Walden Bello


img_0080.jpgJanuary 25, 2005
By Walden Bello

(Speech at Karangalan 2005, Cultural Center of the Philippines , January 21, 2005)

Walden Bello is a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award for 2003. He is professor of sociology and public administration at the University of the Philippines and executive director of the Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South.

I would like to thank the organizers of this event, particularly my co-awardee of the Right Livelihood Award for 2003, Nicky Perlas, for inviting me to speak at this event. Nicky’s optimism, as many of you know, is infectious, and I do hope all of us will be infected by it today.

I think our previous speakers have already alluded to the mood of dispiritedness that shrouds the country today. Perhaps more than at any other time, self doubt has become a chronic collective neurosis. For some the way out is to emigrate, an option that according to the polls is preferred by one out of five Filipinos. (more…)

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walden.jpg  By Walden Bello*       

Let me begin by saying that from the point of view of a person from the South, things do not look as bleak as they seemed a couple of years ago.  The United States is bogged down in Iraq, in an unending war that, as the November 2006 elections demonstrated, has lost the last shreds of legitimacy among the American people.  The peoples of Latin America are on the move away from neoliberalism.   Hugo Chavez baits the bear with impunity. The European Union and the US continue their inexorable drift from each other.  The mighty Israeli war machine has been humbled by a most unexpected source: a few hundred guerrillas in Lebanon.  Now, you and I may have disagreements on how to view some of these developments, but for us in the South, a significant weakening of the global hegemony of the United States such as that which has occurred since 2003 is a giant step forward, for it gives our societies more breathing space, more freedom of maneuver.  In this regard, let me just say, contrary to those who extol the alleged benign effects of hegemonic power, that the alternative to hegemony is not chaos but space, creative diversity, and the possibility for a genuine multilateral order.  (more…)