This award-winning poet just tore capitalism apart during TV debate (VIDEO)

Dictatorships suck. But if we in Western nations focus on the barbaric actions of regimes abroad, we often take focus away from the barbarity of the global economic system our governments insist on keeping alive. And it is such a double standard that award-winning poet Kate Tempest highlighted it on a talk show on 16 May.

The Australian debating show Q&A was focusing at the time on the following question asked by an audience member:

Sanctions proved an effective method in helping bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. What can be done to stop otherwise liberal nations from trading with the likes of Saudi Arabia?

At The Canary, we have been very critical of Saudi Arabia and the fact that Wahhabism (its state ideology) is the driving force behind Daesh (Isis/Isil).

The way Tempest turned the question around on the Q&A panel and audience, however, was a very important wake up call. She said:

It’s interesting we’re talking about these kind of diabolical regimes but there is an equally diabolical regime in power [in the West], which is the kind of neo-liberal regime of capitalism

Read on...

By neoliberalism, Tempest meant the economic system advocated by the likes of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, which seeks to privatise public resources, give financial institutions greater freedom, weaken trade unions, and take away state welfare programmes. Essentially, it’s what we might call ‘austerity’ politics today.

As ROAR Magazine founder Jerome Roos has said, Thatcher “deregulated the financial sector with a religious ferocity”, and was despised not only for her neoliberal policies but because of “the ugly face she put on them”. For him, she:

personified the naked logic of class warfare operating underneath the technocratic surface of her neoliberal project.

Thatcher and other neoliberal leaders also befriended the likes of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and believed there was no alternative to apartheid rule in South Africa. The British leader, for instance, once called Nelson Mandela’s ANC a “typical terrorist organisation”.

For this reason, Tempest is right to criticise the continued dominance of neoliberal economics. And the truth is that many economists now oppose it too. Nobel Prize-winning economics professor Paul Krugman, for example, has insisted that “the whole austerian ideology is based on fantasy economics” and that anti-austerity figures like Labour party leader Corbyn are actually “basing their views on the best evidence from modern macroeconomic theory and evidence”. It is no surprise, then, that economic experts wrote an open letter back in August 2015 saying Corbyn’s opposition to austerity was “actually mainstream economics”.

As Tempest correctly pointed out, the continued dominance of neoliberalism’s extremist economics is perhaps the biggest threat to ordinary citizens in the world today. So while it is perfectly right to criticise cruel and oppressive dictatorships outside the West, we must never stop talking about and opposing the destructive and anti-democratic doctrine of neoliberalism. Because as Tempest says:

the core of all of this is greed and it is unacceptable in this day and age.

Get involved!

– Check out Kate Tempest’s work here.

– Write to your MP to share your thoughts with them about austerity and privatisation.

– Support the campaign to prevent the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a treaty that will open the NHS up to total privatisation.

Pledge to take “coordinated, peaceful and powerful acts of civil disobedience” at Compassionate Revolution.

– Support The Canary so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via Q&A

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed