Voices from Below

In concluding its report The Challenge to the South, the South Commission, chaired by Julius Nyerere and consisting of leading Third World economists, government planners, and others, called for a "new world order" that will respond to "the South's plea for justice, equity, and democracy in the global society" -- with a touch of pathos, perhaps, since its analysis offered little basis for such hopes.1 Some months later, George Bush appropriated the phrase "new world order" as part of the rhetorical background for his war in the Gulf. The powerful determine the rules of the game and the meaning of the rhetoric adopted to disguise them. It is George Bush's New World Order, not that of the South Commission, that will prevail. Accordingly, it is not surprising that the Third World did not join in the enthusiastic U.S. welcome for the uplifting vision proclaimed by the President and his Secretary of State.
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