Repost from the old site.
Iceland is bankrupt. Moral to the story: the more a nation swallowed the neoliberal poison, the more fucked the are. The more sensible and socialist they were, the safer they are.
As I said before, if anything comes out of this world economic collapse we are presently experiencing, it is that neoliberalism should be buried for once and forever with a stake through its heart. That’s not going to happen, but it should.
Since 1980, the entire world has been a swoon with something called neoliberalism. Started by Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago, it quickly become championed by both US political parties, almost the entire US corporate media – newspapers, magazines, TV and radio – and almost every single economics department at every US university. An entire generation of economists was graduated with a sole idea in his head.
Neoliberalism was tried for decades in Latin America. Or, actually, it was forced down their throats at gunpoint. It failed in Latin America as it failed everywhere. Death rates went up, life expectancy went down, infant mortality went up, access to medical care went down, wages went down, unemployment went up, schooling figures declined.
There was economic growth, but almost everywhere on Earth, it went only to the top 20% and the bottom 80% generally lost money. Same thing here in the US. Same thing everywhere, really. Neoliberalism is quite predictable in its effects.
For over a decade now, I have been reading increasingly shrill and paranoid screeching in The Nation, Counterpunch and other sane places that the march to neoliberalism could lead to economic catastrophes, recessions, depressions, market crashes.
The folks saying this are called Leftists. In the modern Zeitgeist, Leftists are insane people, losers promoting a failed ideology, persons to be mocked who lack a single coherent idea.
Who tells the truth? Why, the entire politico-media world blaring FREE MARKET in my head day and night. I, the cynic, wondered dubiously if this Chicken Little stuff would come true.
Sadly, the Leftists, intellectual losers on the wrong side of history, were right all along. They predicted this whole damn mess. As I said, neoliberalism is predictable. The entire media-political intellectual class, the entirety of US thinking, wisdom and expertise, was wrong, wrong, wrong, a million times wrong.
Now the shitstorm is slamming into their faces, and yours and mine, with hurricane gale force.
Iceland, otherwise sensible Nordics, become the worst neoliberal crackheads in Europe. No one deregulated their financial sector like the Icelandics. They were Milton’s test-tube baby. They’re now his Frankenstein.
The same way Friedmanites blew up Chile and raped Russia, leaving her beaten and bloodied, they have left a scorched Earth in frozen Iceland. The most free market in Europe has been wrecked worst of all.
Other states in Europe, accustomed to heavy state intervention in economic affairs, are probably going to ride this out a lot easier. Their financial sectors were already pretty well-regulated, and they are nationalizing like mad.
Interestingly, in Africa, the financial sector is still heavily under state control and there has been almost no financial deregulation. Africa, along with Cuba and some other places, is expected to be able to ride out this crisis quite well.
I never thought in my lifetime I would see socialism vindicated like this. Here in America, we nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the world’s largest insurance company. Now we are on our way to nationalizing the banks.
Would ever thought that George Bush was a secret Marxist-Leninist?