The G8 and poverty: ‘Beyond empty symbolism’

A letter sent to Sojourners in response to a piece in their latest Sojomail:

I appreciated Adam Taylor’s rallying call (“The G8 and poverty: ‘Beyond empty symbolism'”) in your last issue, but feel that perhaps he overstates what we are likely to receive as an outcome of the summit. Hopefully we will get more progress on debt cancellation, some trade reform, and maybe there will even be movement on climate change, but we are not going to get “real justice and empowerment for the world’s most impoverished people.”

The G8, by its very existence, solidifies the disempowerment of the world’s poorest people. It is a rich nations’ club that holds back the tides of democracy by presuming that historical precedent and control of capital flows is sufficient mandate to set policies that so radically affect the whole world. Those of us who truly want to see the poor empowered must be careful not to lose touch of the need for decisions to be made by truly representative bodies as we seek our more immediate and pragmatic goals.

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