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Anti-neoliberalism and post-neoliberalism

Anti-neoliberalism and post-neoliberalism

As soon as governments emerged that opposed the neoliberal governments, the discussion began about what character these governments had. I immediately proposed that we call them anti-neoliberal governments, because they have four characteristics that differentiate them from neoliberal governments:

* The priority is social policies against the priority of fiscal adjustments.

* Give priority to regional integration processes and South-South relations, particularly with China, over all Free Trade Agreements with the United States.

* The rescue of the active role of the State in inducing economic growth.

* The implementation of social policies, in addition to the regulation of the economy, instead of the centrality of the market and free trade.

Various governments emerged –Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Ecuador– that in one way or another opposed neoliberalism, generally with these characteristics. These were later joined by Mexico, Honduras, Peru, and Chile.

They formed a unique set of governments in the world that opposed neoliberalism, after Latin America was the continent with the most neoliberal governments and in its most radical forms.

They were characterized as anti-neoliberal governments, for the reasons mentioned above. But we still cannot characterize them as post-neoliberal governments. For what reasons?

The neoliberal model is still largely prevalent in the world, despite the fact that some governments take measures that, in some way, deviate from the neoliberal model. The world capitalist economy remains neoliberal. The right has no other model. The social democratic governments also do not have an economic policy that surpasses neoliberalism.

When the right, after being displaced from government as happened with Mauricio Macri in the case of Argentina, returns to power, it returns to the same neoliberal policy of the 1990s, revealing how that is its policy for this historical period.

Anti-neoliberal governments cannot yet be characterized as post-neoliberal, because the economy of their countries is dominated by finance capital, with its centrally speculative activities.

The countries that have differentiated economic policies, with a prominent role for the State, with priority for social policies, that favor regional integration processes, are clearly different from the others. But it is not strong enough to build a different model, to overcome neoliberalism. They still react to neoliberalism.

In progressive governments, until now in Latin America, the economic elements of neoliberalism survive. It was not possible to break the hegemonic role of financial capital, with its markedly speculative characteristics. Without breaking this axis of the economy, which defines a period of recession, it will not be possible to return to an expansionary cycle, essential to rescue income distribution policies.

The possible election of anti-neoliberal presidents in Colombia and Brazil projects, in the third decade of the century, a majority never before existing in the continent. There will be a strong political alliance between these governments, with Mexico, Brazil and Argentina united for the first time.

But this alliance has to be the basis for the construction of a model not only of resistance to neoliberalism, but of overcoming neoliberalism, not only anti-neoliberal, but post-neoliberal.

What would that mean? These would be economies that displace the predominance of financial capital, in its speculative form, as the axis of the economy. It signifies the passage to a historical period in which the construction of States centered on the public sphere advances. It means the construction, in Latin America, of integrated economies, with common economic policies, with a common currency, with a common Central Bank.

Take advantage of the political alliance of the vast majority of governments on the continent, to move from anti-neoliberalism to post-neoliberalism.

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