Written By: - Date published: 11:19 am, August 10th, 2018 - 30 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, capitalism, class war, International, Left, liberalism, news, Politics, privatisation, Propaganda, war - Tags: death, ideology, liberalism
“We are applying these sanctions against essentially all Russian state-owned or state-funded enterprises. That’s potentially a very great sweep of the Russian economy in terms of the potentially affected end users,” a senior official said. “It may be that something on the order of 70% of their economy and maybe 40% of their workforce falls within those enterprises.”
And with that, social democrats and anyone who believed that the state should provide public services within a capitalist framework got up in arms; liberalism had over-stretched itself.
Then I woke up…
If we look at recent military escapades of the US and EU (through NATO or otherwise) we can see an obvious pattern involving the “taking out” of states that have a healthy public sector – Libya, Iraq, Syria…
And if we look at the multiple free trade deals around the world, they involve locking in the private sector and hobbling any government that might attempt to bring services back into the public sector (those Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses that revolve around lost profit, or claims around loss of potential profit for the private sector.)
Meanwhile, in Europe we have the EU that proscribes any government from bidding for any domestic contract in any service that has been privatised. That isn’t a mere detail contributing to Jeremy Corbyn’s ambivalence towards the EU. Without some form of Brexit, a future Labour Government would be unable to bring public services and utilities, such as railways, water or electricity generation back under public ownership.
On that front, the Tory’s have signaled a willingness to offer some kind of lock down on any future private/public ownership front as a bargaining chip in their Brexit fiasco. They’ve also refused to exclude throwing the NHS onto the table in any future trade talks with the US.
In a New Zealand context, there’s the example of water, drawn up in Ad’s post from today – “Who Protects us from Water Companies?” Maybe the question ought to be along the lines of “Who is going to protect us from Liberal Capitalism?” Successive New Zealand government, like governments in many other countries, have willfully signed up for a series of “lock down” scenarios called “Free Trade Deals”.
Something’s got to give.
The sanctions being landed on the Russian Federation’s public sector isn’t anything to do with people called Skripnal or chemical toxins – those are mere pretexts that the State Department used to by-pass any need for Presidential approval. In reality, the sanctions are just the latest round of an ideological crusade of liberal capitalism that, it seems, has an insatiable appetite for open markets and privatisation, driven and informed by a certain moral exceptionalism.
I could be wrong. I could be utterly wrong.
Perhaps there is some other commonality, besides liberal economic ideology, that would or could explain why no sanctions are ever levied against states like Israel or Indonesia; states that may be abhorrent, but that have embraced the basic tenets of liberal capitalism?
Maybe something else could explain why only countries in the middle east that had a healthy public sector (free education, health care etc…ie, economies closed to private investment) were bombed to the stone age and/or subjected to onerous sanctions regimes?
Maybe something else could explain the dodgy dealings pertaining to ex-Soviet republics and satellite states such that even overtly fascist governments are supported or tolerated (eg – the Ukraine, Hungary…) as long they bend the knee to liberal dogma and open domestic markets to “western” corporations and investments? – Which of course, they all do.
And maybe something else lies behind the various US funding of and support for dodgy domestic elites in countries like Brazil, or the sanctions and coup attempts in Venezuela or the endless negative press on Nicaragua?
And maybe countries like Columbia and El Salvador, if press coverage or the lack thereof is anything to go by, and if the lack of coup attempts is anything to go by, and if the absence of sanctions is anything to go by, really are veritable little Shangri-las where nothing bad worth reporting ever happens?