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The Glorious Victory Of Neoliberal Globalisation

This idea that poor brown folks are just like richer, gammony ones, is what motivates the neoliberal globalisers like myself. An enrichment of melanin does not change the basic human desires, three squares and shelter at night, the wish that children grow into a better world, the grand-snotties enjoy a physical and civil wealth unknown to those who labour to bring them into this world.

So, we neoliberals would like those others to have what we do have. That means they also need the system that we have, that capitalism, markets, trade, that has made us all so stinking rich. Sure, this can be dressed up into the ideas that capitalism itself is natural, or that it’s a phase that must be gone through before true communism arrives. Or that trade is innate to our species, even predating it, as that evidence of long distance truck and barter in flint stones shows us. But the real argument is entirely practical.

No place has got rich – that is, the population enjoying a multiplicity of those three squares and a roof – without being roughly capitalist, roughly free market and trading across the borders of that place or society. Non-capitalism, non-marketism and autarky just don’t produce the result. We can and should go further too. Any place that is rich has been that roughly capitalist, marketist and tradist for some time now. Those places that have only in recent decades adopted the trio are getting rich. Those that still haven’t done so are still poor.

Sure, there’s a spectrum of possible policies, from Sweden’s tax heavy social democracy to Hong Kong’s near laissez faire. But that is a spectrum that always includes our trio.

We now have that further proof of the contention:

An additional 150 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty by the end of next year as conflict, climate change and Covid-19 combine to end two decades of progress in raising the living standards of those on the lowest incomes, say the latest World Bank estimates.

The Washington-based organisation said the proportion of the world’s population living on less than $1.90 a day was expected to rise from 9.1% to 9.4% during 2020, with the increase concentrated in countries with already high poverty rates.

In the absence of the outbreak of coronavirus, the Bank said it would have expected the poverty rate to fall below 8% during 2020.

Jam that neoliberal globalisation into reverse and it’s not just that fewer people climb to those giddy heights of a sufficient diet. Peeps fall off the tiny hills of mere sufficiency instead.

Or, if we’d like a piccie of the phenomenon:

Let’s bring those capitalisms, markets and trade to sub-Saharan Africa, eh?

Another way to say much the same thing. The Washington Consensus was a list of stupid things you shouldn’t do to an economy. Even the mention of the Washington Consensus will make a good lefty spit in contempt. But the thing is the Washington Consensus was right – there are stupid things you shouldn’t do to an economy and in the absence of doing the stupid things then the peeps get richer.

Neoliberal globalisation has caused the greatest reduction in the poverty of human beings ever. We should have more of it.

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1 year ago

Trading across borders is not a requirement for prosperity; an isolated island organized for personal liberty could be prosperous and would outperform a tribal society. Trans-border trading boosts prosperity further by enabling additional combinations.

Neither man-caused* runaway* climate change nor the unremarkable coronavirus drove the world into poverty; it was that the reaction to each was a lurch back toward tribalism.

1 year ago

If I think back 50 years, I can remember when people talked of the Asians lack of interest in money and wealth and their greater interest in philosophy and spiritual matters. The left’s great disappointment has been how so many former backwaters have taken to capitalism and material goods. That disappointment has evolved into “how do we stop this from spreading further”. The notion that poor brown people might have desires and aspirations similar to us fills them with horror.

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
1 year ago
Reply to  TD

The irony of when people talk about things like “cultural hegemony”, where half the world turns out to watch Frozen and Marvel movies, is that on the one hand, they want to say that we’re all the same, but on the other, that what stories and characters interest us are different.

Why does McDonalds sell well in France? Because the French like a burger, like everyone else does.

1 year ago
Reply to  Bloke on M4

If people copy us, that’s our evil cultural hegemony, if we copy them that’s our evil cultural appropriation.

Ian Baxter
Ian Baxter
1 year ago
Reply to  Boganboy

Feminism will resolve that!

11 months ago

Capitalism started with farmers keeping back some seed from their harvest to plant and grow more corn for the next harvest.
Guess what? The farmers outnumbered the hunter-gatherers in their neighbourhood a couple of generations later and the smarter ones took up farming. 99.9% of the world’s population are descended from capitalists and/or their dependent employees.

Martin Sewell
7 months ago

Lynn and Vanhanen (2002, 2006) found that the wealth of a nation is largely determined by three factors:
• the intelligence of the population
• the extent to which the country has a market economy
• natural resources
The first two being the most important, and equally so.

LYNN, Richard, and Tatu VANHANEN, 2002. IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
LYNN, Richard, and Tatu VANHANEN, 2006. IQ and Global Inequality. Augusta, GA: Washington Summit Publishers.

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