Escobar: Burn, Neoliberalism, Burn!


24-10-19 08:05:00,

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

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,

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Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?


13-01-19 11:19:00,

Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?

Richard MOSER

I’ve been hearing about neoliberalism for a long time now and never could make much sense of it. It turns out the story we tell about neoliberalism is as contradictory as neoliberalism itself. Two currents within the critique of neoliberalism offer different analyses of the current economy and suggest different strategies for dealing with the gross exploitation, wealth inequality, climate destruction and dictatorial governance of the modern corporate order.

These opposing currents are not just different schools of thought represented by divergent thinkers. Rather they appear as contradictions within the critiques of neoliberalism leveled by some of the most influential writers on the subject. These different interpretations are often the result of focus. Look at neoliberal doctrine and intellectuals and the free market comes to the fore. Look at the history and practice of the largest corporations and the most powerful political actors and corporate power takes center stage.

The most influential strain of thought places “free market fundamentalism” (FMF) at the center of a critical analysis of neoliberalism. The term was coined by Nobel Prize winner and former chief economist of the World Bank itself – Joseph Stigliz. FMF is usually how neoliberalism is understood by progressives and conservatives alike. In this view, an unregulated free market is the culprit and the oft cited formula — de-regulation, austerity, privatization, tax cuts — is the means used to undermine the public commons.

David Harvey’s, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, is perhaps the single most influential book and the author begins with the free market. Harvey sets it up like this:

And it is with this doctrine…that I am here primarily concerned. Neoliberalism is…a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human wellbeing can be best advanced by liberating individual entreprenaurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets and free trade. The role of the state is to create… an institutional framework appropriate to such practices. [1]

Not a mention of the massive modern corporation just those 19th century individuals and institutions that are the stock characters of FMF. But to be fair, Harvey moves on to the “paradox:” neoliberalism is a political project that needs state power.

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Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism and Its Origins in Fascism

Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism and Its Origins in Fascism

16-09-18 11:57:00,

In 1927 verklaarde Benito Mussolini:

Fascism… believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace… War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to meet it… It may be expected that this will be a century of authority, a century of the ‘Right,’ a Fascist century. For the nineteenth century was a century of individualism… (Liberalism always signifying individualism), it may be expected that this will be a century of collectivism, and hence the century of the State… For Fascism, the growth of Empire, that is to say, the expansion of the nation, is the sential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite is a sign of decay and death.  » Lees verder