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(en) federacion libertaria madrid: Neoliberal solidarity as a contemporary mirror (ca) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 2 Oct 2019 11:12:10 +0300


We do not think we are wrong if we say that the overwhelming majority of people consider the NGO phenomenon as the movement that best represents solidarity in our day. From the 80s until today, we can say that this phenomenon does not circulate in parallel to the social and popular movements, but that they compete in such a way that the greatest strength of the NGO world implies a greater weakness of these social and popular movements of The ones we talk ---- During the times when the Church claimed charity and the labor movement, solidarity, things were simpler. There were two opposing value systems and each implied a clear vision of the world. Many of the NGOs have been installed at national and international level with the discourse of social changes, but with the ancestral practices of charity. Of course, they have appropriated the word "solidarity" causing all kinds of interference so common in today's society. This has ended up causing its almost absolute emptying, which has made it lose almost all the revolutionary political content it had for decades.

The postmodernization of solidarity

The changes in the production of image have meant an earthquake in the representation of reality. First it was painting, then photography, later came cinema and television and, today, we live in the world of social networks like YouTube and Instagram. These changes have meant a multiplication of the image to truly suffocating levels. Someone rightly said that we live in the time of the tyranny of the image.
In our area of analysis, we must recognize that it is not too hidden that the media love NGOs and NGOs love the media. Their symbiotic relationship is based on favoring the same value system: the communication policy of NGOs for years has favored a solidarity model based on emotional impact, a viscera solidarity, taken from the bowels by catastrophe and orphan children and depauperados of sub-Saharan Africa. When a Western media outlet enters, for example, in that sub-Saharan Africa an NGO appears fulfilling the role of hero that reinforces the neocolonial role of the West as an eternal savior against a permanently prostrated African or Latin American world. It is the eternally reproduced image of the West as an eternal provider of resources (and even civilization) and a non-Western world as an eternal hole that absorbs everything that the West generously gives. Nothing is further from reality, the most serious studies show us how the flows of resources that neocolonial countries contribute to impoverished territories have counterparts in which the former are more than benefited. The United States offers us an example like any other: for every dollar contributed to international aid, it receives a reflux of $ 2.15. the most serious studies show us how the flows of resources that neocolonial countries contribute to impoverished territories have counterparts in which the former are more than benefited. The United States offers us an example like any other: for every dollar contributed to international aid, it receives a reflux of $ 2.15. the most serious studies show us how the flows of resources that neocolonial countries contribute to impoverished territories have counterparts in which the former are more than benefited. The United States offers us an example like any other: for every dollar contributed to international aid, it receives a reflux of $ 2.15.

The postmodernization of solidarity is, as we wanted to point out, an aesthetic rather than an ethic. This is one of the elements that differentiates that solidarity that once claimed the conscious working class against the neo-liberal solidarity model of NGOs. It was part of a system of personal values that was intended to be consistent making solidarity a personal principle such as consciousness, determination, constancy, etc. The solidarity of NGOs is as empty as the word democracy. You can make a donation to a humanitarian organization for famine in the Sahel or to a school in Mumbai and be a perfect miserable. These initiatives are barely relevant in people's lives. The example of volunteering is clarifying: the selfishness of the volunteer manifests itself, for example, in the exchange of work for happiness or personal fulfillment, linking their activity to some kind of personal benefit. Militancy, on the contrary, does not have to be linked to happiness. In fact, militant morality has a certain burden of obligations that is absent from the postmodern moral of the volunteer, which is essentially driven by the desire to act. This desire is driven by an egocentric goodism that starts from the idea of doing good independently of the scope of their actions. On the other hand, we must point out that volunteering has meant the privatization of commitment and the tendency to affective associations. It also tells us about the emergence of the logic of the urgent, which is related to the emphasis on doing things but without any foundation in the medium or long term.

The supposed fragmentation that characterizes postmodern men and women makes these apparent paradoxes possible, which, in the end, are only a renewed formula of ancestral charity.

The impossible depoliticization of aid

At this point you have to spend a lot of time in front of a screen to believe that there can be human actions outside the political. Every act is political because every human action is inserted in some way into power relations. But most NGOs, however, have championed the discourse of foreign aid to any ideology. This confusion between non-politicalism and apoliticism is consistent with the discourse of professionalization. The world of NGOs has become an immense industry of poverty, a poverty that supposedly can be fixed with the appropriate technical, human and economic means. Thus, the institutions have created the figure of the third sector professional (the name of the aid industry) that has been taking away solidarity from the commons for decades. Looking back a century ago helps us to see how solidarity circulated within a given community creating links that strengthened that community. Professionalization implies a daily appropriation of solidarity, destroying ties and unlearning communities of reciprocity. During part of the nineteenth and twentieth century, many of the dispossessed managed to provide revolutionary content to some forms of support that were ancestral in Europe and other parts of the world. The Welfare State built a giant aid device that gradually separated solidarity from space from everyday life generating a highly harmful dynamic: most people have internalized that it is the institutions that must ensure the people who need it. The links of reciprocity are weakened and social atomization is strengthened because relations would be between people with institutions and institutions with people but, to a lesser extent, among people, who no longer even know how to help. With the passing of the decades and the conversion of the Welfare State into a neoliberal State, aid policies are left to the NGOs that send us a clear message: you want to help but you don't know, others need help and don't even know where Or how to look for it. We, the NGOs, unite your desire to help with the need of another person to be helped. They don't even know how to help anymore. With the passing of the decades and the conversion of the Welfare State into a neoliberal State, aid policies are left to the NGOs that send us a clear message: you want to help but you don't know, others need help and don't even know where Or how to look for it. We, the NGOs, unite your desire to help with the need of another person to be helped. They don't even know how to help anymore. With the passing of the decades and the conversion of the Welfare State into a neoliberal State, aid policies are left to the NGOs that send us a clear message: you want to help but you don't know, others need help and don't even know where Or how to look for it. We, the NGOs, unite your desire to help with the need of another person to be helped.

Many NGOs, for quite some time, championed the discourse of social movements and considered themselves heirs of the May 68 rebellion. Nothing is further from reality: NGOs rarely denounce the power relations that sustain inequalities and are the Causes of poverty. Or if they do, they will do it warm and decaffeinated. As you can see in your advertising, the solution is more money to get more resources. Some resources that are not alleviating the differences between social classes or between the neo-colonial north and the neo-colonial south. The focus of the NGOs is always on the poor and rarely on the powerful, which entails a serious error: the accumulation process on which the survival of capitalism depends depends on a permanent plundering without which capitalism would sink,

Therefore, NGOs have nothing to do with rebellion as nothing they have as popular since, on the one hand, their governmental dependence is absolute, and, on the other, their structure is, in the overwhelming majority of cases, exactly the same as that of a company. Thus, there is not only a structural difference that separates and prioritizes those who give help and those who receive it, but it can also be observed that, in these organizations, all the evils that the business hierarchy propitiates: competitiveness, exploitation, etc.

To all this it is added that the NGOs, as conscious transmitters or not of the neoliberal culture, constantly appeal to individual action. The collective does not fall within the values of this neocaritative world, since solidarity is understood as an act of consumption that does not differ much from the purchase of any other merchandise. Of course, there are different types of merchandise as we all know, so the peculiarity of these organizations is that after the wide market of "solidarity" products (fixed quotas for sponsored children in Peru, SMS of one euro for famine in the Sahel , the purchase of fair trade products from orphaned children in India, for the purchase of a kilo of rice, said company donates another to this or that NGO) the purchase of good conscience is hidden.

Mercantilized solidarity?

That solidarity of clear anti-capitalist content, mutual support, circulated in the space of gratuitousness, but not of disinterest. Mutual support built community through links that contradict neocarity, since this help is aimed at a faceless humanity and always, in addition, taking money as an essential element.

The seventies of the last century saw the collapse of "golden capitalism" and the oil crisis did not seem a good omen for those who believed in infinite economic growth. The situation resulted, punctually, with a new phase of capitalism that lives installed in the financial megabubble and, at the same time, opted for a commodification of any aspect of human life. Nowadays, the model of extreme commodification of life implies that there are people who pay a company to get him a partner, to walk the dog, to take care of your elders, to decorate the house, etc.

The commodification of solidarity from the 70s to the 90s meant leaving many of that help that the State managed in many western countries in the hands of foundations and associations. The round of neoliberal nut shows us how companies have begun to enter this third sector for approximately fifteen years. The good image of neocarity was sustained above all in its supposed disinterest. There was no economic interest behind this activity. It helped, in theory, to help. Once the concept of solidarity of its transformative political content has been emptied, the landing of companies through outsourcing in what remains of government social services cannot be strange. Who wants more details just have to walk through the website of the multinational Clece.

Thanks to the overwhelming advertising display, they offer us to be "supportive" in the safekeeping of the credit card after any purchase, or in the announcement of a fashion magazine or in the marquee of a bus stop, etc. All that neoliberal solidarity takes shape in a wide range of products to satisfy all potential consumers. Probably, one of the poisoned consequences of such neo-liberal solidarity is that if consumption can become an act of solidarity, solidarity can also legitimize any act of consumption. There is no shortage of those who even consider this positive trend, since consumption is considered an act of freedom that under current hegemonic values represents the maximum expression of the human being.

Neocolonial Solidarity

It must be recognized that globalization has modernized the old colonial model by adapting old imperialist habits to the current international context. During the nineteenth century the great colonial empires attributed a "civilizing" mission because the "uncivilized" inhabitants of non-Western countries were in need of doctors for the health of their body, teachers for the health of their mind and priests for the health of their soul. The paradigm shift has brought a successful concept: development. Now these inhabitants need managers for their governments, engineers for their infrastructure, conservationists for their forests, etc. The new model no longer makes it possible to identify oppressive settlers and oppressed colonists: development becomes a supposedly universal model, therefore, Those who do not develop under the parameters that the West has elevated to the category of sacred bears full responsibility for failure. There is a parallel between the neoliberal model that in microeconomic terms blames the poor for their poverty by hiding the structural elements of inequality built by capitalism and the international development model that hides the geopolitical and macroeconomic tools used by the neo-colonial countries that work daily in the plundering of the material resources of these impoverished countries.

Some NGOs do it more clearly, others in a less explicit way ... But they all work for that development that aims to standardize all the societies of the planet under the premises of capitalist globalization. And it is that the West is unable to understand them under a prism that is not putting itself as the center of absolutely everything: that is why they label them as communities that start from something like the Neolithic and that are in phases such as European feudalism or First European industrial capitalism. Any non-Western society is thus denied to have its own history.

A central aspect should not be forgotten, when the word development is used, in reality, the term capitalist development should be used. And it is that modernity carried out a sacralization of reason, more specifically a form of reason, that which sought to see technoproductive rationality as central to the process of development and progress. This idea is central among those who reflect on alternatives to the developmentalist-capitalist model. When NGOs, international institutions or governments discuss modernization, development and progress, it is emphasized that, in reality, the implicit or explicit social project entails a reduction of existence to certain forms, which represent a kind of economic colonization from all walks of life. In that sense,

Because of all this, one cannot think of the neutrality of the "solidarity" action of governmental or non-governmental international cooperation organizations. In the name of an idealized development, which tends to be associated with wealth, industrialization, well-being, all kinds of plans have been put in place to modify societies considered anomalous with respect to what the West considers to be the rest of the planet. And it is that considering underdevelopment as a pathology, solutions are sought that require compliance with prescriptions that come exclusively from Western culture.

The need for mutual support

The labor relations model in the West, the consumption model, the mass communication industry and its cultural system, the urban planning and territorial planning model, the automation of life, the bureaucratic social administration model, the delegation system and political representation, the institutions of school-family power, etc., are erected in permanent barriers that hinder and hinder mutual support relationships. So a vindication of mutual support can only be credible from a revolutionary and libertarian conception that challenges all those elements of society and life.

In that sense, we remember that the naive times ended that allowed us to think of a new society based on a development model that was never but the model of the bourgeoisie. Postdevelopment, decrementation, anti-developmentism or whatever we want to call it, are nothing but the firm confirmation of the divorce of what is usually called material progress and human progress. The reconsideration of the concept of necessity, the reconstruction of relations with nature to break with a destructive model, are just a few examples to redirect the path of history that we travel step by step on the devastation of the human being towards the total devastation of the planet .

Article taken fromEkintzaZuzena# 45

https://federacionlibertariamadrid.home.blog/2019/09/26/la-solidaridad-neoliberal-como-espejo-contemporaneo/
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