Saturday, June 02, 2012

Comment: Christine Lagarde Cries Crocodile Tears for Africa

IMF chief Christine Lagarde's shockingly offensive remarks regarding the Greek depression--which has been deepened and prolonged by IMF/EU-imposed austerity measures--have sparked a firestorm of protest on Facebook. Click here for the story.

Her hypocrisy--she claims to have great concern and sympathy for poor African schoolchildren, whose plight she compares with the problems of comparatively well-off Greeks--is frankly nauseating in light of the IMF's contribution to African suffering and misery. The agency's so-called structural adjustment programs, akin to austerity for Europeans, have forced African nations to slash spending on healthcare, food, and education, and to boost exports of raw materials and privatization of industries by multinational corporations, resulting in dramatically increased national debts. Not for nothing do critics of the IMF and its partner in exploitation in the name of assistance, the World Bank, speak of Africa's new "overlords."

But one suspects that there is more to the Lagarde affair than mere hypocrisy. The IMF managing director's Africa reference can be seen as a telling slip of the tongue that calls attention to her true aim--the strategic objective of the global elites whose interests she serves--which is the permanent pauperization of the middle classes of the industrialized world. The objective isn't to raise Africa up to the level of Europe--not even close to that. Rather, the elites seek to lift Africa only marginally while bringing the West down--meaning, the workers who have become too prosperous and too politically powerful in the eyes of the powers that be--closer to the level of the impoverished inhabitants of the resource-rich continent that was ravaged by imperialism and colonialism. A global leveling off is the real goal. Grinding Greece down is the beginning of what is intended to be a grand restructuring for purposes of creating a new world order in which a few privileged population segments will labor in well-paying, favored industries, including high technology and finance, with decent benefits and opportunities for advancement and upward mobility, while the great masses of workers will be condemned to toil like drones, or serfs, in deadening, dead-end jobs that will barely pay subsistence wages and little or no benefits of any kind.

Hence, the seemingly irrational, international obsession with promoting austerity during times of depression and recession. For the IMF and its backers, mass unemployment isn't a problem to be solved; it's a strategy to be managed. Degrees of joblessness that have not been seen since the Great Depression are meant to become the new normal; meaningful social safety nets and social services, things of the past.

Already, the argument can be made that "we are all Greeks." Absent a reversal of the trend, unless the IMF's iron heel is broken before it can complete its crushing mission, we will soon all be Africans … and Asians … and Latin Americans … anything but the middle class Americans and Europeans we once were … as social services are dismantled and workers rights are shredded in the name of "reform."

Endnote: Ironically, the IMF and its oligarchic masters have this much in common with the radical left: support for radical--that is, rightwing political--Islam, or Islamism. Whereas the left sees the clerical fascist creed as a force to be harnessed in the interest of countering U.S. power and influence around the world and smashing Western capitalist democracy, the globalizing elites hope to manipulate Islamism in order to curb the power of troublesome trade unions and secular democratic movements and human rights groups. Not since the 1930s has democracy been so threatened.

The West is teetering on the edge of the abyss. It may only take one more shock--war with Iran, the collapse of the euro zone, a financial meltdown triggered by a wave of bank failures--to push the world into a global economic collapse.

Copyright © 2012 Foreign Confidential™