The coherence of some of the encyclical’s economic claims is also questionable. Laudato Si’ invokes, for example, “global north and south” (LS 51) language to characterize what the encyclical portrays as the “south’s” exploitation by the “north.” The soundness of this characterization of the global economy, however, is doubtful. The terminology of “global north and south” is less reflective of the truths about economic development in the twentieth century than it is of the language and arguments associated with the long-discredited dependency theory. To this extent, the encyclical is inattentive to the fact, as illustrated in First Things, that many developing nations—Chile, China, India, Uruguay, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan (to name just a few)—have gone a long way toward escaping poverty (and, in some cases, are now formally classified as developed economies) by doing the opposite of what dependency theorists and other “north-south” paradigm promoters proposed and, in some cases, implemented.
This “north/south” stuff is 1980s liberation theology boilerplate.