One feature of the technologically connected 21st century is that national boundaries mean less than they ever have before. Business and communication are now done on a global scale rather than a national one. This transnationality has brought to light the injustice against people from less affluent countries, caused by both the governments of those countries and by the interference of more powerful nations. The principle of Global Justice means that if a nation is currently aiding and abetting in injustice against the people of another, it is the moral responsibility of that country to change their actions so that they stop aiding and abetting that injustice.

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Thomas Pogge says that there are three ways in which wealthy countries are worsening the lot of the poor in less affluent nations. One reason is because larger countries often give aide to the corrupt governments of the less dominant countries with little regard to the fact that those governments are usually in power by means of oppression and abuse of the people. Affluent countries are helping oppressive governments to stay in power. (Pogge 18). The dominant nations in this case need to take a close look at who they are helping. If the government of a nation is doing things which are acting against the best interests of the people of that country, other countries should reexamine any aid they are giving to that government.

Another example Pogge gives of the negative impact of wealthier nations on poorer ones is that the World Trade Organization has protections in place which help more affluent nations to keep their wealth and get richer at the expense of the poorer nations. (20). There should be an effort to make the distribution of wealth more equal, or at least take away the protections that wealthier countries have.

The third way in which the dominant countries make the lot of the poor in other countries worse is that they restrict medications so that the poor countries only have access to prohibitively expensive drugs instead of the cheaper generic varieties. (Pogge 22). The people who need these medications most cannot afford them. There should be an effort made to get the medications necessary to treat the public health crises in poorer countries where they are needed, at a price those countries can afford to pay.

It is clear that affluent countries have a moral responsibility not only to protect less fortunate nations, but also to ensure that their own actions do not make the plight of the less fortunate countries even worse. Given that the world is becoming a global entity rather than a collection of states, every nation should be watching out for its neighbors. If this is true, it is also true on an individual level. People should be watching out for others, in their own borders and beyond. Reaching out to help the less fortunate in other countries with supplies, money or aide in other ways could help to lessen the economic hardship in those countries as a whole.

Works Cited

  • Pogge, Thomas. “What is Global Justice?” Politics as Usual: What Lies Behind the Pro-Poor Rhetoric? EBook. Web. 6 May 2016.