Sherry Wolf sets her sights on Dominique Strauss-Kahn

After ridiculing Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French Socialist Party, the French media and the International Monetary Fund, Sherry Wolf concluded her article by pointing out that:

We rarely, if ever, see such a powerful man fall, and never for the rape of a Black immigrant woman. I can only assume that he’s pissed off people much higher up who decided to cut the cord.

In coming weeks we’ll see the institutions he represents and his former hangers-on scurry about to cover their asses, but for now we can take a bit of pleasure in the political, social and personal collapse of such a man. Let’s use his fall to shine a light on the organizations that have protected him all these years.

Au revoir, Monsieur Pig! FSP and IMF, j’accuse!

In praise of Strauss-Kahn

Joseph Stiglitz wrote:

Strauss-Kahn is proving himself a sagacious leader of the IMF. We can only hope that governments and financial markets heed his words.

Stiglitz defends this conclusion by pointing out that:

The annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund was notable in marking the Fund’s effort to distance itself from its own long-standing tenets on capital controls and labor-market flexibility. It appears that a new IMF has gradually, and cautiously, emerged under the leadership of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Briefly put, according to Stiglitz, a Strauss-Kahn-led International Monetary Fund was beginning to abandon the neoliberal nostrums it promoted over the last decades.

Yet, Strauss-Kahn’s IMF generated a problem, according to Mike Whitney:

Strauss-Kahn had set out on a “kinder and gentler” path, one that would not force foreign leaders to privatize their state-owned industries or crush their labor unions. Naturally, his actions were not warmly received by the bankers and corporatists who look to the IMF to provide legitimacy to their ongoing plunder of the rest of the world. These are the people who think that the current policies are “just fine” because they produce the results they’re looking for, which is bigger profits for themselves and deeper poverty for everyone else.

Whitney continued by stating that:

There’s not going to be any revolution at the IMF. That’s baloney. The institution was created with the clear intention of ripping poor nations off and it’s done an impressive job in that regard.  There’s not going to be any change of policy either. Why would there be? Have the bankers and corporate bilge-rats suddenly grown a conscience and decided to lend a helping hand to long-suffering humanity? Get real.

Threaten the powerful…. There may be something to the conspiracy explanation of Strauss-Kahn’s current predicament.

French Socialist Party leader falls from grace

The New York Times reports that:

For months, France has been buzzing with speculation that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the popular chief of the International Monetary Fund, would quit his job in Washington to take on President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s presidential elections. But on Sunday, French politicians and media met news of his arrest in New York for alleged sexual aggression with stunned disbelief and expressions of national humiliation.

The incident threw Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s political party, the Socialists, into confusion and set the stage for a new political calculus that could allow the National Front, the far-right party led by its founder’s daughter, Marine Le Pen, to become a more dominant force during the election campaign.

Even as pollsters cautioned against rushing to judgment and as Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said his client “will plead not guilty,” his would-be rivals were quick to declare his political death.

What is nearly astonishing here is the fact that Strauss-Kahn is a socialist (PS) who also heads the International Monetary Fund, a key institution promoting reactionary economic policies around the world. The current vacuity of the word Socialist does diminish the shock prompted by Strauss-Kahn’s IMF duties. But this empty-signifier also highlights the inevitability of the neoliberal economic ideology. The socialist political project was meant to defeat and eliminate economic reactionaries like the neo-liberals. What does this say about the PS? It tells us that socialists of the PS stripe are little more than an elite seeking power for the sake of having power. These socialists threaten only the proletariat and the other subordinate classes and groups.

The IMF has already replaced Strauss-Kahn with John Lipsky, a man who had been Vice Chairman at the J.P. Morgan Investment Bank.