The Practice of Neoliberalism: How Think Tanks, Foundations, Big Oil and the CIA Undermine Democracy. By David Livingstone

Via: Global Research.

Canada’s Fraser Institute

How American right-wing foundations, Big Oil and the CIA collaborate to undermine the social democratic systems of Canada and other countries around the world.

Since the early 1970s, there has been a broad international agenda led by right-wing American foundations to sway public opinion towards greater acceptance of an economic philosophy called Neoliberalism, of which Canada’s Fraser Institute has been a pivotal part.

It is by tracing the connections between the Fraser Institute and several prominent Canadian politicians, like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and other far-right conservatives, including BC Premier Campbell of British Columbia, that we can identify the source of their disdain for democracy, a penchant for slashing social programs, their unconditional support for American foreign policy expeditions, and an utter refusal to condemn the gross human rights abuses of Zionism in Israel.

Every year, the Fraser Institute announces a Tax Freedom Day, the first day of the year when the country of Canada has theoretically earned enough income to fund its annual tax burden, and its “Report Cards” of schools and the health care system, designed to convince Canadians of the importance of reducing public spending and privatizing these and other social services.

As reported in The Tyee, Paul Shaker, dean of the faculty of education at Simon Fraser University, said recently:

“Part of the international movement of neoliberalism is to treat schools as simply another service that can be commodified and deserve no special place in society. This movement has been coming along since Thatcher and Reagan, and reached a fevered pitch over the last 10 years.” If you want to analyze why things have deteriorated in Vancouver, Shaker said, “it probably has to do with this global and political movement.” The premise of Neoliberalism, and that of Neoclassical Economic theories in general, is the pessimistic view that human beings are selfish creatures. It develops from a crass darwinian attitude, that deems that people aught to be responsible for their own “failings”, like poverty, and therefore, that governments should not provide services to assist them when they are in need.

Ultimately, the pursuit of self-interest is thought to create efficiencies that should be favored over any form of government activity. However, while the profit motive is certainly tolerable in certain cases, it is actually contrary to the public good in others, as in cases of essential human needs, like education, health, water, energy sources and so on.

Essentially, Neoliberalism draws support from the philosophy of Adam Smith, who maintained it was not necessary for governments or any other social organizations to enforce a redistribution of wealth, because the free pursuit of self-interest would create enough surplus to benefit all. The disguised intent is to induce societies to expose what should be publicly held assets or industries to exploitation by private interests, and to then prevent governments from taxing these corporations, or regulating their activities in ways that might restrain their lust for profits.

The chief propagandists of Neoliberalism, were Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek, who, in 1947, founded the Mont Pelerin Society, to coordinate the creation of an international network of think-tanks and foundations, to spread their philosophy of corporate greed. The basis of their propaganda was a scare-tactic of equating “big government” with totalitarianism. In Capitalism and Freedom (1962), Milton Friedman proposed that centralized control of the economy was always accompanied with political repression. Similarly, in The Road to Serfdom (1944), Hayek argued that “Economic control is not merely control of a sector of human life which can be separated from the rest; it is the control of the means for all our ends.” Continue reading

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The Godfather USA. By Gregory F. Fegel

Via: Pravda.

To be an American citizen is very much like being the child of a wealthy and unscrupulous criminal ‘Godfather’, who appears to be kind and generous to his own children at home, but is unflinchingly treacherous and murderous in conducting his family business, which is based on coercion, domination, exploitation, and violence. The average US citizen enjoys prosperity and relative freedom, but US prosperity derives in large part from the criminal exploitation of, and frequently the outright murder of, millions of innocent people in developing countries throughout the world. Most US citizens choose to remain in a perpetual state of denial regarding the criminal activities of their government, because they lack the courage and the character to learn and face the truth. An unquestioning acceptance of the values, motives, and goals of the US government by the majority of US citizens allows those citizens to be easily fooled and manipulated by the propaganda presented to them by the US government and by the US government-controlled ‘Mainstream Media.’

From early childhood, US citizens are raised on a steady diet of pro-US government propaganda that is fed to them at school and at home through the media of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, and popular music. The propaganda presents the US government as an ethically superior exemplar of justice for the entire world, as an exceptionally generous contributor to global economic development, and as a benevolent arbiter of world affairs. Furthermore, a great deal of crucial information about US political history, particularly regarding events of the past half-century, is not taught in US schools and is never allowed to appear in the Mainstream Media outlets.

According to the US Census report of 1998, 12.7% of the US population lives in poverty, 15.7% lack health insurance, and at least 38% of the wealth in the USA is owned by just one percent of the US population. The personal wealth of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates exceeds that of the total combined wealth of the poorest 45% of US households, which amounts to at least 133 million people. The USA has the highest concentration of individual wealth in all of the industrialized nations, and about three times that of the second-placed nation for concentrated wealth, which is Germany. The USA also leads the world in the number of its citizens who are incarcerated in prisons: one out of seventy-five US males are in prison, of whom 68% belong to racial or ethnic minorities. As of 2003, 12% of the USA’s black males in their twenties were living in prison, compared to 3.7% of the USA’s Hispanic males and 1.6% of the USA’s white males. Continue reading