[Marxism] Campbell and neoliberalism
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."
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