A great article from the Huffington Post that redeems my faith in the online publication. Ariana Huffington recently sold out to a slimy corporation, so I figured that the Left content would be destroyed by the corporate censors, but strangely enough, that has not yet happened.
This article discusses Milton Friedman, who was supposedly a Libertarian, but in practice, was actually a fascist because he supported the Chilean Pinochet dictatorship. Friedman famously said that no citizenry would ever vote in his Libertarian society for the corporations and the rich, so it would have to be put in via a dictatorship. This is why he praised the Chilean model. As an anti-democratic, far right individual, we arrive at the disturbing conclusion that Milton Friedman was a fascist.
Friedman was also a great believer in Disaster Capitalism, that is, the use of periodic crises to push through radical far rightwing and austerity measures to devastate state spending, tax revenues and state regulation of business. In addition, it could be used to facilitate huge wealth transfers from the poor and the middle class to the upper middle class, the rich and the corporations. Wrecking the union sector was also part of the game. In addition, the crises would force the state to sell off much of its property and land to the private sector. Friedman on the benefits of a crisis:
Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real changes. When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.
Many governments in Latin America followed Friedman’s advice in the past 30 years. The result was the devastation of the public sector and public spending and the crushing of unions and dissenters. There was huge wealth transfer from the bottom 80% of the population to upper middle class, the rich and corporations. States auctioned everything but the very air itself for pennies on the dollar to rapacious corporations. The death rate was surely in the tens of millions and health care and education were wrecked to serve the rich and the corporations.
Widespread economic destruction followed as it always does. Even Time Magazine agreed that neoliberalism had utterly failed in Latin America. This crap went on for 20-30 years before the Latin Americans said they had enough. The result was the voting in of Left politicians such as Hugo Chavez who opposed the failed neoliberal model .
Now the very same Shock Doctrine is being used to drive the same radical neoliberal changes in the US as failed so utterly in Latin America. The crisis was caused by lack of regulation in the financial and real estate sector. Deregulation is part of the Friedman agenda, so Friedmanism really caused the economic collapse in the first place. The economic collapse compounded with decades of insane supply side economics caused a collapse in tax revenues at all levels of government, which starved government of revenue and resulted in huge budget deficits.
Republicans used these deficits to push through radical changes, including even more tax cuts to further deprive the state of revenues and make the deficits even worse, constitutional amendments to prevent the raising of revenues needed for any kind of budget sanity, the destruction of critical social services, union busting and the privatization of virtually every state function, including the public schools. Mass privatization, especially of the public schools, had long been a Friedman prerogative.
At the state level, this mad slash and burn agenda is led by a gang of corporate fascists called American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC.
The website Alecexposed unveils the corporate fascist agenda of ALEC for all to see.
I would like to point out that the Democrats are no angels in this regard. In fact, Barack Obama and his buddy, Rahm Emmanuel, are both radical Friedmanites. Emmanuel has long been a proponent of using crises to push through radical austerity measures to destroy public spending and grant huge tax breaks to the rich and corporations. He famously said in this regard, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
Barack Obama is also a radical Friedmanite who believes in Disaster Capitalism. About the recent economic crisis, he said it was a “great opportunity” to begin the destruction of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that Obama has longed for since the day he entered office.