Bush’s BLM

The Marshall Plan was a huge success, right? The rebuilding of the Spanish economy in the late 1950s – early 1960s, engineered by the US, was an astounding success, too.

But the rebuilding of Iraq in the 2000s was an abject failure. Why?

Gary Gerstle explains that while the Marshall Plan was the Old Capitalist project, the rebuilding of Iraq was done the neoliberal way. There was no planning, no oversight. Vast sums of money were thrown haphazardly at a few monopolists like Halliburton, in hopes that Halliburton’s freedom to be a market onto itself would somehow magically sort things out. According to this logic, as long as the government is removed, everything is going to be great. It’s the “defund the police” mentality that we all know so well.

So what does George W Bush have in common with the BLM? They think in the exact same way, and that’s why they end up failing so badly. Theirs is the magical thinking of pouty children who want one simple recipe that would work for every occasion.


3 thoughts on “Bush’s BLM

  1. “the rebuilding of Iraq was done the neoliberal way”

    A lot of outside “aid” to Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 was also pretty neoliberal. Some countries had enough internal organization and structure that they were able to minimize the damage done by that and eventually come to terms with capitalism while others…. did not (or could not).
    Neoliberalism is about weakening structure so where institutions are already fragile and/or dysfunctional (like most of the ex-USSR or Iraq) it’s just going to descend into chaos because it has no power to build the structures that successful societies need.


    1. Very neoliberal, definitely. N always jokes that he’s not afraid of the neoliberalization in the US because he already experienced it in Russia.

      It’s a joke, of course. We don’t want it here precisely because we know how unpleasant it is.


      1. This sounds similar to the SA attitude, except that in SA people value their freedom more than any unpleasantness.


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