Friday, 17 November 2006

Milton Friedman (Fascist Collaborator) dies..

The granddaddy of neo-liberalism Milton Friedman died yesterday.

He wasn't simply a harmless old academic with some discredited ideas about inflation and money supply. I do resent the fact that he made possible the Right misappropriating the words 'liberal' and 'libertarianism'. Terms used to cover such bizarre ideas as the abolishing of licensing of the medical profession. But more seriously I can’t absolve him from responsibility for how his ideas were implemented by right wing politicians.

He called the Great Depression of the 30’s the 'Great Adjustment' and this sums up his disdain for the inevitable losers under his view of the economy's natural order. Over twenty years on, and the consequences of the implementing his ideas can still be seen in devastated former mining communities in the North of England that have never recovered from their ' adjustment'.

But the greatest stain on his memory is his co-operation with Pinochet military dictatorship. The regime in Chile provided a showcase for the ultra-free market philosophies of Friedman and the Chicago school. I can't imagine what mental acrobatics he must have used to reconcile his 'libertarianism' with a military coup to
overthrow the elected Allende government and the murder and torture of thousands of oppositionists.

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