dissabte, 11 de novembre de 2017

Sovereignty versus neo-liberalism


And here the English translation of a recent article in Catalan.



Sovereignty versus neo-liberalism

The collective work "Sovereignties. A proposal against the capitalism" is, from the perspective of radical transformation of the capitalism, one of the important recent texts. After the analysis of the economic and social context to the international European and Catalan framework, they propose the fundamental criteria of the process of transformation of the capitalism with the aim to attain the reproductive sovereignty. This will involve to develop projects where the production was headed to the coverage of the needs of the population -and no to the profit of the capital-, putting the accent in the reorientation of the social relations of production to this purpose.

They consider that the reproductive sovereignty supposes the possibility of an integral process of transformation, that connects central elements of an anti-capitalist vision (the socialism, the feminism and the ecology) with a clear bet for a sovereign process in accordance with the demands and the reality of the capitalism of the 21st century. The reproductive sovereignty has to allow the global transformation of the main social relations of the capitalism, as well as overthrow and transform gradually the reproduction of the capitalism in the reproduction of the life. Next they analyse different concrete sovereignties.

Now it has just been published the book "Reclaiming the State" of William Mitchell and Thomas Fazi that it poses the subject of the national/state sovereignty as the strategy against the neo-liberalism, for the democracy, from the leftist anti-capitalism.

The predominant vision today is that the national sovereignty has become irrelevant in an international economy increasingly global (with the internationalisation of the finances and the increasing importance of the multinational firms). In this context, the individual states cannot do autonomous economic and social policies, especially of progressive type. Therefore, the only solution is that the states give up his sovereignty and transfer it to some supra-national institutions (how the European Union-EU) that they are sufficiently big and powerful to be able to make listen his voice in this globalized world.

This is coherent with the ideology of the neo-liberalism that proposes the reduction of the intervention of the state, the expansion of the free markets and of the businesses and entrepreneurship. But, actually, the neo-liberal economic policy has given place to a role of the state more and more extensive, intense and permanent with the support of all the greater international institutions and political parties. It is by means of this intervention that has been produced : the liberalisation of the markets of goods and capitals and particularly of the financial markets; the rescue of big companies and banks; the privatisation of natural resources and of public services; the reduction of the wages and of the rights of the workers; the decrease of the income and wealth taxes and the growth of the inequalities; the elimination of social programs; etc. The neo-liberal ideology seems basically a convenient excuse for a political project directed by the states, with the aim that the driving of the economic policies was in the hands of capitalists and especially of the financial interests.

Unfortunately, the vision (erroneous) that the neo-liberalism has supposed a decrease of the role of the state continues to be a fixation of the traditional left. It bases in the idea that the globalisation and the internationalisation of the finances have finished with the period of the nation states and with his capacity to carry out policies that do not agree with the dictations of the global capital. With the neo-liberalism, the cutbacks in the national sovereignty and the participatory democracy would be the unavoidable price to pay for the globalisation. It is the "there is no alternative" from Thatcher.

There is, but another vision. The international economic integration continues being very limited: it continues having a significant uncertainty of the exchange rates; important cultural and linguistic differences that limit the full mobilisation of the resources between the borders; a high correlation between the rates of investment and of national saving; severe restrictions in the international mobility of the work; the flows of capital between rich and poor countries are much more limited of what foresee the theoretical models. The globalisation in the neo-liberal period -that in some respects can have restricted the economic sovereignty of the states- in the essential elements -industrial delocation, deindustrialisation, liberalisation and deregulation of the markets of goods and of capitals, etc.- It has been a process established and promoted actively for the states.

And it is the result of a deliberated and conscious limitation of the rights of the sovereign states from the national elites, by means of between others: the reduction of the power of the legislative with regard to the executive; the formal independence of the central banks of the government; the aim of the inflation as a main (or only) aim of the policy of the central banks; adopting rules -for instance in budgetary politics- that limit the possibilities of an autonomous economic policy; going back to systems of fixed exchange rates; bending the national prerogatives to supra-national institutions like the UE. The creation and auto-constraint of this "external restriction" that allows to the national politicians to reduce the costs of the anti-popular measures which suppose the neo-liberal policies.

Therefore, the fight against the neo-liberalism has to suppose a recovery of the national processes of taking decisions, that is to say, of more democratic control on the policies (in particular the economic policies) and on the global destructive flows unchained by the neo-liberalism. And this only can be done since the national confines. In fact, the crises of the EU and of the monetary union have to be seen as a big opportunity to refuse the neo-liberal restrictions that these institutions suppose and to implement a democratic platform, really progressive, from the sovereign states, that still can have the resources for a democratic control of the economy and the national finances and that, since the sovereignty, will be able to implement a multilateral cooperation between these states. The fight for the national sovereignty is a fight for the democracy and for a really progressive policy.

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