Why's Wall Street Pearl Clutching At Chile's Left Turn?
The way media constructs sentences can affect how the reported reality is perceived. There is not only a big difference between "X does Z" vs. "Z is done by X," but moreover, these sorts of tricks can even be used to remove responsibility from the powerful and place it on less powerful actors. Consider then the title of Bloomberg's recent whine-piece, "Left-Wing Rage Threatens a Wall Street Haven in Latin America." (An already suspect title that in the link appears as "Why Wall Street Fears Chile's Post-Covid Rage Politics.")
Now, don't get us wrong: centered around Chile's young, prog rock-loving, left-wing presidential candidate, the article is not nearly as bad as it could be, and it does not take the easy route of flat-out calling a Soc-Dem normie like him a scary 'communist' or something. Yet the two mentioned verbs already betray the disingenuous narrative being manufactured: either poor widdle Wall Street is thweatened, or it is scarwed -- it can't just, you know, be chill and coexist with democracy. And this is only the sleaze tip of Bloomberg's Sleaze Mountain.
From slimy rhetorical tactics to its surface-level analysis, we could spend all day riffing on this cherry-picking, history-distorting gem of an article. As its dubious intellectual merit just makes it a fancy-worded creepypasta for the corporate class, let us just mention a few salient points. For instance, it insists in the stubborn talking point that the stock market (or as it is known in Twitter wisdom, the graph of rich people's feelings) equals the health of the economy.
But this is a Cracked-worthy joke American readers by now find deeply unsettling:
Similarly, it insists on what economists have called Chile's "economic miracle" (its massive growth thanks to neoliberal policies), but if it mentions the obscene inequality and (eye-gouging) state-repression that has accompanied said "miracle," it does so as if they were mere accidents. Just random happenings with no relation to the system of upwards redistribution they support -- just a weird bit of correlation here, no causation, no siree.
So Bloomberg's problem is not systemic violence, nor structural inequality, but the "rage" (another loaded word we haven't even focused on) towards them. But the idea that the problem is not violence but the oh, so impolite anger of those affected by it is literally the twisted logic of abusive partners, you guys. In this (disingenuous) sense, the corporate whitewashing of neoliberalism and its legacy is everywhere in the article.
It mentions the word as if it's some insult the intolerant left uses (instead of a long-established academic term that just happens to name a rotten thing), and completely ignores the current President's sketchy as hell history. It also paints a rosy picture of the upbringing of a right-wing candidate without mentioning how it appears to have been made up. Cherry-picking, as we said. Oh, and we almost forgot, the piece refers to Pinochet's 1973 overthrow of Allende … but omits the well-established fact it was backed by US economic interests.
Here we arrive at the key question: what is Bloomberg's 'Wall Street' so scared of? The question is worth asking because if we open a history book, it isn't exactly Wall Street who should be worried. In this regard, the backward framing the article uses underlies its key contradiction: that the piece itself acknowledges that the left-wing candidate is merely asking for what European social democracies or even the (cool segments of the) US' Democratic Party want. Is that what the giant bronze bull is so scared of? Gee, we're really giving the whole "capitalism is exploitation" game away, aren't we?
There's an inverted logic of developed countries "supplying" underdeveloped ones with capital, instead of, you know, said fictitious capital coming from third world labor and resources in the first place. While not as tacky as, say, something off of Fox News, Bloomberg's article is hard to differentiate from fear-mongering propaganda.
Indeed, it simply shows that there's no real riddle to be solved in "fighting inequality without ending the Chilean miracle" – that's peak corporate newspeak for ya -- for the very idea of neoliberal growth rather feeds off of inequality. If the fear, more precisely, is that the billionaire class might have to buy fewer super-yachts, then perhaps we should just thank Bloomberg for being so open about the fundamentally coercive logic it defends.
Top Image: PXHere