On To 2.10. Hbl was on p.10 quoting Raimo Sailas, whom we remember as a very efficient champion of neoliberal politics. In Helsingin Sanomat he had written “När Sovjetunionen storknade i sin egen omöjlighet antog man förhoppningsfullt att Ryssland vänder sig mot väst, omfattar västerländska värden och demokrati och ansluter sig till det västerländska ekonomisystemet.” … Well, yes, “förhoppningsfullt” …
One can perhaps be excused for hoping such at the time when the Sovjet Union did collapse, but to express regret about the fact that it did not work out that way even NOW is an obvious symptom of a very severe political blindness – which unluckily seems to be shared by a majority of European policy makers.
Because: what we, since then, had occasion to observe is a rapid misdevelopment of the Western political system, especially in the USA (with practically all European conservative parties and even former social democrat parties eagerly or at least helplessly following after). We observe politicians who are unable to stand up to the preachings of neoliberal economists or pressure from the side of big money – in fact there was already a sociological study which arrived at the conclusion that the USA are not a democracy any more but rather a money oligarchy. We observe brainwash of the public by vast monopolies of private-owned media. We observe voter suppression (it was resulting, e.g., in the presidency of George W. Bush, but also now it is applied at a large scale before the US mid-term elections), which is, moreover, supported by the US Supreme Court (who also gave big money the right to use astronomical sums for purposes of political propaganda). And we observe that the Western system is very obviously unable to get reasonable counteraction together against the threatening development of the climate, i.e. the system is not only wasting the resources of the planet, but also on the way to roast it.
Still, Raimo Sailas and his ilk would very much like that Russia (plus presumably everybody else) would follow the Western way.
Certainly it is so that neither the Sovjet Union, nor Russia since, has greatly taken care of the environment, but since the environmental problems have become obvious, at least China is very energetically taking care of the climate problem. Preconditon for this is that the government does not (as Western govrnments have done) give its powers away into the hands of people who are pretty exclusively looking for ways how to get profit out of every problem which presents itself (in fact at least the Chinese tradition keeps the mere money maker in very much less respect than the civil servant). Altogether it would be high time to think again about the whole system.
And who would do that now … . Not anyway our present politicians (who during their careers have just learned not to displease their superiors and never let themselves get caught at saying something politically incorrect, and anyway have no idea about technical possibilities, seem even unable to consult such persons who know about such possibilities).
Thus, it seems that we on the Left have to do it. Beginning by spreading the idea that neoliberalism is anyway just superstition (as shown by Ha Joon Chang), but then also discussing more (MUCH more) technology. Because to see possibilities gives also hope, and at the same time illustrates the necessity to change the system which leaves our politicians so very ignorant and helpless.