"The Comic Strip of Neoliberalism" is a series of informational comics which you can read by hitting the links at the bottom of this page. The title (in Spanish, "las historietas del neoliberalismo") is a phrase coined by the beetle Don Durito, himself a character coined by Subcomandante Marcos, spokesperson for the Zapatista movement in southern Mexico.
"Neoliberalism" refers to the constellation of economic policies, including privatization, free trade, and deregulation, which spread from Pinochet's Chile in the 'seventies, via Thatcher's UK and Reagan's USA in the 'eighties, to most of the world in the 'nineties, largely through the offices of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization. (See Corpwatch for a more detailed definition, or Noam Chomsky for a brief history.)
"Neoliberalism" and the more familiar "globalization" refer to the same trend. Neither term is ideal --"neoliberalism" is confusing to Americans who associate liberalism with a strong state promoting social welfare, while "globalization" describes an apparently irreversible process of increasing global interdependence which has been going on for 500 years. But, of the two terms, "neoliberalism" is more precise, and it avoids the reactionary and xenophobic overtones that globalization, or rather anti-globalization, implies.
These comics show attempts in various countries to resist the neoliberal regime. Labor and indigenous organizations in Mexico, environmentalists and farmers in India, "struggle plumbers" in South Africa, nationalists in Iraq, left parties in India and Brazil, and, also in Brazil, movements of the landless, all show us ways that people can stand up for themselves and demand democratic solutions to the problems of poverty and underdevelopment.
The series has been appearing in Dollars & Sense magazine since the November/December 2000 issue. I have had the indispensable assistance of former Dollars & Sense editor Alejandro Reuss in shaping this project, as well as help from numerous activists and books and websites etc., some of which are acknowledged in the texts accompanying the comics.
The series will continue with installments on several other countries, probably including the Philippines, France, Haiti and the USA. We hope to collect the comics into a booklet eventually, at which point they will probably be revised, so advice and criticism are most welcome. Please write firstname.lastname@example.org.
The comics in the series are as follows:
Megadreams of Hyperdevelopment
Indigenous rights vs. neoliberalism in southern Mexico
Labor and immigration issues on the US/Mexico border
Is India Roundup-Ready?
How the WTO helps transnational biopirates penetrate Indian markets
The Washington Consensus and the Kerala Alternative
A state government in southern India mobilizes grassroots resistance
Lessons from Brazil's Workers Party
Brazil's MST (Landless Movement) vs. the World Bank
Hunger for Justice
South Africa's new struggle against global apartheid
Aftermath of an Iraq attack
The Emperor's New Clothes
Neoliberalism compared with classical imperialism
Neoliberalism Vs. History
It's the truth! It's actual! Everything is counterfactual!
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