Saturday, May 06, 2006

Is the political pendulum set to swing?

…IMF-World Bank Crisis Deepens

Washington, DC, April 24. The spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund took place this weekend with police barricades ringing the two institutions at the heart of Washington, DC. There were almost no protesters in sight.

There is a strong argument, which crops up from time to time, that there should be fewer lawyers and more historians among the ranks of lawmakers.

The reasoning is that societies go through severe cycles, as history will clearly demonstrate, unless we are able to learn from the past to moderate the excessive swings.

There are indications that we are getting close to the top of one of those severe swings, that the monetarist policies of the past few decades are reaching the end of their life. Indications that this so called economics, which is little more than a license for greed, is under stress come from more than this one story.

Recent reports out of Japan say that voters there are set to reject that country’s experiment with monetarist policies. While the approach no-doubt pulled them out of the Asian melt-down mess, voters are simply not willing to bare the hardships imposed by the approach.

Italy’s return to a left wing government, after the excesses of the Berlusconi government marks another chip dislodged from the powerful economic megalith.

The US and their coalition partners are under intensifying pressures from scandal related to the neo-authoritarianism which has become closely related to monetarist policy. The premise on which these countries justified an obvious ‘resource’ war has now clearly been revealed as based on lies.

But that is not the issue which is slowly sinking them. The real issues dogging them are more home grown and related to the incompetence and greed which seem to go hand in hand with unchallenged power.

From the historical view it is time for the pendulum to start swinging back. The frightening part is, without appropriate moderation, a governor on the engine of state, the pendulum will invariably reach the opposite and equally repugnant arc of its swing.

It seems to be human nature to toss out the baby with the bathwater, at least on the larger social scale of things. Invariably we the voters, given so little choice in the matter, end up replacing one extreme with another.

It would be refreshing, just for a while at least, to replace the political pharisees with a few jeremiahs. But then we the voters would need to face a few of the realities of social development and for most that is the job for someone else – the elected representatives.

Until we, as societies, really start to engage with the political scene between elections we are doomed to be tossed about by the inevitable self interest of our chosen representatives.

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