Lasciateci fare Vol. 1 (2015) - full transcript
In the last 250 years, free-market ideology has played a central role in the development of the logic and rhetoric that have influenced the daily life of populations throughout the Western world. It was cornered for a few decades during the twentieth century in favor of a social economy for the public interest, and then returned to the limelight in the last thirty years of the century to dominate the logics that drive world economies, doing the favor of the elites at the expense of 99%. Through the testimony of six people informed about the facts, Laissez-faire offers a historical and ideological perspective through which to identify the fundamental problems of the economic mechanism on which Western societies are based.
the economic elites of Western
societies turned history upside down.
They regained more power than
they ever had and made sure that
no one among the people would really notice.
Pushed by the free world market,
their power exploded while states,
democracies and citizens were
slowly deprived of their sovereignty.
Their system, however, has a flaw:
it devours everything it can and eventually
ends up devouring itself.
After the financial crash of 2007 that
hit the world, responsible
are declared too big to fail
but the huge holes they cause
are covered up everywhere with state money.
Both in the United States and in
Europe the big banks close to
bankruptcy are all bailed out.
In the United States some of the great
managers were called to answer but
this time there were not only men
in the dock.
Despite the admission of guilt,
the accused returned to freedom.
On the other hand, ideas cannot be imprisoned.
the political theory based
on affirmation, which arises from the affirmation of the industrial revolution.
Hence the affirmation of
capitalist society that it finds a system
of describing itself: that is, the new
bourgeois and capitalist class finds a
system of describing itself, its dynamics.
Obviously it does so in positive
terms, that is in terms of
legitimizing the social order in
which they find themselves prevailing and trying to give it
a rational foundation.
It is a thesis that can be traced back to
Adam Smith's infamous
invisible hand theorem of the late eighteenth century.
It was then subsequently reworked in many ways.
The basic idea of neoliberalism is that in fact the individual,
selfish action of each
individual, of each company, allows
for a sort of heterogenesis of purposes
to lead to collective well-being.
In a sense, individual selfishness
actually leads to collective well-being.
Liberalism believes with Darwin,
Darwinism, this type of
philosophy: that in the end the best,
the strongest, must survive.
And it obviously confuses the strongest with the best.
In a complex and
class-structured society it is obvious that the
strongest are the richest, the best equipped.
And consequently they want to define
themselves as better and perpetuate themselves.
This is the weak point of liberalism which
in fact struggles to support
social mobility, to reward merit and
It is a thesis that actually served
interests, it served dominant interests.
All those who can then exercise power
in their action on the
market evidently feel
protected by this vision of things
because they can operate
It is no coincidence that the doctrine
also known as "Laissez-faire" should actually
be reinterpreted as the doctrine of
"Laissez-nous faire" that is, "Let us do".
There is only one major obstacle to liberalism:
In 1975 an international institution
called the Trilateral Commission
published a volume written by three different authors
entitled "The Crisis of Democracy".
The introduction of the Italian edition is
signed by Giovanni Agnelli who opens
by describing what the Trilateral Commission
of which he was a member is:
"The Trilateral Commission is a group of
private citizens who come together to
study and propose balanced
solutions to problems of burning
international relevance and of common interest."
The three authors, each for his area of
belonging, describe in detail
what are the obstacles in making
neoliberalism coexist with democracy.
The conclusions of the American Samuel Huntington
"some of the problems of government in the United States today
arise from an excess of democracy.
What democracy needs instead is
a greater degree of moderation.
Democracy is but one of the sources of authority.
In many situations,
whoever is better, more experienced or
older in the hierarchy can take
precedence over the democratic process."
It has undoubtedly served, that is, it has given a
scientific nature to industrial
activity, to microeconomic activity.
On the macroeconomic level, on the other hand,
it is more purely political, it is a theorization
of how and why they find themselves having,
and holding, the principles
of social justice.
Social justice is what they manage to
impose with their economic power.
However, while subjects endowed
with power obviously find
advantages from this pervasive dominant
ideology, in fact from the point of view
of the overall efficiency of the system,
we are faced with a series of failures.
Liberalism in the 30s entered into
crisis with the crisis of '29 in a blatant,
obvious way, with colossal increases in
unemployment and without any
capacity of the system to
spontaneously emerge from that crisis.
Neoliberalism today enters a crisis because the crisis of
2008, the so-called Great Recession
how the International Monetary Fund has defined it,
does not seem to be able
to resolve itself thanks to market forces.
And once again we are faced
with a series of
testimonies, proofs of the fact that
evidently this doctrine, which is
often considered scientific,
is considered irrefutable and to which
fine brains devote themselves in order to
defend and support it,
in reality this doctrine does not find confirmation in the facts.
The symbolic date of the birth
of the modern economy is 1776,
when Adam Smith publishes his most important work:
"An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations".
Thanks to this work, Smith
is considered the founding father of liberalism
but in reality it has only been used as a pretext.
He never wrote that the market
was sufficient to satisfy all the
needs of the individual, so much so that
he considered a free and gratis
state education fundamental.
Furthermore, the state of Smith was that
made up of the oligarchies of the time,
of the aristocracy, certainly not
referring to a democratic state.
The same year as Smith's publication,
the American Revolution ends and
13 years later, in the heart of Europe,
the French Revolution breaks out.
The liberal principles expressed by
the French and American constitution and
Smith's suggestive ideas on the thrust
of the industrial revolution, gave
birth to the modern capitalism we know today.
The power of the bourgeoisie exploded but at the same time
capitalism produced a new class of oppressed.
In the nineteenth century the
exploitation of labor was very high and
the living conditions of workers on
the verge of survival.
It was for this reason that in the mid-nineteenth century a
new intellectual movement set out to
subvert the rules.
By studying the history of societies and
their development in the recent capitalist era,
Karl Marx, until then a philosopher,
elaborated a profound analysis
that changed the view of the
He prophesied that if conscious and
organized workers could overcome
capitalism, a system which,
as he theorized, produces
exploitation and is subject to cyclical crises.
Condemned to a single destiny:
to implode on itself.
While Marx's ideas were inflaming masses of
workers across Europe, three economists,
taking up Smith's invisible hand principle,
invent a new theory.
It is called "general equilibrium" and
affirms that the entire market, if it is not
subjected to interference by the states,
regulates itself, generating well-being
for the entire community.
This new economic current will be elaborated later by
other economists and will take
the name of neoclassicism.
The basis of modern neoliberalism.
The bourgeoisie of the early twentieth century and
above all the great bankers and
industrialists understand that the principles of the
neoclassical economy serve their
Governments at the turn of the century were little
more than committees for their affairs and
economic policy choices throughout
the West therefore moved in
the direction of "Let us do".
Capitalism runs so fast that
trade becomes global,
as do the interests of the elite,
as do wars.
While more than 10 million workers, having become soldiers, die
in the trenches, in Russia, the masses of
workers and peasants led by Lenin
give life to the October revolution.
The largest state in the world abandoned capitalism.
On the ideas of Marx, Lenin
built a new type of state,
a new social model without private property,
without market economy and free
enterprise which would ensure that
work was no longer exploited and that the
state was no longer a means in the hands
of the elites only.
Marxism-Leninism will soon become Stalinism
and the old elites will be
replaced by new ones
but in fact from that moment Russia has withdrawn from the games.
In the West, however, the games remain open.
Capitalism runs fast,
firmly tied to the reins of liberalism.
Social imbalances and poverty are increasing more and more.
Many are forced to abandon
Those who remain, on the other hand, will be forced to
obey new ideologies.
But if liberalism in Europe produces
dictatorships and wars, in the United States
it continues to run free.
The market, especially the financial one,
has no limitations of any kind.
Stocks and stocks grow
more and more, inflating a bubble
that seems to never end.
Until one Thursday in late October
1929 in the Wall Street Stock Exchange Building
the ghost of Marx and his old
prophecy showed up.
That day was the first time that
capitalism collapsed on itself.
By neoliberalism we mean
an economic doctrine that
was born in reaction to the social economy
for the public interest that exploded with
throughout the period of the
so-called classical thinkers.
It had a very important relaunch
after the First World War with
thinkers like John Robinson and
obviously John Maynard Keynes
but I can't help but remember Michał Kalecki
that nobody remembers. A Pole, an economic
These men and women created
the social economy, that of the
so-called welfare, the Beveridge in England.
They created an economic idea
that led us from Dickens' 800, that is,
the exploitation of poor people,
children who worked in the mines,
to the idea that a company is
a state that had to use its own currency
for the public interest guaranteeing
It is a thesis that starts from what
is the doctrine of the
so-called critical economists.
First of all John Maynard Keynes.
When Keynes wrote - and he wrote
in the time of the Great Depression of the
1930s - he argued that
evidently without the intervention of the
economic policy authorities,
a capitalist economy is not able
spontaneously to reach full employment.
In this sense and according to
this vision, it is necessary that
the intervention of political authorities,
of the government as well as of the central bank,
must be coordinated precisely in order to
create that overall demand for
goods and services that allows the
production of goods to grow and therefore
the employment of workers to a
sufficient extent to be able to create
In 1933, President Roosevelt implemented a
plan to get the United States out
of the Great Depression based
primarily on the Keynesian model.
It took the name of the New Deal.
The first measure of the New Deal is
the enactment of the Glass-Steagall law
which provides for the separation of commercial banks
from investment banks.
Subsequently, dozens of state programs
for job creation
The millions of unemployed who
enter those state plans work
on the construction of large public
works such as roads, dams, schools,
public buildings and services to the citizens.
Unemployment is quickly halved
and infant deaths, suicides, crimes
and disease decrease. And at the same time,
public utility works are being
built all over the United States.
The New Deal radically changes the role
of the state in the economy.
Public power is no longer a mere spectator.
On the contrary, it becomes the regulator of the system.
The Roosevelt government is also the first
in the history of the United States to
enter into a collaborative relationship
with the unions, involving them in the measures.
The United States is recovering from
the Great Depression
thanks to Roosevelt's
In Europe, on the other hand, nationalisms
are becoming more and more aggressive.
As the war causes tens of millions of
civilian and soldier deaths, in 1944,
there was a major conference in
United States, in which future
victors agreed on trade relations
once the conflict
At Bretton Woods, Keynes proposed a model
aimed at protecting economies that
applied a criterion of solidarity between
states but his proposal was not
Instead, that of Harry Dexter White was chosen
which led to the establishment of
the International Monetary Fund and
the World Bank. Economic organizations that
could lend money to adhering countries
but that a few decades later
will turn into powerful weapons in the
hands of the elites.
World War II ends.
The United States and the Soviet Union are
the big winners.
Germany, occupied by the allied
armies, is divided. And with her, the whole
world is divided.
In 1945 Europe was reduced to rubble.
The cities are devastated by
bombing and the population
But in that political void created by the war,
European societies reach a new
The Beveridge report entered the agenda
policy of the Labor party that won
the elections in the United Kingdom in 1945.
If in England the political balance simply changes,
in France, Italy and Germany, on the other hand,
new constitutions are drawn up.
considered the cause of the imbalances
it created and therefore the new theories
- the Keynesian theory - regulated society.
They ruled it on the basis that much of
the Keynesian economic model
was incorporated into the constitutions.
In various ways then,
in England, where there is no
rigid written constitution, there was
the famous Beveridge Report.
In short, the company began a little
to reconsider the balance.
This, however, was a tremendous setback.
A tremendous setback to which we say
the liberal soul of capitalism, almost totalitarian,
was willing to continue making concessions
in the post-war period of the twentieth century,
after the Second World War,
because there were Stalin's tanks,
because there was the Soviet bloc,
the Iron Curtain
and then liberalism, if it had
revealed itself again in its attempt to
control society in its previous forms,
would have unleashed a
reaction not only of
social instability but of real
The hold on the people that the socialist
and communist parties had
in the immediate postwar period and the
Soviet giant by now at the gates of Europe
unbalanced the political equilibrium.
The post-war constitutions in fact
attested to a change of era that had begun
ten years earlier with the New Deal
in the United States.
The democratic state that intervenes
in the economy for the development and
well-being of the entire community.
The Constitution of Italy of 1948 is
perhaps the most advanced social treaty
that humanity has written.
And it is, more than the others, conditioned by the Keynesian model.
In fact, its fundamental rights
can only be guaranteed by state spending.
The Constitution has actually never really been applied.
The sixties and seventies
saw severe struggles in the squares and in the factories.
Democracies, as the authors of
"The Crisis of Democracy" also wrote,
in those years were impetuous and
workers obtained unexpected rights
until a few years earlier.
In the mid-1970s, other nations
freed themselves from new and old dictatorships.
In Portugal, Greece and Spain, new constitutions
with a strong social content
are being drawn up.
In the 30 years that followed the war,
Europe earned the nickname
"Continent of rights".
In a certain sense, a good face was put on a bad game and therefore
continued in the concession to the Keynesian model,
to democratic constitutions,
to the creation of social rights
and therefore to the redistribution
to multi-class society, that is to
a political power that was shared, in which
the political class it had the function of
mediation not only of representing
the economically prevailing interests
but of mediation between the various
economic or social classes.
In the early 1970s,
capitalism was really changing face.
The Keynesian system adopted
by the governments and the social rights
gained by the peoples were pushing
the whole West towards a new social order
where poverty and misery
left room for the formation of a
new economic class:
the middle class.
The masses, ever richer and more powerful,
would never again be blackmailed as before.
But the idea of a return,
of a revenge, always remained latent.
And this aspiration then finds
cultural references precisely in the
neoliberal economists who have various
strands but the main one
- the one that had the most influence -
was that of the Austrian school of von Mises,
von Hayek who in turn, for various
vicissitudes that now it would take a long time
to retrace, it has a huge direct influence
on the Chicago school, on the
monetarism that is embodied
in Friedman. When you find
the perception that there is a
loosening of the deterrent capacity
of the Soviet bloc,
a sort of continuous tension for which
they were trying to implode this system
- and then it actually succeeded -
the attempt to recover all the lost ground begins.
So these what they do:
they want to bring the machine back
and say: "This social economy is not good for us.
It has given too much power to the people,
too much power to consumers, too much power
the idea of the welfare state is
an aberration. The state - and this is
the number one point of neoliberalism - has grown
too large. It is heavy, it is huge, it is
powerful, it has the army, it has the sovereign parliament,
it has the currency to infinity, therefore
an economic power that no private
individual can ever have. This state must
shrink". And indeed the number one dogma
of neoliberalism is to shrink
the state, practically make it disappear from the scene.
The theories of the Austrian and later
Chicago schools give new life
to the aspirations of the elites.
It is in fact from the studies of Hayek and Friedman
that the ideology of "Let us do"
takes the name of neoliberalism.
Milton Friedman has the opportunity to
explain this worldview in numerous
lectures, academic debates,
television talk shows, and even a TV series.
From this excerpt,
the key concepts of neoliberalism can be understood.
There are no acquired rights,
housing, health, education and work.
Each individual has to
earn them on the market.
Workers are individual cells
in competition with each other.
Everyone will be rewarded based on their productivity.
Investments must be
decided by businessmen and
companies that are most capable by nature.
Wealth must flow
from top to bottom.
The condition is that the state and
the trade unions must not interfere and society
will move towards a natural order:
the order of the markets.
At one point it was decided to practically give the vote to the markets.
Yes, the market vote.
That is, to take it away from the citizens. That is,
the citizens are no longer those who have to
decide on the goodness or otherwise of
their country's economic policy choices,
the markets that decide. Why?
Because there is this presumption that it is a
current of neoliberal thought that
says that markets regulate themselves
while instead it is absolutely not true
that markets regulate themselves because this
principle actually means that
the state must absolutely not intervene,
must not interfere in the
mechanisms of market because the market
finds its right balance, for better or worse.
While instead we have seen at the state
of affairs that the markets not
only do not find the right balance but
also create such big problems where
then the state must
intervene in support.
Ignoring the fundamentals of the economics of
macroeconomics - which are the
Keynesian ones, because liberal macroeconomics
does not exist - liberalism is wrong
because it wants to apply
the criteria of business management
to macroeconomics, therefore to the state,
to large figures etc. corporatized
and this does not stand up
to the criticism of history.
While classical and Keynesian
economic theories elaborate their
principles by studying reality, neoclassical
ones instead adapt reality to their principles.
The free market
could work but in a system of
In a society where people all have
the same means, the same
information, the same wealth,
the same social status.
The idea that distinguishes neoliberalism
is that the action of the central bank
must not be aimed at creating employment,
the government must reduce
the public deficit as much as possible
and in general the state must reduce
its overall size compared to the rest
of the economy and
it is necessary that the state
abandon a whole series of sectors in which
it may have operated through massive
processes of divestment and privatization.
They believe that if I do not subtract
resources from the private sector, this will be induced to
spend and invest more because it will have
expectations of having a greater
availability of expenditure and therefore everyone
will tend to either consume or invest more
- crowding out - and therefore
this would reduce greater growth.
Because while if those resources are
taken by the state, they are used in
efficiently if the same amount of
resources, of wealth, is left
in the hands of the private,
the private will automatically be able to
use them more efficiently. But this is
a purely hypothetical theory. It has never
occurred in history even when
neoclassicals first theorized this.
As for the large privatization process in Italy
- in Italy in the nineties -
in the nineties Italy achieved the
world record of privatizations after
the United Kingdom. Well, today
we can take stock of that massive
privatization process according to
the conclusion reached
by the Court of Audit.
Privatizations have led to a
sharp increase in costs and a great
gain for the so-called mediators, that is,
of all those investment banks of
those intermediaries who stood
between buyers and sellers
at the time of the divestment operations.
Finally, paradoxically, privatizations
very often led to an
increase in tariffs, contrary to the vulgate,
the dominant ideology.
Here, the Italian case is a case for example,
in which we note how the whole
ideology of privatization
as a factor of efficiency and has not found
reliable confirmation in the data.
The public debt must be entrusted
to the markets and cannot be subject
to the intervention of the treasury through
the central bank which must respond
to the indications of the government,
of the treasury of each country.
The idea of deflation as a permanent goal
- or rather deflation -
of inflation control as
a permanent goal which is this basic idea,
this hostility, the idea that
the public debt therefore the state must be
made a debtor under common law
like any other economic entity
and therefore we must turn to
markets and cannot print money because
by printing money it increases inflation.
Which is not detectable.
Even today, we continue
to have to refute this idea.
An economic ideology that basically says this:
"The state must stop using money".
His weapon, his number one cannon,
his power, his number one
firearm for the social economy
It must stop using the coin.
And how did they convince the states?
They invented dogmas, fears,
non-existent ghosts with which
they paralyzed politics
and public opinion. They invented
the dogma and the ghost of public debt.
The state spends too much, it creates the
public debt which is the debt of the citizens
- everyone believed it -
this thing is completely false because
the public debt is a kind of state
which is the credit of the citizens, it is not
the debt of the citizens and it never will be
for the next two million years.
But they have all convinced that the public debt
is the debt of the citizens.
Everyone was afraid of the state that spends.
They invented the phantom
If the state spends on social goods,
on health, on pensions, there will be
inflation. Inflation means that
we all go to buy bread with
wheelbarrows. They took the ghost of the
Weimar Republic, they waved it
in all the newspapers, on all sides
and of course they created this
terrorism. Inflation is a ghost.
I give you a fact: Japan, USA,
England and the ECB itself have been
trying for years with all their means
to create inflation and they are not succeeding.
But the neoliberals have convinced
public opinion and politicians that
inflation is a monster and the state
must not spend. So away the money from
social services, pensions,
public salaries and so on.
The dominant thesis, the neoliberal thesis is
that the flexibility of employment
contracts, precariousness, allow for
an increase in employment levels
because according to the neoliberals, if
contracts are flexible then
entrepreneurs should be
incentivized to increase employment
levels, they should be
have more incentives to hire.
In reality, if we look at the data once again,
if we look once again at the
empirical tests that have been
carried out over more than
twenty years on this issue,
well we realize that it is not
possible to establish any correlation
between the increase in
job insecurity and increased employment.
Nothing less than the OSCE has come
to this conclusion. The OSCE
has been a supporter of the
liberal theses, more convinced,
more determined, has adopted, has carried out
a series of empirical research
in an attempt to demonstrate that the
flexibility of work leads to more
employment and it has not succeeded.
These empirical researches have actually produced
results that contradict the doctrine.
The same chief economist of the
International Monetary Fund
Olivier Blanchard in 2006 recognized precisely that
it is not possible to establish any
relationship between greater precariousness
and greater employment.
Therefore, as in the very top
of the world
the defenders, supporters of a doctrine
that we could define as neoliberal,
have actually recognized that the idea
that more employment can be
determined by greater precariousness is
in reality an idea that is not reflected.
In their conception,
for example, the use of a subsidy to those
who are taken out of the world of work.
For example, the concept of citizenship
income is present in Hayek and therefore
in a certain sense the more aggressively
neoliberal economic process does not
exclude the fact that one can then go
and help the most disadvantaged but always
does it with a class vocation,
deeply classist. That is,
it is preferred that a person stay at home and
have no work and that perhaps, however,
enjoy a monetary subsidy rather than
having that person in
The reason is political, not economic.
Because by excluding this whole series of
people from the world of work,
I also exclude them from the decision-making
capacity on what, how much and how
to produce and consequently
I leave this decision in the hands of
a few and if you want to react,
challenge these policies not it must be done
simply from the economic side, that is,
it must not be explained only that economically
they do not work because in itself
it is not sufficient to understand why
they exist. They exist to eliminate a
growing segment of the population from
decision-making capacity. When you do not have
a job but you are subsidized you are not
fully citizens and consequently
even if I eat, live, survive, etc.
I do not participate fully
in the democratic process.
This dominant economic thought that sees
capital as the benefactor of humanity
as long as it is absolutely
free from any constraint,
this has meant media, it has meant
large newspapers, it has meant
television, it has meant
university teaching. For 30 years
in university economics courses,
we say that between 90-95 percent
have been teaching neoliberal economic
theories. Even after the crisis from
2007-2008 severely beaten up
This neoliberal revenge that has
shrunk the states has defeated
the classical economy for the public
interest has paid - because it is
obviously the big financial capitals
that are behind - it has paid the
journalists, it has paid the televisions,
it has paid the intellectuals, it has
paid the university, but we have proof of this.
Karl Brunner, the great economic
name of twentieth-century neoliberalism,
said at a conference in 1976
- if I'm not mistaken in Bremen, Germany - he said
"We must conquer the universities,
conquer the publishers of the textbooks of
economics, pay our own
authors to say what we say".
As a counter-offensive, started
in the universities and in the so-called "think tanks"
- that is, the reservoirs of thought - already
in the 50s and 60s
the Chicago boys, of which Milton Friedman
was the best known representative.
As early as the 1950s,
in a climate of cold war,
a US government program, created to
combat socialism in South America,
began to finance exchanges of economics
students with the University of Chicago.
Milton Friedman and his people thus have the
opportunity to indoctrinate hundreds of
economists who returned to their countries
in the hope of being able to influence the
economic choices of their governments.
The experiment of the so-called Chicago boys
was tried in several states of South America
but only in one there were the
favorable conditions to experiment their studies: Chile.
Under the regime of Augusto Pinochet.
In 1971, two years before
its rise, Unidad Popular, the Chilean
left-wing coalition led by
Salvador Allende wins the elections.
Its program envisages the
nationalization of raw materials and
primary services to the population,
the increase in wages,
the freezing of prices on consumer goods
and the participation of workers in the
management of state industries.
Allende's project is aimed at the
realization of a democratic socialism
and its fulfillment can
upset the political and economic
equilibrium of the whole world.
At the end of 1972, Allende spoke
at the United Nations
no only dennouncing the US
but to indicate something
much more serious:
the lack of control over
their harmful role.
This was just before the
that today dominates the world.
We are before
a truly frontal conflict
between the large multinational
corporations and the States.
They are being under threat
in their most fundamental
political, economical and military
decisions by global corporations
that do not depend on any State,
and whose activities
are not fiscalised by and do
not answer to any Parliament,
or any institution that
represents the commom interest.
In a word:
the very political structure
of the world is being undermined.
Allende denounces the activity of
American multinationals that exploit
labor and raw materials in Chile and the rest
of South America.
The implementation of the Unidad Popular
program would wipe out any possibility
for American business to exploit
labor and resources on Chilean territory.
But Chile also poses a threat
beyond the Iron Curtain.
The leaders of the Soviet Communist Party
never fully supported
Allende and his party.
The example of a democratic socialism
would have brought down the foundations of their
system of power.
It is above all the example of Allende that frightens the power.
Chile would have been a model
for other states to follow and could have
triggered a chain reaction
across South America.
Allende's project had to be
stopped in the bud.
A real economic war led by
the United States is unleashed
But the Unidad Popular government is resisting
and the consensus among the Chilean people
continues to grow.
Without being a martyr,
I shall not give
a single step back!
Let them know that!
I will leave the Moneda
only when I have carried
out the people's mandate!
I have no alternative,
Only by shooting me
will they stop my will
of carrying out the
Sept. 11. The enemies
of freedom carried out an act
of war against our country.
At the first light of dawn, armored
troops advanced against our
Allende, his ministers and advisers were inside.
Allende did not flee while the Palacio de La Moneda
was being bombed.
He was murdered.
The coup was led by General Pinochet
but backed and supported by the
US government and the CIA.
After the harsh repression on the Chilean people, Pinochet
now had to return the favor to those who
had helped him to take power.
The request is simple: to call back
Milton Friedman's Chicago boys.
Chicago graduates will occupy all
key positions to govern
the Chilean economy: the ministry
of economics, finance,
the central bank, as well as university
professorships and newspaper editors.
The reforms imposed were very hard and
only feasible by a brutal dictatorship.
Neoliberalism hands Chile back into
the hands of American business,
interrupting the great economic
and social development that the
Allende government was carrying out.
His ideas and his actions, however,
leave history a great example and
in a few years his words become prophecy.
The large multinational corporations
not only go against the interests
of developing countries,
their dominating and
exists also in the industrialised nations
where they establish themselves.
It is our trust in ourselves,
that which increases our faith
in the great values of Mankind,
in the certainty
that these values shall prevail,
that they cannot be destroyed!
When Allende gave this speech,
the power of multinationals was only
a crumb of what it is today.
In the mid-1970s, in the United States
and Europe, democracies were increasingly
participated. The socialist and communist
parties had a great popular consensus
and the union struggles, determined and
resolute, involved all the workers.
"If there will be occupation, there will also be from our part. Night and day if necessary. All of us together."
To impose neoliberal
policies it was necessary to
circumvent the obstacle or to
influence public opinion with a slow and long
work of infiltrating every place
that allowed those ideas to be transmitted.
Universities and the media
were the main targets.
To infiltrate politics, however, something more
was needed. In those years the so-called
"think tanks" were born and spread,
authentic reservoirs of thought in
which to train white-collar workers to be inserted
in positions of power in the institutions.
When in the mid-70s an oil crisis
due to the closing of the
taps by the producing countries
causes inflation to soar throughout the West,
the Keynesian system is no longer able to
guarantee the same degree of development
as in previous years.
For those who worked a lifetime to
tear down that system,
that was the moment of the limelight.
In '74 Friedrich von Hayek won the Nobel Prize
for economics and in '76
the prize went into the hands of Milton Friedman.
Friedman, go home!
Friedman, go home!
Long live the people of Chile!
Stop the capitalism!
From that moment it was a little over
two years before Friedman's ideas
found a place in the parliament and
government of a democratic country.
In 1979 Margaret Thatcher won the
elections in Great Britain.
Although British society reacts
strongly to its policies,
the process has begun and as
Thatcher herself said there is no alternative.
Two years after Thatcher's victory
in the United Kingdom,
it was Ronald Reagan's turn in the United States.
Winning the election was
child's play for a former Hollywood actor
mainly because none of his films
were funded like his campaign.
To bring neoliberalism
to the United States you needed an actor and
who better than an actor could have
read a script like this:
The political intentions of the
Reagan government were immediately clear,
as were those of Margaret Thatcher.
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan
presided over their respective governments
for most of the 1980s.
They introduce reforms that demolish
the social rights won in previous
decades and profoundly transform society.
Large pockets of poverty
are forming again and as at the beginning
of the twentieth century, ever richer elites
acquire immense global power.
The Reagan government immediately
resumes the colonial policy
that the previous Carter government was easing.
For this new colonialism
no warships and occupation troops
are needed: to plunder the resources
of a nation and keep it in a state of misery,
just use the debt trap.
The weapons are the dollars of the
International Monetary Fund and the neoliberal economic recipes.
But it happens, sometimes, that someone does not fit.
"Here's another one. You have
a Levi's branded shirt
so you advertise at Levi's.
Sure, they did that shirt right.
Levi's makes very nice jeans. For real.
But it's an American product and you're not
American, you're not from San Francisco
and it says San Francisco. So?!
Do they at least pay you? Because if they don't pay you it doesn't make sense.
And that other one back there,
the one who asked a question earlier.
Harvard? But do you at least know where it is?
Sometimes I don't understand anything anymore.
Too many oddities, don't you think?
But do you really think that here we don't know and
we can make nice t-shirts?
Thomas Sankara wants the inhabitants of
their country, Burkina Faso, to benefit
from their resources and consume
the goods they produce themselves.
Assassination technicians. It was they who proposed the
financing channels, the lenders.
Telling us that these were the right things to do
to get our country's development,
the growth of our people and its well-being off the ground.
We were presented with packs of
appealing financial dossiers and prospectuses.
Those files were very elegant.
But now we find ourselves in debt
for the next 50, 60 years and possibly more.
That is, we have been persuaded
to compromise our peoples for 50
years and more.
They want all their money back.
They tell us that otherwise there would be a crisis.
But no, Mr. President.
They played, now they can even lose.
They are the rules of their game and life will go on.
But if Burkina Faso is left alone
to refuse to pay, I will not be
there at the next conference.
If, on the other hand, I have the support of all of you,
- support of which I will have a great need -
if we are all united we can avoid paying
and therefore use our resources
for the development of our countries.
Sankara was killed on October 15, 1987.
The hand that held the gun was that of his former friend,
General Blaise Compaoré,
who with the approval of the Reagan and Mitterrand
governments took his place in the government.
As Burkina Faso and other developing
countries are again subjugated by
the interests of Western elites,
continues its charge in every corner of the world.
Even where you would never expect.
Deng Xiaoping, the new leader of the
Communist Party of China,
is suddenly fascinated by Friedman's ideas.
His phrase "We must allow a few men
to get rich so that all the others
will benefit from it"
is still famous in China.
But at the end of the 80's there is a real
turning point in history.
is being reunited and the Soviet Union is about to dissolve.
Beyond the wall, waiting for the Russians, there was no freedom and democracy
or that capitalism with a human face that everyone expected.
On the eve of the
first democratic elections in Russia
after 80 years of regime,
the British weekly The Economist
headlined an article urging
Gorbachev to follow Pinochet's Chilean model.
The Washington Post echoed it
by publishing an article that
even reads that "an economy needs
free markets but not
free people to function".
The entire industrial apparatus of
the former Soviet Union is privatized.
In the following years, Russia sinks
so quickly into misery
and abject poverty that the life expectancy
of Russians drops by almost ten years.
A real, authentic and
little-told social catastrophe.
In less than twenty years, neoliberalism
went from the books and theories of Hayek
and Friedman to the decisions of the
majority of governments in the world.
No, not all over the world.
The Old Continent, with its
constitutions, still resisted.
No siege would have brought down its walls.
To conquer it, a deception was needed.