Brexit kot državljanska vojna med dvema kapitalizmoma

George Monbiot, britanski intelektualec in aktivist, je malce nazaj v The Guardianu izjemno dobro zadel bistvo ozadja in uspeha kampanje za Brexit. Po njegovem gre pri Brexitu za državljansko vojno med dvema kapitalizmoma. Po analogiji z Olsonovo klasifikacijo Monbiot kapitalizem deli na dve prevladujoči obliki. Prva je regulirani, urejeni kapitalizem, ki temelji na administrativno urejenem sistemu in ima koristi od stabilnosti, predvidljivosti in regulaciji, ki penalizira umazane ali nelojalne oblike konkurence. Ta kapitalizem soobstaja z demokracijo.

Drugo obliko označuje kot »kapitalizem gospodarjev vojne«. Zanjo so vse omejitve akumulacije kapitala, vključno z davki, regulacijo in javnim zagotavljanjem ključnih storitev, nelegitimne. Ničesar ne bi smelo ovirati ustvarjanja dobička. Ideologijo te vrste kapitalizma sta oblikovala Friedrich Hayek v The Constitution of Liberty in Ayn Rand v Atlas Shrugged. Obe knjigi fetišizirata “svobodo”, ki je seveda svoboda za plutokrate, da lahko počnejo karkoli na stroške ostalega dela družbe. Gre za kapitalizem »divjega zahoda« ali »divjega vzhoda«, kjer imajo v kaosu brez regulacije (šerifa) premožnejši in bolj pokvarjeni ter bolj brezskrupulozni »svobodo«, da vzamejo vse, kar želijo. Nič ne sme ovirati te njihove »svobode«, da si vzamejo, kar lahko.

No, in Brexit je po Monbiotu uspeh naporov premožne britanske elite (ki ima sicer parkirano premoženje in urejeno drugo državljanstvo zunaj Britanije), da se v V. Britaniji ustvari tak kaotičen »kapitalizem gospodarjev vojne«, v katerem bodo lahko »svobodno« plenili brez nadležne evropske administracije. Na škodo prevladujočega dela gospodarstva, ki potrebuje urejen sistem in regulatorno zaščito pred plenilsko elito, ter na škodo večine prebivalstva, ki bo še dodatno prikrajšana za socialno varnost. Obe pa bosta prikrajšani tudi za priložnosti, ki jo je britanskim podjetjem in državčjanom dajala »evropska dimenzija« – skupni trg in prosta mobilnost.

Največji uspeh kampanje za Brexit je bil v tem, da je uspela te ekonomske in politične interese premožne elite zamaskirati v terminologijo kulturne vojne, kot so denimo administrativna določenost velikosti banan v EU itd.

In seveda, Brexit lahko v tem pogledu “državljanske vojne med dvema vrstama kapitalizma” najdemo v vseh sodobnih desničarskih populističnih gibanjih in (že) avtoritarnih režimih po njihovem prihodu na oblast – od Trumpa, prek Orbana do Janše. Povsod gre za podoben vzorec uporabe terminologije kulturne vojne, v skladu s specifiko vsake države, s katero se zamaskira dejanski cilj – predrugačitev ureditve družbenoekonomskega sistema po prihodu na oblast v smeri “kapitalizma gospodarjev vojne”. Sistema, v katerem se obstoječa regulacija in pravila igre razvodenijo, oblastna elita pa zlorablja oblast, da lahko posel neovirano delajo le podjetja, ki so blizu oblasti. V Sloveniji ste lahko to v zadnji devetih mesecih videli pri javnih razpisih (od nakupov zaščitne opreme do hitrih testov), prodajah medijskih podjetij do urejanja poslov za z oblastjo povezana podjetja v naprej (od drugega tira do poslov v zvezi z organizacijo predsedovanja EU).

In unguarded moments, the warlords and their supporters go all the way. Hayek, for example, on a visit to Pinochet’s Chile, said he preferred a “liberal dictatorship” to “a democratic government devoid of liberalism”. Peter Thiel, the cofounder of PayPal and Palantir, confessed: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” Last month, Mike Lee, senior Republican senator for Utah, claimed that “democracy isn’t the objective” of the US political system, “liberty, peace, and prosperity are”.

Brexit represents an astonishing opportunity for warlord capitalism. It is a chance not just to rip up specific rules, which it overtly aims to do, but also to tear down the uneasy truce between capitalism and democracy under which public protections in general are created and enforced. In Steve Bannon’s words, it enables “the deconstruction of the administrative state”. Chaos is not a threat but an opportunity for money’s warlords. Peter Hargreaves, the billionaire who donated £3.2m to the Leave.EU campaign, explained that after Brexit: “We will get out there and we will become incredibly successful because we will be insecure again. And insecurity is fantastic.”

The chaos it is likely to cause will be used as its own justification: times are tough, so we must slash regulations and liberate business to make us rich again. Johnson’s government will seek to use a no-deal or thin-deal Brexit to destroy at least some of the constraints on the most brutal forms of capitalism.

Housetrained capitalists are horrified by Brexit. Not only does it dampen economic activity in general, but it threatens to destroy the market advantage for businesses that play by the rules. Without regulatory constraints, the warlords would wipe them out. Like other august institutions of capital, the Confederation of British Industry warned that leaving Europe would cause a major economic shock. In response to these concerns, Johnson, while he was foreign secretary, made a remark that might previously have seemed unthinkable, coming from the mouth of a senior Conservative, “fuck business”.

Understood in this light, Brexit is scarcely about the UK at all. Oligarchs who have shown great interest in the subject tend to have weak or incomplete ties to this country. According to Andy Wigmore of Leave.EU, the campaign was assisted by the US billionaire Robert Mercer. By far the biggest individual donors to the Brexit party are Christopher Harborne, who is based in Thailand, and Jeremy Hosking, who has businesses listed in Dublin and Delaware. The newspaper owners who went to such lengths to make Brexit happen are domiciled offshore. For people like Rupert Murdoch, I believe, the UK is a beachhead among the richest and most powerful nations. Turning Chile or Indonesia into a giant free port is one thing. The UK is a much bigger prize.

None of this is what we were told we were voting for. I see Nigel Farage and similar blowhards as little more than smoke bombs, creating a camouflaging cloud of xenophobia and culture wars. The persistent trick of modern politics – that appears to fool us repeatedly – is to disguise economic and political interests as cultural movements. Throughout this saga, the media has reported the smokescreen, not the manoeuvres.

Vir: George Monbiot, The Guardian

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