redistributed in any form - print, electronic, facsimile, anything - without the permission of LBO.


LBO asked two prominent "abolitionists" - those who would shut rather than reform the IMF and the World Bank - what the world might look like after theywere gone. Patrick Bond, a frequent LBO contributor, teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Walden Bello divides his time between teaching at the University of the Philippines and directing the Focus on the Global South in Bangkok.

After the IMF and Bank are gone

Patrick Bond wites:

Whether we thrive in a future world without the Bretton Woods Institutions (the World Bank and IMF) very much depends on why and how we get rid of them (not to mention the WTO). The radicalization of development finance is crucial, so that:

In practice, the main forces opposed to these goals are the Washington financial institutions. That's one reason for shutting the institutions down. But radicalization is only one of the scenarios: a more likely end of the Bretton Woods road, unless mass-popular campaigns are generated by the left, is stinginess and protectionism, led by Congressional Republicans' xenophobia.

Is there a basis for ongoing radical activist campaigning? I work in Johannesburg. Less than an hour's drive up the highway is Pretoria. There, for most of the 20th century, teams of brutal