Bruce Cockburn – Call It Democracy


Canadian folkie Bruce Cockburn argued back in 1986, that the foreign policy of powerful countries is about making a buck, not lifting people in poor places out of their misery. As well, that international organizations are not benevolent, either. The International Monetary Fund is a target in one verse.

The IMF goes back to 1944, and on the face of it, with almost 200 member countries, seeks to encourage financial stability in countries dealing with low revenues, high debt, inflation, high unemployment, and more. The IMF works to foster international trade.

Cockburn figures the IMF does more harm than good, leaving developing countries in debt.

More generally, the IMF has been criticized for the conditions it has sometimes imposed on countries to get into their version of fiscal shape. This has meant getting troubled countries to reduce public spending to address government debt. The IMF has also been criticized for not been sensitive enough to local conditions and on-the-ground needs of the places it exists to serve.

Also by Cockburn: If A Tree Falls, If I Had A Rocket Launcher

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Bruce Cockburn – If A Tree Falls

If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear it?

In the 1990s, clear cutting forests was a big issue, strongly opposed by this singer. Particularly in the Canadian province of British Columbia (Cockburn is a Canadian folkie), forest companies obviously found it more efficient to chop down an entire swath of land instead of selectively choosing the best trees, and/or taking every second or third or fourth stand. Yes, forest companies replanted, but what of the temporary devastation to an ecosystem and its wildlife diversity for all the years to get second growth?

Cockburn sings about capitalist greed behind deforestation and raises some other environmental considerations: that land may be cleared to raise cattle, that produce harmful methane gas (they fart a lot – surely this is the only serious protest song about farting!).

Also by Cockburn: Call It Democracy, If I Had A Rocket Launcher

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