Friday, April 28, 2006

Del Opinador Compulsivo:

Muy interesante review de La Grande Parade, el último libro de Jean François Revel. Lo anoto para mi lista de lectura:

Revel points out that critics attribute to capitalism the characteristics of totalitarianism. John Gray, in his 1998 book False Dawn, described “liberal ideology” as a utopia. Economic liberalism is also often said to be a dictatorship: governments are no longer accountable to people but to corporations. France’s leading anti-capitalist author, Vivianne Forrester, whose new book is entitled Une étrange dictature, told a recent television show that “we are experiencing a form of totalitarianism”.

The widespread idea that behind capitalism’s benign surface lurks a monster is rarely challenged – even in market-friendly Britain. A recent remark by the left-wing politician Ken Livingstone that “every year the international financial system kills more people than Hitler” drew mostly mild rebuke. Britain’s leading liberal publication, The Economist, commented that Mr Livingstone “still allows his wild mouth to get the better of him.” Londoners took the remark even less seriously and elected him mayor of a city that contains Europe’s main financial centre. Compare this with the international furore over the Black Book’s (much better documented) contention that communism killed more people than Hitler.

Revel observes that the debate between liberals and their critics is warped by a basic misunderstanding. Capitalism is often viewed as an ideology, a socialism in reverse. Markets, it’s often said, are not the answer to everything – as if anyone had ever made such a silly claim. “Since socialism was conceived in the delusion that it could resolve all problems,” Revel writes, “its supporters attribute the same conceit to their contradictors.” But unlike socialism, capitalism was never a blueprint for an ideal society: it evolved by trial and error down the centuries. Capitalism is not so much a doctrine as it is a process by which new arrangements are being tested. Anti-capitalism, Revel concludes, boils down to a hatred of progress.


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