Tuesday, May 30, 2023

DYMAXION DISPATCH--In Search of the Global South--A REPORT

Portfolio Essay 002: In Search of The Global South

     (VANUATU ATOLL) --Under the headline “Modern Solomon Needed to Solve China Problem” on January 18, 1959, The St. Louis Globe-Democrat introduced William R. Frye as “the Christian Science Monitor’s distinguished United Nations correspondent.” (St. Louis G-D, 23) On April 4, 1965, The South Bend Tribune published another article by Frye titled “Global North-South Economic War Is Political Dynamite for the West;”  

     “Because so many of the rich countries are to be found in the northern hemisphere and so many of the poor ones are in the southern, this struggle has come to be known as the ‘North-South’ battle.” (SB Trib, 16)

By 1972, Frye was simply known as “United Nations Correspondent.” 

     As online references go, Wikipedia can be rated fair for accuracy since its contributors can be anybody with an account at the information website. An article published at Wikipedia under the heading “Global South” attributes its origin elsewhere, to Carl Oglesby in 1969. (Wikipedia) 

It also suggests the article be merged with yet another page titled “North-South divide in the World.” Curiously that reference to merge the two articles was made just this month, in November 2020. Clearly, Frye’s reference to the term as found in archived newspapers predates Oglesby’s by four years. Reference to the combined Frye term vanished in the newspaper archives at least until 1971 when for the Society Editor, Frances Russell Kay it resurfaced in the Van Nuys Valley News in her article titled “Space Age Sage Views” noted.

     “Because of the ever-growing technological developments it will be goodbye New York and San Francisco. It no longer will be an East-West but a global North-South (over the poles) world where 90 per cent of humanity can reach any other human.” (Kay, 17)

By the late 70s, the term “global north-south” was beginning to emerge as the roots of the new world order when Canada’s Pierre Trudeau met with President Jimmy Carter and used the occasion to;

     “Stand in support of global north-south talks aimed at devising a ‘new world economic order’ which would be fairer to developing nations.” (UPI-CP, The Montreal Gazette, 7)

By 1978, Ernest B. Furgurson reported for the Baltimore Sun that President Carter had “laid down a U.S. policy of dealing with Latin American problems in a global North-South context,...” (The Sun, A2)

The expression by the late 19th century was beginning to redefine the geography of the planet in terms of prosperity versus poverty. A few months later, the expression finally found some real tread in an article by Hobart Rowen of the Washington Post, published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, titled “A challenge to doomsday economics.” Rowen cited author Harrison Brown’s estimate that in 330 years, the planet’s population would outstrip its ability to provide for it, an echo of the famous Malthusian Doctrine boiled down to simple supply and demand, where the usual draconian measures based on population control would forestall that scenario. Rowen then provides the alternative scenario of the Overseas Development Council’s JW Sewell whereby.

     “The Third World, with an enormous untapped potential, could become the new ‘engine’ for future world economic growth.” (Star Tribune, 8) 

The article then cites former LBJ adviser Walt W. Rostow who insisted that the private sector wouldn’t necessarily take up the slack and suggested wage-price controls to keep inflation in check. Rostow also rejected the Brown thesis of stagnating Western economy with the Third World depending too much on the industrial north to keep it from collapse.

     “Rostow’s analysis turns upside down the Third World belief that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. ‘I have news for you,’ he said, ‘It ain’t so. The poor, in fact, get richer and the rich slow down.” 

     The article concludes that Sewell observed “the economies of the global North and South ‘are more closely linked now than at any time in the past.’ “

 By the turn of the decade, a UN session designed to bring about closer economic alignment between the two emerging geoeconomic regions was, as described in Leonard Downie’s headline for The Age, “World aid bid meets indifference, hostility” that were.

     “Scheduled for next month to launch global north-south negotiations on trade, energy, food, financial aid and the international monetary fund,” (The Age, 9)

Downie noted the diplomats couldn’t “even agree on the agenda.” The dawn of that new decade ushered in what would become the battle cry for politicians in much the same way the climate crisis is the call to arms of the early decades of the 21st century. A reader commentary in the Longview, Washington Daily News cited a report co-authored by Chancellor Willy Brandt of Germany and Katherine Graham of the Washington Post, noted “North-South, A Program for Survival,” promised “population explosion, hunger, disease, and military expansion.” (Working, 10)

Strangely enough, it was the far north Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau who in 1981 called for a “revolution in international morality” that would set the stage for what would be the eventual transfer of the modern world to the third world. (Montreal Gazette, 1981)

Bullet points of the ambitious plan included inflation proof Third World exports, tech transfer, foreign aid, and removal of politically “tied aid” to underdeveloped nations. Theoretically, the age of poverty was at an end for the Third World, at least by the standards of the early 80s. In fact, the term Third World itself was about to be replaced by the revisionist perspective of “Global South.” 

     President Reagan’s Cancun summit in late 1981 became a forum on the North-South divide but for unexpected reasons, related to ideology and not economics. The North was to blame for poverty in the South;

     “In virtually all Third World statements on economic problems, the assumption is pervasive that the causes of Third World poverty are external to the countries themselves--the causes are former colonialism, multi-nationals, neo-imperialism and an ‘unjust’ international economic order.” (Jeffrey Hart, The Indianapolis Star, 12)

The rift that had temporarily closed had now widened from its new geoeconomic map to what Hart called “egalitarian.” 

     When the North was factored out of the equation and where the Third World disappeared from the geoeconomic map altogether isn’t very clear. This historiographic inquiry ended around the turn of the last century, but the parameters and the theme remain; of poverty, blame fixing, disagreement and derisive rhetoric. The search for the true magnetic Global South is still on. Its discovery, by Harrison Brown’s estimate, will be just around the corner in 330 years.


Frye, W.R., “Global North-South Economic War Is Political Dynamite for the West,” South Bend Tribune, April 4, 1965, 

Global South etymology,,countries%20of%20the%20Global%20North.

Kay, F.R., “Space Age Sage Views,” Van Nuys Valley News, February 16, 1971, Page 17.

Trudeau, “PM to back Carter on arms control,” Montreal Gazette, February 16, 1977, Page 7

Furgurson, E. B., “Carter trip offers respite from domestic woes,” The Baltimore Sun, March 27, 1978, Page A2.

Rowen, H., “A challenge to doomsday economics,” The Minneapolis Star, May 30, 1978, Page 8.

Downie, L., “World aid bid meets indifference, hostility,” The Age, July 22, 1980, Page 9.

ENG401B.1002/James L’Angelle/University of Nevada, Reno/Dr. L. Olman23 November 2020

Friday, May 26, 2023

ESSAY--The Contiguous Mexico-US Border Dispute--A DMZ BUFFER ZONE PROPOSAL

 17 April 2018


"...except possibly where a demilitarized zone exists such as the DMZ separating North and South Korea."

     (Coco's, Ensenada)--The Mexico-US border has been accurately calculated to be 1954 miles from ocean to gulf. According to the CIA World Factbook records, all the world's borders combined make up about 151,000 miles. Consider that the nations' borders have probably been determined relative to each country so that overlapping miles exist throughout the data set. In other words, 151k miles includes the overlap. One could argue in all fairness that the border is delineated according to the nation and might be considered its domain, except possibly where a demilitarized zone exists such as the DMZ separating North and South Korea. The ratio  (below) is but a figurative way to get a perspective on just exactly how much "border" land is being disputed, contested, by the two parties involved; Mexico and the United States.

Mexico-US border = 1954 miles
World land borders = 151,000 miles
(In km at CIA World Factbook:

Percentage of miles that the contiguous Mexico-US border represents with respect to world borders  (approx.):

            (1954/151,000) = 0.01252564102

      Just 4 states border the border with Mexico, or 8 percent of the Union. The Federal Government has no business telling the states adjacent to the border how to police the border. It's a borderline issue that needs to be addressed to the 92 percent. The reciprocal is also true. There is only one party on the other side of the border, that being Mexico. A great number of the refugees from the south do not come from Mexico although it is expected to pick up the tab for the itinerant traffic northbound. The problem isn't just a dual concern of Mexico and the United States but one of South America and North America. It is not, under any stretch of diplomacy, being addressed that way.  There has not been any form of summit to address immigration in the Western Hemisphere as an overall concern, at least not directly related to the border dispute, for many years.
     Understand that this is no longer a mere difference on refugees crossing a border without consent of the two governments involved where the border exists, but has become a bona fide dispute over the border itself. One cannot accurately define a border between two nations in terms of its territorial dimensions, except for length. If the border between Mexico and the United States is partially represented by the Rio Grande River, just where exactly does the "borderline" fall? In the middle, on the north and south banks? Who owns the territory that is considered the river itself?
     The last presidential election in the United States has brought into focus like never before the border issue, creating a stigma for the nations below it, making pariahs and outcasts out of them in the eyes of those north of it. Politicians have a very keen understanding of the propaganda currency of the border issue, but are totally ignorant of what to do about it, other than use it to fuel racial and bigoted nationalist sentiment. Because of the tendency to alienate America's neighbors for political expedience, the border controversy cannot be resolved by the nations directly affected by it, that being Mexico and the United States.
     We have seen the most bizarre solution yet in the form of some sort of all-pervasive wall that will theoretically halt the flow of immigrants from the south to the north. This solution exists only in the minds of political aspirations and has no place at all in practical application, and politicians care very little for that side of the equation. The next attempt for resolving the escalating conflict is deployment of military forces, the national guard, along the border. This is yet more political grandstanding without diplomatic regard for neighboring nations, a shameful, desperate act on the part of the United States. Leadership in the White House has taken a giant leap backwards in foreign policy by this brash gesture.
     Where, then, lies the solution? It is twofold. It begins with a substantive summit of all the nations of the Western Hemisphere, no matter how big, or how small. Each delegate has a vote, each has his, or her, say in the dispute. The proposition for a wall will not even be considered. What will be considered, however, is a demilitarized zone (DMZ), on both sides of the border. It will be patrolled not by components of the armed forces of the two nations involved, Mexico and the United States, but by foreign intervention forces from the Western Hemisphere alliance. The buffer zone will be funded by the alliance, all nations in the party agree to monitor its own nation for refugees on the move without consent and proper documentation.
     In brief, the wall has gone the way of the one in Berlin even before it is built. The adjacent nations insistence on alienation has created a stalemate to diplomacy that cannot be tolerated in the formative years of the Twenty-First century. The proxy Twitter war being fought by the Oval Office indicates a total lack of  consideration for the feelings of the people south of the border who are our "amigos." All of the above may well be within reach, and it may also be true that those in power are keenly aware of it.