by Noam Chomsky
The free market is 'socialism' for the rich: the public pays the costs and the rich get the benefit - markets for the poor and plenty of state protection for the rich.
There's a conventional doctrine about the era we're entering and the promise that it's supposed to afford. In brief, the story is that the good guys won the Cold War and they're firmly in the saddle. There may be some rough terrain ahead, but nothing that they can't handle. They ride off into the sunset, leading the way to a bright future, based on the ideals that they've always cherished: democracy, free markets and human rights.
In the real world, however, human rights, democracy and free markets are all under serious attack in many countries, including the leading industrial societies. Power is increasingly concentrated in unaccountable institutions. The rich and the powerful are no more willing to submit themselves to market discipline or popular pressures than they ever have been in the past.
Let's begin with human rights, because it's the easiest place to start: they're actually codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in December, 1948. In the United States there's a good deal of very impressive rhetoric about how we stand for the principle of the universality of the Universal Declaration, and how we defend the principle against backward, Third World peoples who plead cultural relativism.
All this reached a crescendo about a year ago, at the Vienna Conference. But the rhetoric is rarely besmirched by any reference to what the Universal Declaration actually says. Article 25, for example, states: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood."
Now setting aside for a moment the notion the UN is full of BS, Noam makes some good points
Visit a prison sometime folks; check out where all your tax dollars have been going