Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thus Sprach Titor

Avedon points to Natasha at Pacific Views:

The war criminals are up to their usual skullduggery.

I've been reading The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, as I mentioned the other day. It's the most horrifying book I've ever read and I'm not even done with it yet. But essentially, the point is that economists of the Milton Friedman school working hand in hand with the US State Department have been engaged in what Klein describes as extraordinarily violent armed robberies all over the globe since the 1970s. From early on, their economic programs have been referred to as aiming for shock and awe.

For all that it happens on paper and in banking transactions, economic shock and awe isn't that different from the kind Bush perpetrated against Iraq in the early days of the invasion. And it's exactly what the Coalition Provisional Authority enacted once they got hold of the country's accounts and law books.

At first, before Friedman's disciples perfected the technique, starting with Indonesia and Chile, they could only impose their heinously unpopular reforms at gunpoint and with the disappearance, torture and murder of political opponents. When Bolivia finally struggled back to nominally democratic rule, with the help of economist Jeffrey Sachs, their newly elected president implemented these reforms by surprise and by putting the country on lockdown.

After that, the hyperinflationary debt crises rocking the developing world, as one corrupt dictatorship after another collapsed under the weight of their failures, served as the new entry point. The World Bank and IMF were invariably called in to help stabilize the currency and they imposed what's euphemistically called "structural adjustment." These radical privatization agendas insisted that the governments drop public services, end food assistance, fire thousands of government workers without there being other jobs for them, freeze wages, drop all the trade barriers, then finally sell off all public assets at fire sale prices on the principle that it's wrong to have public ownership of anything that could be turned to a profit.

Consider for a moment that if you live in a repressive dictatorship with no middle class, there are basically only four types of people who have enough money to buy public assets, even at fire sale prices: corrupt officials, criminals, people with relatives outside the country, and foreigners. It's not mysterious.

These policies always result in higher unemployment. In hunger and privation. In the destruction of native industries engaged in the processing of raw materials, where all the significant value is created. You have heard the term 'value-added', right? Right. So naturally, there is opposition.

But when people are shocked and alarmed, when there's war and nationalistic fervor whipped up, when there's hyperinflation, when there's political uncertainty, there comes a moment of opportunity when a government by surprise can replace all semblance of democracy. People's faculties are unbalanced, it's as if they're sleepwalking, they're trying so hard to adjust to rapidly changing and highly charged circumstances. And then when they wake up, the world has been remade before their eyes...

...Can we possibly keep our Republic against the wishes of the highest officeholders in the land and their cringing lapdogs? Can we hope to avert their latest criminal fancy?

I don't think so. Chaos is the plan. If you would avert it, you must create an order that can withstand it.

The wind is just beginning to blow, and when the storm really hits, it might be beyond anyone's belief. On some worldlines, anyway.

There may be a Republic when this is all over, but you can bet it won't be the one we have right now.


See? I told you, you might not believe it.

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