[OPE-L:6009] RE: capitalist strategies to overcome the current economic and social crisis

From: Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.ac.kr)
Date: Mon Sep 24 2001 - 12:04:33 EDT

Jerry raised an urgent question of ours, I think.

"In any event, the question of what is the emerging international strategy by
capitalists to overcome the crisis and the question of how the working-
class can effectively mobilize against such policies are obviously
conjuncturally important issues."

One apparant thing is that the present economic crisis is going to be unprecedented. It is more severe than the 1929 one, in its scale, in its coverage, in its less remained instruments.
Another apparant thing is that the state must use the public money or the public debts to intervene in the markets, which contradicts the neo-liberalism. The WB and IMF must provide much more money to rescue the countries in near default. This kind of public debt is one of the powerful instruments for primitive accumulation. People are plundered of money over their own heads. The middle class will suffer the most from this if the working class has no buffer to be more expopriated that way. Today's anti-terror campaign might successfully persuade the middle class to be more expropriated than others. A strict neo-liberalism should not tolerate any rescue package provided by the capitalist state governments and the international institutes like IMF or WB. The rescue package grows like a snow-ball. The middle class willingly make a concession for the rescue package for the benefits of the poor countries but would not do so for the public debts poured into the stock markets. But !
now the condition is different. The latter is also tolerated after the terror attack. This month IMF provided more money to Argentina although reformation was not implemented. Already their principle has shambled since the Long Term Capital collapse in 1998. The neo-liberalism is over.

Jerry said "I am not convinced, though, that capitalists here or elsewhere believe that
the current crisis _requires_fascism to be overcome." Agree, but I have to believe that the current crisis requires fascism to be introduced.

I suspected last year why the Bush camp won the presidency perversely and why the Gore camp tolerated them so easily. I presumed they must have recognized a need for a drastic measure, on which both sides must have agreed. They must have prepared for it for the last 9 months. The economic crisis was felt in US when the manufactural sector began to show negative growth since August last year. This year, the service sector and the construction sector both also showed negative growth since July. So every sector in US now declines in absolute terms. Other industrial countries will follow soon. Wouldn't it be ridiculous for the large G7 economies are altogether militarized to invade one of the poorest and smallest countries like Afganistan? 
Why they suddendly become belligerant? Like 10 wrestlers cooperate to smash a small kid aged 4 years. They confess they have no intention to end this war shortly.  

The likely consequences in terms of public resistance are already preempted in the rhetoric of black and white. Those who argue against their strategies are pro-terrorists!
For all this, however, this would directly lead to immediate consequences (e.g. working-class radicalization and revolt) all over the world. The Rome collapsed that way.

I agree most bourgeois governments (at least in advanced capitalist nations) will seek to maintain 'legitimacy' as far as possible. If the middle class cooperate with the state policies and are willingly sacrifice for the national causes, there can be no problem raised. That is why the media manipulation is essential. 

Anyhow, back to Jerry's issue. the emerging international strategy seems to be (1) a conserted intervention in sovereign countries and smash revolutionary movements like in Latin America, Asia, and East Europe. These three areas are the most vulnerable. They will ally to form a crusade to smash anti-liberalism in troubled areas, If Hungary fall into a revolutionary situation, the NATO will invade to rescue the free market. If China is in a civil war, the allied force will be dispatched to help the free marketers. I do not think these things will not occur in the next decade.

Do others have thoughts on these issues?

In solidarity, Chai-on

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