A continuing discourse on Neoliberalism is needed in order to awaken all and sundry and address the perennial issue of poverty and underdevelopment that has plagued the Filipino nation for so long. It will not do to remain passive and not confront the issue head on. It must be continuously brought to the crucible of scrutiny and dialectical discourse in every way possible.
As pointed out in my previous essay Neoliberalism and Human Rights, it is the current weapon in the US imperialist ideological arsenal for its hegemonic ends. Albeit it poses as an economic undertaking meant to address the global phenomenon of massive poverty, yet it is not merely an economic system. It is at the same time a noxious cultural mould meant to shape a new mass sensibility among the world’s peoples.
Viewed from the imperialist ambition to dominate the global village, it is so designed to create a new system of thought, a new mindset, a new mantra for the widespread acceptance and adoption of a new system of world capitalism. It is a pedagogical apparatus for societies all over the world, including and most especially the developing countries of the Third World , to embrace the capitalist system. It operates as a new system of beliefs analogous to a new religion for the eternal benefit of the capitalist class around the globe.
The APEC serves as one of the devices of neoliberalism that has been for the last few decades provided a “walking stick” to underdeveloped societies like the Philippines in order for our country to make headway in its poverty alleviation programs. Has it worked in the Philippine experiment? Has the Philippine government leadership invariably cherishing neoliberal tenets extricated, or much less, the alleviated nation from mass poverty? Never! On the contrary it has worsened the impoverished condition of the masses of our people.
The failures of the Philippine government to eradicate mass poverty despite its avowals to the magic wand of neoliberalism as an apparatus for economic growth and development lies on its adoption of a system of deception to hide the ideological imposition of neoliberal policies. This is engendered by the system of puppetry and corruption which is a handiwork of US Imperialism.
The deplorable state of our country’s stagnation and underdevelopment has invariably been the following equation since the birth of the Philippine Republic –
Underdevelopment < == > Puppetry x Corruption x Deception x Exploitation x Oppression
And neoliberalism is the bottom line for this miserable situation as a constant imposition of US Imperialism. Now, let me show excerpts from Roland Simbulan’s book “The World Is My Classroom.” It eloquently shows the effects of neoliberalism around the globe, especially in the developing countries, to wit –
The crisis of neoliberal economic theory and practice is only proving that an economic and financial system based on the logic of deregulated profit maximization cannot go on. But is it just enough to reform or redesign neoliberal capitalism? Those who think that it can be saved by mere bailouts of big business failures by government will be disappointed.
From the same book, here is how the Latin American states have responded to the onslaughts of neoliberalism in the South American continent. It is their alternative to U.S. Neoliberal aggression. It has been called ALBA, an emerging alternative to neoliberalism.
As the world reels from the crisis of neoliberal capitalism, an exciting process is happening in Latin America led by Venezuela and Cuba. It is a process that is emerging as an alternative to profit-oriented neoliberal economics and a foreign policy subservient to the United States, the International Monetary Fund-World Bank and the World Trade Organization. [Mine: We may include APEC as Asian region’s neoliberal superstructure]. It symbolizes the new solidarity and internationalism that draws inspiration from the integration of initiatives from popular organizations and progressive states.
In Latin America, taking concrete shape right in the background of the U.S. Empire, there has emerged the Bolivarian Alternative to the Americas (ALBA), which is an alternative form of regional integration that is not based on trade liberalization. If not on US-sponsored free trade agreements, what is it based on then? It is based on the vision and idea of social welfare and equity, advocating a socially–oriented trade bloc. It is a regional solidarity whose purpose is to eradicate the poverty of the most dispossessed sectors of society. Its linchpin is to allow the economically-weakest countries to gain more favorable terms in trade negotiations, thereby undercutting the prerogatives of profit-driven transnational corporations. But it is more than a new and alternative trade agreement.
[TO BE CONTINUED]