It’s South America. While the US has been playing oil games in Central Asia, beggaring itself to Haliburton by purchasing robot spy toys and other charming machinery, several South American countries have been thriving. How? By actually following the practice which was once honoured by Canada – creating good democratic government, taking care of their citizens, and avoiding picking fights with their neighbours on the planet.
Eight countries: Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile, have elected presidents with the mandate to establish, in contrast to the communist model of state dictatorship, a “21st Century socialism” which aspires to national planning for the state “for the development of the majority of the people”.
These South American nations have one by one nationalised their resources and their banks, cutting off very annoyed coupon clippers in Europe and North America.
The South American experience of “left wing” economics has a quite different flavour from that of the Soviet or Chinese experiments. And a different history. Communist theory was floating around the planet before both the Russian and Chinese revolutions, and was being entertained by South Americans as well. But nascent left-wing governments in South America were systematically destroyed by the United States, which set up right-wing dictators by means of several coups. So that when the oppression of unfettered neoliberal capitalism was subsequently felt by the people of those South American countries, it was not intellectuals who led the revolt against neoliberals, but a whole beleaguered and indignant People.
Those who have read Naomi Klein’s bone-chilling book, THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, THE RISE OF DISASTER CAPITALISM, are aware of the price South Americans paid when Friedman’s neoliberal economic religion took over their governments, privatising resources and government agencies, hunting down, jailing, and torturing any who opposed them, and acting with all the religious zeal of the fifteenth century Roman Inquisition in Spain.
But the People were not defeated. They prevailed. They overcame the sickness-unto-death which is neoliberal economics, learning with their own blood and suffering what is the reality behind the empty promise of “economic success”.
The socialist governments of South America today are the creation of an awake and intelligent indigenous people, who still have a sense of connection with the land and a culture of community. Their socialism is not a mindless quoting of jargon; not a pompous set of analytical tricks, but a resolve to create a government that expresses the indigenous communal culture – the spirit of the peoples who had been pushed down, punished, and reviled by their capitalist masters.
What is especially interesting is that the South American experience of disaster, suffering, and painful recuperation after neoliberalism, appears to have been totally ignored by the Chinese, who have fallen into the twin traps of greed and power lust as blindly as the rest of us, and are now seriously in debt. I would have given the Chinese more credit for circumspect intelligence, and a more Confucian awareness of what is actually pragmatic governance. It is Confucius, after all, who said, “Never allow the merchant class to govern”.
It is socialism, not either communism or neoliberalism, which is behind the economic success of several Scandinavian countries and the South American experiments, and it is socialism, not communism or neoliberal capitalism, which is being seriously considered by the angry populations of countries like Greece and France as they wake up to the financial sink-hole which is the true nature of neoliberal “economics”.
Currently, Goldman Sachs is holding the European Union ransom, demanding that its monster child, the European Stability Mechanism, have total control over governmental policies, with no responsibility or accountability as it beggars populations and draws all wealth to itself.
So what now? Will Europeans ever regain their sovereignty, and stop paying the banker bullies on “loans” which, if the interest were obliterated, would prove to have been paid off years ago? Or will the international community wake up and declare a world-wide moratorium? It has been done before.
It appears that the only solvent and sovereign nations on the planet are the socialist ones. Their responsible and wary citizens have escaped being enslaved by the kleptocracy which calls itself the New World Order. Why has our media not mentioned this?
And as for war, the last gasp of capitalism on its knees? Americans, fed up with war, won’t easily be persuaded to invade the socialist South American countries. So then, who can afford, any more, to pay Haliburton for its lethal toys?
Well, Afghanistan can. The NATO countries, most of which are seriously in debt, are donating millions so that the Afghans can buy armaments from countries like Canada, which once was known to its citizens as the “peaceable kingdom”. The world is full of ironies.
Muriel Wiens is a grandmother and wants her grandchildren to inherit a viable world.
Opinions expressed in this column will usually be those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Shingle. We welcome your comments, observations, compliments, and insights.
The Waging Wordsmiths
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