Serge Latouche is one of Europe's leading authorities on the political economy of the Third World. In this book, he argues that the historical rise of the West to world domination has brought widespread destruction in its wake. Latouche suggests that the drive towards global uniformity - of cultures, lifestyles and mentalities - has been the cause of untold political and economic disasters: ruined industries, widespread national debt, endless coups d'etat, endemic civil wars and the erosion of all non-Western cultures. Latouche mounts a powerful critique of the Western concept of Third World "development". He argues that it has become synonymous with the accumulation of capital and is driven by specifically Western values: technical progress, universalism and the mystery of nature - values which ought to be called into question. Oppressed people, he claims, want nothing to do with this kind of development; they aspire simply to survive, and if possible, to live well according to their own values and cultural choices. This book should be of interest to students and researchers in development studies, sociology, politics and the economics of development.