[Marxism] Campbell and neoliberalism

john rosso jjrousso at shaw.ca
Fri May 14 01:14:59 MDT 2004

Campbell and neoliberalism

Everyone seems to hate Gordon Campbell and his neoliberal policies -- but  what is neoliberalism such as NAFTA and free trade? 

Neoliberalism is the new Liberal philosophy of restructuring society to benefit the giant corporations and make capitalism "work better."  It is the subordination of   sovereignty, democracy and government to big business interests.  It is  the abandonment of nationalism and the nation-state - by  denying   nations and its people the right  to self-determination.  It is the "abandonment of government"  in solving problems in society and leaving everything to markets and  businesses to solve.  It means the end of community and national controls in dealing with foreign interests.  

Neoliberalism  attempts to commercialize everything in society.   Political power  passes from democratic bodies to the corporate and wealthy elite so that private enterprise runs everything and  governments legislate  their wishes without  consent of the public.   It demands that all human and natural resources   become available for private free-market development.  Corporations are given powers which exceed that of governments  but   without responsibilities or accountability to the citizens.  It demands  the elimination of national  borders for trade and investment, and  the removal of all restraints on the free movement of the resources  and finances. 

Consequently foreign corporations are allowed to buy up the country including the privatized Crown assets at fire-sale prices, and are allowed to operate and repatriate profits without hindrance.  Neoliberalism  is designed so that  corporations benefit while governments take the risk.     

Neoliberalism,  in fact,  is colonialism  by other means - by giant corporations that are  given more power than governments (by agreements  such as NAFTA) .  It destroys a nation's sovereignty and  democracy,   civil and human rights.  Social programs are    abolished as rapidly as possible  (the IMF says, social welfare  programs are   "destructive of work incentives and is an obstacle to needed economic adjustment").

Consequently neoliberalism  is a system of total disregard for the common people by putting business - particularly big-business  interests -  as the sole objective and priority.  It has  no community or social  consciousness  nor responsibilities  as "people values" are subordinated to the  maximization of profits.    It is a chaotic, free-for-all, unfettered capitalism which results in  deindustrialization,   unemployment and poverty (for how can businesses and workers  compete with "slave-wage" countries - even hi-tech industries are moving out).   It is rule by a  handful of trade bureaucrats,   corporate elite and  lobbyists from the rich countries which give corporations a "bill of rights" to dominate and control  countries.  Governments are prevented from altering corporate decisions and determining their own destiny.    Governments and  citizens are not only unable to prevent such intrusions but governments are obliged to protect the interests of foreign investors even if such corporations are  poisoning the people and the environment (re MMT).  It  also prevents  the country and its people from benefiting from its own "competitive advantage" (gas, oil and fresh water).     It results in  the concentration of   wealth and power  into monopolies and oligopolies which  destroys  competition and then holds the public to "ransom" (re natural gas, oil, electricity, insurance, etc.).  

In practice, neoliberalism  results in taxes being shifted from corporations and the wealthy to the middle and lower classes.  Corporations are given huge tax and other concessions and then  social programs are cut and  taxes raised  to "balance the budget."  It is a reversion  to  19th Century England conditions. 

Neoliberalism means the reduction in the "role of government"   in solving problems as demanded by the people (the BC Liberal government is one such case).       Democracy is unwanted so that "men of means" can make decisions without input from the public.   Neoliberalism  demands the downsizing of the state, deregulation of businesses, privatization  of Crown assets and  services and  even privatization of government pensions. Wherever neoliberalism has been  implemented it has created horrendous disasters as in Mexico, Asia, Russia, Brazil, and recently Argentina (let alone Africa where survival-of-the-fittest, neoliberal concepts are the greatest).  

Neoliberalism is  "anti-people" concepts - seen in BC by the Liberal government cutting social services to the most needy in society - the  Women and Child-care Centers,  and is selling off  government assets to foreign interests and so on  all highly contrary to the public good.   

In conclusion, neoliberalism  is the opposite ideology  of how Canada and most advanced countries  developed.  With Canada following neoliberalist policies there is no reason why it should not suffer the same fate as the other "banana republics." 

JJ Rousso

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