Tuesday 21 October 2008

Immoral Monetarist Fools

Despite his apology for having an affair (BBC News: IMF chief apologises for affair), I have no sympathy for the director of the International Monetary Fund. But my grievance with the IMF runs far deeper than this sex scandal, whatever its implications.

The IMF is a tool of the international capitalist Establishment, largely controlled by the rich and powerful G8 countries (including Britain and the US), which effectively holds the purse strings of poor countries which are heavily in debt. And uses this power to impose destructive neoliberal policies, such as privatisation and cut backs in essential services such as health care and subsidies, in return for limited debt relief and even more limited aid (which often has more strings attached than Tracy Island :-P )

But even in terms of the sex scandal, I don't feel any sympathy for him. Especially not while teachers who have affairs with students over the age of 16 are still put on the Sex Offenders Register (BBC News: Sex laws are 'unfair to teachers'). If it is the case that teachers are a special case because of their position of power over students, why should it stop with teachers? I am incredulous that any boss, of any organisation, does not have a position of power over his or her employees. (That includes MPs who have affairs with their secretaries!) But whatever the outcome of the investigation, the IMF boss is extremely unlikely to suffer such hardships as being labelled a sex offender.

And before anyone accuses me of making light of 'child abuse', I must point out that the IMF, and the policies which it imposes on the Third World on behalf of rich capitalist countries, are responsible for mass child abuse. Malnutrition of children is still widespread, as poor countries sell crops which should be used for feeding their population, in order to meet debt repayments. Children still die from easily preventable diseases, as healthcare budgets are slashed as part of 'restructuring', and large pharmaceutical companies fix prices beyond the reach of millions of poverty stricken people (while making profits which would make the average Mafia drug cartel jealous :-P )

Then again, removing the boss of the IMF is not really the answer, either. The entire institution, along with other proxies for the international capitalist Establishment such as the WTO, should be shut down. And capitalism internationally must be overthrown, and replaced with a socialist system which is run for people not profit, need not greed.

On the one hand, we must not let the capitalist Establishment fool us into placing all the blame on corrupt Third World dictatorships. But on the other hand, we must at the same time support the workers in Third World countries who are fighting against their own corrupt regimes, while at the same time building a workers' fightback against the corrupt regime at home!

As Marx said: "Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains".

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