G20: False dilemmas, theatre and cruelty

04.12.2018 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Javier Tolcachier

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G20: False dilemmas, theatre and cruelty

Today, the G20 is a meeting that politically represents the interests of large corporations and global finance. In other words, it serves the business of capital and in no way takes into account the well-being of the people who live on this earth. The small or big differences that may exist within it in no way modify the framework of deliberation.

In addition, the G20 is anti-democratic, not only because of the spirit that animates most of its members, but also because it does not respect the global multilateral architecture made up of more than 200 sovereign countries and different regional interest blocks, although on this occasion representatives of the African Union, ASEAN and CARICOM were invited as guests.

The G20 is a generator of unprecedented violence, bringing together almost 100% of the world’s arms manufacturers and the main promoters of war.

It is in this context, of plutocratic illegitimacy, that what happened in Buenos Aires on November 30 and December 1 should be read.

In relation to the background of a trade war declared by the United States against China – one more example of Trump’s bullying – the Free Trade versus Protectionism dilemma is a false dilemma, it should not be the focus of our concern or of our own deliberations.

There is no such thing as “free trade”. It is a permanent war for perks, it is a trade in services that are sold to captive markets, it is a bidding of concentrated powers that destroy any possibility of real competition from developing countries.

Free trade is a market where only the cruelest survive, a slave market where labour, the true creator of value, is reduced to an adjustable variable.

An issue that affects us deeply is the irrational and unilateral decision of the current U.S. government to ignore climate change and the consequences of the abuse of fossil fuels for the atmosphere and environmental depredation in general.

This capitalist depredation is powered by greed and the collateral damage is misery, desertification, melting of the ice-caps, famine, floods, and in short, the suffering of millions of people, condemned to migrate or die.  China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Germany, France, the IMF and other hierarchical members of this G20 club are all part of this depredation.

The G20 and its “paper”

Contrary to what the Argentine government wanted to show with its excessive protagonism, in which it confused hospitality with courtesan adulation, the interests of Latin America and the Caribbean were absent from the Summit.

Two of the three participating Latin American countries, Mexico and Brazil, sent presidents who, in one day and one month respectively, cease to be presidents. Presidents who are in any case illegitimate, unpopular and anti-popular. The Argentine government, concerned about security and the international gaze, hid poverty, austerity and cynicism behind the thick curtains of the Colón Theatre and behind a fierce police wall willing to repress at the slightest sign of public disobedience.

The protocol blunders that circulated through social networks are of no importance, whether one leader greeted another or not, it is a waste of time to get lost in those secondary things. Much more interesting is to point out the lie that was staged by the cartelized media with a pompous coverage, in the style of monarchic weddings, with which it promoted the supposed success of the conclave, a strategy that is functional to Macri’s very devalued image.

The “consensus” between the senior partners and their transnational sponsors, based on the final document, focuses on the following points, which we comment on below:

Adaptability to a new world of work, digital, technological, which implies the precariousness of those who fail to adapt in the short term.

The value of entrepreneurship is promoted, i.e. the savage competition of everyone against everyone, hidden in the neon lights of innovation.

Infrastructure development for social development announces megaprojects whose design will have severe environmental impact and will be big business for large corporations.

Another point concerns sustainable food, which does not indicate how one billion hungry people will overcome hunger today, and lays the red carpet for the expansion of technified agribusiness on a large scale. In South America, with a matrix dependent on the export of primary products, this means expansion of speculative cultivation, deforestation, privatization of vast expanses of land and the expulsion or exploitation of the remaining small farmers. Not forgetting, the persecution of social leaders who try to resist. In other words, a new wave of migration towards the peripheries of the big cities and abroad.

The position on the issue of migration, which is crucial at the present time, was postponed to future meetings.

Finally, a gender agenda was included at the last moment, which although it speaks of the need to combat discrimination and exploitation of women and girls, finally highlights the role of women entrepreneurs and businesswomen as a model to follow.

Two almost imperceptible phrases in the text show the vision of this Summit, phrases that seem irrelevant but point to the crudeness of future austerity. The document states: “Ensuring that public debt is on a sustainable path”. That’s it and it goes on: “Continued implementation of structural reforms will enhance our growth potential.” Translated into simple words: banks can charge debt interest promptly and reduce social spending on health, education, housing, pensions and culture to the minimum necessary in order to avoid a social explosion.

As if that were not enough, the text defends fiscal policies favourable to growth (i.e., the well-known extortion of “low taxes or flight”) and the strengthening of the International Monetary Fund. All among good friends, Lagarde present.

The conclusion about what happened in this new chapter of transnational hypocrisy is that this G20 once again failed to agree on a path useful for peoples.

Far from constituting a real agreement, the document tried to hide the discord including conflicting positions, showing in short what the G20 represents, an “every man for himself” in the global chaos.

A chaos that will worsen severely if there is not a global and generalized redistribution of power from the economic and political leaderships to the social base.

Categories: Ecology and Environment, Economics, International, Opinions
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