Thursday, October 28

The rebellion of the rich

The revelations commanded by the newspaper The country and The sixth around the so-called Pandora Papers They have only corroborated the fact that inequality, in addition to material implications, also supposes a differentiated and profound access to the capacity for public intervention and the avoidance of laws and regulations. Only in this way is it possible to explain that characters such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Miguel Bosé or Pep Guardiola not only have not taxed their income where it would correspond to them by neighborhood and citizenship, but that they have done so under the protection of regulations, devices and fully accepted agreements.

The geographer David Harvey said that neoliberalism is a “theory of political-economic practices”, to which it should be added that it is also an ideology and, as such, it has a very clear objective; not so much to make capitalism work but, rather, to make us believe, to convince us, that it is so. It is in this way that, for years, entire societies have accepted this theory as the backbone of their societies.

The practices now evidenced by the Pandora, and before by the Panama Papers, correspond to one of the constitutive elements of neoliberalism, insofar as it emphasizes individualism and the capacities and freedoms granted to them to function in supposedly free market environments. The rupture that the accent on the individual versus the collective supposes means that those people with the ability to take advantage of the established framework do not feel the slightest concern about the fate of their fellow men. And, if they ever feel it, they want this deference to be practiced at will, that is, through discretionary charitable actions and bypassing the role of the State as a redistributive element.

The so feared rebellion of the masses announced by conservative thinkers such as Ortega y Gasset during the first third of the last century, that is, the fear of the upper classes to the masses of organized workers, found a way to be channeled through a set of policies seeking balance between the capital and labor, the so-called welfare state, launched in the capitalist West after World War II. The reforms of thirty years later, known as neoliberalism, broke that balance by granting unparalleled power or, if we want to see it that way, by returning it to those social groups that already had it in advance of the great war conflagration. Their naturalization and acceptance as political-economic practices, together with the ideology that supports them, is what has allowed not only the aforementioned characters to avoid their tax obligations, as well as the slightest condition of solidarity with the rest of the citizens. of their country, but that they are not legally incriminated for it on numerous occasions.

Political philosopher Adam Smith, famous for popularizing the famous invisible hand of the market, wrote at the end of the 18th century a work entitled Theory of moral feelings. In it, he pointed out that human beings tend to identify themselves imaginatively, that is, to show empathy, with their peers, so that they can feel their joys and sorrows. Now, the separation between classes and the breakdown of collective solidarity that neoliberal theory and ideology supposes makes this identification disappear. This is how we can witness an authentic rebellion of the rich which can only be stopped by eliminating the source that sustains it.



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