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Paul Mason on the Crisis

paul masonDespite the economic crisis neo-liberalism seems to be winding up for asecond wind.

Paul Mason has an intersting article on the BBC website about this phenomenon.

I’ve been going through the rushes we shot in New York on the day Lehman collapsed, in advance of tonight’s programme – a special edition of Newsnight exploring what’s changed as a result of the financial meltdown.

It was a surreal day and one of the most surreal moments happened on the stroke of 9am, when a nemesis figure arrived at Lehman’s front door in the form of a large man with a beard and a red flag. Only his light-sensitive spectacles spoiled the Karl Marx likeness. He shocked the cops and earpiece-toting security guards by launching into an f-word-laden diatribe along these lines:

“F— Lehman; f— AIG, f— Merill Lynch. Capitalism is doomed. They want us, the working people, to pay for the crisis. Our parents told us about the Depression – they want us to relive the Depression. They want that for us. Hell, no!”

When approached by reporters requesting his last name for the record he responded, after a moment’s thought, with a snort: “What’s your last name?” Not Hollywood central casting, nor Thomas Pynchon blowing deep and surreal could have invented such a figure nor placed him in such a place at such a time.

Yet the amazing thing about the crisis, one year on, is that he was substantially wrong. Many on the left – and for that matter the ideological right – assumed that the predominantly neo-liberal governments of the G7 countries would let the recession rip, let the banks fail and foist the cost of the crisis onto the population in the form of job cuts, bankruptcies and falling incomes….

Read the rest of the article here

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