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View Diary: Putin's Position On Crimea Creating Global Isolation (37 comments)

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  •  I think this should be an opportunity for nations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q

    to start questioning the global economic Neo-liberal orthodoxy.  Countries should start thinking about taking control of their monetary policies (including printing currency).

    The so-called "global financial system/economy" has become a tool of Neo-liberal financial cartels hell bent on imposing financialization of "everything," and austerity measures.

    Regarding Russia, my take is that they will keep Crimea, will assert more influence in Ukraine and their near-abroad, and will maintain their power status (after some initial set-backs).

    Just to be clear, none of this means I support anything Putin is doing.  I'm just focusing on realpolitik here, and also on the fact that the Western push against Russia may have back-fired.

    Of course, we'll have to see what ends up happening.

    •  That doesn't seem to be happening. (5+ / 0-)

      It seems likely that this will be an economic war rather than a shooting one, but it is not likely to be a war about economics. At this point I can't really separate Russia and China from the global neoliberal hegemony. This all seems to be mostly about the sort of international power struggles that have been around for a very long time.

      •  this is a war between capitalists (6+ / 0-)

        Putin tried to ape the EU by creating his own Eurasian Union, of which Ukraine was supposed to be the centerpiece. He tried to do what the IMF does all the time: provide bailout packages for troubled economies. Apparently he was succeeding with Ukraine. That's when Yanukyovch was chased out.

        Putin was having success with the EU's own methods of empire building (economic warfare), and the EU didn't like it because he wasn't willing to cut them in on the deal. That's all. He wants to exploit Ukraine's natural resources and labor, and so does the EU. There are oligarchs on both the Western and Russian sides.

        If it weren't for the whole issue with NATO encroaching on Russian borders, perhaps Putin might not have sent troops to Crimea and he might have been willing to cut a deal with Western oligarchs over Ukraine and this great-power conflict would be over.

        But geopolitical and security imperatives are in conflict with economic ones. Hence the conflicted and confused response from all parties involved. They know this is bad for business, but they have no choice but to take a hard line.

        "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

        by limpidglass on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:55:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  People use "neo-liberal," which they sometimes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, Lawrence

      spell  "neoliberal," to mean different things. What do you mean?

      Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

      by another American on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 02:29:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In a nutshell, the systematic financialization of (0+ / 0-)

        every possible sector in society, including the public sector (highways, schools, prisons, etc.) with the objective of generating profit for a few while socializing the costs, all at the expense of the commons and the public sector.

        •  This seems a somewhat eccentric definition. Thanks (0+ / 0-)

          for clarifying your usage.

          Professor Stanley Fish, in The New York Times, writes:

          [N]eoliberalism is a pejorative way of referring to a set of economic/political policies based on a strong faith in the beneficent effects of free markets. Here is an often cited definition by Paul Treanor: “Neoliberalism is a philosophy in which the existence and operation of a market are valued in themselves, separately from any previous relationship with the production of goods and services . . . and where the operation of a market or market-like structure is seen as an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action, and substituting for all previously existing ethical beliefs.” (“Neoliberalism: Origins, Theory, Definition.”)
          * * *

          Whereas in other theories, the achieving of a better life for all requires a measure of state intervention, in the polemics of neoliberalism (elaborated by Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek and put into practice by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher), state interventions — governmental policies of social engineering — are “presented as the problem rather than the solution” (Chris Harman, “Theorising Neoliberalism,” International Socialism Journal, December 2007).

          Elizabeth Martinez and Arnoldo Garcia, of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, provide another, widely-used definition, which I found at CorpWatch:
          The main points of neo-liberalism include:

          THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's "supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.

          CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply -- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.

          DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environmentand safety on the job.

          PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

          ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."

          Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

          by another American on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:31:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, please. Does EVERYTHING revolve around (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver

      your ideological crusades?

    •  Not sure that will really happen. (0+ / 0-)


      First, neoliberal orthodoxy tends to go by the wayside when geopolitics enters the equation.  Ukraine is going to get a much sweeter deal from the IMF than from it would from its own oligarchs and the aid packages to Ukraine include outright grants and loan guarantees (where the guarantor puts down a fraction of the amount outstanding, which lowers the interest rate of existing loans.)

      Second, the competition in Ukraine is not between neoliberal orthodoxy and some benign combination of free markets and social democracy.  It is between neoliberal orthodoxy and crony capitalism enforced by foreign military occupation.  Neoliberal orthodoxy wins that competition hands-down.  

      The Western push will probably backfire, in that Russia has threatened to confiscate the holdings of US corporations that set up in Russia.  I'll probably shed no tears for Haliburtion, ExxonMobil, Shell and BP should that happen.  

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 06:23:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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