Speaking to diplomats during a conference in Moscow, U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon expressed his concern over the possibility that the current situation (the conversion of the U.S. financial crisis to a major world economic crisis) will result in a global political crisis.
Clearly, when hunger, poverty, health needs, marginalization, and social disadvantage persist in all underdeveloped countries, such as our own [Mexico], there is always an underlying risk of expressions of social discontent and ungovernable situations, even more so in times like this, when unemployment, famine, and a widespread sense of anxiety and uncertainty exacerbate those deficits.
Basically, however, Ban K-Moon’s statement points to, not only the configuration of a limited, merely temporary political crisis, but the complete collapse of a political model constructed and articulated around the paradigm of the free market. For decades, the most fervent defenders of neoliberalism in countries, such as ours, have maintained that the free flow of capital and a sustained reduction of the State, in both size and responsibilities, are necessary conditions for effective development and the consolidation of democracy.
Thus, what has been referred to as neoliberal democracy is essentially an oligarchical form of government, consecrated in defense of major capital, not of people, characterized by subjecting human freedom to economic debauchery, for which voters and institutions are mere tools. Today, in the collapse of the economic model that dominated recent years, a consequence of its own irrationality and its intrinsic predatory character, it is understandable that serious questions arise regarding a political order that is intended to benefit the influential, and not the common man.
In the case of Mexico, the exasperating economic situation, suffered historically by major sectors, is now becoming a factor in political instability, when the only possible argument to legitimize the neoliberal model – macroeconomic stability – has collapsed. Suffice it to say, as an example, that this past January the economy contracted by 9.5% in real terms, compared to the same month in 2008, representing the worst loss since 1995, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography. Instead of taking advantage of times of relative abundance to establish mechanisms to enhance social welfare and to redistribute wealth to the most vulnerable – which contributes to maintaining social cohesion and thus, political stability – successive governments have exhibited a lax, irrational attitude, encouraging methods that allow for an insulting level of wealth to accumulate in only a few hands.
In summary, if the world is moving today toward a global political crisis, as Ban Ki-Moon claims, it is precisely because of the irrational, exclusionary, and destructive character of neoliberalism, and because of the complicity and the lack of foresight and sensitivity of governments that defended the system to levels that border on the cynical.