[Marxism] can neo-liberalism become "natural"?
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed Jan 30 12:30:01 MST 2013
On 1/30/2013 1:42 AM, Lenin's Tomb wrote:
> ... Thus, you tend to avoid commonplace social democratic assumptions
> alongside neoliberal ones. The point of any neoliberal strategy is to
> shift the pendulum further in the direction of neoliberalism.
That's put well, and applies even in South Africa where neoliberal
macroeconomic policy, a huge microfinance and consumer credit explosion
and deindustrialisation thanks to imported consumer goods all co-exist
with sometimes virulent nationalism and a bit of tokenistic welfarism.
We've found that even where there are popular victories in a Polanyian
sense, of decommodifying a bit of water and electricity (25
liters/person/day and 50 kWh/household/month respectively), the neolib
tariff manager in a municipality or electricity utility sets the second
block of consumption so high that the overall effect is a huge price
increase for poor people and hence a dramatic decline in consumption...
all under the rubric of 'Free Basic Services'.
So what are called 'service delivery protests' spread like wildfire
under these conditions but all efforts in policy debates and even the
highest courts have left those neolib structural conditions untouched.
So the comrades resort to a kind of 'commoning', i.e. systematic
stealing of water and electricity in their own Polanyian move. But
that's just temporary; the crackdowns step up and state violence
intensifies, so protests that are immediately squashed or die out are
now perhaps best described as 'popcorn'.
More information about the Marxism