sâmbătă, 14 august 2010

Idei care au dat colţul

Ciudată ţară avem! Şi elite intelectuale pe măsură! Noi avem obsesia "sincronizării" la principalele curente de idei. Doar că, parcă e un făcut, când ne apucăm noi de săpat la "sincronizare", ne trezim că, de fapt, trebuie să facem o groapă, pentru a le înmormânta, ele murind între timp, care de moarte bună, care "ucise" de consecinţele lor nefaste. 

Despre unele dintre ideile care au fasonat post-comunismul, adică evenimentele principale ale deceniului trecut, şi care au dat colţul în  ultimii ani am mai scris şi eu. Scriu şi alţii, mai apropiaţi de geneza şi de sursa lor. Numai la Românica promotorii ideii unice ne prezintă nişte mortăciuni pe post de prospături, ba, mai mult, fac din ele ideologie şi politici publice.

Articolul din care citez îl găsiţi aici. Nu e tocmai o lectură de vacanţă, şi nici de duminică. Dar merită să ne gândim la spusele autorului. "Consensul de la Washington" a produs, la început în America Latină, şi apoi la nivel global, după prăbuşirea comunismului, atât de multe suferinţe şi a generat atâta sărăcie încât socialismul li se pare acum multora "tărâmul promis".

Printre cadavrele de idei putem găsi şi "globalizarea", şi "nation building", şi "unilateralismul", şi "dreptul la intervenţie din considerente umanitare", şi neo-liberalismul economic, şi neoconservatorismul ideologic. Unele au fost produsul unor mode. Altele au justificat "momentul unipolar al Americii", dar toate au eşuat, pentru că erau prea superficiale şi simplificau prea mult realitatea, pentru a o mai putea influenţa. 

"To look back on the ideas that shaped the past decade is to survey a scene of wreckage. Ten years ago, the best and the brightest were believers in the "Washington consensus" - the idea that the debt-fuelled free market that had existed in the US for little more than a decade was the only economic system consistent with the imperatives of modernity, and destined to spread universally.

It was not only the neocon right that believed this. Centre-left parties, whose historical role had been to set limits on free markets, bought in to this idea with enthusiasm. When Bill Clinton and Tony Blair embraced neoliberal economics, they did more than triangulate policies for the sake of electoral advantage. They endorsed the belief that a bubble engineered by Alan Greenspan at the end of the 1990s, when he lowered interest rates to artificial levels after the blow-up of a hedge fund, represented a new era in economic history. Both the triangulating politicians and many left-of-centre commentators became convinced that, for all practical purposes, neoliberal capitalism was indestructible.

For anyone with a sense of history, the idea that a post-cold-war bubble embodied a new world order was obviously absurd. The built-in instability of capitalism had not gone away - it had been accentuated, as the US and other western economies became ever more dependent on unsustainable debt. Far from being in­destructible, the neoliberal market order was highly fragile. But millennial fantasies regarding a short-lived variety of capitalism were far from being the only delusional beliefs that helped shape events during the decade.

Closely related was liberal interventionism - the policy, set out by Tony Blair in his 1999 Chicago speech on foreign policy, of using military force to spread liberal democracy. Here the delusions were multilayered, and first among them was a dream about America. Again, it was not only the right that bought in to a fantasy. For large sections of the left, the US in the first decade of the century had a role similar to that played in the progressive imagination by the USSR in earlier periods: for all its faults, the US was the world's emancipatory power, and the current embodiment of the best human hopes...

Fashionable theories of globalisation had the effect of blocking the perception of American decline. From the late 1990s onwards, the idea that globalisation and Americanisation were one and the same became something like conventional wisdom, the New York Times correspondent Thomas Friedman pushing the equation in his bestselling books The Lexus and the Olive Tree (1999) and The World Is Flat (2005). The actual effect of globalisation is to transfer economic power to emerging countries with different models of capitalism, but for those who shared Friedman's dreamworld, globalisation was no more than the Anglo-American free market writ large. It was a notion that could persist only so long as the crisis was confined to powerless countries on the periphery of the system, such as Argentina and Thailand. It began to dissipate when the US financial system itself started to implode from mid-2007 onwards. Having run down and sold off much of its productive base, the US found itself the centre of a type of finance capitalism that was practically bankrupt.
It is not often that large-scale crises are due to intellectual error, but a single erroneous belief runs through all of the successive delusions of the past decade. With few exceptions, both left and right seem to think that history is a directional process whose end point - after many unfortunate detours - will be the worldwide duplication of people very like themselves. At the end of the decade, opinion-formers in Britain, the United States and continental Europe still imagine that the normal pattern of historical development leads eventually to an idealised version of western society, just as Francis Fukuyama forecast 20 years ago."  

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