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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Doctored Shock: A Reality

I'm not one to firmly believe in conspiracy theories but things do happen behind closed doors time and time again that simply cannot be ignored. I'm talking about global economics, inflation rates, elections, coups, war, import/export, rich vs. poor, genocide, global alliances, etc.

I feel that the issues above were never that appealing to learn about because they were barely a subject of discussion in school. Had I known a little about the woes of global economics and government alliances I would have chosen to more critically learn about these ideas in my later academic years. The reason for this is that when I don't know about something that is truly important to know in my life I don't feel safe. I don't really know what impact these things have in the society that I live so I remain ignorant to it. That must be what a government wants of its people-- to remain ignorant of important facts about the world-- considering that it is the government that educates us at the start of our lives.

Forget theories, the type of strategies that are wielded by governments like the US government in order to control other countries is horrifically scary and completely factual (read The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klien). The economic philosophy of disaster or shock fundamentalist capitalism has been breed right out of the US, particularly at the Chicago School of Economics. It is the result of much of the 'organized' terror around the world from past and present. Many South American countries like Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia have had their governments overthrown and people unemployed, displaced, and murdered because of the US right-wing economic philosophy of global free-market capitalism.

The idea that this philosophy is a means of spreading democracy is simply a myth and completely the opposite of the true goal of these so-called economists: the goal being to allow corporations to do as they please in a global free-market with low inflation rates in order to profit. Their driving force is greed and a complete lack of respect for other people. It is a type of reality that society has tried to overcome but instead this philosophy is planted deep within and has done nothing but impede societal progression.

Richard Dawkins has said, "we wish to live in a much more advanced society, a society that is far more advanced then a Darwinian society or a George Bush society" and it is very true. In the George Bush society, lead by right-wing economists influenced by the 'Chicago Boys', war, terror, and torture are the norm. The worst part of it is that in order to change global economies to fit their rules they must first wait for a disaster such as a labor strike or financial instability (i.e. high debt, hyperinflation) or manufacture their own disaster (doctored shock) in any given country that they would like to control for their own interests. These economists focused on South American countries like Brazil and Chile by organizing a coup in order eliminate the pro-poor, nationalist governments (read: European-style social democracies) and instead implement a new government, trained by the Chicago Boys, that would favor foreign investment. Unfortunately for these countries thousands of people were brutally tortured and murdered in order for the economic plan to operate effectively. There was a similar case in Indonesia. The worst part of it all is that many global corporate powers were also involved in the economic plan such as Ford Motors, GM, Citibank, IMF, World Bank, etc.

This type of economic shock was later seen in other countries like Poland and most recently in Iraq. The mastermind behind the birth of this philosophy was Milton Friedman, an American economist and a leader of the Chicago School of Economics at the University of Chicago. He argued that government could not manage economies and that people could too easily oppose government policies which would cause high inflation and low growth. He favored mass privatization and deregulation for the benefit of foreign investment and globalization. But his imposed ideals were nothing more than a nightmare for all the people who were effected.

It is astonishing to me that although many of these events occurred during my lifetime, I had no understanding of the severity of this economic strategy that now spans across many countries around the world. To me the meaning of democracy has changed. The US right-wing view of democracy is so far-off the mark that I am surprised that such a view has been maintained and advanced in society. It is a means to take advantage of people and have total disregard for human beings.

This is truly still a Darwinian society where we live as animals and only the fittest survive while the others are left out in the fields to die. We all need to be involved in the betterment of society if it is to progress forward not backward. The most important thing today is to be well-informed and mould our opinions based on the facts. I'm not one to firmly believe in conspiracy theories but this comes very close to the mark. The only difference is that it is not just a theory, it is a reality.

By Rajvee

3 comments:

Pickwick said...

The scope of the problem you describe is truly horrifying. The worst of it is that living in America reduces one's chances of finding out about this particular aspect of our foreign policy; our "news" media aren't interested in stories that require time or effort to verify.

I've not yet read The Shock Doctrine, but I would also recommend to anyone interested in US manipulation of world governments through international finance and support of paramilitary groups, that they pick up investigative journalist Greg Palast's The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Among many other things, he writes about his experience at the University of Chicago, hired by a union to infiltrate Milton Friedman's group. Apparently, his early book "The World As A Company Town," written as a cautionary tale, caught Friedman's interest--he liked the idea, so he invited Palast into the Chicago Boys.

Clearly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck haven't read either book. It's impossible to be jingoistic when you have an inkling of what your government has been up to for decades.

Cedric said...

There are a couple of points I would like to address.

Firstly, I think you are overestimating the influence of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Thought. The present economic mainstream in the United States favors the ideas of Keynesianism much more than those of Chicagoism. Ronald Reagan was the last president to form his economic policy based on their ideas. Don't get me wrong, Chicagoism has a lot of flaws! But Keynesianism had much more of an influence on US economic policy. More specifically, it was the idea of Keynesian economists to create so-called subprime mortages and subsidise them, which is what led to this crisis.

Secondly, when talking about European-style social democracies, you have to be more specific. Even the classic social democracies over here differ quite a bit. Sweden for example has unlike what you probably think extremely low corporate taxes and a very business-friendly political environment. They are hardly the glorification of of socialism a lot of people always make them out to be. And I can't think of a country here in Europe that you could (in an economic sense) compare to Brazil or Chile. There are too many differences.

The problem in my opinion is that you have to foster both a good social climate and a good economic climate. Problems with one will always lead to problems with the other. And that is exactly where I think Europe has got it right - things are more balanced over here than they are elsewhere in the world. On the other hand, politicians in the United States seem to be either pro-people or pro-business, but never both. This is what I think is the cause of most of your problems.

I hope you can understand my English ;-)

Greetings from Europe
Cedric

Really said...

I'd like to recommend a couple of interesting books by Ronald Wright:

-What Is America?: A Short History of the New World Order
-A Short History of Progress

This sh*t isn't new, apparently...