imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Rich of the World, Enrich Yourselves!

by Mohssen Massarrat Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008 at 4:47 AM

Financial jugglers speculating with food, oil and other raw materials caused double-digit inflation and made staple foods like rice and wheat into luxury items for millions. Neoliberalism with one blow managed to drive nation states to the defensive.


Neoliberal core meltdown. The financial crisis may not be seen isolated

By Mohssen Massarrat

[This article published in: Freitag 44, 10/30/2008 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, Mohssen Massarrat is a professor of politics and economics at the University of Osnabrook (Lower Saxony).]

The current financial crisis is the greatest crisis of capitalism since the first world economic crisis 80 years ago. The crisis of capitalism critics is also drastically manifest. Critics all predicted this development but hardly probed the lessons to be drawn from the crisis in the sense of an emancipating policy. Now it is time to make up for what was neglected as fast as possible. The “bailout package” of the European Union governments allows neoliberal capitalism to escape unscathed.

“Enough people are already working on covering up the breakdown of the system as fast as possible with the mantle of forgetting,” said the former Daimler head Edzard Reuter (Frankfurter Rundschau, October 18/19, 2008). The fact that Angela Merkel nominated Hans Tietmeyer, one of the architects of neoliberalism in Germany, as coordinator of the bailout package, and then – after criticism in the German parliament – nominated another hardened neoliberal Jorg Asmussen, proves neoiliberals have all power and all the reins and sacrifice pawns to save the system. The “greed” of several managers is responsible for all this. With means like a salary cap for managers, the sting should be taken from the rage of the population. On all television channels, the “greed” of managers is the theme. Greed is simply an unchangeable human constant. Therefore no alternative to neoliberalism is possible.

Against this diversionary campaign, critics must offer a crystal-clear analysis of the driving forces of the current crisis. Is this a crisis of finance-driven capitalism or has the financial system fallen into crisis? This system is an existential component of neoliberalism that replaced Keynesianism at the beginning of the 1970s. All evidence points to the latter.


Neoliberalism is the cause of growing global poverty and mass unemployment, not only of the financial crisis. Neoliberalism is a political strategy of millionaires and billionaires, big shareholders, big speculators and top managers in corporate boardrooms, banks and rotten capitalists who prefer increasing their capital through wage cuts and social cuts than becoming fit for competition through more imagination, diligence and creativity.

Neoliberalism spreads like a cancer and marginalizes parts of the middle class in all national economies. In alliance with influential politicians and their propagandists in the media, neoliberals channel their people in important institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO and the central banks. They gained their projects with the blessings of neoliberal economists and an academic tinge. Wealth in super-abundance, the enormous power potentials in national and international institutions and the media owed to a powerful lobbyism and a powerless democracy formed the backbone of this strategy.

At the beginning of the 1970s, the neoliberals regarded their hour to strike as come after Keynesians failed to modernize Keynes ecologically and socially to creatively react to stagnation and inflation (stagflation) of that time with investment programs in the environment, education, health care and gradual reduction in working hours. The neoliberal mind knew how to brilliantly exploit the vacuum. It seized positive values of the 68-movement like individual freedom and self-determination, mixed them with greed and egoism to a success philosophy whose goal consisted in making neoliberal theory with the four pillars (liberalization, flexibility, deregulation and privatization) capable of a political majority. For legitimation, the little mantle “reform” was hung on all these projects. In a manipulative intention, they declared “financial reform,” “labor market reform” and so on were future-oriented.

With radical liberalization, neoliberals urged unrestricted competition through retreat of the state from the economy. Now they shamefully urge the state to block job programs and subject politics, governments and parliaments to the creed “venture more capitalism” (Friedrich Metz)…

“There is no left or right, only a modern economic policy,” Gerhard Schroeder wrote on the banner of the SPD. The SPD’s change to the middle reflected the triumphant advance of neoliberalism. With the compliant help of the nouveaux riches “left,” the welfare state was destroyed. The result was Agenda 2010 in which Red-Green created the fundamentals for the low-wage sector (over eight million workers today) and degradation of the unemployed through the Hartz IV system (combining unemployment benefits and income support and drastically reducing the duration of benefits).


With growing unemployment and fear over jobs, the Red-Green coalition’s argument prevailed that more flexibility and mobility of labor is an important prerequisite for more growth and reduced unemployment. Flexibility of the labor market is the second pillar of the neoliberal strategy. The results were one-euro-jobs and dumping wages (“a poorly paid job is better than no job”). More intensely than in the past, wage earners were forced to submit to the interests of capital and accept increasing cuts to the social rights of employees.

The deregulation of capital- and financial markets – the third pillar of neoliberalism forced worldwide by the IMF – the central committee of international neoliberalism (with extortionate methods in the South) – occurred at a time when hundreds of billions of surplus petrodollars of OPEC-states and the capital surpluses of multinational corporations earmarked from the real economy branched off and sought profitable investments. These streams of money capital driven by deregulation and abandonment of fixed rates of exchange suddenly changed the structure and rules of the game of the international financial system. The financial streams separated from the real streams of goods and services.

Partly virtual money markets arose with daily sales of many billions of dollars. These money markets were accompanied by financial- and rating agencies that dragged in banks, pension funds and companies like Siemens, Volkswagen and others in the incredible suction of a dream world of financial speculation with many financial bubbles – with complex inscrutable financial products like hedge funds, derivatives and certificates. Social earthquakes were produced in Mexico, Argentina, Indonesia and also Russia. The culminating point was the real estate bubble in the US from the middle of 2007 that drove millions into homelessness and the neoliberal international financial system to crash. Financial jugglers speculating with foods, oil and other raw materials caused double-digit inflation rates and made staple foods like rice and wheat into luxury items for millions of people in Asia and Africa suffering hunger.

The widespread public indebtedness of many states caused by falling taxes for entrepreneurs and the rich led to massive pressure on governments to privatize public services like the post office, railroad, telecommunications, energy- and water supply, educational- and health institutions and essentials. This privatization is the fourth pillar of neoliberalism. Thus new investment spheres were created for surplus capital.


The ridiculous profits of 25 percent and more realized with short-lived international financial transactions were very disastrous for the real economy. Capital circulation was unnecessarily accelerated through higher capital turnover numbers. Rationalization pressure increased and jobs were destroyed. Business associations and politicians supplied ethically unscrupulous arguments to carry out massive cost reductions on the wage side, destroy welfare systems, outsource and transfer jobs to low-wage regions, extend working hours and raise the pension age. Soaring profits as a result of falling wages as in Germany led additional capital surpluses to be withdrawn from the real economy and pumped into the financial sector.

Neoliberal capitalism came full circle with liberalization of the economy, deregulation of financial streams, privatization of public goods and flexibility of labor markets on one side and redistribution from bottom to the top on the other side. Through skillful instrumentalization of globalization, neoliberalism with one blow managed to drive nation states, unions and leftist parties politically to the defensive, challenge social gains of the labor movement and rope in conservative and liberal parties worldwide for enforcement of its redistribution strategy. Neoliberalism developed into a communication key, an effective code with the message: Rich of the world, enrich yourselves! The poor will also be better off when they become richer! Therefore political elites’ attempt to feign a turn through bailout measures should be prevented.

This enlightenment can only succeed when neoliberalism as a whole moves into the foreground of social-political discussion. A broad anti-neoliberal political alliance of social movements – from Attac and the unions to liberals and social democrats – is necessary to affect the middle class marked by neoliberalism. A spanner can be thrown in the works of financial jugglers by annulling all new laws for deregulating the financial streams and prohibiting new financial products. The tax havens must also be closed and privatization of all public goods revoked.

The time is ripe for a counter-movement for a fair distribution of work through reduced working hours, an income securing existence without degrading controls and a legal minimum wage. These goals that disappeared for decades behind the neoliberal veil should now be set on the political agenda.

Mohssen Massarrat. Born in Iran, is an emeritus professor for political science at the University of Osnabrook (Lower Saxony). Active for years in the peace movement, Mohssen Massarrat has published many books on international economic relations, ecological questions, the Middle East, and peace- and conflict research.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy