Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Archives by Tag 'neoliberalism'
Barack Obama and the Neo-Liberal Coup
ROB URIE
Defenders of the policies of President Barack Obama have correctly pointed to the difficult circumstances he and ‘the nation’ faced when he entered office and the dim intransigence of Congressional Republicans while they fail to address that his actual policies have d...
The Origins of the Neoliberal War on the Poor
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR and ALEXANDER COCKBURN
In November of 1994 two years of ramshackle government, breached pledges and the Clinton administration’s frequently manifested contempt for its traditional base, exacted their price. In the midterm elections Republicans seized control of both the House and the Sena...
Obama’s Plan for Economic Immiseration
ROB URIE
President Barack Obama spoke at length on the economy on Wednesday in the first of what is reported to be a series of speeches he will give around the country to push his economic ‘agenda.’ A question for his supporters is why Mr. Obama is now purporting to promote th...
Teenagers vs. Billionaires
JONATHAN FRANKLIN
Santiago, Chile. “What day is it, Wednesday? Thursday?” asked Moises Paredes as his eyes drooped nearly shut.  Paredes, 18-years old, the national spokesman for a collective of Chilean high school students, is exhausted. On Wednesday Paredes helped ...
Africa Crashing
PATRICK BOND
Durban. Barack Obama’s weekend trip to South Africa may have the desired effect of slowing the geopolitical realignment of Pretoria to the Brazil-India-Russia-China-SA (BRICS) axis. That shift to BRICS has not, however, meant deviation from the hosts’ ...
The Prairie Fire That Swept Brazil
LAURA CARLSEN
With a million people demonstrating in the streets of cities throughout Brazil, everyone’s scrambling to understand how a twenty-cent bus fare hike turned into a social revolt. Government officials are the most surprised. President Dilma Rousseff hastily cancelle...
The Standing Man of Turkey
T. SABRI ÖNCÜ
On 16 June 2013, after describing the brutal events that took place in Istanbul on the evening of 15 June, which were covered extensively by the international media, Taksim Solidarity—the umbrella group that initiated the Taksim Gezi Park protest on 27 May—said on its...
The Human Equivalent of the $640 Toilet Seat
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
Neoliberal economics has been an ideological mantra of Republicans and Democrats alike since President Jimmy Carter began the wave of privatization and deregulation that exploded during the succession of Republican and Democratic presidencies after 1980. The centra...
The Corporate State and Manufactured Dependence
ROB URIE
An argument often heard in the 1980s and ‘90s by those favoring lower taxes on the rich was the rich could avoid paying taxes because they had the resources to do so, so why not be pragmatic and set tax rates low enough the rich would actually pay them? The people makin...
The Silent Death of the American Left
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Is there a Left in America today? There is, of course, a Left ideology, a Left of the mind, a Left of theory and critique. But is there a Left movement? Does the Left exist as an oppositional political, cultural or economic force? Is anyone intimidated or re...
Crime Fiction and Capitalist Reality
RON JACOBS
The novel is generally acknowledged to be a bourgeois form of literature. It wasn’t until there were enough literate people with time for leisurely reading that this entertainment came along.  The crime novel reflects the bourgeois obsession with order and usually ...
American Advice for Indian Growth
VIJAY PRASHAD
Where does one even begin? On May 21, the US Ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, addressed the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kolkata. She told the eager crowd of businessmen that “if India is to grow again, support for policies that are necessary for ...
Albert Camus and the Liberal Dilemma
RON JACOBS
Albert Camus is arguably one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. His relatively short life is well chronicled and the fodder of multiple conversations in university literature classes. His novels and essays raise fundamental questions about life in a world w...
South Africa’s Sub-Imperial Seductions
PATRICK BOND
Durban, South Africa. Thanks are due to an odd man, the brutally-frank Zambian vice president Guy Scott who last week pronounced, “I dislike South Africa for the same reason that Latin Americans dislike the United States”, and to our own president Jaco...
Bono: Mascot of Neoliberalism
DAVE MARSH
In 1984 I wrote a hostile (to both music and words) review of U2’s Unforgettable Fire. Some weeks later, I found myself dragooned (by a force too absurd to mention) into a late afternoon conversation with Bono. It wasn’t an interview. He wanted to talk one-on-o...
The Economics of Over-Ripe Capitalism
ALAN NASSER
“We have now grown used to the idea that most ordinary or natural growth processes (the growth of organisms, or populations of organisms or, for example, of cities) is not merely limited, but self-limited, i.e. is slowed down or eventually brought to a stand...
Obama, Syria and the Arrogance of Imperialism
RON JACOBS
Imperialists are not just arrogant, they are stupid.  Pretending that they might get a different result than previous US administrations have obtained before, the Obama administration is planning to send lethal arms to Syrian rebels.  According to the Washington Post...
The Politics of Food Banks
MICHAEL BARKER
Eating has always been an intensely political issue: those with money eat, those without starve. With food in abundance, the only thing stopping its fair distribution is the profit motive. This explanation not only helps us understand the regularity of famines, but likewi...
Let Us Now Praise Heinous Men
ANDREW LEVINE
Too bad for corporate moguls that they can’t yet patent news events.  If they could, they could turn the dedication ceremony for George W. Bush’s presidential library in Dallas last Thursday into one hell of a moneymaker.  Big Pharma could market the DVD as an emeti...
Margaret Thatcher a Freedom Fighter?
ALAN MACLEOD
Margaret Thatcher’s face stares out at me from the front ...
Four Signs Neoliberalism is (Almost) Dead
SAMEER DOSSANI
Though Margaret Thatcher is no longer among the living, her ideology lives on. That ideology – known today as neoliberalism, “free market fundamentalism” in a phrase coined by George Soros – is strikingly unique. Apart from religious beliefs, is there any example ...
Decay and Ruin in Mrs. Thatcher’s England
TARIQ ALI
This interview with Tariq Ali was conducted by Die Presse in Vienna and appears in German in the paper’s Sunday edition. ...
The Lessons of the Global South
RON JACOBS
Vijay Prashad is fast becoming the historian of the Global South.  His books and articles discussing the relationships between the oligarchs of global capitalism and the people and institutions of those it manipulates into its money pit of debt are detailed discussions o...
The Collapse of the Anglo-Saxon Imperium
PATRICK FOY
We are witnessing the slow-motion collapse of the second Anglo-Saxon imperium in less than a hundred years. There was something called ...
The Myth of the Aztec Tiger
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City. According to rumors spread by everyone from The Economist to The New York Times, Mexico has gone from being the bloody epicenter of the “drug war” to a roaring “Aztec tiger” in the space of three short months. Following l...
Democrats: Masters of Self-Delusion
MICHAEL BRENNER
Democrats are masters of illusion – especially self-delusion. Their abject performance over the past few decades has shorn them of identity and conviction. They have lost on every front against a Republican opponent that has abandoned the mainstream for cloud cuckoo lan...
The Fall and Rise of the French Rothschilds
EVAN JONES
‘Rothschild’ is a household name. It belongs to a family banking dynasty with a two hundred year lineage, reputedly once supremely powerful. Omnipresent historian Niall Ferguson has devoted two volumes to this history. The Rothschild name is now bestowed on a s...
India: Growing Inequality and Destructive Development
GRAHAM PEEBLES
Upon a foundation of deep spirituality and philosophical treasures, proclaiming unity, justice and service, New India, horns honking in violation of the good; is racing, no time to spare towards the Alter of Materiality and Market Fundamentalism. Under the careful ...
Ethiopian Annihilation of the Ogaden People
GRAHAM PEEBLES
In the harsh Ogaden region of Ethiopia, impoverished ethnic Somali people are being murdered and tortured, raped, persecuted and displaced by government paramilitary forces. Illegal actions carried out with the knowledge and tacit support of donor countries, seemingly con...
Latvia’s Economic Disaster as a Neoliberal Success Story
JEFFREY SOMMERS and MICHAEL HUDSON
A generation ago the Chicago Boys and their financial supporters applauded General Pinochet’s anti-labor Chile as a success story, thanks mainly to its transformation of their Social Security into Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) that almost universally were...
City on a Hill, Slum in the Valley
JASON HIRTHLER
All through the fall, you could hear them chanting their glib platitudes, each candidate posturing as a champion of hardworking Americans. Now, as the country lists toward our season of mass consumption, you can listen to the publicans gravely intone the perils of the “...
Ireland Under Austerity
CAOIMHGHIN Ó CROIDHEÁIN
Dublin. Targeting young families, the elderly and the sick, as the government slashes child benefits, triples prescription charges and rubber-stamps controversial property tax. Another political party is selflessly sacrificing itself to the ‘preyi...
The Plutocrats and the Placeholder President
ROB URIE
In Quentin Tarantino’s movie ‘Jackie Brown’ the illegal arms dealer played by Samuel L. Jackson laughs as he recounts the sales slogan used by the manufacturer of the ‘Tech Nine’ semi-automatic weapon—“the most popular gun in American crime, like they p...
Toilet Apartheid
PATRICK BOND
Durban, South Africa. This week’s World Toilet Summit offers an opportunity to contemplate how we curate our crap. Increasingly the calculus seems to be cash, generating contradictions ranging from local to global scales, across race, gender, generation ...
Free Trade and Economic Imperialism
ROB URIE
The modern dilemma is to understand just how unreasonable the reasoning classes are in both thought and action. Political ‘progressives’ were behind efforts to obliterate Native American cultures through forced assimilation and acculturation for the purported ‘benef...
The Dark Age of Money
JAMES C. KENNEDY
If you often wonder why ‘free market capitalism’ feels like it is failing despite universal assurances from economists and political pundits that it is working as intended, your intuition is correct.  Free market capitalism has become a thing of the past.  In t...
How the Marikana Movement Stunned Neoliberal South Africa
PATRICK BOND
How long can the amazing upsurge of class struggle in South Africa go on? Living here 22 years, I’ve never witnessed such a period of vibrant, explosive, but uncoordinated worker militancy. The latest news from the labour front is that 12 000 workers were fired on Octob...
The Wrecking Society
DEAN BAKER
There is an old story from the heyday of the Soviet Union. As part of their May Day celebrations they were parading their latest weapon systems down the street in front of the Kremlin. There was a long column of their newest tanks, followed by a row of tractors pulling mi...
Obama and His Silent Base
NORMAN POLLACK
During the Great Depression, America was a different nation.  We were drawn togther as a people, even or especially in extreme hardship.  Class was a salient term, one to build on, not an object of ridicule subject to obfuscation.  We accepted responsibility for one an...
Slouching Toward the Ballot Box
ANDREW LEVINE
A year ago, thanks to Occupy Wall Street and the movements it spawned, American politics took a turn for the better.  People were in motion – a small minority, of course, but enough to put change on the agenda, not in the meretricious Obama sense, but for real. ...
America on the Cusp of Fascism
NORMAN POLLACK
I use “fascism” here not as a cliché, but as an historical-structural formation principally rooted in the mature stage of capitalism, in which business-government interpenetration (what the Japanese political scientist Masao Maryuma called the “close-em...
The Coming Age of Austerity
SHAMUS COOKE
The coast is clear, the media tells us; economic disaster has been averted. The Euro Zone is finally stable and the U.S. economy is recovering. Whew! Why, then, are government policies internationally still pursuing extremist measures? In the U.S., a third round of...
The Disappearance of Public Intellectuals
HENRY GIROUX
With the advent of Neoliberalism, we have witnessed the production and widespread adoption within many countries of what I want to call the politics of economic Darwinsim. As a theater of cruelty and mode of public pedagogy, economic Darwinism removes economics and market...
Romney Rescues the Democrats From Themselves
MICHAEL BRENNER
Mitt Romney’s meltdown has Democrats in a celebratory mood. They are so accustomed to living on thin political rations that their enthusiasm waxes whenever fortune smiles upon them. This sudden brightening of prospects in the Presidential election may have nothing t...
Back to School in the Twilight of Capitalism
RON JACOBS
Universities serve multiple purposes in a modern capitalist society.  One of those purposes–the education of young adults–is a noble and worthy one.  It is how this is done that is often less noble.  If capitalism requires technicians and managers, it is te...
Kill Lists and Giant Triplets
TOLU OLORUNDA
 Power is self-sufficient, a replete possession, and must be maintained by whatever agency is required. —Wole Soyinka, Climate of Fear [1]...
Authoritarian Politics in the Age of Casino Capitalism
HENRY GIROUX
The United States has entered a new historical era marked by a growing disinvestment in the social state, public goods, and civic morality. Matters of politics, power, ideology, governance, economics, and policy now translate unapologetically into a systemic disinvestment...
Francois Hollande, the Austere Socialist
PHILIPPE MARLIERE
London. As François Hollande hits the 100-day mark, what is the verdict on the man at the top of French politics? In terms of style, his trademarks emerged quickly enough. Hollande has renewed the Gaullist interpretation of the presidency: in accordance w...
The New Masters of Capital
ROBERT HUNZIKER
When the elite of capitalism met in Davos for the 2012 World Economic Forum, the world did not stand still, tongue-in-cheek, but a vision or special revelation of some kind was expected if only because of their self-elevated status. However, the accolades for the event go...