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are therefore doing good simply by engaging power through strictly non-violent means regardless of their political views regarding neo-liberalism or other "imperialist" frames.

Well, no.

You cannot so neatly separate economic violence and physical violence. Economic violence is an inherent and inseparable part of neoliberal ideology. Privatising a poor man's drinking water kills him just as dead as a bullet to the head.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 02:19:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, that's just not true. Privatizing a poor person's drinking water, as bad as that might be, is in no way similar to shooting that person. Privatization may be reversed, for one thing, and it may be transgressed as well -- the poor person can simply refuse to cooperate with the privatization scheme and steal the water, for an extreme example.  Laws don't have to be obeyed in the same way that bullets must be.  And even without contesting the matter, privatization may also be adapted to for survival, at the very least, in ways that bullets cannot be.
by santiago on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 02:30:33 PM EST
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I think it would be instructive to compare the body count from bullets with the body count from economic deprivation in neoliberal dictatorships like Chile and Indonesia.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 02:43:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the strict cases if Chile and Indonesia, the body counts would almost certainly have to land on the side of the bullets, especially once you allow for the positive offsetting effects of markets on human well-being in addition to the negative ones.  Better exhibits for your argument would be the famines of Ethiopia and Bengal.
by santiago on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 02:55:15 PM EST
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especially once you allow for the positive offsetting effects of markets on human well-being in addition to the negative ones.

Ah, no, you don't get to do that, unless you wish to postulate that those positive effects would not have accrued under the alternative development path where social democrats had prevailed over neoliberals. The alternatives are not neoliberalism or autarky, neoliberal propaganda notwithstanding.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 03:40:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, you do have to do that. Markets both help as well as harm people, even the same people, and even if a net result can turn out to be negative over all. As an example, more expensive water has to be weighed against better access to cell phones. Bullets are a bit more restrictive in that respect. The cases where there can be an upside to being shot are pretty limited.
by santiago on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 03:49:35 PM EST
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I was not arguing that you couldn't count the positive effects of markets under Pinochet in favour of neoliberalism at all. I was simply pointing out that you can not count the positive effects that would also have accrued under Allende. Just as it would be unreasonable to count the negative effects of markets that would have accrued under Allende against Pinochet.

Another way to make the same point is that if the market for a firm's products increases by twenty per cent, and a company's sales go up only fifteen per cent, then the CEO is underperforming by five percentage points, not overperforming by fifteen.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 03:58:19 PM EST
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I see what you're saying.  Good point.
by santiago on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 05:18:53 PM EST
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What's this? Intelligent discourse working?

On ET?  

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 05:44:08 PM EST
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Print this exchange, chrome plate it and frame it.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 10:22:21 PM EST
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