Tonterías selectas

Chester, la gestación subrogada y la familia “completa”, de María Eugenia R. Palop

En el programa de Mejide se alimentaron, además, no pocas confusiones. Una de ellas, de las más recurrentes, es la que consiste en identificar la defensa del derecho al aborto con la de la gestación subrogada en la idea de que la misma libertad que se protege en el primer caso, habría de servir de apoyo al derecho a decidir de la gestante. Sin embargo, ambas situaciones distan mucho de ser equivalentes, dado que con la primera se combate la ideología patriarcal dominante, y con la segunda, más bien, se la suele confirmar.

Lo cierto es que cuando algunas feministas defendemos nuestros derechos reproductivos no solo hablamos del consentimiento libre o de la libertad de decidir, sino de la manera en que tal consentimiento fortalece o debilita aquello que todas las mujeres queremos combatir. Un consentimiento (supuestamente) libre no tiene porqué aceptarse sin más, ni es autoevidente, ni se autojustifica. Siempre puede haber quien libremente quiera vender o donar sus órganos en vida, practicar la antropofagia por acuerdo mutuo, como se ha dado alguna vez, o someterse voluntariamente a la esclavitud, pero todo eso hemos decidido prohibirlo por razones de diverso tipo que van mucho más allá del simple consentimiento. En fin, como nos cuenta Muraro, cuando hace años el feminismo gritaba “mi cuerpo es mío” no lo entendía como una forma de autoemprendimiento, en el supuesto de que podemos ser consumidoras de nosotras mismas; hacer de nosotras un producto del que pueda obtenerse un beneficio. “Mi cuerpo es mío” era un grito contra el sistema que discriminaba y oprimía a las mujeres; se quería decir “mi cuerpo soy yo”, no soy disociable de mi cuerpo, porque hay una relación entre el cuerpo y el yo que no puede entenderse en la clave patrimonialista del individualismo posesivo. De manera que esto no tiene nada que ver con lo que dicen defender quienes defienden la GS.

Cuando en la GS se argumenta que el niño no forma parte de quien lo gesta y que el embarazo no tiene nada que ver con la gestante sino con su cuerpo, lo que se defiende es que una parte del yo puede convertirse en otra cosa que, además, pertenece a otra persona que paga por ella. Y esta es una afirmación que solo puede sostenerse desde la esquizofrenia.

En Chester se apeló, además, a la necesidad de salvar la brecha económica que sufren quienes no pueden permitirse viajes, trámites costosos y honorarios exagerados para acceder a la maternidad/paternidad. La gestación subrogada low cost, por la que apuesta Ciudadanos, se sitúa claramente en esta estela, aunque usa de forma retórica y falaz la expresión “donación altruista”. De lo que se trata aquí es de garantizar mejores condiciones económicas para los comitentes, compensando a la gestante por las molestias ocasionadas. Es decir, de lo que se trata es de generar y asegurar un mercado, dado que no hay gestantes sin compensación, que sea barato y accesible para el nivel salarial español. Y para que esto resulte compatible con los derechos de las mujeres, se dice que con la compensación se evita su explotación. Claro que si es la compensación la que evita su explotación, lo que tendría que defenderse habría de ser, sin más, la gestación comercial. Si el útero es un bien codiciado y escaso, y es el juego de la oferta y la demanda el que determina su valor, a mayor demanda, mayor precio. La cuestión es que esta propuesta low cost no tiene nada que ver con garantizar derechos, sino con garantizar el acceso a un determinado producto en el mercado español, eso sí, por el bien y la felicidad de todos.

… Resulta curioso que con la GS se apele muchas veces a la transgresión de la familia tradicional y la madre biológica, cuando esa transgresión se acaba sustituyendo por la mitificación de la carga genética o la composición de un núcleo familiar también convencional, articulado incluso a partir del exclusivo vínculo biogenético de un padre sin madre. De hecho, como ha denunciado Ekis Ekman, es sorprendente que mientras los comitentes insisten en que no quieren adoptar porque desean tener un hijo con sus propios genes, la retórica en la que se apoyan es de carácter claramente anti-biológico. O sea, en su versión “revolucionaria”, la idea es que la GS desdibuja los roles tradicionalmente asignados a cada sexo y a la maternidad clásica, pero lo cierto es que es la familia nuclear lo que se suele acabar defendiendo; una familia feliz que anhela tener un hijo propio para resultar “completa”.

Con la GS se alienta la mitología neoliberal de la libre elección y la soberanía sobre el propio cuerpo, pero a fin de (re)construir un vínculo familiar conservador que el feminismo no se ha cansado de criticar.

El contrato único de Ciudadanos: arma de precariedad masiva, de Eduardo Garzón Espinosa y Carlos Sánchez Mato

Renta básica: la última frontera del Estado del bienestar, de Miguel Ángel García Vega

Neoliberalismo, pobreza y desigualdad, de Juan Laborda

The World is a Business: The mad alchemy that transformed the market into a god, by Eugene McCarraher, associate professor of history at Villanova UniversityEl mundo es un negocio

… neoliberalism is a pernicious political economy, the latest innovation in the capitalist machinery of injustice, indignity, and violence. Yet it’s also much more than the liberalization of trade, the privatization of public services, the elevation of corporate enterprise as a model for what’s left of the public sector (“running government more like a business”), and the insulation of the market from democratic supervision. Neoliberalism is a moral and metaphysical imagination in which capitalist property relations provide an all-encompassing template for understanding the world.

… Once a forum for the production and exchange of commodities—a predatory but unavoidable ordeal of our bondage to the realm of material necessity—the Market assumes a Platonic character under the aegis of neoliberal ideologues, becoming an ontology, a hermeneutic, and an ethics for a guardian class of philosopher-capitalists.

… neoliberals replace Culture with the Market as modernity’s surrogate for traditional divinity. Where the Abrahamic religions had imagined men and women in the image and likeness of God, neoliberalism sees entrepreneurial selves cast in the image and likeness of the Market. The Market suffuses the Great Chain of Being; it’s the marrow of neoliberal divinity. Far from merely allocating goods and resources, the Market is the ontological architecture of the universe, an inerrant, pansophical quintessence wiser than any puny and fallible human being. The world is a business, Mr. Beale; money is the mana and the élan vital, and the Market is the atomic—and subatomic—and galactic structure of things. It’s the newest impersonation of God.

… Protestant Christianity has long proclaimed the good news that mercenary property relations were inscribed into creation by the Almighty…

Anchored in the University of Chicago’s economics and political science departments and in the infamous Mont Pelerin Society, the neoliberal movement that emerged in the mid-twentieth century was the legitimate heir of Emerson’s mercantile Transcendentalism. Although Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and other founding fathers were often atheists or agnostics, they nonetheless attributed untrammeled ontological jurisdiction to the capitalist market. In the neoliberal cosmology outlined in their work—and dramatized in the fiction and philosophy of Ayn Rand—the Market suffuses the cosmos; money is the benchmark of rectitude; financial, technological, or professional prowess is the empirical proxy for blessedness; and the aggressive, unapologetic entrepreneur is the eidolon of existential superlativity.

… Mises gruffly restated the principle of scarcity, the stealthily ontological premise of every introductory economics course: “nature is not bountiful but stingy.” Faintly echoing Emerson’s “Compensation,” Mises reasoned throughout his work that nature’s parsimony both imposed the necessity of economizing and required the evaluation of economies by competitive and monetary standards. In short, he was seconding Emerson’s earlier judgment that nature was intrinsically capitalist. Money’s indispensable role, he had written in 1920, was in “determining the value of production goods.” Furthermore, since without money it is “impossible to speak of rational production”—“rational” defined as profit-making—then socialist production “could never be directed by economic considerations.” Because a socialist society would allocate goods and labor according to a different criterion of value, it could not be rational, in the Mises view. As with commodities, so with people: by the calculus of pecuniary rationality, “man deals with other people’s labor in the same way he deals with all scarce material factors of production”—as a resource “bought and sold on the market.” His entire argument pivoted on the transfiguration of reason through the alchemy of money: if money regulates both the value and the rationality of production, then both morality and reason are pecuniary. Currency determines the totality of life on this planet.

… To his many admirers, Hayek’s brilliance and wisdom derived from his insistence on the virtues of humility and ignorance, which allowed a “spontaneous order” to flourish without the magisterial ineptitude of government.

Yet Hayek himself contended that this “spontaneous order” was designed by capital and the state, and that its fabrication must be concealed from the general population. A masterpiece in the annals of sophistry, Hayek’s neoliberal ontology of “spontaneous order” was the latest Noble Lie in a lineage of recondite mendacity stretching back to the Platonic origins of Western philosophy. (Leo Strauss, the reactionary champion of Plato, was one of Hayek’s colleagues at Chicago.)

How did this subterfuge work, exactly? As in all neo-Platonic systems rationalizing deceit, Hayek’s thought carefully delineated a distinction between higher capital-T truth and a lesser world of mere appearances. Hayek posited a realm he called cosmos—impartial, spontaneous order—and a realm he dubbed taxis: premeditated, masterful artifice. In this schema, cosmos represented “a higher, supraindividual wisdom”—the Wisdom of the Universe, as it were—more sagacious than any person or group, no matter how intelligent or well-informed. Indeed, Hayek dismissed any appeals to rational apprehension of cosmos; “we normally do not know who knows best,” he held, and so we should leave decisions to “a process we do not control.”

… Hayek’s elevation of the unregulated Market’s core indeterminacy into a central ontological principle is key to understanding not only his perverse praise of ignorance as a virtue but also his ill-concealed antipathy to democratic governance. He condemned all attempts by government to disseminate knowledge about market conditions as “an incomplete and therefore erroneous rationalism.” He objected to democratic restriction of the market not only because he dismissed the intellectual qualifications of ordinary citizens but also because it amounted, in his view, to a futile act of insolence against the sacrosanct order of things—meddling with the primal forces of nature. “There is not much reason to believe that, if at any one time the best knowledge which some possess were made available to all, the result would be a much better society.” Often applauded for his allegedly judicious reminder of the limitations of human reason, Hayek hoped instead to discredit any efforts to exert popular control over the power of capital. “The best knowledge which some possess” was nefarious when employed to regulate business and technology in the interests of a democratic society. “It is at least possible in principle,” he mused, “that a democratic government may be totalitarian and that an authoritarian government may act on liberal principles”—authoritarian meaning, in this context, any unnatural attempt to modify or direct the cosmic spontaneity of the market.

Thus, democratic control over the market represented an attempt to substitute taxis for cosmos—a scandalous feat of ontological sacrilege, an interference with the primal forces of nature. Yet cosmos turned out to be itself an invention, as Hayek made clear that capital and the state lay behind the magic of market contingency. As he admitted, “an order which would still have to be described as spontaneous” rested in fact on “rules which are entirely the result of deliberate design.” Cosmos was nothing more than taxis occluded by philosophical palaver about “spontaneity.” Humble deference to the Logos of the market was not, in fact, a recognition of the Wisdom of the Universe; it was “a method of social control,” Hayek conceded in The Road to Serfdom—a way of reconciling us to a capitalist social order that “should be deemed superior because of our ignorance of its precise results.” … And besides, look around, Hayek urged: all of us have granted the market our consent to govern, he insisted smarmily, because “once we have agreed to play the game and profited from its results, it is a moral obligation on us to abide by the results even if they turn against us.” In other words, freedom is subservience, if not to a larger wisdom, then to the machinations of the power elite.

Hayek realized that the authoritarian character of market forces could be veiled most effectively in the raiment of tradition and religion. “Submission to undesigned rules and conventions whose significance and importance we largely do not understand”—rules and conventions quite deliberately designed, by Hayek’s own acknowledgement—“this reverence for tradition, is indispensable for the working of a free society.”

… Openly acknowledging that the rules of competitive enterprise persist because “the groups who practiced them were more successful and displaced others,” he maintained further that the winners drape their victory in the robes of “tradition and custom.” (There is no alternative because there never has been any alternative; It has been since man crawled out of the slime.) If tradition failed to elicit an unquestioning subservience to the wisdom of the Market, God—properly shorn of His disapproval for acquisitiveness—could be resurrected from the depths of the historical mausoleum. Averse to religion when it frustrated capital accumulation, Hayek recognized its usefulness in consecrating bourgeois morality. “The only religions that have survived,” he reflected shortly before his death, “are those which support property and the family.” And if tradition and God weren’t enough, fascism was a crude but reliable expedient. In the 1920s, Mises had applauded Benito Mussolini for imposing a business-friendly dictatorship and wiping out the socialist opposition; later, General Augusto Pinochet enlisted Hayek, Friedman, and other Chicago Schoolers in making Chile into a neoliberal laboratory.

… every president since Reagan has bowed his head and genuflected before what the Gipper called “the magic of the market,” and both major political parties are rival synods of interpretation in the broad established church of neoliberalism. These days the most radical disciples of neoliberal divinity reside in Silicon Valley, where a gulch of “innovators” and “disruptors,” epitomized by PayPal co-founder and vampiric plutocrat Peter Thiel (an enthusiast of Objectivism and a recent recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Hayek Institute), beatify themselves as the avant-garde of the species, entitled to upend and destroy any lives that stand in the way of whatever “creative vision” they seek to technologize. Some even aspire to attain eternal life in the empyrean of the technological singularity, uploading their consciousness to the Cloud before their corporeal bodies expire.

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