2014-09-12

The Invisible (and Bloody) Hand

In the midst of neoliberal dictatorship, it is usual that the dominant ideology invokes the famous metaphor of the "invisible hand" as it was used by the Father of Liberalism Adam Smith. According to this notion, the "individual interest" of each of the participants in the economy, would automatically lead, thanks to the intervention of a divine "hand", to the "public good" of the whole (The Wealth of Nations, 1776). What Smith didn't know or omitted in this famous formula, but didn't escape Shakespeare more than a century before, is that this "hand" is not only "invisible", but also "bloody" (Macbeth, 1623).

It is said that in a negotiation, all parties must give something up. But in today's world most important negotiations a different logic
governs. In these big negotiations all parties gain to a lesser or greater degree, and as much as the parties excluded from the table lose. This is how, among other non-democratic mechanisms, the dictatorship of capital works.  

The propaganda of the system presents the beneficial "invisible hand" of liberalization and structural adjustments, while at the same time conceals the maleficent, "bloody hand", that charges at the victims of the moment. The system works therefore as an insane, murderous machine.

Image after Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam (Sistine Chapel, 1511-1512) [pd], Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) [fu/fd] and IMF / Stephen Jaffe's G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Meeting in Washington DC (2010) [fu/fd].