Saturday, July 06, 2013
Wall Street Journal urges a Pinochet for Egypt
“Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile's Augusto Pinochet, who took power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy. If General Sisi merely tries to restore the old Mubarak order, he will eventually suffer Mr. Morsi's fate.”—Wall Street Journal editorial, 7/4/2013
by Larry Geller
It would usually not be hard to predict how the Wall Street Journal would come out on any issue, bless its little capitalistic heart.
The pull-quote above yields surprising new insights into its editors’ thinking, however. It is the concluding paragraph in a July 4 editorial titled After the Coup in Cairo (WSJ, 7/4/2013). It’s not paywalled, you can check it out by clicking the link.
It’s not surprising that the WSJ would love Pinochet’s economic policies. He seems to have been a good exemplar of all they espouse. From the Wikipedia article cited at right:
Under the influence of the free market-oriented neoliberal Chicago Boys, the new government also implemented economic reforms, including currency stabilization, tariff cutting, opening Chile's markets to global trade, restricting labor unions, privatizing social security, and the privatization of hundreds of state-controlled industries.
With media like this, how can we expect the press to be a check on government? No doubt the WSJ would favor a “Pinochet” for our country, so in love are the editors with his economic policies that they can overlook his record of slaughter and torture and suggest him as a model for Egypt.
Oh, just to stay one step ahead of the comments, I do note that our own country already has a record of slaughter and torture, and that it continues to this day. Nor do I expect the WSJ to suddenly become critical of a system that brings them so much neoliberal joy.