The article The Upside-Down World by Eduardo Galeano puts forward many thought provoking thoughts, in fact it bring forth facts which are unnoticed but which requires great attention. The title of the article in itself is noteworthy and it shows justice to the entire discussions mentioned. The article truly rewards in reverse. Since the author goes on with his argument of the world being upside down by quoting the theories and lectures of famous personalities, the readers are able to relate themselves to the believes and facts of past with the present. Misinterpretations of many theories such as ‘survival of the fittest’ are also discussed which gives a new light to the whole article. The article takes a pessimistic stand at the beginning deconstructing many of the established phrases and quotes, for example, “The looking-glass school teaches us to suffer reality, not change it; to forget the past, not learn from it; to accept the future, not invent it.”
The major point which strikes me is the ability of the author to touch every nuance of the society whether it be social, political, economic etc. And the whole issue is discussed in a serious tone which easily grabs the attention of the reader. When the author writes, ‘the world economy is the most efficient expression of organised crime’, it showcases affirmation of the author. The many facts which the common people won’t dare to raise their voice is also discussed such as, ‘the violators of nature and human rights never go to jail. They hold the keys.’
The article also speaks to the readers individually, it revolves around the physical, spiritual, social, mental levels of human beings. The quote ‘whoever is not a prisoner of necessity is a prisoner of fear, deprived of sleep by anxiety over the things he lacks or by terror of losing the things he has’ is also worth mentioning. I personally admire the tone of inspiration that the whole article possess. Even though the author frames the sentences upside down it provokes us to think in the right way.
The discussions under Equalisation and Inequality are also of great importance. Depth of the article is understood from this section when it summarises, ‘ Twin totalitarianisms plague the world; the dictatorships of consumer society and obligatory injustice’. It shatters the entire idea of equalisation and its various connotations. The statistical facts and measures given in the article increases the credulity of the same. It brings forth the darker hidden sides of poverty in a global view and the changing faces of it in the present scenario. Poverty which was once the fruit of injustice now is the fair reward for inefficiency. It openly criticizes Latin America, ‘ Latin America is a slave economy masquerading as postmodern; it pays African wages, it charges European prices, and the merchandise it produces most efficiently is injustice and violence’ and also the terms Brazilianisation and Belindia is explained to its fullest. The dirty political tricks played by the Government on various issues is also bought into light. The system always denies what it offers.
The facts about free trade which were left most of the times unnoticed are discussed with prudent historical antecedents. The false promises offered are being contradicted by reality. The section Enemy Wanted brings into the readers the horror of military economy and the entire section can be summarized into the topic sentence of the para,’ Never have so many economic resources and so much scientific and technological knowledge been brought to bear on the production of death’. The article also brings out the truths that are deliberately covered up by the media and is never shown to the public such as Saudi Arabia’s atrocities.
The ironies that are prevalent in the entire systems of the world is also mentioned, ‘ world peace lies in the hands of the five powers (US, UK, France, Russia and China) that profit most from the big business of war’. It shows the atrocities of the war and the hide and seek played by the super powers in front of other countries. The outstanding part of this article is that, it leaves no exception to the world leaders. They are also criticized. It also points out international terrorism especially narco-terrorism. The racial riots which are buried is also mentioned.
The last section of the article The End of the Millennium as Promise and Betrayal mocks at the blind faith that the twentieth century people entrusted on the powers of science and technology. It traces the step by step reduction of the humans into mere instruments and also it has done a comparison of the past conditions with the present scenario. The article is a success showcasing all the conditions of the twentieth century such as globalisation, injustice, capitalism, communalism, social market economy, poverty, the notion of solidarity etc. It even goes to the extend of critiquing famous companies . When the article comes to an end (actually it will never end), a mixed feeling is what I as a reader and as a human being of this world feels, especially when the author quotes,’ Let’s save pessimism for better times’ and ‘when we want to say we have hope, we say we shelter hope’.