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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Schizophrénie libérale

by Jean-Emmanuel Ducoin

Liberal Schizophrenia

Translated Tuesday 1 June 2010, by Kristina Wischenkamper and reviewed by Henry Crapo

Facing up to reality is inescapable now for everyone, especially given the reality of the human condition.

As seen on TV yesterday. At the heart of the City a trader announces with that mix of sincerity and cynicism proper to the City: ‘The more severe the governments’ budget policies the better the market will react.’ Even though all the stock markets were down yesterday, even in London (spot the mistake), this dabbler in stocks and shares still had cause to rejoice: David Cameron, the new British PM has followed the demands of the ‘financial markets’ to the letter. He is inflicting upon Britain a regime so arid that in the land of Thatcher and Blair where the liberal toxin has already polluted the heart of the social body, only the rain can temper the climate.

Under the lash of the financiers, the IMF, the servile European leaders and even the imperialist media – who for weeks now have been devotedly ‘selling’ the inevitability of an austerity budget to the public, without once questioning the sacrosanct independence of the ECB, which is looking more and more like an economic occupying force from within – this time it’s the whole continent that is being subjected to the worst of scenarios. The worst scenario because it is an ineffective and counter-productive one. The same words are used for everyone: ‘reduce the deficit’, ‘make savings’, ‘cut pensions’, ‘public investments at risk’, and so on. Let’s be clear, it doesn’t mean we are promoting public deficits,whe we question seriously where they came from, which investments they are going into and how they can be reduced in the long term.

In our societies the greeting was no longer ‘How are you’ but ‘How much are you worth’. Soon we’ll be saying ‘How much have you got left?’ The distressing and destructive spectacle we are watching comforts us only in the idea that all the governments of the EU have sunk into the same advanced state of capitalist schizophrenia. How else can we describe their proclaimed desire to ‘save’ our economies when accompanied by social shock therapies so violent that they decimate all hope of a durable and steady growth. Proof of this alarming pathology? If these new saviours of the planet sometimes talk about ‘sacrifices’, have we heard them mention ‘people’, ‘populations’, ‘misery’, ‘impoverishment’, ‘social regression’ for a whole generation, at least? Facing up to reality is an imperative for everyone, especially given the reality of the human condition. It’s not the states that are on the edge of the abyss, it’s the people. There are those, like Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who would do well to think on this. Five days after having stigmatized the ‘dogma’ of retirement at 60, yesterday he was denouncing the Spanish ‘rigidity’, calling upon his friend Zapatero to ‘ apply immediately’ the ‘urgent reforms’ to render the ‘labour market more flexible’. A mere six months ago, another of his pals Pascal Lamy, boss of the cannibalistic WTO, predicted, with a straight face, ‘the end of the crisis’. For whom? As forecasts of 30 million unemployed in Europe between now and 2012 are made, the IMF, graven image of the banks, has just announced a quadrupling of its profits for the period 2009–10 (to end of April) thanks to ‘unexpectedly high returns from the investment portfolio’. Those states in deficit are bringing money in. There’s a real urgency now to mount a resistance to this world of finance.

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