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

The Totalitarianism of the Market

by Sebastian Mueller Monday, Jul. 11, 2016 at 7:53 AM

Neoliberalism demands reeducation for its implementation like command socialism. The neoliberal view of the person is exemplified by the figure of the Homo Oeconomicus and is the antipole of the socialist person. All persons are entrepreneurs of themseves.


By Sebastian Mueller

[This article published on 6/12/2016 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

The threat of freedom by state socialism, Marxism or rightwing populism is a discourse of yesterday. This has slowly dawned on people. Today freedom is threatened by those propagating it the loudest.

Economic and political freedoms are inseparably connected. This connection is postulated in the title of Milton Friedman’s bestseller “Capitalism and Freedom.” Whoever relativizes this statement by pointing out a functioning market economy needs social regulation, that the production of certain goods by profit-oriented businesses is inefficient or that competition is not always conducive to promoting the public interest follows the “road to serfdom,” the title of Friedrich August von Hayek’s politically influential work. The untiring repetition of this core statement of neoliberalism made it the core of middle class education.

In her 2007 book “The Shock Doctrine,” journalist Naomi Klein commits that heresy by claiming the exact opposite for many parts of the world. Klein shows the inseparability between the political terror of South American military juntas in the 1970s and 1980s when thousands of persons “disappeared,” were tortured or pinned in camps and deregulation and privatization were simultaneously radically speeded up. In its extreme consequence, this policy uses the same methods as Stalin with his Gulag.


This comparison is not inappropriate since neoliberalism demands reeducation for its implementation – like command socialism. The neoliberal view of the person is exemplified by the figure of the Homo Oeconomicus and is the antipole of the “socialist person.” All persons are entrepreneurs of themselves. Everything important for persons is acquired through the market. To survive in the competition with others, constant self-optimization is necessary. Relations with others only serve purely economic, utilitarian calculations.

Like that utopia of the “socialist person,” this utopia needs a preceding tabula rasa of the social and economic structures. As the “revolution of the proletariat” had the goal of the radical suspension and new order of the old power- and property relations, the South American juntas had the goal of absolute change with brutal force. To prepare the ground for laissez-faire capitalism, traditions and path dependencies had to be destroyed like the developmental policy influenced by Gunnar Myrdal and practiced very successfully in Latin America.

That Myrdal, the great theoretician of the welfare state, was awarded the 1974 Nobel Prize for economics together with Hayek has a strange symbolism in retrospect. The completely opposite ideological orientation of the two economists was manifest in the concrete political conflicts of 1974. Hayek like Friedman publically supported Pinochet’s military dictatorship as an anti-democrat.


Hayek and Friedman knew about the human rights violations and that the shock treatments made profiteers out of a kleptocratic minority. Public property and state enterprises whose profits financed South American states were privatized at cheap prices. Processes of a corrupt predator economy should be repeated similar to the privatization of DDR (East German) enterprises by the oligarchs in Russia under the influence of the Chicago Boys, after the Second Gulf War in Iraq or now in Greece.

The double truth of neoliberalism according to Philip Mirowski was that it ultimately represents “the exact opposite of libertarian anarchism.” Its “main characteristics are proposals and programs for influencing, taking over and transforming a strong state to bring about the perfect society committed to the peculiar neoliberal ideal of pure freedom.”

In 1976 Orlando Letelier wrote that there was “an inner harmony” between the “free market” and boundless state terror. Letelier was Salvador Allendi’s ambassador in Washington. This terror in which Letelier was killed by a car bomb was carried out in South America under the name “Operation Condor” and long supported by the US. The murder of 50,000 and the torture of 100,000 to 150,000 people were the consequences. As the actual and alleged opponents of the revolution were persecuted and killed in Leninist and Stalinist Russia, the same thing happened in South America with the political and cultural left. The Spanish judge Baltazar Garzion described this systematic eradication as genocide.


While human rights violations under Pinochet’s dictatorship were bravely criticized, Chile was simultaneously praised for its free enterprise reforms initiated by the Chicago Boys that supposedly helped the country to an “economic miracle.” A narrative that mocks the truth is spread by conservative and neoliberal camps and can be read again and again when the corporate media discusses the Pinochet theme.

The shock therapy prescribed by no one less than Milton Friedman in personal correspondence with Pinochet led to a socio-economic tragedy right after the coup that first ended when Pinochet finally changed the political-economic course at the end of the 1980s. Public spending was cut 27% in 1975 in one blow and by 1980 amounted to half of the state spending under Allende. Alongside nearly 500 state businesses, social security and the public education system were privatized and trade barriers dismantled. 177,000 jobs in Chilean industry were lost between 1973 and 1983.

At that time, the share of production in the total economy fell to the level during the Second World War. In the year of the shock therapy, the Chilean economy shriveled 15%. The unemployment that amounted to only 3% under Allende reached 20%, an unparalleled number for Chile. A hyper-inflation occurred in 1982 when budget consolidation and monetarist combating of inflation were central political-economic goals. Unemployment grew to the historical 30% record.

This version of the history of South American neoliberalism that occurred similarly all over the world where the laboratories of the Chicago Boys arose is largely forgotten today in Germany. While the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia were followed with great attention in the West, very few knew of the massacres of General Haji Mohammed Suharto. Suharto carried out a coup in 1965 in Indonesia and flanked his liberal economic policy with the murder of 400,000 to a million communists and anti-government students. But his open policy for international capital was much more important for western heads of government and brought him state visits from Helmut Kohl (lifelong friendship) and Richard Nixon and a good press.


The brutal and direct violence often applied to enforce market radical “reforms” against the will of the populations is only one side of the coin that carries out the supposed anti-totalitarian nature of unfettered capitalism ad absurdum. It is manifest more subtly by being sold under the label “freedom.” The entrepreneurial subject, the human capitalist who sells himself should understand his conduct as self-realization and not as a program. “The ideal neoliberal self,” Mirowski writes, “does not even need to know that it is neoliberal.” However only the freedom of market participation and self-exploitation is included under this freedom, as the philosopher Byung-Chul Han showed.

A new form of subjugation appears attractive and is hardly seen as subjugation because it is not enforced with direct force and oppression in western industrial states (if the increasing bureaucratic repressions of work agencies are ignored). It is milder because the advancing economizing of society is slowed down and cushioned by democratic, legal- and welfare state institutions. But it has occurred in a continuous insidious process in Europe since 1974, a year after the coup in Chile. The planned investor protection in the TTIP and CETA free trade agreements is only one example. The face of an authoritarian capitalism has also become clearer since the financial crisis.

That “capitalism” per se is seen as more humane than “socialism” lies in the more attractive packaging of a product that is only owed to western European welfare states achieved by workers’ movements. A consensus arose out of the social reason of the postwar era in Western Europe in a mixed, state-interventionist economy or “organized capitalism.” …


Capitalist mechanisms of rule and oppression are not potentially less repressive than those mechanisms in command socialism. The evolutionary order of the market postulated by Hayek and the demanded submission under its alleged laws of nature is not limited to the oxymoron of “market-conforming democracy.” …

Such a “natural” and self-destructive order can ultimately only be forced on the affected with physical force. This force is then manifest when the erosion of those civil society and democratic forms of regulation incompatible with neoliberalism exceed a certain degree.

Neither socialism nor the free market economy is the guardian of a democratic constitutional state. On the contrary, the implementation of their corresponding extremes, the promise of absolute equality on one side and the complete freedom of capital on the other side cannot be compatible with democracy and separation of powers.

The free market of a Hayek and Friedman contradicts and does not imply political freedom. Both economists recognized this with amazing openness… Hayek’s interpretation of freedom published in the British “Times” in 1978 is typical in this context: “More recently I have not been able to find a single person even in much maligned Chile who did not agree that personal freedom was much greater under Pinochet than under Allende.”

For Hayek, the dictatorship was a necessary transition period on the way to realizing freedom. The road to serfdom, the danger of totalitarianism, is scented everywhere by Hayek and his followers wherever fragments of a social state exist…


Rainer Mausfeld, “Neoliberal Indoctrination,” January 2016,

Rainer Mausfeld, “Propaganda: Making Alternatives Disappear,” April 2016,

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.
Bernie is the electable one! marc Saturday, Jul. 16, 2016 at 11:55 AM

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


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

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

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

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