May 10, 2007

so, today, i’m looking up information on the economic crisis in the 1980s in argentina.

an issue such as this one garners vastly different interpretations of what happened (the left will say that the international monetary fund scuttled the argentine economy, the right will say that pegging the peso to the greenback was what did it in).

one article in particular caught my eye, though, not so much because of its content, but because of the webmag in which it was published: “helping argentina recover, without IMF ‘help’,” published in capitalism magazine. judging by the title of the article, and the webpage’s main accent colour (red), i wasn’t quite sure at first if this was a pro-capitalism or anti-capitalism page. upon further reading, i was pretty satisfied that this was a hard-right, neo-liberal publication.

and that’s fine, really. i mean, even if i don’t agree with their views, democratic society has a place for them. but when another article of theirs boldly claimed that the recent shooting at virginia tech was the fault of that state’s legislature (since they had banned universities from expelling suicidal students) and the school’s privacy policy (preventing parents from accessing information about their adult children’s academic records), i got really upset. not even at their theory (since the article was based on a pretty fantastic version of reality)…but at their smug sense of infallibility.

it got me thinking about the right-left divide again, and made me remember why i’m a person of the left: at the end of the day, centre-left concerns rotate around standards of living, and centre-right concerns rotate around the accumulation of capital. granted, there are pro-business socialists (you might even consider me one) and capitalists with consciences; the world isn’t so cut and dry. but at the end of the day, money, being a symbol of the value of labour, can disappear in the blink of an eye, but as my dad once said, “people will always need to eat.”

there will always be social divisions based on financial success. that’s okay. what’s not okay is to subject the poor to the same standards and expectations of the wealthy (or at least without supplying them with the tools to have a reasonable chance of doing meeting said expectations).

so, to the people at capitalism magazine: a big “fuck you” is in order. you people were the schoolyard bullies and the queen bees. and whatever! kids will be kids. but you never learned your lesson. you never learned that might does not make right. you might be grown-up now, but you never grew a heart.

one day, i will be there between you and your selfish, short-sighted goals, to keep you from running over your would-be, latter-day sandbox victims.


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