Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Neo-liberalism" is the new fascism

I wrote a couple of weeks ago here about the link between the UK government's economic policy, and the economic policy of fascism. More broadly, I have also talked about the link between capitalism and psychopathy. There is a link that threads together each of these ideas - neo-liberalism/ capitalism, fascism and psychopathy - that I think needs more intellectual clarification.

To reiterate what I've said previously, when I talk about "fascism", I'm not talking about the commonly-accepted, narrow and misleading, concept of "fascism": racist, prejudiced and authoritarian. Although these are parts of fascism, the more important part is the economic model of fascism, as this is what actually keeps the system running.
I said in my previous article about "economic fascism" (that type which seems to operate, for example, in the UK) you have a system where the government supports the interests of "big business" at the expense of everyone else, especially the "left wing" interests, such as the unions and employee rights in general. Given this lifeboat by the government, this system encourages inefficiency, irresponsibility and corruption in those corporations themselves, which are necessarily economically supported by the government when the need arises. In other words, you have a system where profit is private, and debt is public - the corporations take the profits, and the government (the taxpayer) absorbs corporate losses.
This system reinforces a corporate oligarchy that is economically supported by the government; the taxpayers/electorate can do little about this if the major parties in the country all support this system. Corporate sponsorship of those parties also encourages political patronage, as do the necessary "connections" (another form of corruption) that political parties need from corporations in order to gain financial support.

This is the essence of the "Anglo-Saxon model" that has existed on both sides of the Atlantic since the early '80s, and has spread to the rest of the Western World on the whole. This is the system that is also at work, with some modifications, in the Eurozone, effectively a German economic protectorate. This system is also at work in a more extreme form in Russia (which is ran as a form of modern feudal state); China, being effectively a capitalist one-party state, has its own version of this system. But the basic point is that the majority of the major economies in the world are now ran according to some version of the "neo-liberal" model.
And the "neo-liberal model" is designed to benefit the corporations most of all. I wrote previously about the links between capitalism and psychopathy: another trait that we see in psychopathy is "parasitic lifestyle" - callously living off the charity of others, and milking it for all you can. As we see from "economic fascism", corporations (and banks) do the exact same thing with governments - telling governments to do what they can to maximise corporations' profits, not interfering when they're making a profit, but getting governments to take the fall when corporations make a loss. This is the definition of parasitic behaviour. And this type of corporate parasitic behaviour - economic vampirism - could only flourish under economic fascism, known these days as "neo-liberalism".

So we see that the psychology of neo-liberalism and economic fascism are equivalent to that of psychopathy on an international scale. Another characteristic of psychopathy that I mentioned is that when psychopaths attain power, the result is chaos. This is also true of corporations in general, and through their preferred ideology of "neo-liberalism". Because corporations know nothing of morality (seen as a negative in business), or loyalty and "patriotism", globalisation has resulted in corporations becoming more powerful than countries, and toying with some countries as predators toy with their prey.

"Globalisation" is seen as a great positive for the world as a whole. And yet, while it is true that there are benefits, the biggest winners of all are the corporations that had been lobbying "neo-liberalism". Because globalisation is a result of the successful campaign began by the corporations' neo-liberal project thirty years ago, inspired by the ideology of Ayn Rand and the Objectivists. Monetarism then became the new pet phrase used by Anglophone countries to explain how Objectivism and "neo-liberalism" could be implemented in the real world economy.
Ayn Rand herself was an economic and philosophical theorist who, in essence, devised the basis for the system that exists today. I also wrote an article reviewing the similarities between the philosophy that Rand created (Objectivism) and the characteristics of psychopathy here: the similarities were so unnerving as to suggest that Rand herself may well have been a psychopath, at least at an intellectual level. Her "psychopathic ideology" was then used as the basis for the "Anglo-Saxon model" (also called neo-liberalism) that we know today.
Which brings me full circle back to globalisation. Neo-liberalism was the impetus for globalisation, where corporations and banks saw the world as without borders, unchecked by national frontiers or morality. They saw the world as their stage, and governments as their pawns.
Their "big con" worked in several ways. Corporations and banks used neo-liberalism as a way to urge national governments to implement financial and employment "reforms" that benefited corporate interests to maximise profits, while also getting governments to sell-off national industries as private monopolies that would be economically insured by the government. At the same time, corporate interests encouraged governments to break down barriers between each other to allow corporations to more easily out-source and relocate their operations, thus maximising their profits even further. At the same time, corporations would always use the threat that any other alternative to what the corporations/ banks wanted would result in national economic collapse: in other words, a glorified protection racket. This was showing that corporate interests were not only two-faced and bereft of loyalty or morality, but also supreme conmen and racketeers.

Globalisation was therefore the superseding of national governments by trans-national corporations and banks, for the purpose of profit. This was economic fascism, but on a global scale not seen before, controlled by the corporate elite.
I touched earlier on the point that when psychopaths attain power, the result is chaos. So when the world is ran by a corporate oligarchy that follows a psychopathic economic ideology, the result is chaos on a economically-global scale.

You might think that chaos is the last thing that corporations and banks would want, but if you look historically at the world economy over the past hundred years, you see that "chaos" is built in to part of the economic cycle that these corporate interests have developed, refined even more in the last thirty years since they have advanced their neo-liberal model across the developed world.
The economic model that corporations have promoted in the past thirty years resulted in the Financial Crisis of 2008. But what we saw was that it was governments who went into debt because of the crisis, not corporations: because the banks and corporate interests forced them to absorb the private debts - while at the same time the financial sector insisted that the governments were the one who had to pay off the debts quickly, rather than the private sector.
It was the Financial Crisis of 2008, thirty years in the making, that had given the banks and corporations the opportunity to close the deal with the national governments around the world: the deal that closed the collar around the "slave" neck of government, solidifying the economic redundancy and moral bankruptcy of national government as a meaningful institution, and guaranteed in cast iron terms the untouchable nature of corporate interests in a globalised world.
The chaos of the financial crisis has barely affected corporate interests and the financial sector in real terms; only caused superficial scratches which they can shrug off, for their position is immeasurably stronger now than five years ago. It is the institution of government that has been decisively dragged to its knees; with national governments accepting debts and years of "austerity" for the honour of continued lip service to the amoral corporations. So "chaos" is a relative term.

It is "chaos" for those subservient to the psychopathic interests in control (the corporate oligarchy following their "neo-liberal" ideology): for national governments are the manipulated willing servants to this psychopathic ideology, while they then serve their masters' amoral bidding on to the government's wider population. As Stalin ruled the USSR through years of terror for the sake of his psychopathic "ideology", so the new fascism of "neo-liberalism" perfects the art of terror on a world scale in its most subtle guise - terror masquerading as freedom. While this "neo-liberal" model is entrenched around the world's developed countries, they are told that this is the ideology of true freedom: the freedom to choose your pleasure, to consume as you please. But this "freedom" is a simple smokescreen, for the choices the population make are all owned by the corporate oligarchy.

The real "terror" and "chaos" comes from the lack of real "rights" - you have the right to consume, but only if you have money, and how much money you receive is decided by the corporate oligarchy. For in a true "neo-liberal" society, things like employment rights, welfare rights and social rights are inconveniences to the pursuit of profit ; in a "neo-liberal" society, there are no innate "human rights", except for those that are convenient to the private sector's pursuit of profit. Everyone's life becomes a commodity. No-one has any rights - only the right to die. This is the fascist economic utopia: where government is just a cash cow for the corporate oligarchy, whose Social Darwinism turns everyone and everything in the world into a mere commodity; employees fighting each other for the right to work, while also terrorised into slavish obedience to the private sector.

There is plenty of real evidence to support this point about the degradation of employment rights, by looking no further than the UK Conservative government's policy towards welfare and labour: job insecurity (a euphemism for "employment chaos", or the psychological terrorism of the workforce) has become an almost accepted fact of life for employees in recent years. The changes that the Conservative government have brought about in their approach to welfare and employment rights only intensify this: unemployed being forced to work for free for the private sector, or even prisoners being brought in to work for the private sector, all help to make it easier for companies to sack paid employees and replace them with the unemployed or low-paid prisoners.
All this helps to add to "job insecurity" - all part of ratcheting up the sense of chaos and terror within the workforce, making it easier for the private sector to control their employees (especially when they have little or no union representation). It allows the private sector to reduce their costs towards employees even further, while having the double benefit of reducing employees to slavish lambs desperate to keep their (low-paid) jobs, under the threat of being replaced by the unemployed if things get awkward for the employers. This is the kind of chaos created by an economic system best ran by psychopaths, and for psychopaths.

Because the governments continue to offer no alternative to their populations than this psychopathic "neo-liberal" model that is economically crippling them, the populations have no alternative than accept it, unless they wish to be branded "extremists" or "revolutionaries" for daring to think of an alternative to this global form of economic fascism.

Fascism, apart from the economic model, as outlined above in its present form, also includes an intolerance of other thinking, as "thinking" by definition is dangerous to maintaining the illusion that the populace is actually better-off under economic fascism. It suits the purpose then that most of the right-wing politicians in government around the world who support the neo-liberal model are either also linked to the corporations somehow, or are too ignorant and narrow-minded to consider any other idea.
To some, Conservatism as an ideology is not known for its intellectuals. The word "intellectual" is more likely to be followed by the prefix "left-wing" than "right-wing". Ayn Rand is perhaps the most famous 20th century right-wing "intellectual" that most know today, and as I mentioned earlier, her "ideology" is almost indistinguishable from clinical psychopathy. "Intellectualism" is something that right-wing commentators sneer at far more than their left-wing counterparts: the main reason because smart people scare those who benefit the most from the long-existing hierarchy. As they lack the intellectual capabilities to justify their beliefs, they resort to intolerance and more insidious measures as a shield. Put another way, it is more difficult to "intellectualise" a system based on simple hierarchical thinking and inequality; Ayn Rand's ability to rationalise and provide a moral system for social hierarchy and rampant inequality stands out from the rest of 20th century intelligentsia. Few others were able to provide such a feat of mental gymnastics as "The Virtue Of Selfishness". The philosophy that Rand set out is what "Neo-liberals" have been inspired by ever since, as it is the only one that comes close to providing a philosophical (if ultimately amoral) justification for inequality and exploitation.

People like Romney in the USA and Cameron in the UK are products of this system, born to believe this "ideology" because they are intellectually incapable of justifying it in any other way.
Like Hitler, they repeat the same mantras again and again ("There Is No Alternative!"), so that people will finally grow tired and acquiesce.

Fascism has now been taken to its almost logical conclusion as a economic model - the global subservience of government to the private sector, with the global population and its resources as their plaything. Fascism is the economic system that matches the most closely to the characteristics of clinical psychopathy.

As said before, psychopaths are predisposed to prosper in business and politics, so what better way to take their power to its logical conclusion than by using an economic system - economic fascism, now know as "neo-liberalism" - that allows them to put those psychopathic characteristics into practice on the world?


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