GE3V17049 The Cultural Cold War

Class 4 Final Moments of the Third World








  • Prashad

  • Outline 4

  • Key ideas are marked in red

Class Description



  • Two issues emerge in the 1980s 1990s​

  1. Debt

  2. Religious fundamentalism

  • In both issues the oil crisis played a pivotal role

Module 4



  • Second Industrial Revolution

- Service economy: not only workers in mines

- Highly skilled labor

- bubble and computer: decision to focus on production of computer chips

This economic succes, lessened the enthusiasm for global transformation and the creation of the New International Economic Order among many of the Asian economies that were doing well.

  • Four Asian Tigers

- Economies of Hong KongSingaporeSouth Korea and Taiwan


- A controversial World Bank report (The East Asian Miracle 1993) credited neoliberal policies with the responsibility for the boom, including maintenance of export-oriented policies, low taxes, and minimal welfare states; institutional analysis also states some state intervention was involved. However, others argued that industrial policy and state intervention had a much greater influence than the World Bank report suggested.


  • What were the factors of growth of these Asian Tigers?

- Factor 1: Low wages

- Factor 2: Special Economic constructions

  • Chaebols

    • a large industrial conglomerate that is run and controlled by an owner or family in South Korea.

    • The typical culture at one of these conglomerates is highly paternalistic in nature. Much of the environment is defined by the chairman who acts as a "fatherly-figure" to his subordinates. This can be traced back to the infusion of Neo-Confucian values that permeate Korean society. 

    • Government-chaebol cooperation was essential to the subsequent economic growth and astounding successes that began in the early 1960s. Driv

- Factor 3 Special economic zones:

  • Allow foreign investments

  • 1979 werden de eerste vier zones opgericht: XiamenShenzhenZhuhai en Shantou.

  •  vier bestaande SEZ's werden in 1988 het eiland Hainan en in 1990 het district Pudong van de havenstad Shanghai gevoegd

  • Hong-Kong (inf fact)


  • Singapore

- Explosion of manufactures à export oriented manufacturing after the break for Malaysia in 1965

  • 1960 7.2% of export

  • 1990 45% of export


- Singapore became a display window of development!

- Strongman:  Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015)

  • Posterboy for authoritarian development models 

    • you can see a long documentary in the clip​


  • Lee campaigned for Britain to relinquish its colonial rule, and eventually attained through a national referendum to merge with other former British territories to form Malaysia in 1963. But racial strife and ideological differences led to its separation to become a sovereign city-state two years later. With overwhelming parliamentary control at every election, Lee oversaw Singapore's transformation from a stagnant British crown colony with a natural deep harbour to an Asian Tigereconomy. In the process, he forged a system of meritocratic, highly effective and incorrupt government and civil service. Many of his policies are now taught at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

  • Attended LSE and Cambridge ~ development ideas

  • Dictator recently died  2015= celebrated in the West (Transition form Third World to First World in one generation) -- ?


  • Yew founded the People’s Action Party - PAP

    • Mix of socialism, pragmatism, multicul. And nationalism (Like Sukarno)

    • Singapore = very multicultural from its very origins

    • Programme of guide development of free enterprise

    • The Development Plan (1960-64): adopted import-substitution industrialization strategy (Prebish ideas implemented)

      • This is a Self-interest story NOT African socialism: “that " the average citizen" must not equate "his immediate self-interest as the national interest. He must try and hitch his self-interest to the national interest because in the long run if the country disintegrates into political anarchy and economic chaos the pursuit of self-interest becomes impossible. "



  • Singapore is an example for others

    • Other regimes follow Singapor's example

    • Dictatorshiph in South Korea (1960-198): Park Chung-Hee and Chun Doo-Hwan (1960-88)

On 25 April 1960, Syngman Rhee, (US guy!) the authoritarian inaugural President of South Korea, was forced out of office and into exile following the April 19 Movement, a student-led uprising. A new democratic government took office on 13 August 1960. However, this was a short-lived period of parliamentary rule in South Korea. Yun Bo-seon was a figurehead president, with the real power vested in Prime Minister Chang Myon. Problems arose immediately because neither man could command loyalty from any majority of the Democratic Party or reach agreement on the composition of the cabinet. 

Kagame in Ruanda

Rwandan Patriotic Front

1 day of service every month

Informal economy pushed out the Kigali



  • Katane Akamatsu’s "theory of flying geese"

- In the 1930s, the Japanese economist Katane Akamatsu's theory of the "flying geese" appealed to the zaibatsu and the Japanese imperial state-the lead goose (Japan) developed technologies and products; as it developed newer lines, it turned over the older ones to its colonies (Taiwan and Korea), and so it developed them as it went ahead

  • Asian nations will catch up with the West as a part of a regional hierarchy where the production of commoditized goods would continuously move from the more advanced countries to the less advanced ones. 


  • Catching up through relocation


  • Side effects of economic growth: Singapore has a huge gambling addiction problem.


  • Financial resources: investment from transnational corporations

  • Lenient rules to attrackt investments

Professionals who come to Singapore: skills and money

1980 Singapore inaugurated an international “search for talent”: Professional INformaiotn and Placement Service and Committee for Attracting Talent to Singapore.


  • Limits role in international politics because investors cannot be angered


  • 1973 NAM: attempt to uncouple economics and politics

Economic development as a technical problem, not a political problem

Economic Declaration in final remarks of the Non-Aligned Movement documents, held at Algiers 5 to 9 September 1973, do not reflect these ideas despite the attempts by Singapore to get the uncoupling of economics and politics into the  final documents of the NAM


  • Despite its success, these were still  commodity economies

Drop in computer chips in the 1980s à led to problems and they had to go and borrow money at the IMF

  • East Asian crisis of 1997

    • The crisis started in Thailand (known in Thailand as the Tom Yum Goong crisis; Thai: วิกฤตต้มยำกุ้ง) with the financial collapse of the Thai baht after the Thai government was forced to float the baht due to lack of foreign currency to support its currency peg to the U.S. dollar. At the time, Thailand had acquired a burden of foreign debt that made the country effectively bankrupt even before the collapse of its currency. As the crisis spread, most of Southeast Asia and Japan saw slumping currencies, devalued stock markets and other asset prices, and a precipitous rise in private debt.

    • Speculation against the currency.


  • Default Mexico, 1982

    • When the world economy went into recession in the 1970s and 1980s, and oil prices skyrocketed, it created a breaking point for most countries in the region. Developing countries found themselves in a desperate liquidity crunch. Petroleum-exporting countries, flush with cash after the oil price increases of 1973–1980, invested their money with international banks, which "recycled" a major portion of the capital loans to Latin American governments. 


  • How to interpret and solve this problem: Structural adjustment programs of the World Bank (cut back on government size and austerity) have failed


  • Two interpretations of debt

Interpretation 1: Dependency Theory (Marxian Model)


Center with high quality goods

Periphery of commodities

Interpretation 2: Keynesian world system

Supply side economics

Managed international economy

Governments are supposed to make debt! = debt is good



  • IMF and ITO are Keynsian inventions in a way

    • Bretton Woods had used the Keynesian notions of global management to improve both its position in terms of its authority and commitment to monetary multilateralism without having to compromise on its own financial leadership or trade discrimination, especially in agriculture.


  • Third World African colonies supplied commodities and currency to repay Americans, but Oil crisis shifts emphasis away from state lending to private finance


  • 1989 Brady Plan

    • The bonds were named after U.S. TreasurySecretary Nicholas Brady, who proposed a novel debt-reduction agreement for developing countries.

    • Brady bonds repackaged debt

      • Banks could start selling debt of developing countries ~ allowing for different structures measures. 

=> This all leads to an increase in debt.​


  • Club 51 in Taiwan

A club of businessmen who called upon Taiwan to join the U.S.



  • Global elite

Prashad calls those who argued for more integration into the world economy ,a  global bourgeoisie. This was a generation disappointed by the Third World Project as a consequence of the Structural Adjustment programs of 1970s.

This group of people wants to be part of a global elite and wants to have very little to do with their countrymen. An example today is the sending of Chinese students to the US.


  • Primoridal culturalism

Local culture is only referred when it helps explain success. Confusian values are seen, for instance, as a way to create growth and there was therefore a more intense return to Confusianism.

Described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or simply a way of life.The worldly concern of Confucianism rests upon the belief that human beings are fundamentally good, and teachable, improvable, and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor especially self-cultivation and self-creation.


The parallels with Weber's interpretation of Protestantism as engendering certain values that benefit Capitalist success are clear.


=> These ideas provide the basis for for neoliberal values and Market societies



Prashad uses Saudi Arabia as an example of that shift

  • World Muslim League

1962 founded

Abdallah Ben Abdel Mohsen At-Turki is the General Secretary. The organization propagates the religion of Islam, encouraging Dawah and conversion of non-Muslims, and promotes apologetics against criticism of Islam


  • Faysal

Faisal bin Abdulaziz was born in Riyadh on 14 April 1906

Upon the accession of Prince Faisal's elder brother, King Saud, to the throne in 1953, Prince Faisal was appointed Crown Prince. King Saud embarked on a lavish and ill-considered spending programme that included the construction of a massive royal residence on the outskirts of the capital, Riyadh

It was during this period as head of the Saudi government that Prince Faisal, though still not king, established his reputation as a reforming and modernizing figure.[1] He introduced education for women and girls despite the consternation of many conservatives in the religious establishment. 

Dethrones King Saud à Prince Faisal was backed by the religious establishment, which is headed by the Al-Shaykh, the descendants of Muhammad bin Abd al Wahab. In addition, Prince Faisal sought authority through significant Sudairi backing which he cemented by his marriage to a Sudairi.

1975 he was assassinated by his nephew Faisal bin Musaid. On 25 March 1975 King Faisal was shot point-blank and killed by his half-brother's son, Faisal bin Musaid, who had just come back from the United States.



A return to values from the past to justify rule. A good example is Joseph Désiré Mobutu​ who 'created' all sorts of traditions and renamed Congo when it became 'Zaire'



​Saudi Arabia the best example of how Third Worldism evolved into religious extremism

  • Kingdom of Saud, 1930

Saudi Arabia does not exist, what exists is Mecca: In 1916, with the encouragement and support of Britain (which was fighting the Ottomans in World War I), the Sharif of Mecca, Hussein bin Ali, led a pan-Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire to create a united Arab state.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud.


Wahabi Fundamentalism as a response to Third World nationalism

This was, after all, the age when influential clerics from Egypt to Iran wrote books that justified Islam as the " dialectical synthesis" of capitalism and Communism. They promoted Islam as a modern solution to modern problems and an addition

But gained influence in light of the collapse of the Third World project: alternatives? (communism? Neoliberalism?)


  • Wahabi Fundamentalism in Mali 2012-13

Suni-state sponsored version of Islam

 an Islamic doctrine and religious movement founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab

Extreme: Last King of saud buried in an unmarked grave.

Funded moderate Mosks (together with Quatar)

Wahabism’s alliance with Tuareg rebelles who wanted autonomous Northern Region (had come back from Khadadfi’s  Algeria)

Faces opposition from Iran (Shia)


  • Saudi-Arabia-Egypt Relations

In the years immediately after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia were cordial, driven by mutual suspicion of the Hashemites reigning in Jordan and (especially) Iraq at the time, and continuing from an anti-Hashemite alliance formed by King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, King Farouk of Egyptand President Shukri al-Quwatli of Syria after the foundation of the Arab League in 1945.

Military pact in 1955

1956 Visit Nasser to Saudi Arabia

“Arab Oil for Arab People”

Sadam overthrews Iraq King: Hashemite monarchy


  • Nasserism as emancipatory ideology

Internal: Workers claim rights (same mechanism as the Trade Unions – Cooper)

External: Yaqub Salim, Eisenhower Doctrine (support middle east militarily) not against communism but nassersims


  • Free Princes Movement (1958-1964) – example of Nasser Free Officer

It was founded by Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud because of the tensions between Crown Prince Faisal and King Saud.

It was heavily idealized around the iconic figure of Gamal Abdel Nasser and his pan-Arab nationalism. It called for political reforms and a constitution.

Support from small middle-clas

he movement was supported by Talal's brothers, Nawwaf bin AbdulazizFawwaz bin Abdulaziz and Badr bin Abdulaziz.


Another brother, Prince Abdul Muhsin, vocally supported the movement and suggested a constitutional monarchy.

However, in December 1960, Talal's supporters formed a coalition with Saud to undermine King Faisal's growing influence

Soon, Radio Yemen (an Egyptian-controlled organ) called for the assassination of the Al Saud including the Free Princes. That was one reason that the Free Princes became increasingly embittered with Nasser.

In August 1963, Talal declared that he was "entirely wrong" in the past and praised Faisal's reforms. By early 1964, the Free Princes returned from exile in Beirut. The movement ended.



  • The Muslim World League as a response to Nasserites

This is an important network building of Islamic organizations

The League says that they reject all acts of violence and promote dialogue with the people of other cultures, within their understanding of Sharia, but they are no strangers to controversy, having been the subject of several ongoing counterterrorism investigations in the U.S. related to Hamas, al Qaeda and other terrorist group

1956-1966 Faysal travelled to conservative Muslim states in Asia and Africa, Teheran, Sudna, Turkey, Morocco, Guiena, Mali, Tunisia and Pakiston


Vision of Islam as unifying force:

“It is in these moments, when Islam is facing many undercurrents that are pulling Muslims left and right, east and west, that we need time for more cooperation and closer ties to enable us to face all the problems and difficulties that obstruct our way as an Islamic nation, believing in God”


  • Counter a Third World version of modernity

1979 Movement of the Mulsim Revolutionaries of the Arabian Peninsula laid sieg tot eh Masjid al-Haram

  • Take back Mecca



  • Saudi-Arabia = 2nd largest exporter of oil


Learned from this: renewable energy in quatar


  • Internally: Structural Adjustment by the royal family

Control of oil to companies

Leads to unrest among young people à religious policy (mutawwa’a)



  • Externally: Jihad Fund

Export of devout sections fo fight against the vestiges of Nassermism and Comumnism in Muslim lands


  • People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan

Land Reform 6 July 1978

Marxists push women’s rights agenda:

Politburo member Anahita Ratebzad : " Privileges which women, by right, must have are equal education, job security, health services, and free time to rear a healthy generation for building the future of the country. Educating and enlightening women is now the subj ct of close government attention.”



​The Third World was a failure

  • End of Secular-Socialist agenda


  • Debt Crisis


  • Nyerere, “growth and hope – then disillusionment”, 1986


  • US Military Power

 Somalia, 1993. The sight of dead US soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu was a turning point in one of the United States' most high-profile interventions in Africa.

  • Neoliberal states with national liberation values (!)

G 15 is created informal forum set up to foster cooperation and provide input for other international groups, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Group of Seven. It was established at the Ninth Non-Aligned Movement Summit Meeting in BelgradeYugoslavia, in September 1989, and is composed of countries from Latin America, Africa, and Asia with a common goal of enhanced growth and prosperity. The G-15 focuses on cooperation among developing countries in the areas of investment, trade, and technology. Membership has since expanded to 18 countries, but the name has remained unchanged.[3] Chile, Iran and Kenya have since joined the Group of 15, whereas Yugoslavia is no longer part of the group; Peru, a founding member-state, decided to leave the G-15 in 2011.

Akon, originally from Senegal


  • Oil crisis as a the pivotal event that ended the Third World project

    • It triggered the debt crisis

    • It triggered many societal changes

  • General conclusions

  • Beginning of the Third World Project and the role of an anticolonial bourgeois was pivotal.


  • The Marxist interpretation of Prashad is important to keep in mind while reading the book. The grand theories put forward by Marxism are 


  • No clash of Civilizations but more complex drivers of change. The national and the international interact at every moment of the Third World project

  • The "Rise of the Rest" has a history


The Global South has a lot of potential

  • Capitalism has lifted peoples out of poverty

    •  India, China has a growing middle-class


  • African Union expansion

    • African Passport


  • Diaspora is very succesful

    • Akon, from Senegal, became a Global superstar. Other workers send money back.​