Friday, October 31st, 2008
Ms. Klein, you are wrong in your career-long (Shock Doctrine, No Logo, etc) assessment of Capitalism – the social and political system premised on individual liberty – as being the enemy. However, your analysis of the cronyism and (let’s call it) ‘Corporativism’ – to borrow Mussolini’s term – is dead on. Naomi! The state and the economy must be kept separate for the same reason the church and state are (or were). Tighter centralization and association with the seat of power isn’t going to fix a problem caused by this dynamic in the first place.
Naomi Klein, The Guardian
October 31, 2008
In the final days of the election many Republicans seem to have given up the fight for power. But don’t be fooled: that doesn’t mean they are relaxing. If you want to see real Republican elbow grease, check out the energy going into chucking great chunks of the $700bn bail-out out the door. At a recent Senate banking committee hearing, the Republican Bob Corker was fixated on this task, and with a clear deadline in mind: inauguration. “How much of it do you think may be actually spent by January 20 or so?” Corker asked Neel Kashkari, the 35-year-old former banker in charge of the bail-out.
When European colonialists realised that they had no choice but to hand over power to the indigenous citizens, they would often turn their attention to stripping the local treasury of its gold and grabbing valuable livestock. If they were really nasty, like the Portuguese in Mozambique in the mid-1970s, they poured concrete down the elevator shafts.
Nothing so barbaric for the Bush gang. Rather than open plunder, it prefers bureaucratic instruments, such as “distressed asset” auctions and the “equity purchase program”. But make no mistake: the goal is the same as it was for the defeated Portuguese – a final, frantic looting of the public wealth before they hand over the keys to the safe.