Monday, October 24, 2022


Whenever you hear something like, "now is not the time to politicize this," or, "surely we all agree," know that there are powerful rich people at the table - the table you have been told not to even try to flick a few notes towards - taking the opportunity of any tragedy to download as much money as they can into their pockets.
The report is clearly motivated by real concern for Ukraine’s situation. But I fear that its proposals threaten to undermine what it seeks to defend. When democracy is under attack we need to tread carefully on political economy. The CEPR authors do the opposite. Contrary to what you might expect, namely that war would lead to a search for solidaristic social and economic measures to shore up the Ukrainian home front, the CEPR team demand radical deregulation. In this respect they outdo the imagination of even a radical observer such as Slavoj Žižek who in a recent piece in project syndicate fondly imagined that the war had led to a temporary retreat of neoliberal designs on Ukraine. History, it seems, is more radical than that. Licensed by formulaic assumptions about endemic corruption and inefficiency on the part of the Ukrainian state, the CEPR authors propose to sever any association between war-making and the state as anything more than a residual safety net. The 21st century has thus given birth to a new strange new vision of warfare without the state. This is all the more striking for the fact that it emerges unbidden out of a far more familiar set of questions.


As far as possible the report argues the basic functions of Ukrainian government should be outsourced.
Doctors Without Borders can provide basic medical services, while the UN and Red Cross can provide (and pay for) medical supplies. Spending on cultural programmes (such as protecting museums and galleries) can be covered by international organisations and NGOs.