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Change in model or in focus?

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Autor: Adrian Severin 14 Oct 2008 - 00:00

The transition from the communist, closed and controlled society to the capitalist, open and free one, took place under the neo-liberal doctrine. The states of the former Soviet block are recommended to adopt “the strategy of the 5 Ds”: deregulation, decentralization, de-bureaucratization, demilitarization and dezetatization (privatization). This was subordinated to the doctrine of the "minimal state", praised by the conservative right as an alternative to "the wealthy state", supported by the socialist left. "The state is the problem, not the solution!" - said U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Therefore, the state had to withdraw from the economy, and ceased to act as a trader or use his right of ownership on the means of production as a tool of promoting its macroeconomic policies. The legislation had to be reduced, because there was a need for the free expression of the individual initiative.



The transition from the communist, closed and controlled society to the capitalist, open and free one, took place under the neo-liberal doctrine. The states of the former Soviet block are recommended to adopt “the strategy of the 5 Ds”: deregulation, decentralization, de-bureaucratization, demilitarization and dezetatization (privatization). This was subordinated to the doctrine of the "minimal state", praised by the conservative right as an alternative to "the wealthy state", supported by the socialist left. "The state is the problem, not the solution!" - said U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Therefore, the state had to withdraw from the economy, and ceased to act as a trader or use his right of ownership on the means of production as a tool of promoting its macroeconomic policies. The legislation had to be reduced, because there was a need for the free expression of the individual initiative. 

The rapid implementation of the theory of the "minimal state" by abandoning "the wealthy state" was called "shock therapy".

However, the issuance of the private initiative meant not only the release of the creative energies, but also got selfishness and greediness out of control, with the tolerance of the lack in transparency, with encouraging imprudence and irresponsibility. Efficiency became a face of injustice and a source of social polarization. The market could not restrain such developments. On the other hand, since it is considered that the market will solve everything, it was concluded that anyone could occupy any position (public or private). A wave of dashing young wolves without experience, skill and patience, flooded the banks, the SE, the firms of lawyers, and the ministries. After years of glorification of production, speculation went ahead. The credit welfare replaced the deserved welfare (based on savings).
That led to the financial crisis that rocks the world today.

The reaction to the crisis requires the nationalization of the banks and the intervention of politics in the regulations of the activity of the economic agents as well as in protecting them. Those who once spoke of the total withdrawal of the state from the economy are looking for the state in order to obtain its protection for the citizens against the economic risks.

Some see this as a surrender of the model that dominated the recent decades. Actually, the focus goes from the first to the second word of the collocation 'minimal state', because the state wasn’t the problem, but the confusion in defining the word "minimal".
The neo-liberal capitalism is in crisis, not the social-democrat one.

The "strategy of the 5 Ds" remains valid, provided that the state should establish adequate rules and policies to ensure prudence, transparency and responsibility of the economic agents in taking risks. It should encourage the productive activities instead of the speculative ones, limit the social effects of the economic failures, achieve equal social integration of citizens instead of the social polarization, allow the individual autonomy as well as the sustainability of the growth.

The neo-liberalism failed because of the exacerbated voluntarism. The sad part is that this voluntarism compromised the idea of promoting the youth. It is very bad that the motivating excellence of the leader was depreciated and replaced by the tiny technicalities and the frivolous skills in public relations.

The army of greedy, shallow, arrogant and conformists bureaucrats, phenotypical young clones with old mentalities, unconscious of their incompetence, is the origin of the disastrous decisions that led to the economic and financial crisis that is currently destroying families, bankrupting institutions and crumbling projects.

The problem is not that the state is minimal, if minimal means adequate social needs, but that we don’t have an actual sense anymore, but only a symbol. The restoration of the state does not mean the return to the "oppressive wealthy state", but to the state of solidarity and minimum order able to provide a decent welfare. For that, we don’t have to change the model, but the emphasis. A crucial change, however.
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