Re: [OPE] free competition

Date: Sun Apr 10 2011 - 09:36:46 EDT

Hi Alejandro A and Bapuji:

A couple of points:

1. Yes, Alejandro, monetarists - and supply-side economists -
in the US and other nations (most notably, the UK under Thatcher)
have been pushing this ideology of 'freedom' to rationalize
their demands for changing government policies. Yet, this is also
a *global* initiative because it has been pushed by the IMF and
the World Bank and nations have been told that they must make
their regulatory systems more 'free' as a condition for loans.

2. Yes, it is indeed a "desideratum in libertarians/neoliberal economistsí
mind". It is an *ideal* from the perspective of a segment of
the bourgeoisie and their ideologues. It's also clearly
an example of loaded terminology since, they assert, you have to
be opposed to freedom itself to oppose it! (the pernicious
influence of Milton Friedman is apparent.) It must be combated
aggressively, imo: we should counter, for example, that we do
not support the 'freedom' of the ruling class to abuse workers,
consumers, and the public by getting rid of occupational safety
and health regulations, consumer protection laws, environmental
protection laws, etc. Their 'freedom' is our noose! For this reason,
our answer must not simply be that free competition doesn't exist.
We must explain why it is, from a social perspective, a very good
thing that it doesn't exist! Indeed, instead of being on the
defensive, we should be fighting for additional reforms in the
form of regulations on corporations and competition which are
in the interests of the working class. For instance, we should
demand that the paradox of anti-trust policy be overcome by
extending it to cover oligopolies. Of course, it is not likely
in the current political environment that this will happen, but
posing the issue exposes the class character of their policies
and how the state is not nearly as 'neutral' an agent as
they claim to be (i.e. it exposes the pro-corporate character
of state policies and the limitations of the regulatory system).
In solidarity, Jerry
ope mailing list
Received on Sun Apr 10 09:37:39 2011

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