Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Under the cover of democracy

US and its allies assist will be using neoliberal economic policies to make sure new Arab governments stay in line.

A Very Good Piece
Joseph Massad

"....The answer is simple. There is an increasing understanding among US policy makers that the US should ride the democratic wave in the region in those countries where it cannot crush it, and that in doing so, it should create political conditions that would maintain the continued imperial pillage of their economies at the same rate as before and not threaten them. Saudi money followed by American money and IMF and World Bank plans and funds are all geared to supporting the business elites and the foreign-funded NGOs to bring down the newly mobilised civil society by using the same neoliberal language of structural adjustment pushed by the IMF since the late 1970s. Indeed, Obama and his business associates are now claiming that it is the imposition of more neoliberal economic policies that is the main revolutionary demand of the people in Egypt and Tunisia, if not the entire Arab world, and which the West is lovingly heeding. That it is these same imperial policies, which were imposed on Poland by the IMF (and produced Solidarnosc in 1980), and ultimately led to the fall of the Soviet Union, as they marched onwards to impoverish the entire globe, with special attention to Africa, the Arab World, and Latin America, is glossed over as socialist whining. In this sense, the US will ensure that the same imperial economic policies imposed by international capital and adopted by Mubarak and Ben Ali will not only be maintained, but will be intensified under the cover of democracy.

Moves to limit economic protests and labour strikes are ongoing in Egypt and Tunisia. Once elections are held to bring about a new class of servants of the new order, we will hear that all economic demands should be considered "counterrevolutionary"and should be prosecuted for attempting to "weaken" if not "destroy" the new "democracy". If, as is becoming more apparent, the US strikes alliances with local Islamist parties, we might even hear that economic protests and opposition to neoliberal imperial economic policies are "against Islam." The US-imposed "democracy" to come, assuming even a semblance of it will be instituted, is precisely engineered to keep the poor down and to delegitimise all their economic demands. The exchange that the US hopes to achieve by imposing some form of liberal political order on Egypt and Tunisia is indeed more, not less, imperial pillage of their economies and of the livelihoods of their poor classes, who are the large majority of the population. The ultimate US aim then is to hijack the successful uprisings against the existing regimes under the cover of democracy for the benefit of the very same local and international business elites in power under Mubarak and Ben Ali. How successful the US and its local allies will be will depend on the Egyptian and Tunisian peoples."

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