Sunday, 18 December 2011

Transformation? Or Perversion?

Transformation? Or Perversion?

By Katleah Ulrike

Value Added Taxes, Budget Cuts, Austerity Measures, Commercialization, Privatization and Foreign control of interests, these are the policies imposed nowadays in the Philippines. These policies are at first would say that it may keep the economy afloat as investors are continuously entering the country all providing employment and perhaps financial security; but to others, it is a manifestation that would say keeping the country chained to Foreign interest and that includes keeping the country less industrialized and agriculturally backward as provinces are chained to its feudal "tradition."

But then, despite all the transformations and changes the Philippines ever experienced, it is a matter of growth rather than innovation that benefited much of the few than of the many. Yes, that those so-called "Reforms" like being stated, despite keeping the economy afloat rather keeping the rest difficult to uplift way of life regardless of measures that would say lessen the burden, acting like "charity" per se to the many as expected. 

Obviously, most of the reforms given and passed  made all in pursuit of solving economic and financial crisis in the Philippines, are rather based on the recommendations made by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and perhaps developed countries in need of raw materials and keeping labor cheap in the country. To those from Makati, it is considered much a solution to end up the crisis despite having sacrificing domestic interests in favor of foreign control and investment, or rather say never to be intervened for the sake of economic opportunities as they vent such sugar-coated words in it. Since it was based on the illusion that it is an economic problem to be solved economically. That it is solved to those who only understand economics, or even just not understanding the economy. The crisis, actually is not out of a mismanaged economy, but rather of ethics and humanity. And contrary to those who  ought to separate Economic and Political matters, Both are closely related to politics. So the first lesson in basic Marxism is to understand that the economy is not part of mathematics and statistics, but also in Politics. As much of Marx's work is dedicated to dismantling the political economy of capital. But then as expected such procedures approved by banking institutions are rather making poverty worse despite minimal improvement, well, You can not use the poison that created the crisis as a remedy to cure it.

As expected, the national government, hath to deal to those people who belong to the high bank. Banks and stock markets have been those who have caused this crisis that almost plunged the entire economic system. These guys are like fundamentalist Taliban: they believe in good faith in the tenets of free market and the stock game. Where in the universe is proclaimed the ideal of greed is good , greed is good? How to make a habit (and we say also a sin) a virtue? They are sitting on Wall Street in New York or in the Stock exchange in Makati. There are foxes guarding the chickens, but only to eat them. With fortunes coming from the masses simply transferred to a few hands-as banks are being "doled out", aided by billions of dollars taken from workers and retirees. Well, as most expected, U.S. President Barack Obama is a weakling, rather leaning more to bankers than civil society same as the Landlord Aquino who lean rather to his kind rather than to the people who voted for him despite using rhetoric. With the money received continued the spree, and promised that the regulation of financial markets all remained a dead letter. That millions of people are unemployed and precarious, especially young people, newly graduated who are filling the streets, outraged against greed, social inequality and cruelty of capital; and the peasants, whose call for agrarian reform continues to resound aloud while the system thinking food problems a matter not to be think seriously upon.

Well, what did people who have their mindsets formed by the neoliberal catechism think about the crisis both in the Philippines and in abroad? Does the recommendations such as foreign control of domestic assets and properties alleviate crisis the way the current economy relies on OFW remittances? Only to be found out that they are under the hands of corrupt officials and oligarchs, landlords and murderers supported by institutions from Washington and Wall Street|? What is happening nowadays is the sacrifice of a whole society on the altar of banks and financial system in pursuit of saving the rotten features of a society the elite hath enjoyed upon.

Since most of the pro-establishment do not think (not need), let's try to understand the crisis in the light of two thinkers who in the year 1944 in the United States, got a key illuminating. The first was the philosopher and economist Karl Polanyi with his classic work "The Great Transformation." What is? It consists of the dictatorship of the economy. After the Second World War, which helped overcome the Great Depression of the 1930s, gave capitalism a masterstroke: the policy canceled, ethics being scrapped off and imposed the dictatorship of the economy. Since then there has been as always before a market society, but a market society. The economic structure everything and does everything a commodity governed by a cruel competition and win outright. This transformation ripped social ties and deepened the gap between rich and poor in every country, in every society trying hard to achieve equal opportunity and prosperity.

The other is a philosopher of the Frankfurt School in exile in the United States, Max Horkheimer, who wrote The Eclipse of Reason (1947). There are given the reasons for The Great Transformation's Polanyi, consisting mainly of this: the reason is no longer guided by the search for truth and the sense of things, but is kidnapped by the production process and reduced to mere instrumental role, "transformed into a simple mechanism to register tedious facts." Laments that "justice, equality, happiness, tolerance, reason inherent judged for centuries have lost their intellectual roots." When society outshines the reason becomes blind, loses the sense of being together and is stuck in the quagmire of individual or corporate interests. This is what we have seen in the current crisis. Well, in assessment, Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz have written repeatedly that the players on Wall Street should be in jail for thieves and robbers.

Now, both in the Philippines and in the world, the Great Transformation has acquired another name: that is, the GREAT PERVERSION.