Essay on Life and Debt

1861 Words Apr 19th, 2016 8 Pages
Ryan Fahrenkopf
English 201
Fremio Sepulveda
Research Paper “Every empire, however, tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires, that its mission is not to plunder and control but to educate and liberate." – Edward W. Said

“Life and Debt” is a documentary directed by Stephanie Black with the screen play and voice over done by Jamaica Kincaid about how the IMF, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organizations destroyed Jamaica economically. This movie is based specifically on what happened in Jamaica but it is a model for how the IMF and first world countries have impacted the rest of the world. The film is about globalization and exposing first world countries, mainly the United States, for destroying third
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Since Jamaica was newly out of colonialism they couldn’t produce goods cheap enough to keep up with the global market. Another critical concept that can be seen in the documentary is social Darwinism and how it applies to world economics. The Oxford English Dictionary defines social Darwinism as the theory that societies classes, and races are subject to and a product of Darwinian laws of natural selection. This can be seen in “Life and Debt” because some critics and analyzers of the documentary use it as a way to try to justify the actions of the IMF.
Life and Debt: Narrating Debt The documentaries objective is to provide knowledge on the IMF’s involvement in Jamaica. Including the economic damage and destructive loans that the IMF implemented. These loans and reforms left Jamaica $4.6 Billion in debt, and this debt is growing to this day. Before the IMF was involved in the country, Jamaica was a relatively self-sufficient country after achieving independence in 1962 which relied on a small farm sector. This farm sector and other aspects of the economy would be greatly damaged once the IMF gets involved. Jamaica had strong economic growth after independence, averaging approximately 6% growth annually during the first decade of independence. This growth was stunted when oil prices sky-rocketed in the mid 70’s. Which is why former Prime Minister Michael Manley was forced to sign the first loan from the IMF in 1977. The IMF is a multinational organization

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