While the mainstream media is too busy dealing with the detailed coverage of the huge earthquake at Wall Street and other international markets, a group of researchers from the United Nations completed a study on 120 major cities around the world which presents some disturbing conclusions. The picture is not very bright, the report suggests, with the growing inequality and wealth gap in the biggest urban areas of the world. John Vidal, environment editor of The Guardian, tries to draw our attention to the consequences of this situation, in his latest article.

High levels of inequality can lead to negative social, economic and political consequences that have a destabilizing effect on societies,” said the report. “[They] create social and political fractures that can develop into social unrest and insecurity.”

According to the annual State of the World’s cities report from UN-Habitat, race is one of the most important factors determining levels of inequality in the US and Canada.

This picture has nothing to do with the present economical collapse of the international finance-capital. Even if the things went completely alright for the financial lords without any serious fluctuation at the “credits market”, the majority of the people who live in the most urbanized parts of the world would feel the harsh impacts of the globally dominant economic system which was built upon inequality.

The report found that India was becoming more unequal as a direct result of economic liberalization and globalization, and that the most unequal cities were in South Africa and Namibia and Latin America. “The cumulative effect of unequal distribution [of wealth] has been a deep and lasting division between rich and poor. Trade liberalization did not bring about the expected benefits.”

Social unrest has always been the direct result of the deep economical inequalities at sharing the wealth, which brought the end of feudal monarchies some two hundred years ago. Beginning with the end of this decade, we can expect a widespread unrest, social and political clashes, or even civil wars around the world – perhaps at the heart of the global finance-capital, like America and West Europe.