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counterpunch, 1er mars 2014

Informations internationales : How Financial Elites Change Governments to Implement Austerity

par Ismael HOSSEIN-ZADEH


Homeless people outside Monastiraki Metro station in Athens. The economic crisis has taken a heavy toll on the health of citizens across the EU

Many countries around the world are plagued by all kinds of armed rebellions, economic sanctions, civil wars, “democratic” coup d’états and/or wars of “regime change”. These include Ukraine, Venezuela, Syria, Thailand, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia and Lebanon. Even in the core capitalist countries the overwhelming majority of citizens are subjected to brutal wars of economic austerity.


Residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus, January 31, 2014

While not new, social convulsions seem to have become more numerous in recent years. They have become especially more frequent since the mysterious 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 and the 2008 financial collapse in the United States, which soon led to similar financial implosions and economic crises in Europe and beyond. Despite their many differences, these social turbulences share two common features. The first is that they are largely induced, nurtured and orchestrated from outside, that is, by the Unites States and its allies —of course, in collaboration with their class allies from inside. And the second is that, contrary to the long-established historical pattern of social revolutions, where the desperate and disenfranchised masses rebelled against the ruing elites, in most of the recent struggles it is the elites that have insigated insurgencies and civil wars against the masses. The two features are, of course, integrally intertwined : essentially reflecting the shared interests and collaborative schemes of the international plutocracies against the global 99 %.

People cry after losing all of their belongings in a fire at a slum at Mirpur in Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 11, 2014. According to local media, at least 200 shanties and 20 shops were destroyed in the fire, which was caused by an electric short circuit at a slum in the Mirpur area

The official rationale (offered by the U.S. and its allies) that the goal of supporting anti-government opposition forces in places such as Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela is to spread democracy no longer holds any validity ; it can easily be dismissed as a harebrained pretext to export neoliberalism and spread austerity economics. Abundant and irrefutable evidence shows that in places where the majority of citizens voted for and elected governments that were not to the liking of Western powers, these powers mobilized their local allies and hired all kinds of mercenary forces in order to overthrow the duly elected governments, thereby quashing the majority vote. Such blatant interventions to overturn the elections that resulted from the majority vote include the promotion of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine (2004 and 2014), Rose Revolution in Georgia (2003), Cedar Revolution in Lebanon (2005), Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan (2005) and the Green Revolution in Iran (2009). They also include the relentless agitation against the duly elected governments of the late Hugo Chavez and now his successor Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, as well as the rejection (and effective annulment) of the duly elected Hamas government in Palestine.

Anti-government protesters throw missiles during clashes with riot police at the Independence Square in Kiev, February 18, 2014

So, the real driving forces behind wars of regime change need to be sought elsewhere ; specifically, in the imperatives of expansion and accumulation of capital on a global level. Socialist, social-democratic, populist or nationalist leaders who do not embrace neoliberal economic policies, and who may be wary of having their markets wide open to unbridled foreign capital, would be targeted for replacement with pliant leaders, or client states. This is, of course, not a new explanation of economic imperialism ; it is as old as the internationalization of trade and investment.

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AUTEURS 

  • Ismael HOSSEIN-ZADEH

  • Accueil

    éditeur : Frank Brunner | ouverture : 11 novembre 2000 | reproduction autorisée en citant la source