Neoliberalism is – literally – burning. And from Ecuador to Chile, South America, once again, is showing the way.
Against the vicious, one-size-fits-all IMF austerity prescription, which deploys weapons of mass economic destruction to smash national sovereignty and foster social inequality, South America finally seems poised to reclaim the power to forge its own history.
Three presidential elections are in play.
Bolivia’s seem to have been settled this past Sunday – even as the usual suspects are yelling “Fraud!” Argentina and Uruguay are on next Sunday.
Blowback against what David Harvey has splendidly conceptualized as accumulation by dispossession is, and will continue to be, a bitch. It will eventually reach Brazil – which as it stands continues to be torn to pieces by Pinochetist ghosts. Brazil, eventually, after immense pain, will rise up again. After all, the excluded and humiliated all across South America are finally discovering they carry a Joker inside themselves.
Chile privatizes everything
The question posed by the Chilean street is stark: “What’s worse, to evade taxes or to invade the subway?” It’s all a matter of doing the class struggle math. Chile’s GDP grew 1,1% last year while the profits of the largest corporations grew ten times more. It’s not hard to find from where the huge gap was extracted. The Chilean street stresses how water, electricity, gas, health, medicine, transportation, education, the salar (salt flats) in Atacama, even the glaciers were privatized.
That’s classic accumulation by dispossession, as the cost of living has become unbearable for the overwhelming majority of 19 million Chileans, whose average monthly income does not exceed $500.
Paul Walder, director of the Politika portal and an analyst for the Latin-American Center of Strategic Analysis (CLAE) notes how less than a week after the end of protests in Ecuador – which forced neoliberal vulture Lenin Moreno to ditch a gas price hike – Chile entered a very similar cycle of protests.
Walder correctly defines Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera as the turkey in a long-running banquet that involves the whole Chilean political class. No wonder the mad as hell Chilean street now makes no difference between the government,