Re: [OPE] free competition

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Sun Apr 10 2011 - 20:13:44 EDT

But what is missing in this picture Jerry, is that competition is good, the “regulated” one, both in politic and economy. A. Agafonow ________________________________ De: GERALD LEVY <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: dom,10 abril, 2011 22:36 Asunto: Re: [OPE] free competition 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 economists’ 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

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Received on Sun Apr 10 20:14:41 2011

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