“Real power lies not with the oppressors but with the oppressed.”

 

Now, I’m no fan of the right wing populists holding sway in Italy today – to the detriment of intellectualism and the decency of human equality – but I may well prefer them to the Italian predecessors of the last decade or more. Moreover, I may well prefer them to their rivals in the North.

 

The sad truth is, fallen amongst neo-liberal elites and Fabians, these populists, in their sincerity and ideological fervour, may be the best and last hope for the wretched and downtrodden, European nations and peoples south of the Alps and the Danube.

 

Without Italy standing up to Germany now, what hope is there for Greeks – who have been denied the right to invest, to work, to even partake in their culture for nearly a decade? What is the future of Spain – who’s young are forced (very much against their wishes) to emigrate and sell their labour to the very Northern Europeans who decimated their homelands while flouting EU laws themselves?

 

What benefit has Europe’s southern half reaped from having its currency artificially held above its competitive rate, so that Germany can have its artificially held down? What productivity gains or convergence have the south experienced as they are forced to austerely sell the family silver and reduce expenditures, while their northern neighbours’ huge states provide patient capital investment, universal world-class education and state run essentials?

 

Well, perhaps this article can help illuminate the disgrace:

 

‘Italy: How to Ruin a Country in Three Decades.’ – Yves Smith

Hegemony and the violence of objectification

Quote day! As I return to my blog, in supplication to my one or two followers after a long absence, I thought I’d strart off with this revealing line from Ayn Rand’s old friend, Big Al.

 

In 2007, Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, was asked by a Swiss newspaper which presidential candidate he was supporting. He said it didn’t matter:

 

“We are fortunate that, thanks to globalisation, policy decisions in the US have been largely replaced by global market forces. National security aside, it hardly makes any difference who will be the next president. The world is governed by market forces.”

 

By “objectification”, I am referring to a terrifying and violent form of horizontal power; the establishment of subjective, ideological beliefs – almost always closely aligned to the self-interest of their proponents – as ‘objective’, unquestionable facts.

Dani Rodrik discusses Hyper-Globalization and its Discontents.

If you don’t know Prof Rodrik’s work, you’re welcome.

There’s no shortage of criticism of the 21st century’s globalised form of feudalism we know as neo-liberalism, but to take it down so cogently, authoritatively and with such a ceaseless grasp of the economic facts is music to the ears.

As I grapple with my ingrained support for free trade; Rodrik’s words are never too many.

Enjoy,

 

Dani Rodrik (and Mark Blyth) – From Globalization to Hyper-Globalization and Back