Before coups d’état were a threat. Now the threat is from “coups de marché”

Friday, July 15, 2011

(Leonel Fernández, President of the Dominican Republic)

Although frequently enjoying foreign support, those traditionally participating in coups d’état were local people, well-known or at least identifiable. It was thus possible to adopt preventive and corrective measures against them, no matter how well they were entrenched.

In contrast, the “market” is a faceless power. It is the fruit of a great relinquishment of attributes –not only economic- in processes of privatization so highly considered by the spokesmen and beneficiaries of globalization as a remedy for all ills, and which when excessive in magnitude and competences have, to the contrary, produced almost irremediable diseases. Faceless and rootless power with its far-reaching tentacles, represented in the "great domain" (financial, military, energy and media) alliance that hounds democracy and obstructs social policies, using inadmissible speculative maneuvers, without any of the intended regulation or closing of tax havens, alienating the United Nations (in favor of groups of plutocrats, G8, … G20, placing the World Trade Organization outside of the scope of the UN) and acting with complete impunity at the supranational level (tolerating all types of trafficking, mafias, flags of convenience on merchant ships, uncontrolled destruction of the environment…).

In summary, weak states and strong “markets”.

If a re-founding of the United Nations System is not decisively undertaken to endow it with the representation and authority that is now more essential than ever; if rapid action toward emancipation in the European Union is not taken and the “creative efforts” to which Robert Schumann alluded in 1950 remain unleashed; if strong states and compact and committed regional associations are not quickly and efficiently achieved… the world’s drift off course will be unstoppable.

The values of social justice cannot be replaced with impunity by the interests of the marketplace; there can be no good governance from a position of submission to the insatiable voracity of the “markets”.

Let no one be deceived: if these worldwide trends are not radically reversed, the promises to create employment and promote welfare for today’s beleaguered citizens will be pure demagoguery, used to keep the present forces in powers… and the next day to continue to subject citizens to the “whims of the markets”.

To "create employment", but how? By making even further budget cuts, as the European Union is once again demanding of Greece, which is on the verge of bankruptcy and revolution? By also further cutting public employment and the construction of major infrastructures? By further privatizing the last state-owned enterprises that are still economically viable? By selling off territories in Africa or in the Aegean?

Either the states react once and for all, establishing an order and deadlines for what must be changed; eliminating money laundering; setting up their own rating agencies and regional observatories; and endowing the United Nations System with moral authority and real power… or the states will all succumb to the “coups de marché” as President Leonel Fernandez has so lucidly predicted.