Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I (HEART) Naomi Klein

Free Market Ideology is Far from Finished
(By Naomi Klein - September 19th, 2008)
Whatever the events of this week mean, nobody should believe the overblown claims that the market crisis signals the death of "free market" ideology. Free market ideology has always been a servant to the interests of capital, and its presence ebbs and flows depending on its usefulness to those interests.

During boom times, it's profitable to preach laissez faire, because an absentee government allows speculative bubbles to inflate. When those bubbles burst, the ideology becomes a hindrance, and it goes dormant while big government rides to the rescue. But rest assured: the ideology will come roaring back when the bailouts are done. The massive debts the public is accumulating to bail out the speculators will then become part of a global budget crisis that will be the rationalization for deep cuts to social programs, and for a renewed push to privatize what is left of the public sector. We will also be told that our hopes for a green future are, sadly, too costly.
So the piece, originally in the Guardian, begins. Succeeding grafs flesh out the argument, warn against the inevitable re-colonization of the economy by predatory interests, and dabbles in the idea of nationalizing the energy industry (a REALLY GOOD idea, btw). It concludes on a hopeful but hortatory note:
...what is really being called into question by the crisis is the unquestioned commitment to growth at all costs. Where this crisis should lead us is to a radically different way for our societies to measure health and progress.

None of this, however, will happen without huge public pressure placed on politicians in this key period. And not polite lobbying but a return to the streets and the kind of direct action that ushered in the New Deal in the 1930s. Without it, there will be superficial changes and a return, as quickly as possible, to business as usual.
Alons, mes amis. Aux l'barricades. Now is the time!

(Mosaic of Ms Klein used without permission, albeit with the sincerest admiration of the talents of both the artist and the subject: NAOMI KLEIN mosaico.tiff Tutti i diritti riservati Maurizio Galimberti - vietata la riproduzione Dispensa me...)

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