Saturday, November 5, 2011

External article: Capitalism or democracy? (Charles Brown at Counterfire)

The visceral opposition to allow the Greek people to have any say on their own future has evidenced how Democracy is quite radically opposed to Capitalism. That is what C. Brown ponders.

An excerpt:

For many modern conservatives the market is inherently democratic. The fiction of a ‘shareholder’s democracy’, created by the privatisation of public assets, provided the ideological core for Margaret Thatcher’s renewal of British conservativism in the seventies and eighties (even if the vast majority of shares were snapped up by big business and institutional investors). The illusion has remained remarkably persistent – until now.

For founders of neoliberalism, economists like Friedman and Hayek, the market’s unsurpassable ability to efficiently allocate resources, made it, rather than democratic intervention, the fundamental guarantor of freedom. Freedom was the goal, not necessarily democracy.

The lie at the heart of such arguments has been demonstrated by an economic crisis and two decades that have seen wealth siphoned away from the vast majority of the population to a tiny elite. The global Occupy movement is questioning this whole thesis, counterposing the interests of the 99% to those of big business and the banks. 

Read the whole article at Counterfire.

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