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[Neoliberalism as a New, More Dangerous, Form of Corporatism. Source:]

SA is cursed with neo-liberal trickle-down baloney stifling radical economic
Kevin Humphrey, The New Age, Johannesburg, 1 December 2016

South Africa’s massive inequalities are abundantly obvious to even the most
casual observer. When the ANC won the elections in 1994, it came armed with
a left-wing pedigree second to none, having fought a protracted liberation
war in alliance with progressive forces which drew in organised labour and
civic groupings.
At the dawn of democracy the tight knit tripartite alliance also carried in
its wake a patchwork of disparate groupings who, while clearly supportive of
efforts to rid the country of apartheid, could best be described as liberal.
It was these groupings that first began the clamour of opposition to all
left-wing, radical or revolutionary ideas that has by now become the
constant backdrop to all conversations about the state of our country, the
economy, the education system, the health services, everything.
Thus was the new South Africa introduced to its own version of a curse that
had befallen all countries that gained independence from oppressors,
By the time South Africa was liberated, neo-colonialism, which as always
sought to buy off the libera-tors with the political kingdom while keep-ing
control of the economic kingdom, had perfected itself into what has become
an era where neo-liberalism reigns supreme.
But what exactly is neo-liberalism? George Monbiot says: “Neo-liberalism
sees competi-tion as the defining characteristic of human relations. It
redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised
by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes
inefficiency. It maintains that ‘the market’ delivers benefits that could
never be achieved by planning.”

Never improving
There is consensus between commentators who have studied the effects of
neo-liberalism that it has become all pervasive and is the key to ensuring
that the rich remain rich, while the poor and the merely well to do continue
on a perpetual hamster’s wheel, going nowhere and never improving their lot
in life while they serve their masters.
Monbiot says of this largely anonymous scourge: “Attempts to limit
competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regula-tions should
be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of
labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market
distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierar-chy of winners and
losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous, a reward for utility and a
genera-tor of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to
create a more equal soci-ety are both counterproductive and morally
corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.”

Nelson Mandela
South Africa’s sad slide into neo-liberalism was given impetus at Davos in
1992 where Nel-son Mandela had this to say to the assembled super rich: “We
visualise a mixed economy, in which the private sector would play a central
and critical role to ensure the creation of wealth and jobs. Future economic
policy will also have to address such questions as secu-rity of investments
and the right to repatriate earnings, realistic exchange rates, the rate of
inflation and the fiscus.”
Further insight into this pivotal moment was provided by Anthony Sampson,
Mandela’s official biographer who wrote: “It was not until February 1992,
when Mandela went to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he
finally turned against nationalisation. He was lionised by the world’s
bankers and industrialists at lunches and dinners.”
This is not to cast any aspersions on Man-dela, he had to make these
decisions at the time to protect our democratic transition. But these
utterances should have been accom-panied by a behind the scenes
interrogation of all the ANC’s thoughts on how to proceed in terms of the
economy delivering socialist orientated solutions without falling into the
minefield of neo-liberal traps that lay in wait for our emerging country.

Senior cadres co-opted 
Unfortunately, history shows that some key senior cadres of the ANC were all
too keen to be coopted into the neo-liberal fold and any attempts to put
forward radical measures that would bring something fresh to the table to
address the massive inequalities of the past were and continue to be kept
off the table and we are still endlessly fed the neo-liberal trickle-down
Now no one dares to express any type of radical approach to our economic
woes unless it is some loony populist. Debate around these important issues
is largely missing and the level of commentary on all important national
questions is shockingly shallow.

Anti-labour, anti-socialist, anti-poor, anti-black 
The status quo as set by the largely white-owned media revolves around key
neo-liberal slogans mas-querading as commentary that is anti-labour,
anti-socialist and anti-poor, which sadly trans-lates within our own context
as anti-black and therefore repugnantly racist.
We live in a country where the black, over-whelmingly poor majority of our
citizens have voted for a much revered liberation movement that is
constantly under attack from within and without by people who do not have
their best interests at heart and are brilliant at manipulating outcomes to
suit themselves on a global scale.
Kevin Humphrey is associate executive editor of The New Age

Source: E-Mail to Blog


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