The Coastal Post - May 2000

The IMF: Insane Miami Market Fanatics?

By Frank Scott

Mental instability in global affairs should make advocates of change hopeful, even as they worry. A disappearance of some artificial riches gained on Wall Street-trillions of dollars gone in a "market correction"-may be a sign that political economic madness is on borrowed time. But we still have a long journey to reach social sanity.

The disgraceful episode of the Cuban child held hostage in Miami seemed near a sane conclusion, after months of madness. But, at the time of this writing, the fanatic clan in Florida, their zealotry fed by the Gusanos in Washington, have spit in the face of government, and succeeded. A nation which, with impunity, bombs cities and starves children, seems to quake in fear of a band of disturbed sociopaths in Florida.

The eventual outcome may be that the zealots of Miami suffer their greatest setback. Finally revealed as cynics at best, and deranged at worst, they have incurred the disgust of a majority of Americans. Only some politicians and other fanatics are not repulsed by the cruel manipulation of this child's emotions. The idea that Elian would live better in Miami than in Havana must be based on the fact that only in the USA can a six year old bring a gun to school and kill a classmate. He'd never have that freedom under Castro's tyranny.

Cynical politicians have played along with this Miami movement for too long. Greedy search for political capital and spineless concession to Castro demonology have ruled American politics for more than 40 years. We may finally see a turning of the American political worms, if not those who only became brave once they ran away from Cuba , the way Tories "escaped" the American revolution.

But perhaps the most telling sign of mental breakdown is the ruling class reaction to growing criticism of international capitalism. The thousands who demonstrated against the WTO in Seattle last year were not a flash in the pan. That movement made itself prominent again in Washington demonstrations focused on the major forces of global capital: the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

This new movement represents a coalition of forces, an operational structure and a decency of purpose that really threatens the anti-democratic international system. The profiteers of global poverty, social injustice and environmentally destructive economics are very nervous.

It is significant that as Castro is demonized by the Miami-Washington clan, he helps lead the Group of 77-representing an international majority-in their criticism of the global system, and their support for the DC demonstrators. The economic arrangement lauded by the ruling G7 powers is the curse of the rest of humanity, including most of the people of those seven nations.

The old order of global usury that places a majority in the perpetual bondage of poverty, debt, or both, is finally facing an international movement, united across borders of geography, culture and even class.

The growing teamwork among students, environmentalists and organized labor has struck panic into the hearts of capital's global gluttons. They depict themselves as saviors to humanity, helping the poor and workers of the world with their policies of expanding debt, contracting wealth and advancing the destruction of natural life.

The truth is that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, and this has not changed with modern the institutions of global capital. Of the top 24 rich nations of the world in 1900, 23 are still tops in the year 2000. Progress? Meanwhile, those in opposition to this unjust economic idiocy are portrayed as products of ignorance and pampered wealth who would lead us all into a future of despair. Sure.

Never before have so many joined in actions against the foundation of economic and political power in the USA and the world. The C word is usually used only in conjunction with the modifier "corporate", but the members of this movement might as well wave red flags, since the power structure sees them as what they are: threats to capitalism.

Globalization groupies were in a tizzy after Seattle, and they are even more perturbed after Washington. Some pundits are losing their grip, with commentary beginning to make them sound like the mental cases of Miami.

A government report says 20% of Americans have suffered mental illness. Citizens might think this group was composed exclusively of those who are riding highest in the economy. Despite their financial success, they, or at least their spokespeople, seem to be in need of a massive Prozac transfusion.

The Miami fanatics are almost lucid, compared to the fundamentalists of globalization.These types see the market as a god, to be dealt with only by the high priests of wealth, international business and obedient government. Democracy is as alien a concept to this market cult as it was to Hitler. Or Batista, the fascist so loved by the Miami mob. When he ruled, communists were hung from lamp posts and peasants suffered their miserable lives in silence. Now, the communists run Cuba and the uppity peasants are educated and healthy. The Horror!

We need to understand that fascism, along with its repression of dissent, always follows the economic line of free market capitalism.

During the Viet Nam era, anti-war demonstrators chanted "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" In Washington, demonstrators chanted "IMF, what do you say, how many kids did you kill today?" In a leap of awareness, critics have moved from demonizing individuals to demonizing institutions. They even talk about putting people before profits. Whew! When their chants begin to clearly identify a system, the reaction by rulers of the global insane asylum may make the Miami loonies look rational by comparison. Be prepared.
www.marin.cc.ca.us/~frank
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