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William Hague’s calls for financial backing of democratic movements should come with a ‘Neo-Liberal’ Warning!

May 5, 2011

William Hague’s address at the annual ‘Lord Mayor Easter Banquet’ in London, provided me with much cause for worry and scepticism of the intensions of the UK and the wider ‘international communities’  when it comes to its reaction to the recent so called ‘Arab Spring’. Hague made it clear that he saw an importance in the ‘international community financially backing the democracy movements in the Middle East’, such as in Egypt and Tunisia and one would imagine Libya and other Arab nations that are currently witnessing uprisings from its people, lead mostly by workers Unions (mostly illegal Unions) demanding human rights, jobs, healthcare, education and other freedoms. However Hague’s view that with political and economic reform would come the possibility of an area of free-trade and a customs Union (effectively in trade terms allowing these nations to become part of the EU), is what provided me with my sense of worry and scepticism. Why would financially backing newly democratic nations give you cause for scepticism I hear you ask (or maybe not)? Recent History has shown that the UK government and its fellow western governments attempts to ‘financially back’ and provide ‘assistance’ to newly formed democracies and old ones often leads to the oppression of its people and their demands and wants leading instead to huge profits for the corporations and organisations of those western powers.
The international community can be seen to have offered financial support in the past and present through the function of the ‘International Monetary Fund’ (IMF), whose central mandate when constructed was to provide stabilizing funds to prevent economic catastrophes. However since its creation in 1944, it can be seen to have been successfully infiltrated and now run by the graduates of Milton Freedman’s Chicago school of Economics, which teaches a school of thought which is accredited with the birth of neo-liberalism a political consensus which holds an unregulated free market at the core of its philosophy and sees that societies will only benefit from the pursuit of private enterprise and therefore seeks the abolition of state intervention and state ownership. In the context of where and what the consequences are of this sort of ‘financial backing’ then looking no further than the recent ‘bailout’ of Ireland and the plight of its people who are now suffering at the hands of the largest austerity measures the country has ever seen resulting in thousands out of work, could suffice enough. However if seeking the consequences of IMF intervention when considering a people that have fought off the shackles of dictatorship and oppression with the goals of achieving a true democratic nation with the right of ordinary workers to have access to work, human rights, food, housing, health and education, then the people of Poland after fighting for that freedom in 1988 is where to look. Fights such as these often arise during times of great financial difficulty, after a period which has seen those in power badly managing the country’s finances through both corruption and incompetence and Poland 1988 was no different. However the IMF and its member states including the USA and the UK, who at the time where fighting domestically against the very demands that the Polish ‘Solidarity’ campaign was fighting for, (whilst publicly praising the Polish workers for their achievements in ‘defeating Communism’) saw it that the debts incurred by the powers they had overthrown would still need to be paid by the new democratically elected ‘solidarity’ government. This debt, incurred by the same people who had imprisoned, tortured and killed the members of the campaign would see the new government crippled in its ambitions to achieve a vision of a country in which the existing state owned factories would be turned into workers cooperatives in order to make them more economically viable and a switch to a more Scandinavian social democracy.
The IMF and its members (who were demanding money from the newly formed democracy) however had other ideas and saw to it that the only way in which the newly democratic Polish nation could climb their way out of debt (something that needed to be achieved in order for the Polish government to be able to afford to put in place any of its socially democratic policies) was for it to borrow from the IMF huge sums of money agreed by the IMF and its members at a staggering interest rate, an interest rate that would see the only possible way of paying back the money being to sell off the state owned factories and services to the western capitalist companies, a move that would see masses of people plunged into poverty and out of work as these companies would demand layoffs and de regulation of labour laws in order for them to buy these factories and resources for a much lower rate than there worth. Nevertheless in order for the Polish government to agree to this ( as it would contradict everything they had fought for) it would take Poland’s financial stability to drop much further than when they took office and for the new democracy to be forced into a desperate situation, so the IMF and the rest of the international community held off any significant financial aid and lending’s until a deep financial crisis had occurred in Poland. When this time had come the IMF moved in to begin the great eastern Europe neo-liberal economic experiment, which saw Poland becoming one of the poorest states in Europe, resulting in mass unemployment and great numbers forced to emigrate in the search for work, all this whilst the IMF, its members and the western companies all made great profits from the misery of the Polish people.
The ‘financial backing’ from the ‘international community’ saw the social democratic changes that the Polish people fought for stolen from them and instead replaced with the neo-liberal philosophy of Milton Freedmans Chicago school, to the great benefit of the corporations who back the ‘leaders’ of the international community. Playing puppet master in other nations affairs in order to control the direction and outcomes of a peoples legitimate uprising and call for political change, to an end that benefits you most and suits your own ideology as opposed to the peoples, is as damaging to that movement as the oppression that it faces from the political elite of its own nation that it fought so hard to rid itself from and unfortunately now is a danger that the people of Egypt, Tunisia and other Arab nations face after fighting so hard and bravely in solidarity against their former western international community backed oppressors. Solidarity with the people of these nations, our own and others is the only way to stop the great neo-liberal agenda of ‘shock capitalism’ and financial ruin of nations in order to provide platforms for multi-national corporations to take over the functions of state and leave the non ruling classes of those states to the same fate as those in Poland, South America, Asia and South Africa!




From → Politics, UK

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