In the age of monsters
It was around this time of the year in October 2008 when Lehman Brothers and the…
It was around this time of the year in October 2008 when Lehman Brothers and the first major global credit market bubble burst, affecting at first the USA and then the rest of the world in what was greatest postwar financial crisis.
The United States, experienced from the interwar period and with many tools available, managed to control the consequences, after they converted the crisis from a financial one to a fiscal one and transferring it to Europe, in the form of a debt crisis and pressure on the euro – striking the weakest links in the South and especially the vulnerable, debt-ridden Greece.
The neoliberal model of self-regulating markets was then defeated, after dominating following the collapse of Eastern Europe in 1989.
It was without a doubt a crisis for the neoliberal Right. It failed and with it, its compelling supporters worldwide.
The Left had suffered a crushing defeat in 1989, which allowed neoliberalism to dominate. The Chicago school of Friedman, Thatcher, Reagan and many more had an open field ahead of them.
Discursive and without a sense of accountability, their supporters did everything in their power to confirm their doctrine.
It is true that on a global scale the implementation, which was possible due to the liberalization of trade and capital movements, created growth opportunities all over the world, allowing the populous areas of Asia and Latin America to prosper.
The wave of globalization benefited China and India, gave new life to Russia, turned Brazil into a considerable force, gave Mexico bargaining strength, allowed Vietnam to rise up again and even North Korea could endure and pretend to be a super power.
It could also have offered major opportunities to impoverished Africa and the explosive Middle East, if it weren’t for the stupid and pointless wars and the credit bubble created by obsessive politicians, greedy shareholders and even greedier bankers and managers of leverage and self-regulatory markets.
Without a doubt, the global crisis of 2008 was a crisis of the neoliberal Right, which turned into a systemic crisis because the dominant values and principles on a global scale were challenged and crushed.
In essence,the neoliberals managed to undermine the principles of bourgeois liberalism and skewed the postwar model with the compulsive actions.
The similar interwar crisis allowed fascism to emerge in Europe and the current one is giving birth to monsters of all sizes all over the world.
In the USA there is Trump, in the UK the Brexit, in the Germany the AfD, in France Le Pain, in Italy Bepe Grillo, in the Middle East ISIS and so forth.
Let us not even talk about Greece. Wherever you stand and look you can see it all… It will take some time and more unfortunate experiences to see an end to the age of monsters.
Originally published in the Sunday print edition