19 Nov 2008

When the Dragons Return Home

[col. writ. 11/12/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, we have seen the naked rule of the dollar, unrestrained, wreak havoc around the world.

The reasons aren't as much ideological, as they are practical. It is the pursuit of profit (to quote Malcolm X) "by any means necessary."

In economic terms, we've seen the rise of the theories espoused by the late Milton Friedman, who advocated a "pure" form of capitalism, one unrestrained by regulation, and unbridled by the narrow interest of nationalisms.

Friedmanites roamed around the globe in the 1990's, supporting dictatorships throughout Latin America because they were good for business profits. They supported dictatorships in Asia for the same reason.

For profits trumped all other considerations.

The method they utilized was "structural adjustment", or the programs pushed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank that demanded countries cut social services, eliminate trade barriers, and open up their markets to foreign plunder, in order to get IMF loans.

Every country that did so, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, et al., went into a spiral of depression and social disaster. One Latin American country's currency became so worthless that they used their pesos to cover the walls -- because it was cheaper than wallpaper.

One of the IMF's long-term economists, Davison Budhoo, witnessed their policies and resigned, and wrote why he quit. In his resignation letter, he decried the IMF's practices of:

...[H]awking your medicine and your bag of tricks to governments and to people in Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. To me resignation is a priceless liberation, for with it I have taken the first big step to that place where I may hope to wash my hands of what in my mind's eye is the blood of millions of poor and starving peoples...[p.251].*

The architects of this economic theory based their profiteering on either exploiting or creating shocks, for under such conditions new rules could be made that further weakened social networks and strengthened foreign capital.

These crises can come from any source, natural, political or economic; the result is the same: destruction and disorientation, conditions which allow for better exploitation by national and foreign oligarchs.

But, capital, unleashed, is notoriously mobile. Restless, ravenous, always in search of profit, it has returned to its nest, and is ravishing anew.

The present economic crisis, born of unmitigated greed, while terrifying and disruptive in its impact, is also a tremendous opportunity for profit-taking as stocks fall, and corporations are able to be acquired for a song.

The late Black revolutionary, Malcolm X, is long remembered for his quip on the JFK (Pres. J.F.Kennedy) assassination: the chickens have come home to roost.

Today, the vultures have come home, to feed at the breast where once they nursed. Ravenous, they feed, ripping flesh from bone, until little is left.

This is capitalism unleashed. And it ain't pretty.

--(c) '08 maj

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