by Scott Creighton
The Road to Neoliberalization: A bi-partisan not-for-profit Think Tank called ”The Neoliberal War on Democracy Foundation”
They don’t want you to know their name, much less to speak it. They don’t want you to know they exist, much less to join them. They don’t want your participation, they don’t want your suggestions, because quite simply put, they don’t want you.
The Neoliberal Party isn’t about “democracy”; it’s about the illusion of democracy and the absolute control that the illusion creates. Therefore, the less you know about them, the better off they are and the happier you will be in your self-sustained cocoon of blissful ignorance.
But we can no longer afford the luxury of hiding in our chrysalis with our heads buried in the sand. It’s time for a political and ideological metamorphosis on a national scale.
It goes by many names… “crony capitalism”… “free market capitalism”… the ”centrists”… the “Washington Consensus“…the “Third Way“… ”predatory Globalization“… many names.
And it is served by various think tanks and organizations like the “New Dems“… the “Project for the New American Century“… the “Democratic Leadership Council“… the “American Enterprise Institute“… the “Blue Dogs“… the “Council on Foreign Relations“… the “European Union“…the “International Monetary Fund“… the “World Bank“…the Aspen Institute“… the “Bank for International Settlements“…the CIA…”USAID”… and so on and so on.
The bi-partisan Neoliberal Party is, simply put, the most powerful single political, financial, and corporate influence this nation has ever seen. As such, without hyperbole or sensationalism, it is the deepest and most pervasive threat America and the world has ever known.
The greatest threat to our democracy is poised to overthrow us after decades of “plotting and planning” while most Americans don’t even know it exists. Of the few that do, the vast majority have refused to speak its name or to publicly address its corrosive influence in any meaningful way. But that dynamic is starting to change. It must change if we are to have any chance at all.
The influence of neoliberalism stretches well beyond Party affiliation into a bipartisan consensus of what can only be described as a brutally savage and ultimately self-serving ideology of jungle law which revels in the adage that “only the strong are worthy of survival”. But this isn’t “centrist” as they would have you believe, or even “pragmatic” as was repeated over and over again in the lead-up to the elections or whenever they try to explain away the latest ”compromise” coming from the administration of “CHANGE”.
This neoliberal ideology isn’t the middle of any road the vast majority of Americans would take were they to know where it was actually heading.
For followers of the neoliberal ideology, obfuscation is mandatory. In point of fact, fundamental dishonesty is a desperate necessity for the very survival of the Neoliberal Party. This is why we have recently witnessed a tremendous rise in the political influence of public relations agencies like Burston-Marstellar. They (and far too many other PR agencies littering the DC political landscape) produce the lines and the memes of propaganda which help control the narrative of the ongoing transition of our representative republic into a neoliberal based inverted totalitarianism.
It is the task of these PR (read as “Propaganda”) firms to spin up the deceit that will help convince supporters of one Party or the other that the Neoliberal reforms and the constitutional restructuring that are being imposed on our nation are in our best interests when in fact they actually only benefit the interests of the banks or those of various corporations, at our expense. Think of agencies like Burston-Marstellar as the steering committee for the not-for-profit 501 (3)(c) the “Neoliberal War on Democracy Foundation” and you start to get an idea of what I am talking about.
But what is “neoliberalism” and why is it’s allure become so attractive to such a large percentage of our elected representatives who have either willingly signed on to its highly destructive and ultimately un-American mandate or simply stand by silently watching it happen… to us?
The Road to Neoliberalization: The Infection
Neoliberalism is an extreme and malevolent form of ultra-capitalist predatory globalization which is probably best exemplified by the socially crippling ”structural reforms” imposed on many nations over the past several decades by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. By far and away the best expose written so far on the disastrous consequences of these IMF structural reforms is without a doubt, Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism“.
Within her book, Naomi Klein chronicles the destructive pattern of the neoliberal structural reforms across the span of several continents and over the course of many decades. In its wake, neoliberalization has left starvation, disease, poverty, unprecedented levels of unemployment, desperation, death squads, assassinations, systemic torture, ravaged school systems, pillaged resources, foreclosures, prostitution, sweatshops, child exploitation, ghettos, shantee towns, and the general degradation of the standards of living for quite literally a billion human beings all across the world.
With all that in its wake there is one more thing that the neoliberalization process creates; vast and nearly immeasurable sums of wealth.
Think of the process as the worst parts of the mergers and acquisitions profession being mercilessly applied on a national level. The targeted country is assessed like Wall Street tycoon would assess a corporation he intends to devour, the juicy parts are singled out for consumption while the rest is bled dry for as long as possible then discarded like so much waste at a pork processing plant.
Back in 1973, on Sept. 11th to be exact, the democratically elected government of Salvador Isabelino Allende was overthrown and replaced by the military dictatorship of the tyrant, Augusto Pinochet.
The coup had been planned and aided by the Nixon administration under the direction of Henry Kissinger. The reason was simple; Allende was a populist who was working to address issues of unfair wealth distribution and worker’s rights in his country. Allende had nationalized some key industries like copper mines and the central bank of Chile. All this was too much for the neoliberals in Washington to take. They couldn’t allow the disease of populism to spread throughout Latin America, so they took action. They had tried to recover control of the nation by running a puppet candidate in the election, but the people chose Allende by a landslide. After the election, after the people of Chile “voted the wrong way”, Nixon imposed crippling sanctions on Chile in the hopes that the desperate situation would motivate the people to remove Allende from power. That didn’t work either.
It didn’t work in Cuba, it didn’t work in Iraq, and it won’t work in the next target of the Global Free Market Wars, Iran.
After the coup and the murder of the freely elected president, and after Pinochet secured control of the general population by means of a brutal dictatorial reign of merciless oppression, Nixon and Kissinger sent Milton Friedman down to Chile to impose his “shock therapy” version of what would later be called by the IMF, “Structural Adjustment Programs“. It was the first time they had been imposed on a grand scale in broad daylight and thus it became known as the “Chilean Experiment”.
It’s important to note that Friedman and his aides that went with him down to Chile were from the University of Chicago School of Economics. His staff later would become known as the “Chicago Boys”. Keep paying attention; Chicago will pop up again and again.
Though Chile was the first grand scale experiment of this type of economic model, organizations like the CIA and USAID had been implementing small-scale versions of it for decades prior to 1973. The first was probably 1953 in Iran when we overthrew the democratically elected president, Mohammad Mosaddegh. That one was a little less bloody but it was still for the direct benefit of certain corporations at the direct expense of the people of the nation. And again, we had to install a dictator who would rule without mercy or justice; the Shah of Iran.
Though Iran wasn’t a full on version of the “shock therapy” Milton Friedman model of neoliberal reforms like Chile was, its important to our understanding of Chile by way of context. Friedman’s economic model didn’t come out of thin air. There were historical equivalencies which he drew from.
Neoliberalization is a scheme like no other before it, to redirect the wealth and natural resources of a nation, any nation, to a very small number of politically connected families and businesses within the nation, and to an equally small number of international banks and corporations. John Perkins describes the early version of the process in his book “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”, as less of an ongoing ”conspiracy” as much as it was simply an ideology of what he called “corporatocracy”.
Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly-paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign “aid” organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools included fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization. John PerkinsAgain, pay attention to USAID… you will see them mentioned again as well.
In summation of this section, it isn’t enough to point out all the various ills this economic theory has caused the people of the targeted nations. It not enough to say we are in fact largely responsible for them.
We have to use this history to address current events and the political ideologies that motivate them.
The neoliberals targeted governments of freely elected populist leaders. To the neoliberal, the problem wasn’t the people, though they voted the wrong way, the problem was always the government itself; or more specifically, the role that the targeted governments chose to play.
Government that protected the people, upheld their rights and individual freedoms were the problem for the neoliberal, they were an obstacle that had to be overcome by any means necessary.
Compare that to what is happening today, not just in America, though the similarities are obvious, but also in the nations that we call our “allies” in the “Global War on Terror” (read as “the Global Free Market Wars”). India is engaged in an all out ethnic cleansing of the “Maoists” in the southern part of their nation on behalf of the mining industries. Pakistan is also weeding out their resistance at an alarming rate. Yemen is waging internal conflict on two fronts, the separatists from the south and the revolutionaries in the north who are revolting in opposition to the austerity programs imposed by their neoliberal puppet president. Palestine, Columbia, now Honduras and Haiti, Nigeria, Somalia, the entire European Union, our puppet regimes installed in Iraq and Afghanistan, South Vietnam… the list of “infected” nations goes on and on.
You can add Venezuela and Iran to the targeted ”soon to be infected” list if you like.
The Road to Neoliberalization: It’s in the Blood
It’s easy to see how the presidency of George W. Bush was simply an extension of a developing oligarchical system of neoliberalism in America. His father was a CIA operative and eventually ran the CIA. His father’s presidency was simply a continuation of the Reagan administration’s neoliberal mandate, and that is understandable when you consider that G. H. W. Bush really ran the Reagan administration after Reagan was shot only 3 months into his first term by the son of a man who had contributed heavily to Bush’s primary campaign just a year before. His son, George W. Bush, was selected to be president after the neoliberal regime of Bill Clinton, mainly because they knew he wouldn’t rock the boat and that he would go along with the plan as his father, George P. Shultz, Dick Cheney and others continued the process of the neoliberalization of America.
It’s not as easy though to see how President Obama was also born to his task; the task of being the last stage in the 5 president, 30 year plan of the neoliberalization of America.
For that we have to look at his early years and the people who had the greatest influence on him. Specifically, his mother.
Indonesia factors into this story a great deal, both then and now. William Black, former financial regulator and investigator of the Savings and Loan scandal, in a recent interview on Real News, said that if you want to understand the economic model that this country is being made into, you should basically look at Indonesia under Suharto. General Suharto was the military dictator “friend of the West” who ruled neoliberalized Indonesia for 32 years. General Suharto’s “New Order” regime oversaw one of the most brutal tyrannies in modern-day history while enforcing IMF and World Bank structural reforms. It’s interesting to note that the previous president had kicked organizations like USAID out of the nation and General Suharto promptly allowed them back in when he took over.
General Suharto was directly responsible for the invasion and occupation of East Timor, what Noam Chomsky called the greatest genocide since the holocaust. Prior to that invasion, Suharto met with Henry Kissinger who gave him the go-ahead to do it.
General Suharto’s totalitarian neoliberal regime was purely class based and a living nightmare for the vast majority of the people of his nation. But he and his elites of the country didn’t care. They were mud-people to him;peasants at best. It’s important to understand this atmosphere because it has produced the current president of the United States of America.
You see, Barack Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was right in the middle of it all dragging little Barack right along with her.
Ann Dunham, mother of Barack Obama and daughter of a leading banker in Hawaii, had just married Lolo Soetoro in 1967. He was a government relations consultant working for Mobil Oil company. After the 1968 military coup in Indonesia which brought General Suharto and his neoliberal regime to power, Dunham and Soetoro moved to Jakarta to serve it in different capacities.
Barack Obama’s adaptive father served one of the oil companies that moved in to take advantage of the privatization of the reserves on Indonesia, while his mother actually worked for USAID. Now remember, USAID was well-known then, and it is now, as a front operation for the CIA. Their task was to get into underdeveloped nations in the guise of humanitarian aid, then set up highly profitable industries such as garment factories (sweatshops). Ann Dunham had worked for the Ford Foundation developing what they called “microfinancing” plans; her focus was on “rural development championing women’s work” in garment related industries… you can read that as sweatshops.
It’s unclear whether or not Ann Dunham was in Indonesia while General Suharto was wiping out an estimated 100,000 people in East Timor, but she did return in 1975 and she and her government relations consultant husband stayed on for many years to come during some of the most repressive decades Indonesia would ever see.
As an interesting side note, William Black also talks about the amazing “failures” of people like Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner in their roles as regulators during the run-up to the economic crash of 2007-2008. The fact is, as is becoming clearer and clearer, these weren’t failures at all, as is demonstrated over and over again by the constant promotion of the very people who “failed” to regulate or stop the pending economic collapse.
Geithner was especially negligent in his role as head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. For his “failure” he was promptly promoted to the role of Treasury Secretary by Barack Obama, but that shouldn’t be a surprise.
Ann Dunham worked for Tim Geithner’s daddy at the Ford Foundation and USAID…
While at the Ford Foundation she developed a model of microfinance which is now the standard in Indonesia, a country that is a world leader in micro-credit systems. Peter Geithner, father of Tim Geithner (who later became United States Secretary of the Treasury in her son’s administration), was head of the foundation’s Asia grant-making at that time.When young Barack Obama was shipped out of Indonesia to attend an exclusive private school in Hawaii, he lived with his maternal Grandmother who paid for the education. She was the vice president of the Bank of Hawaii. His mother remained in Suharto’s “New Order” Indonesia till she became sick in 1994 or so. Suharto’s neoliberal regime went from 1967-1998. Ann Dunham lived in Suharto’s Green Zone for nearly the entire duration of his tyrannical neoliberal rule.
Peter Geithner oversaw the Ford Foundation’s microfinance programs in Indonesia being developed by Ann Dunham Soetoro, President Barack Obama’s mother, and they met in person at least once.
Barack Obama comes from a long line of Green Zone inhabitants. He was brought up in the shadow of bankers, oil industry representatives, and neoliberal free market “reformers”. In short, he was bred for this role he serves now and that process continues to this day.
Take Chelsea Clinton for instance.
Chelsea was raised by the neoliberal “New Dem” / NAFTA creating Clinton family and thought you might start to feel sorry for her at first, Chelsea has acclimated to the neoliberal game plan just fine.
(Chelsea) took a job working for a hedge-fund company that was a major Clinton donor. They work in collateralized debt obligations, you know, the kind that helped crush our economy? Chelsea got an even bigger payday when her investment banker boyfriend sealed the deal for yet another politico-class merger with a massive diamond engagement ring, probably paid for with our bailout money in one way or another.If you take the time and you look just barely beneath the surface chances are you will find an unpleasant connection the likes of which most “respected” news agencies would never, ever print. That’s because in this new oligarchy we have, the privileged class is doing everything they can to ensure that they stay in power. And that means that they raise their children to despise the filthy masses (ever see the video where Bush wipes his hand on Clinton’s shirt after shaking hands with Haitians?) then they empower them to rule over the next generation and in some cases, like that of Barack Obama and Tim Geithner, to play an important role in the neoliberalization of America.
Chelsea’s soon to be husband is none other than Marc Mezvinsky, son of ex-politico class member Edward Mezvinsky: convicted felon for fraud, supposedly linked to those Nigerian Banker scams, pled quilty to 66 counts of FRAUD, including PONZI SCHEMES….
and where, you ask, does Hillary Clinton’s soon to be son-in-law work? You really want to know? Really? Goldman Sachs Creighton
The Road to Neoliberalization: Endgame
The end result of the neoliberalization process produces something very similar to a feudal caste system, or a pre-industrial feudal system, where you will have the ruling class, the warrior class, and the lowly worker class. Wealth distribution will be enormously one-sided favoring the ruling class, which is composed of both political figureheads and corporate/banking leaders. Likewise, individual rights will also be class based, with the workers enjoying the least possible civil rights protects of any of the classes.
If you don’t think this is happening right now in this country, think again.
The wealth redistribution process is pretty obvious. All you have to do is pick up a paper or click on any MSM website and you see it happening every single day. Even under the administration of “CHANGE”.
But when you look closer, like when you examine most viruses under a microscope, their typically invisible lethal influence becomes all together too clear. Take for instance President Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan’s “Renaissance 2010? program and Obama’s “Race to the Top” education reform. It’s a purely neoliberal assault on public education on a scale that would make Ronald Reagan blush.
Duncan was never an educator. His background is that of a basketball player turned political animal. He was appointed as “CEO” of the Chicago School system in 2001 by Mayor Daily and from that moment on, Duncan worked diligently to privatize as much of Chicago’s school system as he possibly could no matter what the cost to the taxpayer or the students. It’s interesting to note that Duncan grew up in and around the University of Chicago, he attended their “Laboratory” school then went on to Harvard.
The system Arne Duncan is trying to set up all across the nation on behalf of the neoliberal Obama adminstration is a reproduction of the “class based” Chicago model, free market, public/private schools. As was pointed out Friday on Democracy NOW!, not only is the Duncan created for-profit model in Chicago extremely unfair, it’s also what can only be described as neofeudal in its design. No other city in the country has more militarized schools. That means that certain students are being molded into the warrior class by determinations made at a very young age.
There are very few choice schools, and by this I mean schools that primarily educate with the intention of preparing their students for advanced post secondary educations in leading universities. These schools are difficult to get children into and from what Azam Ahmed disclosed in his recent article and interview on Democracy Now!, positions within those schools are being handed out on a “who do you know” basis at the highest levels. Some schools produce soldiers, others produce leaders of industry, while still more, the vast majority, will be dedicated to filling corporate needs. In one privately owned school system, kids are actually sent to work at Walmart for school credits.
And this is the system Barack Obama is trying to implement all across the country. A for-profit school system that pre-determines the role you children and grandchildren will fill in their new neofeudal vision for America and then makes massive profits off taxpayer dollars for doing you this service.
The privatization of the public school system is just a small part of the overall process. We have already seen a healthcare “reform” bill that simply emboldens and empowers institutionalized corporations at the cost of the working men and women of this country for very little actual “reform”.
We see that Obama is continuing the Global Free Market Wars and even expanding them, without congressional mandate mind you, to nations like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia… with Iran and Venezuela on the not-so-distant horizon.
The secrecy of the Bush administration, a promise that candidate Obama made to end, is not only continuing under the Obama regime, but it is actually getting worse.
The assault on personal liberties is continuing under the not so successful veil of the “progressive” Obama administration as they now claim the right to not only arrest and detain persons on the basis of suspicion, but they actually claim the right to kill U.S. citizens in service to the Global War on Terror. The amazing rational they give for that little privilege is that some people can’t be arrested and tried because the “evidence’ won’t stand up in court, so they claim the executive authority to just kill them instead.
Social Security will be gutted soon enough and Obama already has a bunch of proven neoliberals working on America’s new “austerity measures” program similar to the typical Predatory Globalization of the IMF/World Bank “structural reform programs”.
Now keep in mind that the reason this nation is in the shape its in isn’t because of some accident or an economic cycle swinging back. We are here because these bankers and regulators put us here and then they got bailed out so that the act of economic terrorism wouldn’t cripple their “too big to fail” institutions.
We are here because the Neoliberal Party needed an economic disaster in order to implement the final stages of the neoliberalization of America. They planned for it, they created it, they put the players in place and now we are being forced to pay for it just as our children will have to live in it.
The Road to Neoliberalization: They Hate You for Your Freedom
Within the “about” pages for the organizations that I have listed above, you can find code words and phrases which indicate to other followers of the neoliberal doctrine that the organization is a member of a very specific team. These code words (like “privatization”, “market liberalization”, “pro-business”, “free market”) hint that the organization shares the neoliberal ideology and therefore signals to the reader that they are in the globally “viable” club.
Naomi Klein, in her book “Shock Doctrine”, dispels the mythology that neoliberal reforms were brought about in targeted nations by any kind of remotely democratic way and in fact it was usually quite the opposite. Through the use of subterfuge or coups, rigged elections or downright violence, since 1973 the large-scale neoliberal reformers always had to follow some shock inducing disaster which would provide a sufficient cover for them to introduce their pestilence of an economic model.
Some might argue that our nation will be one of the first to have actually voted into power this rapacious neoliberal policy, but they would ultimately be wrong. Unlike Bush before him, Obama was elected. But his immediate shift to a purely Clinton and Bush holdover administration was a genuine surprise to some (not all). Nearly every single neoliberal “reform” that has taken place since has done so in the face of massive resistance and in spite of very little actual public support. From the FISA Bill to the neoliberal “healthcare reform”, along the way, each and every one of these measures meets with strong public opposition.
Yet the process moves on.
That’s because as we have seen throughout the history of the development of this type of political and economic model, the vast majority of the subjugated people adamantly oppose them. In fact, we are seeing a rising of a kind of conciousness in this country right now. While pro-neoliberal institutions like Fox News and MSNBC work diligently to rebrand the anger and desperation the people are feeling so as to redirect their wrath, some institutions like Democracy Now! , Salon, and FireDogLake are beginning to directly confront the nature of the current transition being forced upon this nation.
We must be careful not to confuse this neoliberal process with what has previously been called “Globalization”. That’s why I make a point to call it Predatory Globalization.
The world is getting smaller; that is a fact. The notion that we are an interconnected body, a “brotherhood of man” if you will, is undeniable. In fact, it might be our salvation. All across the globe there are pockets of legitimate resistance to this neoliberal onslaught, lessons that we can learn from our neighbors to the south as well as those across the pond.
Globalization can be a beneficial thing and it can be a powerful motivational force that helps drive us to stop this inhuman process called Predatory Globalization.
If the problem is global, if the infection is global, then the solution, and the cure must therefore also be global.
Look at Ireland, look at Greece. Look at Venezuela and Bolivia. Look at the resistance forming in India, Honduras, the UK and the EU. All across the world an ideological war is taking place but none of them, none of them, stand a chance if we don’t do our part. We have a responsiblity to the people of the world to set this right. We have allowed this disease to spread unchecked from the great halls and corporate institutions of our fragile republic for far too long. We cannot sit idly by any longer.
In order to do this, we must first call it what it is. We must identify its agents and constantly expose them for what they are. We must reject the propaganda which would confuse and undermine the will of the people here in America. We must be relentless in this pursuit, to educate and inform, because was is at stake is not merely the sum total of our healthcare system or our Social Security administration or even our civil liberties…
What is at stake is nothing short of the global right to rule by self-determination. At one time, the United States stood as a shining example of democracy. We were the promise and the hope of oppressed people everywhere. What we are witnessing the beginning of the last stages of the exact opposite of that. It can change, it must change. We must reclaim our heritage and in so doing free ourselves from the pre-ordained serfdom destiny the Neoliberal Party has chosen for us, and in so doing, we can quite literally, liberate billions of people all across the world.