The ruthless austerity programmes imposed on Greece and the endless cycle of debt renegotiations will only come to a close when Athens takes charge of its predicament and announces a democratic and sovereign cessation of payments.
Davos, perhaps more than any other gathering, epitomises the way political power and global governance have in recent decades been entrenched into a small corporate elite. This elite have succeeded not only in capturing our economy, but also our politics, and increasingly our culture and society too.
The “corruption-causes-poverty” narrative has become a standard tool in the hegemonic discourse kit for leaders in some developing countries - where in fact, Waldon Bello argues, it is neoliberal economic policies that are really to blame for poverty. Thailand’s “Red Shirts” are not, however, being distracted by the “corruption” line the World Bank and IMF are pushing, choosing instead to keep their eyes on the prize - the real answer to poverty - replacing neoliberalism with pro-people economic policies.
More than 90 environment, development, human rights, and anti-debt organizations from around the world want the Bank to have no say in setting up this key new tool for helping poor nations address climate change.
The Celtic Tiger might just find its strength and appetite for action in the growth of left leaning electorates and local citizens initiatives. The tailspin of economy caused by austerity policies should be countered by a transparent debt audit.
The first anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse and last week’s meeting of the G20 countries have provoked numerous reflections on the causes and possible solutions to the current financial and economic mess. The problem is that the majority of these deal with cosmetic rather than the profound changes needed to get the global economy back on track.
The language contained in agreements being negotiated by the EU through the WTO with their southern counterparts often deliberately diguises real political goals, obscuring the negative economic implications for those countries of the neoliberal agenda.
Alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation are needed that not only change people-to-people and South-South relations and situations, but also South-North relations and inter-actions to the benefit of all of humanity and our common planetary home.
Marica Frangakis, Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Athens
07 October 2011
Every story needs a narrative, an explanation of why things happened the way they did. In such a narrative lie the answers of how to avoid/correct similar developments in the future and how to propagate positive ones.
Deeply involved in the preparation of the 1975 military coup in Chile, the so-called Chicago Boys convinced the Junta generals that they were prepared to supplement the brutality, which the military possessed, with the intellectual assets it lacked. Here Orlando Letelier, TNI's second director, reflects on the impact their economic ideology had on Chile and by default shares pertinent observations on the legacy that persists today.
The global rise in food prices is not only a consequence of using food crops to produce biofuels, but of the "free trade" policies promoted by international financial institutions. Now peasant organisations are leading the opposition to a capitalist industrial agriculture.