I have referenced else within this blog the writing of Naomi Klein, namely “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”*. One of the more provocative messages that Klein posits is the guerilla political tactics of Neoclassical Economists in the last 50 years to open markets and allow laissez faire capitalism to rule in countries after they have encountered a “shock.” I’ll get into this more in Part 2.
In this part, I want to introduce Manfred Max-Neef, a Chilean economist. Having grown up in utter poverty, Max-Neef applied his experience to his economic education and studies. Here is the interview that he gave Amy Goodman of Democracy Now; we watched a portion of this interview this morning at the Imagine 2012 Conference.
You’ll note Max-Neef’s cataclysmic believe that the next 2008-like economic crisis will be much worse and won’t be saved by any TARP act or other injection of cash – there won’t be enough of cash to save it. While that will be very grave and painful for many people, he believes such will be the opportunity for cooperatives to supply the alternative in light of the new wide-spread recognition of the inability of investor-owned companies to serve our needs well; Max-Neef’s beliefs correlate so well with Naomi Klein’s recounting of Neoclassic Economists’ tactics of changing university economists minds and then being prepared to sweep in with neoclassical economics after a country encounters a major shock. Though Max-Neef didn’t advocate for a guerilla tactical planning for such political manipulation by cooperatives, he did provide academic and historic support for such preparation.
Where would the Cooperative Movement be today had cooperators been prepared for an economic crisis in 2008? Given that we’ve seen how bad this recession has been and how close we came to a much worse depression and/or economic collapse, what can do to be prepared for the next collapse that Max-Neef and others predict? Please give these grand notions some thoughts and look for my Part 2 post in the coming weeks for the follow-up discussion on this topic.
*Metropolitan Books (September 18, 2007), ISBN-10: 0805079831, ISBN-13: 978-0805079838.