Before I get going, I just want to say that I have no interest in Trump, “Russia-gate” and all that nonsense.
By the way, tomorrow (23 May 2017) the White House will release its federal budget, which will outline how many dollars the U.S. government will create out of thin air for FY 2018 (which starts on 1 Oct 2017) and who will get them. The budget will call for cutting programs like food stamps, and cutting popular family benefits like the child tax credit, while increasing spending on wars and on weapons makers. This sounds ominous, but it’s just a proposal that will be greatly modified by the U.S. Congress. So I ignore most commentary about it.
Anyway the item below includes the question, “Why do we allow the logic of the market to occupy our minds?”
The article starts by accepting the lie that neoliberalism is about “markets.”
Neoliberalism is an elusive term, typically used to describe such processes as privatization, deregulation, the cutting back of social and welfare provision, the retraction of the state, and the idealization of free-markets.
No. Neoliberalism opposes free markets, since all individuals must have equality before they can participate in a genuinely free market. Neoliberalism favors rigged and controlled markets. It favors monopolies and oligarchies. It does not favor equality or Democracy.
Neoliberalism is not an ideology or an economic doctrine. It is robbery. It is part of the global drive to create a world of slaves who toil for a handful of owners, instead of working for each other. This is done by privatization, by deregulation (i.e. decriminalization of the rich, plus added regulations for average people), and by the elimination of social and welfare provision, so that average people are at the mercy of their owners.
Speaking of neoliberalism, Diana Johnstone has a pretty good post about the bankers’ installation of Emmanuel Macron as their puppet president in France.
France has been rotting for 18 years because of the euro. By the time Macron’s term ends in 2022, poverty and inequality in France will be as bad as Greece. Perhaps worse. This will cause social unrest in France. There will be populist voices on the right and left, which the wealthy and the semi-wealthy will condemn as “fascists” and “communists.” If social unrest becomes uncontrollable, the rich will simply order the politicians to declare war on some nation, plus martial law in France.
Macron was elected by France’s huge population of old people. Among voters over 65, he won 80% against 20% for Le Pen. Marine Le Pen did best with the youngest age group, 18 to 24, winning 44% against Macron’s 56%.
This mirrors the USA, where older people favored Hillary, and younger people favored Sanders (until Sanders was torpedoed, and until Sanders sold out to the Democrat establishment).
Evidently we must wait until enough old people die before there can be any possibility of change.
Johnstone says that 83% of people from “superior socio-professional categories” (rich doctors, lawyers, financiers, etc.) voted for Macron, because they knew that Macron would protect their privileges, and would increase inequality.
Meanwhile in “categories populaires” (ordinary folk with less education) the vote was 53% in favor of Le Pen. Among workers it was 63% in favor of Le Pen.
One of the many odd things about the latest French presidential election is the rejoicing among foreign “leftists” over the fact that the candidate of the rich defeated the candidate of the poor. It used to be the other way around, but that was long ago.
Sick, isn’t it?
In Paris, the capital, 90% of people voted for Macron. This is natural, considering that real estate prices have pushed the working class out of Paris, whose population is now overwhelmingly what is called “bobo” – the bohemian bourgeoisie. In these milieux, no one would ever dare speak a positive word about Marine Le Pen.
It’s called gentrification. After World War II, affluent and semi-affluent people moved from city centers out to the suburbs. Today, higher-income people are moving back to the city centers, and are causing housing prices to skyrocket. Where there is no space to build new houses, higher-income people live in luxury condos, or in very-high-rent apartments.
To accommodate them, larger cities are devoting more and more of their budgets to creating beautiful new parks and other amenities, while poor people are left to starve in the outlying areas.
This phenomenon is global, and it is accelerating.
Thus, when people in affluent neighborhoods condemn populists as “fascists” and “communists,” they are actually condemning any challenge to their privileges.