Thirdworldization of America


"Take away our playstations and we are a third world nation."

Ani DiFranco, songwriter/singer from her poem "Self-evident" about the 9-11 WTC bombing


Third World in United States

"The United States is slipping into a category of countries - among them Brazil, Britain, and Guatemala - where the gap [between rich and poor] is the worst around the globe."

United Nations' Human Development Report


Media - Main page

"The U.S. propaganda system is at the peak of its powers in the early years of the 21st century, riding the wave of capitalism's triumph, U.S. global hegemony, and the ... effective service of the increasingly concentrated and commercialized mainstream media... in such times its ability to ignore inconvenient facts, swallow disinformation, and work the public over with propaganda can easily compete with - even surpass - anything found in totalitarian systems."

Edward S. Herman


New World Order

"U.S. Ieaders have striven with much success to repress (1) the emergence of competing forms of production (socialist, collectivist, communitarian); and (2) competing capital formations (prosperous autonomous capitalist economies, or mixed ones, in emerging nations, and with FTAA and GATS, all public sector services except police and military in all capitalist countries. The goal is the Third Worldization of the entire world, including Europe and North America, a world in which capital rules supreme with no public sector services; no labor unions to speak of; no prosperous, literate, effectively organized working class with rising expectations; no pension funds or environmental, consumer, and occupational protections, or medical plans, or any of the other insufferable things that cut into profit rates."

Michael Parenti

Democracy watch

"In many respects, we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena. In our society, corporations and the wealthy enjoy a power every bit as immense as that assumed to have been enjoyed by the lords and royalty of feudal times."

Robert W. McChesney, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy

FBI watch

" The USA has been quick to voice its condemnation of human rights violations in some other countries and to stress, by contrast, the wealth of civil and political rights which it guarantees within its borders . . . however, it has failed to deliver these rights to many of its people and there are signs that, unless urgent steps are taken, these rights will be further eroded ."

Amnesty International


"Increases in prison spending [in the U.S.] average twice as high as increases in education spending."

National Criminal Justice Commission (1996)

Justice watch

"We now live in a state of permanent war - a global arms industry, apparently the largest single international business, must have its products used up so more can be sold. There must be profits for the capitalists and jobs for the proles... Are we not still in Caligula's Rome?

New Internationalist magazine

Prison watch

"From 1984 to 1994, Califomia built 21 prisons, and only one state university...the prison system realized a 209% increase in funding, compared to a 15% increase in state university funding."

The Justice Policy Institute (1996)

Fascism watch

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice from 1916-1939

War on Drugs page

" The problem in defense is how far you can go [in military spending] without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without. "

President Dwight Eisenhower, 1953

Foreign Policy watch

"War is caused by elites acting in what they take to be their own interests, institutional violence promulgated by ruling groups for personal gain."

The Nation magazine

School of the Americas watch

"Nineteen of the 26 military officers that critics cited in the murder of six Jesuit priests and two women in El Salvador eight years ago were graduates of the School of the Americas."

Associated Press "School of the Americas = School of the Assassins," May 2, 1998

Political Corruption page

" Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied. "

Arthur Miller, playwright

Political Crimes and Criminals

" It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable and to propagandize the American people to hate, so we will let the establishment spend any amount of money on arms. "

John Stockwell, former CIA official and author

Police State watch

"If democracy is ever to be threatened, it will not be by revolutionary groups burning government offices and occupying the broadcasting and newspaper offices of the world. It will come from disenchantment, cynicism and despair caused by the realization that the New World Order means we are all to be managed and not represented."

Tony Benn, British Labour Party Member of Parliament

Terrorism watch

" ... there is a system of terroristic states -- the real terror network -- that has spread throughout Latin America and elsewhere over the past several decades, and which is deeply rooted in the corporate interest and sustaining political-military-financial propaganda mechanisms of the United States and its allies in the Free World."

Edward Herman, author and foreign policy critic

CIA watch

"America is today the leader of a world-wide anti-revolutionary movement in the defense of vested interests. She now stands for what Rome stood for. Rome consistently supported the rich against the poor in all foreign communities that fell under her sway; and, since the poor, so far, have always and everywhere been far more numerous than the rich, Rome's policy made for inequality, for injustice, and for the least happiness of the greatest number."

Arnold Toynbee, historian, 1961

Torture watch

" I can teach you about torture, but sooner or later you'll have to get involved. You'll have to lay on your hands and try it yourselves ... The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect."

Head of the US Office of Public Safety (OPS) mission in Uruguay in 1960s, (Dan Mitrione) teaching classes in the art of torture

Class War watch

"The American oligarchy increasingly has less in common with the American people than it does with the equivalent oligarchies in Germany or Mexico or Japan."

Lewis Lapham, journalist

Dissent page

"The only thing worth globalizing is dissent."

Arundhati Roy, author


"All the emphasis on crime and drugs and pornography used to justify the suppression of the Internet is really aimed at suppressing knowledge of the radical politic alternatives that are now available."

Tony Benn, British Labour Party Member of Parliament

Labor page

"Societies characterized by enduring deep divisions of income and wealth, such as most third-world societies, are wounded societies with little sense of the common good... As America drifts in this direction, ending poverty and redistributing income should be at the top of the national agenda."

Charles Derber, Corporation Nation

Propaganda, censorship and media control

" Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the [U.S.] media."

Noam Chomsky, American linguist and US media and foreign policy critic

Jonathan Kozol - "third worldization" of education

" Many of us regard ourselves as mildly liberal or centrist politically, voice fairly pleasant sentiments about our poor children, contribute money to send poor kids to summer camp, feel benevolent. We're not nazis; we're nice people. We read sophisticated books. We go to church. We go to synagogue. Meanwhile, we put other people's children into an economic and environmental death zone. We make it hard for them to get out. We strip the place bare of amenities. And we sit back and say to ourselves, "Well, I hope that they don't kill each other off. But if they do, it's not my fault."

Jonathan Kozol, educator and author

Third World in United States


Book Excerpts

Betraying the National Interest
Boomerang - Mark Zepezauer
Clash of Civilizations, The - Huntington
Confronting the Third World
Cry of the People - Penny Lernoux
Dark Victory - Third Worldization of America - Walden Bello

Heroes - John Pilger
International Development - the No-Nonsense guide

Intervention and Revolution
Killing Hope - William Blum

In Search of Enemies - John Stockwell
Low Intensity Warfare
Power Politics - Arundhati Roy

Prosperous Few and the Restless Many - Noam Chomsky
Rollback - Tom Bodenheimer and Robert Gould
Secrets, Lies, and Democracy - Noam Chomsky

Sideshow - William Shawcross
Upside Down - Eduardo Galeano

Views from the South

" We believe that the government and the police have embarked on a strategy of repression to stop, crush or marginalize the burgeoning progressive movement that gained world attention in the protest against the WTO in Seattle last year."

International Action Center attorneys announcing the filing of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of protestors at the WTO Ministerial meeting in Seattle, Washington, April 1999



"Third Worldization" of America
Structural Adjustment Is Hitting the U.S. Too
Class War in the USA
Work Ethics
Privatization of public services

Mumia Abu-Jamal - political prisoner
US drug laws violate international law

"The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people."

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

Log cabin to White House? Not any more
The Other America
The War's Dirty Secret: It's About Changing United States, Not Iraq
The Debt-Peonage Society (3/05)

Spying on the Protesters (9/05)
The Swansong for the Greenback (6/06)

Doomsday for the Greenback (4/07)
Seven Countries Considering Abandoning the US Dollar (11/07)
The Dollar's Reserve Currency Role is Drawing to an End (2/08)
Fragile Dollar Hegemony: Iran's Oil Bourse could Topple the Dollar (2/08)
"Measure of America" - Oxfam report - documents social decay of United States (7/08)
Militarizing the "Homeland": NORTHCOM's Joint Task Force-Civil Support (10/08)
Going south: militaristic, corrupt America increasingly resembles a Third World state (12/09)


New Orleans - Hurricane Katrina - August, 2005

Bulldozing Hope [New Orleans] (6/06)
Thousands of New Orleans Public Housing Units to be Destroyed as Low-Income Residents Remain Displaced - Amy Goodman interviews Bill Quigley (6/06)

Katrina, 10 Months Later - Gutting New Orleans (6/06)
New Orleans - Undone by Neoliberalism (9/06)

New Orleans Forsaken (9/06)
Robin Hood in Reverse - Corporate and Government Looting of the Gulf Coast (11/06)
Katrina Pain Index - New Orleans Three Years Later (8/08)
Resist or Become Serfs - America devolving into third-world nation (4/09)
America's Race To The Bottom (12/09)



Domestic covert action in US (COINTELPRO) in the 60s

"No other democratic country in the world denies as many people - in absolute or proportional terms - the right to vote because of felony convictions."

Human Rights Watch - "World Report 1999, United States"

Domestic covert action in US in the 70s

"More than I00 countries have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice ... Against the global trend towards abolition, however, the U.S.A. has relentlessly increased its rate of executions and the number of crimes punishable by death."

Amnesty International "United States of America- Rights for All," October 1998

Domestic covert action in US in the 80s

"When Time magazine conducted a poll in Europe in March [2003] asking which of three - North Korea, Iraq, or the United States - was the biggest threat to world peace, a whopping 86.9% answered the United States."

Immanuel Wallerstein, Covert Action Quarterly

Domestic covert action in US in the 90s

Democracy and Society

Third World in United States

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