Neoliberal Capitalism in Crisis, a Latin American solution the world global ecological, economic and social crisis.
In many ways, Latin America has been the testing ground for capitalism’s most radical policies; from the Monroe and Truman doctrines to the neoliberal Shock Therapy. This is how the US has continuously imposed its imperialdomination over the American Continent. Armed interventions to overthrow democratically elected governments and direct support of oppressive right wing dictators that implement pro-American policies has plagued Latin America for almost two centuries. Neoliberal theories promoted by the US and the Breton Woods institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank have imposed a unilinear, “one size fits all”idea of development. According to these ideals, governments had to modernise traditional ways of life to fit the culture of mass consumption. This cultural assimilation had to be implemented along with economic policies of privatisation, deregulation and free trade. Neoliberal policies have thus caused increasing inequalities, unbearable foreign debt problems, the indiscriminate destruction of theenvironment, and widespread poverty. The most affected sectors of the population were the poor and the indigenous people that represent up to 71% the population in Bolivia and 43% in Ecuador. As a result, a large majority of the population has been completely alienated from society and treated as second class citizens. However, the political scenario in Latin America has recently radically changed.In 2005 Evo Morales, a Bolivian Indigenous leader and Rafael Correa, an Ecuadorian social-leaning economist, both gained the support of the indigenous population and were elected as presidents of their respective countries. They represent the new wave of socialism that recently hit Latin America. Along with Lula in Brazil and Chavez in Venezuela they are a generation of leaders that see Fidel’sCuba as an ideal and seek to empower the masses through socialism. This is how Latin America became the testing ground for a new form of society inspired by indigenous traditional ideas. This is what Correa calls “a new socialism for the 21st century” and Morales advocates as a “communitarian socialism based on reciprocity and solidarity.” With this new social system, Latin America could teachCapitalism how to cure its enduring social, political and environmental problems.
Capitalism in is crisis, the unrestricted quest for profit has caused the destruction of our own planet, the repeated failure of democracy and the increasing impoverishment of humanity. In 2005, 48,6% of the world population had to survive with less than 2,5$ ppp a day while the richest 20% consumed 76,6% of theworlds resources. Unrestricted capitalism has done nothing more than to further worsen the conditions of the poor while increasing the wealth of the largest corporations. These corporations have become so powerful that they have taken control of our entire society. They are now more wealthy than most of the world’s countries. Indeed, out of the 100 wealthiest bodies in the world, 51 are corporationsand the combined sales of the 200 largest companies represents 27,5% of the worlds GDP.
The enormous wealth of international corporations has caused the ruin of our political system. Indeed, they use their economic power through corruption, lobbyism and financing of presidential campaigns to control political parties and gain unprecedented amounts of political power. This is how they haveinfluenced governmental decision making to suit their agenda of endless profit maximisation. Democracies have thus been transformed into 4 year dictatorship at the service of the largest international companies. Their control over our system has, to a large extent, caused the rise of neoliberal policies and the global deregulation of financial markets. This, in turn, provoked the recent economic...