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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

"false" democratic choices « Previous | |Next »
June 4, 2012

Slavoj Žižek in the recent issue of the London Review of Books comments on the Greek crisis and Europe. He says that:

Greece is not an exception. It is one of the main testing grounds for a new socio-economic model of potentially unlimited application: a depoliticised technocracy in which bankers and other experts are allowed to demolish democracy. By saving Greece from its so-called saviours, we also save Europe itself.

The tendency of contemporary capitalism and market ideology, he remarks, is to suspend democracy.

RowsonMGreece+Europe.jpg Martin Rowson

According to the neo-liberal technocrats in Brussels one is free to choose on condition that one makes the right choice.The right choice is the EU-IMF programme of fiscal austerity, structural reform, and financial discipline.

When the wrong choice is made (as it was when Ireland rejected the EU constitution), the choice is treated as a mistake, and the European establishment immediately demands that the ‘democratic’ process be repeated in order that the mistake may be corrected.

And so the old conflict between capitalism and democracy resurfaces. Wolfgang Streeck reminds us that in its earlier manifestation in industrial capitalism this conflict between capitalism and democracy took the following form:

Beginning in the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century, the bourgeoisie and the political Right were afraid that majority rule, being inevitably the rule of the poor over the rich, would ultimately do away with private property and free markets. The rising working class and the political Left, for their part, were fearful of capitalists allying themselves with the forces of reaction to abolish democracy, in a search for protection from being governed by a permanent majority dedicated to the redistribution of economic advantage and social status.

Today under a neo-liberal mode of governance the conflict surfaces around the market-distorting intervention for “social” objectives:
While the right kind of intervention is one that sets markets free from political interference, market-distorting intervention derives from an excess of democracy, or more precisely, from democracy being carried over, by irresponsible politicians, into the economy where it has no business.

In this mode of governance markets are better for citizens than politics. Real justice is market justice under which everybody is rewarded according to contribution rather than to needs redefined as rights.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:04 AM | | Comments (3)
Comments

Comments

Pythons kill through constriction rather than venom.
The wunderkinder from the fourth reich sets about "disciplining" the mediterranean labor market, already no more than skin and bone, but the real issue is of course irrelevant Fauntleroy's detection of irrelevant Milliband not howling in glee loud enough at the misery.
Beautiful you garnered the exquisite second comment.
On another issue, QA presented the viewing public with unedifying spectacle of Barnaby Joyce next to Simon Crean with an especially retarded audience. At one stage they had a question about the Chinese buying out large tracts of land/minerals in WA. Crean persisted with the idea that it is good to sell and reinvest the money, which I thought would have be a suicidal remark politically, this late in the election cycle, particularly when delivered in the form of a paternalistic lecture.
Why not lease, several others suggested. No, it had be a sale or there wasn't going to be enough money coming from it.
Watching Greens leader Milne, it struck me that Milne was one of the few to raise the issue of the secret Trade Treaty.
The look on her face had me thinking of China and the US, and the mining oligarchs and financiers just getting together behind everyone else's back, issuing their instructions and this barefaced insistence as to this prickly policy from a politician who can't have forgotten yet the QLD debacle, irritated and puzzled me.
Cutting to the chase, just beforehand they'd had got into a discussion on a very recent topic here, the topic of fiscal equalisation between the resource and rust belt states.
After a couple of moments, a viewer comment concerning new depths for Australian Meanness showed, probably referring to Joyce and the redneck audience, choking at the though of foreign aid going to poorer countries and worse still money from resource states to less well-off aussies, but the more I see this sort of stuff the more convinced I'm becoming that White Australia's Dream time may be shrivelling to its end.
" They will decide who owns Australia, not us", thinking on Howard's notorious asylum seeker comment.

Not so humorous i suspect than Barry Humpfreys discussing Gina's hole the week before.

"Pythons kill through constriction rather than venom [like Cobras]

That is Tony Abbott on the carbon tax --its going to be a slow and painful death for us. The only option is save us is to elect Tony Abbott.