Arxiu mensual: setembre de 2008

La plena libertad para aquellos cuyos ingresos, ocio y seguridad no necesitan ser incrementados y una miseria de libertad para el pueblo, que en vano puede intentar hacer uso de sus derechos democráticos para resguardarse del poder de los dueños de la propiedad.

— K. Polany – La gran transformación

The rise of advocacy groups and NGOs has, like rights discourses more generally, accompanied the neoliberal turn and increased spectacularly since 1980 or so. The NGOs have in many instances stepped into the vacuum in social provision left by the Withdrawal of the state from such activities. This amounts to privatization by NGO. In some instances this has helped accelerate further state withdrawal from social provision. NGOs thereby function as ‘Trojan horses for global neoliberalism’. Furthermore, NGOs are not inherently democratic institutions. They tend to be elitist, unaccountable (except to their donors), and by definition distant from those they seek to protect or help, no matter how wellmeaning or progressive they may be. They frequently conceal their agendas, and prefer direct negotiation with or influence over state and class power. They often control their clientele rather than represent it. They claim and presume to speak on behalf of
those who cannot speak for themselves, even define the interests of those they speak for (as if people are unable to do this for themselves). But the legitimacy of their status is always open to doubt.

Vegeu també: T. Wallace, “NGO Dilemas. Trojan horses for global neoliberalism?”, Socialist Register, London, Merlin Press, 2003, pp.202-219

— David Harvey – Brief history of neoliberalism (p. 177)

To allow the market mechanism to be sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment, indeed, even of the amount and use of purchasing power, would result in the demolition of Society. For the alleged commodity ‘labour power’ cannot be shoved about, used indiscriminately, or even left unused, without affecting also the human individual who happens to be the bearer of this peculiar commodity. In disposing of man’s labour power the system would, incidentally, dispose of the physical, psychological, and moral entity ‘man’ attached to that tag. Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions, human beings would perish from the effects of social exposure; they would die as victims of acute social dislocation through vice, perversion, crime and starvation.

Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed. Finally, the market administration of purchasing power would periodically liquidate business enterprise, for shortages and surfeits of money would prove as disastrous to business as floods and droughts In primitive Society.

— K. Polanyi – The great transformation (1944) p. 73

¿Qué significa el comunismo en el siglo XXI?

R. En primer lugar, crí­tica al capitalismo, crí­tica de una sociedad injusta que está desarrollando sus contradicciones. El ideal de una sociedad de mayor igualdad, libertad y fraternidad. La pasión de la acción polí­tica, el reconocimento de la necesidad de la acción colectiva. La defensa de la causa de los pobres y los oprimidos. Lo que ya no significa es un orden social como el tipo soviético, un orden económico de una planificación total y colectiva: me parece que ese experimento ha fallecido. El comunismo como motivación continúa vigente; como programa, no.

Eric Hobsbawm – El Paí­s 12/04/2003

P. ¿Cómo influyó en usted la lectura de El capital?

R. De todos los libros que he leí­do en mi vida es, con diferencia, el más importante. No por su ideologí­a, que no comparto, ni por su concepción de la economí­a, que no estoy en condiciones de juzgar. Lo que me influyó de Marx fue el estilo de su pensamiento, un rigor y una severidad completamente despojados de sentimentalismo. Hay algo casi teleológico en Marx: te obliga a rastrear el pensamiento hasta sus bases más hondas, y eso es algo que se te mete en el sistema nervioso. Si se estudia a Marx con atención se aprende a pensar con mayor claridad y creatividad.

Norman Mailer – El Paí­s 23/04/2003