Who are the technocrats now being presented to us as the bearers of “sensible” supra-political solutions to Italy’s and to Europe’s massive problems?
Mario Monti, the newly appointed prime minister of Italy, has served on the boards of Goldman Sachs and Coca-Cola and is the European chairman of the Trilateral Commission. He is also a member of the Bilderberg Group, an even more exclusive and more private version of the Davos-based World Economic Forum.
The newly appointed president of the European Central Bank, Draghi, is a former Vice-Chairman and Managing director of Goldman Sachs and is on the boards of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and the Brookings Institution. He has also been a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
These men are, and have been, many things. But one thing that they have never been is apolitical or above the ideological fray.
No, they are core participants in a deeply ideological project which holds, among many other things, that the massive accumulation of capital and political power in very few hands is the natural order of things in the world.
People running authoritarian regimes have always been keenly aware of the need to hide or blur their true ideological goals and the real dimensions of their lust for power. In the case of the mid-twentieth century fascisms, this was done by presenting the dictator as the ultimate post-partisan patriot..
In more recent years, as discussions of governance have taken on a more economical turn (itself the sign of a silent and generally under-analyzed ideological transformation), they have sought to clothe their deeply ideological project in the mantle of a non-ideological “common sense”.
But of course, there is no place in our public discourse that is free of ideological contamination. We are all ideological beings, thinking and acting on the basis of ideological suppositions and hunches. Indeed, the oligarchs remind us of this every time we dare to raise our heads and criticize their carefully-designed program of economic subjugation.