I recently came across a phrase, social silence, which Gillian Tett of FT describes:
As Pierre Bourdieu, the French anthropologist and intellectual, observed in his seminal work Outline of a theory of practice, the way that an elite typically stays in power in almost any society is not simply by controlling the means of production (i.e. wealth), but by shaping the discourse (or the cognitive map that a society uses to describe the world around it.) And what matters most in relation to that map is not just what is discussed in public, but what is not discussed because those topics are considered boring, irrelevant, taboo or just unthinkable. Or as Bourdieu wrote: “The most successful ideological effects are those which have no need of words, but ask no more than a complicitous silence.”
Very few talk of the world order and how it operates. The current world order can be described as a neoliberal. It is a system of free trade (or more generally globalization), tight fiscal policy, deregulation and privatization.
The IMF is one institutional which has been responsible for maintaining this world order. Since governments need exceptional financing, they are arm-twisted by the IMF.
A recent United Nations General Assemby note, Promotion Of A Democratic And Equitable International Order, has recognized this and criticizes the IMF strongly. Many economists and pundits deny there’s something called neoliberalism but the note is open about the ideology and the word.
In fact, IMF advocacy of structural adjustment has privileged powerful corporate interests and created a vicious cycle of dependence for borrower countries. As noted by Peter Dolack:
Ideology plays a critical role here. International lending organizations … consistently impose austerity. The IMF’s loans, earmarked … to pay debts or stabilize currencies, always come with the same requirements to privatize public assets (which can be sold far below market value to multi-national corporations waiting to pounce); cut social safety nets; drastically reduce the scope of government services; eliminate regulations; and open economies wide to multi-national capital, even if that means the destruction of local industry and agriculture. This results in more debt, which then gives multi-national corporations and the IMF, which enforces those corporate interests, still more leverage to impose more control, including heightened ability to weaken environmental and labour laws.
IMF still appears more committed to the obsolete neoliberal economic
The report is 18 pages long and critical of the IMF from the start to the end. Please read. You won’t find any discussion of the report in the mainstream media.