Friday, April 14, 2017

Stansfield Smith — Ecuador’s Accomplishments Under the 10 Years of Rafael Correa’s Citizen’s Revolution

Ecuador’s economic collapse and social explosion was similar to Greece’s a few years later. But in 2006, after nine presidents in ten years, the Ecuadoran people elected Rafael Correa, who was no capitulating Greek Syriza Prime Minister Tsipras or Berrnie Sanders. Correa’s government carried out programs that peoples in progressive social movements have advocated throughout the West, if not the world. Ecuador provides an example for what Greece could have done when its crisis hit, if it had a firm anti-neoliberal, anti-imperialist leadership....
Ecuador’s Citizens Revolution, not a socialist revolution as in Cuba, arose from a popular repudiation of neoliberalism and neocolonialism, similar to Chavista Venezuela and Evo’s Bolivia. It shows what can be accomplished with social programs and infrastructure investments when national wealth is redirected to benefit the majority instead of the 1%, while still confined in a capitalist system.
As long as a capitalist system remains in place, those gains are tenuous and likely only temporary, as in Brazil.

Counterpunch
Stansfield Smith


17 comments:

Auburn Parks said...

Since "capitalism" is just the nexus of Markets, wage labor, and private property, what does it mean to imply that "capitalism" is special in that it produces inequality? Was Feudal society less equal? Communist society less equal? Hardly. Humans are unequal, they are self interested, this is our species identity, its not the fault of "capitalism" whatever that means.

Bob said...

Exploitation is the norm?

Auburn Parks said...

Sure Bob, and why wouldnt it be? We are just extremely successful animals after all. 10K years of civilization is nothing compared to the deep time of Biology and evolution.

But its also rather arbitrary and tautological in many ways.

Employees and employers cooperate out of self interest and necessity but is there exploitation? Depends on our definition of the concept. We exploit natural resources and thats not considered evil, are human resources different if we are just using "exploit" in the context of putting to useful purpose? I dont think so.

Or are we using exploit to connote something negative instead?

If you and I ran a biz where we converted all of our hourly wage paid lower level manages into salaried overseers who we can now require to work more than 40 hours a week without overtime compensation, would we be exploiting our employees? The Law? Both?

Is exploitation just based on money in this context? Like say we made the change but paid them more money then they would have made as hourly managers now all of a sudden its not exploitative? Different people would have to answer that for themselves. Or does it depend more on consultation? Like if we had consulted with the employees before the change but still made it, does that matter? Again, every persons' experience will be their own.

So is exploitation good? Bad? Where is it? How much of there is it? What does it even mean? And then once we've got all that figured out surely we can create a society without it, whatever it is. Unless its good like with resources and then we want more it, but not too much obviously :)

Bob said...

Lets say we start with a system of exploitation and work from there.
Slavery.
Is slavery exploitative?
Is slavery acceptable?

We exploit natural resources and thats not considered evil

Ask an ecologist or a conservation biologist for feedback on that one.

Auburn Parks said...

"Lets say we start with a system of exploitation and work from there.
Slavery.
Is slavery exploitative?" No
Is slavery acceptable?" No

Great, so if you agree then we've got these two questions settled, now only 50 billion very much more complex questions to ask and answer to go. We're sure get to the bottom of all this exploitation stuff sometime around....never.

"Ask an ecologist or a conservation biologist for feedback on that one."

Sure there are many examples of over exploitation, like you are suggesting here. However, that ignores the many more examples of explotation that has led to the material and living standard benefit of literally billions of human beings. So probably best not to jump the gun and throw out the baby with bathwater.

Auburn Parks said...

After all its not like we are close to running out of natural resources in the solar system. Earth isnt the only source of useful stuff to exploit in the big bad universe we live in. We just got to get past this century and permanaently off this single rock. There is more than enough natural bounty for our species and civilization to continue to grow and spread for millenia. Humans have only just begun to fight.

Of course, some people believe the dystopian view instead. Only time will tell.

Noah Way said...

Is slavery exploitative?" No

Idiot.

Auburn Parks said...

Noah-

Whoops, answered that one a little too fast. After all it wouldnt make much sense to say that slavery is unacceptable but that it was not exploitative would it. But of course youd have to be an intellectually honest person to not respond to an obvious mistake with a negative slur like "idiot".

Tom Hickey said...

@ Auburn

Marx would say you are either operating under false consciousness or propagating it.

In contemporary terms false consciousness is like Stockholm syndrome, and propagation is now called propaganda.

Auburn Parks said...

tom-

Im just asking some questions and making some basic observations, answers that you dont like arent "propaganda"

Feel free to offer a rebuttal or your opinions on the matter but keep your bullshit propaganda insults to yourself please.

Tom Hickey said...

Just kidding you, Auburn.

But this is definitely a matter for debate.

It's basically a defense of trickle down, AKA TINA, and "A rising tide lifts all boats."

Auburn Parks said...

Tom-

Sorry to have missed the sarcasm and responded so negatively.

And no my comments are in no way a defense of trickle down. Thats a policy position that believes that becuase rich people are "better" (more efficient in economese) then others with their money then the most efficient way to grow the economy is to give the most efficient people more money or at least let them keep more of their income.

That has nothing to do with exploitation. And it certainly doesnt have anything to do with my discussion of the problems with even determining what is "exploitative" in the first place let alone remedying said exploitation.

Tom Hickey said...

Trickle down is the basis of neoliberalism based "vulgar" neoclassical economics. It is the current narrative for the superiority of "free market" capitalism over other systems than capitalism (read "socialism" and "communism") and mixed economies ("Europe" that is, social democracy).

There is not doubt that capitalism as a system that favors capital accumulation over workers and the environment has led to much higher levels of "growth" measured as GDP per capita and productivity (living standard).

The question is whether grown measured in terms of GDP per capita is a good measure of progress. Obviously, higher productivity resulting in higher living standards is a positive.

The question is what the trade offs are in integrating the factor as priorities rather than favoring capital, e.g., by reducing capital/labor share and therefore income and wealth asymmetry through reducing economic rents.

Unlimited accumulation of economic rent is perhaps the most important incentive in capitalism. Would reducing or eliminating it impact growth affect productivity and therefore living standard so much as to make the tradeoff not worthwhile.

This is not a simple question to answer, but disruptions are making it relevant now. Which is a reason that Piketty wrote (a sequel to) Capital and why it became so popular. And why Marx is regaining popularity in the West, too.

Bob said...

Auburn answered...

Is slavery exploitative?" No
Is slavery acceptable?" No

Great, so if you agree then we've got these two questions settled, now only 50 billion very much more complex questions to ask and answer to go. We're sure get to the bottom of all this exploitation stuff sometime around....never.


According to you, slavery is not exploitative. That raises the question of why slavery is unacceptable.

Bob said...

After all its not like we are close to running out of natural resources in the solar system. Earth isnt the only source of useful stuff to exploit in the big bad universe we live in. We just got to get past this century and permanaently off this single rock. There is more than enough natural bounty for our species and civilization to continue to grow and spread for millenia. Humans have only just begun to fight.

Of course, some people believe the dystopian view instead. Only time will tell.


To the best of our knowledge our stewardship of natural resources is not sustainable. Humans require habitat for survival, if we destroy that habitat through our actions it will be the end of us.

Ecologists would say that is short-sighted. Some might say "evil", but that would imply an intent to destroy ourselves.

Matt Franko said...

We are actually under surplus real terms... but many won't admit this they have to think that they are somehow responsible for the produce so they are more entitled to a greater share of the surplus than others...

This is revealing from Taleb this weekend (of all weekends my blood is literally boiling reading this):

https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/853217059580280832

"You cannot truly celebrate Easter if you didn't pay a price for it: lent & fasting.....No Worship Without Skin in the Game. "

What a bunch of self justifying bullshit straight out of Christendumb... this is the same basic falsehood we are warring with which denies the surplus conditions we are currently under...



Noah Way said...

We just got to get past this century and permanaently off this single rock.

Sign up for the Mars colonization project yet?