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writing for godot

Neoliberalism guarantees the hierarchy of the holy trinity

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Saturday, 31 July 2021 15:53

Human rights: Food for dethroning a couple of thoughts  ‘HR and global actors’


Human Rights Reader 588

[TLDR (too long didn’t read): This Reader scathingly critiques certain neoliberal economists, politicians and charities given their ignoring or just paying lip-service to human rights. For a quick overview, just read the bolded text].


-As Al Capone used to say, “You get more with gentle words and a pistol in your hand than with gentle words alone”. For Capitalism (and its latest surname, neoliberalism), economic theory is the pistol and the expert economists are nothing but salaried gunmen. (Louis Casado)


1. Perhaps not even the pandemic has condemned neoliberalism to the dustbin of history --all in an effort by the haves to maintain the status-quo. The temptation to return to the pre-pandemic regime is immense. One thing is certain though: Merely following the science of economics will not get us anywhere close to a more ‘progressive’, human rights-abiding future --with or without the particular added political threats posed by this pandemic. (Duncan Kelly)


2. So, why is the neoliberal system of domination staying so stable? Why is there so little resistance? Why is the resistance that is erupting spontaneously denouncing the violation of countless human rights (HR) so short-lived? Why, given the greater and greater division between rich and poor, is a HR-centered multi-focal uprising not yet likely possible? (Does the balance of possibilities point the other way…?).


3. Well, as a way to put a stop to any resistance, today’s Capitalism operates more through seduction and less through repression. Clever: Neoliberalism makes the oppressed worker a ‘free contractor’, an entrepreneur of his own. What this ends up-in is making the class struggle an internal-struggle-with-oneself. People see themselves individually and not as an-individual-in-a-society-with-serious-problems --HR problems included; …therefore, few protest. The oppressed worker does not even realize s/he is oppressed; s/he thinks s/he is free. This mode of domination of neoliberalism neutralizes any resistance quite efficaciously.* So, you see? Having ‘access’ has not liberated the workers from Capitalism --and big chunks of the have-nots still have not even access… (Byung-Chul Han)

*: Do not forget: The Vatican of neoliberalism is in Davos… (Vicente Navarro).


4. This being so, and to put it poetically, ‘in their holiday pilgrimage to the fiscal paradises they control, the capitalist class actually travels to a promised heaven’s paradise…’. (Luis Moreno) And to put it in cockney English: “You did na’ win the wars, we lost’em. Without power you can’na be a saint in this day and age. Power for its own sake is a sin. Money for its own sake is a sin. The lack of money’s what’s important. To be rich is to no longer to be poor. It ain’t money that is important; only the lack of it.” (Dirk Struan in James Clavell novel Tai-Pan)


5. And, since “The business of government is business” (US President Calvin Coolidge), US public servants are subservient to “the owners of the Club called USA.” (L. Casado) The rulebook is made to serve the owners. For instance, as you well know, Big Food creates systemic problems with impunity and then blames consumers for it.** …When money speaks, the truth keeps silent (Russian proverb) which means that it is locally-based power structures and local unequal social and economic relations that define the terms of the game for claim holders. (C. Hewitt de Alcantara)

**: And now, the specter of inflation looms the world over. But the good thing about inflation is that when, as a consumer, you go to the supermarket with $50, you get out quicker than last year…


It is time to dethrone conventional economics


-Let us not call conventional economic policy what is nothing but “a treatise written with the blood of the oppressed”. (L.P. Aguirre)


6. Mind you, many of the policies conventional economics espouses have been rendered obsolete. (David Korten) True, so we have to take the economy out of the hands of ‘the experts’, i.e., ‘of the best economists in the world’ (whose social ethics never existed…). Precisely because these economists keep trying to convince us that ‘the free market’ is driving us to a positive human evolution (adapted from Hazel Henderson) it has become imperative to transform every-major-political-decision-on-the-economy into a topic for citizens’ debate and negotiation. The survival of democracy of HR and depends on it. (L. Casado)’


It is also time to dethrone charities


-Naïve or accomplices of the status-quo?


7. Charities may feed the hungry and clothe the beggars, but their own souls are naked; courage has gone out of them --have they ever had it…?


8. The position of those rendered poor and ‘the underdeveloped’ rarely influence the social consciousness of those rendered rich who control and mainly have an interest in the spread of their wealth and of their technologies of domination. Grassroots social movements are constrained to hold out against the spread of said technologies that have a negative effect on HR. (Asiaweek)


9. This leads us to ask: Is philanthropy always kind about whom they really care little or nothing about? How often do philanthropic people lose all sense of humanity? Is it not one of their distinguishing characteristics? (Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray) Food for thought…


Claudio Schuftan, Ho Chi Minh City

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-I have a dear fellow traveler whose ideas also fit into my model of iron laws here; have a read:

  • The ‘de-growth’ idea is becoming ubiquitous; after some time, it was no longer to be understood as ‘less growth’, but rather as abandoning the objective of growth for the entire economy. Today, this rather vague concept is used for an alternative economy though it is never made more concrete. [Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell…! (Edward Abbey)].
  • The entertainer Bono and others were only talking about ‘making poverty history’. This is only the result of an intellectual thought exercise that has little to do with hard reality. The Bono’s of the world cannot free themselves from the ‘deforming-intellectual-mirror-of-looking-at-poverty’…  Poverty reduction became entertainment --development, forgotten, i.e., a well-intentioned deception of the people [Mind you: Some people have less good intentions than what might appear from their ‘fine principles’].
  • Would/will ‘civil society’ change the world? Many social movements with a rather silo mentality are involved-in and are proposing somewhat distorted ‘silo approaches’ thus forgetting the heart of the matter --namely, class conflicts have been forgotten and all problems are explained by ethnicity, white privilege (over black and brown lives), ecocide and eurocentrism. [And then, party structures have turned out to be too rigid and too power-bound to change the world in meaningful ways…].
  • It seems we are giving up on a socially-focused globalization more in line with HR principles, just when corporations and wealthy individuals are increasingly creating a more global and unregulated marketization in their drive for what really is only a neoliberal global restructuring). Money flows from South to North has predictably increased at top speed; the elites are happy.
  • We-do-not-do-politics, we-are-politics is the motto. Full stop. What will ultimately unite us is an unstoppable social struggle against all oppressive mechanisms. (Francine Mestrum) your social media marketing partner
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