Global Survey: 74% Critical of Neoliberal Capitalism

Sao Paolo, Brazil wealth vs poverty

By Ernesto Carmona 

A global survey commissioned by the BBC revealed that 74% of 29,000 respondents in 27 countries are critical of neoliberal capitalism. This is a reversal from a 2005 survey by the same firm, GlobeScan, which found 63% in favor of a free market. The only Latin American nations surveyed all hold free trade agreements with the US, and all reject neoliberalism by vast majorities. France and Germany believe strong regulation can cure problems with capitalism.

For ArgenPress: 74% of 29,000 respondents in 27 countries critical of neoliberal capitalism

Nine out of ten Chileans are demanding government intervention in the redistribution of wealth, while a vast majority want to bring control to free market capitalism, advocated by the far-right candidate Sebastian Pinera. A global survey commissioned by the BBC in London to the international research GlobeScan opinion revealed in November that 91% of respondents in Chile would like their government to take a more active role in a more uniform redistribution of wealth, as long as 5 % would prefer a less active role and 3% prefer to leave things as they are.

The results of this international survey was never aired in the mainstream media in Chile and Latin America during the fanfare of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November, because they show an extensive universal dissatisfaction of 74% critical of capitalism neoliberal. The totalitarian dogma of free market only had 11% acceptance among 29,033 respondents in 27 countries around the world who said they were good and that further regulation is not a good idea (1). Those who showed the greatest adherence to capitalism as it is today because work well, were U.S. respondents (25%) … and Pakistan (21%).

Latin Americans are particularly the most enthusiastic supporters of a more active government role in the functioning of the economy in Mexico with 9 out of 10 respondents (92%) supporting a better redistribution of wealth, 91% in Chile and 89% in Brazil. The highest proportions of those who want to see more assets to the government in regulating business were in Brazil (87%), Chile (84%), France (76%), Spain (73%), China (71% ) and Russia (68%).

Data from Chile

According to the report detailed the BBC’s Country (2), Chileans are most in demand worldwide for a more active government control of wild capitalism: 9 out of 10 citizens want more government action in the redistribution of wealth (second is Mexico), while another calls for more high percentage of government regulatory activity (second only Brazil). Roughly ¾ of total respondents, again among the highest in the world, believe there should be more government control and ownership over industry. 

● Nearly half (48%) agreed to declare that the “free market capitalism has some problems, but these can be solved by more regulation and reform,” but 20% believe that we need a different system and just 5 % believe that the free market is acceptable without change. 

● A large majority (72%) of Chilean approves increasing government control of important industries, while 11% want less government control and 9% prefer the current level. 

● Nine out of ten (91%) feel their government should take a more active role in the even distribution of wealth, only 5% support a less active role, and 3% prefer the current role. 

● More than 4/5 of respondents (84%) called for greater government presence in the regulatory activity of capitalism, while 9% clamored for a minor role and 3% support the same role today. 

● 59% believed that the collapse of the Soviet Union was positive, while 11% believe that it was wrong (30% gave no answer). 

Research in 27 countries, designed by the BBC to inflate the acceptance of capitalism to 20 years after the fall of the wall, included only 5 of the Latin American nations whose governments promote neoliberalism: Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama. The result was a surprise world that fell like a bucket of cold water on the propagandists of capitalism, because the different variants of critical system joined an overwhelming majority of 74%, a result not expected by those who commissioned the survey. The similar consultation held in 2005 by the same institute GlobeScan in 20 countries showed a majority of 63% favorable to capitalism as the best possible system. The results of this new survey did not serve to inflate the “Freedom Party” held in Berlin on 9 November, but showed no nostalgia for the vanished “real socialism”.

The study was designed and commissioned by the BBC World Service and conducted in the field by the international polling firm GlobeScan, together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA, for its acronym in English), University of Maryland, whose staff consulted to 29,033 people (as) adults from 27 countries between June 19 and 13 October 2009. The total number of respondents was interviewed face-to-face or by telephone in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria , Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States by local researchers in each country partners. In 9 of the 27 nations the sampling was limited to major urban areas. The margin of error per country ranges from + / – 2.2% and 3.5%. 

Farewell to neoliberal capitalism

The survey uncovered an overwhelming 74% critical current neoliberal capitalism. 51% believed that the free market system has problems that could only straighten regulation and reform, while the global average of 23% argues simply that capitalism is fatally damaged and requires a new economic system, from 43% in France, 38% in Mexico, 35% in Brazil, 31% in Ukraine and 20% in Chile. Furthermore, the majority want their governments to be more active in the possession or direct control of major industries of the nation in 15 of the 27 countries. This view is particularly prevalent in the former Soviet states of Russia (77%) and Ukraine (75%), but also in Brazil (64%), Indonesia (65%) and France (57%).

An overall majority of two thirds (67% average in all countries) would prefer that governments redistribute wealth more evenly. But this approach is even stronger in 22 of the 27 countries surveyed. In 17 of the 27 countries would like to see the government doing more to regulate business, with a world average of 56%. Some 22% believed that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a bad thing, while an average of 54% voted that it was good, but this view was the majority only in 15 countries, while 24% of world he did not know. Among the countries that belonged to the Warsaw Pact, 61% of Russians and 54% of Ukrainians believe that the disintegration of the Soviet Union was a bad bad thing, however, 4 / 5 of Poles (80%) and almost 2 / 3 of the Czechs (63%) believe otherwise.

GlobeScan President Doug Miller had to admit: “In appearance, the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 may not have been the final victory of market capitalism that seemed then, particularly after the events of the past 12 months.” Steven Kull of PIPA said: “Some aspects of socialism, such as government efforts to equalize wealth, continues to attract many people around the world.”

Results in detail

The Europeans say they feel that the disintegration of the USSR was a good thing, with a big enough majority in Germany (79%), United Kingdom (76%) and France (74%) thinking the same. The consensus is stronger in the U.S., where 81% say that the end of the Soviet Union was mainly a good thing. In most developed nations, including Australia (73%) and Canada (73%) also have the same vision. 

Far from the developed West that view is less strong: 7 out of 10 Egyptians (69%) believes that the disintegration of the Soviet Union was regrettable. The views are matched in India (where 28% think that had a negative effect and 26% to applaud), Kenya (bad for 28% and good by 26%) and Indonesia (bad thing for 31% and slightly good for 28%). However, it is also a high percentage of those who say no. In China, interestingly, 50% believe that the disappearance was good and 21% that was bad. 

Despite having a similar perspective on many key issues, France and Germany sharply disagree when it comes to free market capitalism. In France, 47% believe that the problems of capitalism can be solved with regulation and reform, while almost the same (43%) believes is fatally doomed. In Germany, however, there is very little support (8%) for another economic system, with almost 3 / 4 (74%) believe that the problems of free market capitalism can be solved by regulation and reform. 

The lower support (9%) to redistribute wealth was in Turkey, but who do not support a greater government role in the economic field form the majority in India (60%), Pakistan (66%), Poland (61 %) and USA (59%). Only Turkey has a majority (71%) believe that their government should do less to regulate business. However, there is also an extensive opposition elsewhere, including the Philippines (47% oppose), Pakistan (36%), Nigeria (32%) and India (29%). Ownership or direct state control over industries has seen more than U.S. opposition (52%), Germany (50%), Turkey (71%) and Philippines (54%). 

Other Latin American results

BRAZIL

Brazilians are among the majority of all the countries surveyed that favors a more active role in government regulatory activity. They are also the third highest calling for a greater role of government in redistributing wealth, but behind its Latin American colleagues Mexico and Chile. 

● 43% say that capitalism has flaws that can be solved by regulation and reform. However, 35% believe they need an alternative system. Only 8% say that capitalism works very well without government action. 

● Nine out of ten people (89%) call for greater government action in the more even distribution of wealth, while only 7% do not demand change, and 2% claimed less government action. 

● Two thirds (64%) support the government to adopt a more active role in the possession or control of major industries, while 17% say that government must play the same role now and 13% would prefer a lesser role. 

● An overwhelming majority (87%) calls for more government regulation of business, 7% is tilted because everything remains the same and only 2% calls for less regulation. 

COSTA RICA

The Costa Ricans are among the most most favorable to the collapse of the Soviet Union between the Latin American audience. They are also those most likely to address the problems of free market capitalism with regulation within its region. 

● Just over half (52%) agreed that the problems of capitalism can be addressed with regulation and reform. However, 25% say they need an alternative system. The 10% say that capitalism works well and more rules would diminish its effectiveness. 

● Three-fifths (61%) of Costa Ricans believe their government should take a more active role in controlling major industries, 22% believe the government should be less active and 13% believe they should retain unchanged its role. 

● A large majority (82%) think the government should be more active in redistributing wealth, while 12% think it should be less active and 4% say it should keep the same role as in the present. 

● Seven in ten (71%) want their government to do more to regulate business, while 19% want less government action and 7% want the same level as now. 

● A majority (63%) believe that the fall of the Soviet Union was a good thing, 16% believed that it was wrong (21% offered no response). 

MEXICO

Mexicans constitute the largest majority of those included in the survey believe their government should do more to evenly distribute wealth. With the vision of free market capitalism as a system fatally damaged are also second only to the French, although this was not the most common response. An average high of Mexicans said the government must also do their job better and control major industries and regulate big business. 

● An exceptionally high 38% believe that capitalism is inevitable and that should reign a new economic system, while 4 in 10 people believe that free market capitalism is damaged but can be repaired with reforms. Just 2 $ you think you are healthy and that the reforms as ineffective again. 

● 61% of Mexicans believe the government should assume a greater role in controlling the ownership of important industries, compared with 17% who prefer a discreet role under and 8% supported a similar role today. 

● An overwhelming majority (92%)-the highest of all countries surveyed, supported the government take a greater role in distributing wealth evenly. 

● A strong majority (64%) said that the government should do more to regulate business, while 14% think there should be less regulation and 9% because it is tilted as in the present. 

● More than half (54%) believe that the fall of the Soviet Union was a good thing, while 4% thought that it was wrong (43% gave no answer). 

PANAMA

Panamanians are among the average number of people think that government should be more active intervention in the economy, with most supporting a greater role in state ownership and control of important industries in the redistribution of wealth, and regulation of business. However, when comparing this result with other Latin American countries, the number of people supporting these positions is relatively low. 

● Half (50%) believe that free market capitalism is damaged but can be restored with tighter regulation, while 26% think it is fatally damaged and only 9% believe that the free market works well now. 

● 63% supported the government to assume a role in the control or ownership of major industries, while 21% support a smaller role, and 7% because the government is inclined to maintain the same role as in the present. 

● An overwhelming majority (80%) think the government should play a more active role in spreading the wealth, 12% think they should have a role, and 3% believe they should continue as now. 

● Seven in ten respondents (71%) said that the government should assume a greater role in regulating business, not 16% think it must have less regulation and 5% say it should be like this. 

● Less than half (47%) thought that the fall of the Soviet Union was something especially good, while 17% believe it was an especially bad thing (36% gave no answer). 

Special for Argenpress; posted at Daily Censored

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7 responses to “Global Survey: 74% Critical of Neoliberal Capitalism

  1. Globalism is something that has ‘happened’ to Americans, mostly without their notice. Until their jobs disappeared, and all they could buy was WalMart crap…..Surprise! we’re disposable too.

    • oh, yeah, I think the US is in for a huge surprise as the corporatist curtain slams down. I’ve got a cool post coming real soon by John Pilger just on this topic.

      Also – I thought it was fascinating that those citizens of those 5 LatAm nations with free trade agreements with the US reject neoliberalism. And the survey only spoke with urbanites – urbanites tend to be more favorable to capitalism than rural folks.

  2. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Global Survey: 74% Critical of Neoliberal Capitalism « COTO Report

  3. An awareness of an issue and an inclination or the knowledge on how to act on an issue are two different things. I won’t hold my breath for the revolution. Still though…steps in the right direction.

    I have blogged about how obedience plays into neo-liberal success here: http://stevehynd.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/the-corporation-and-the-long-walk-of-obedience/

    have a look if you fancy!

    • Interesting site, thanks. Rather brings us full circle back to cognitive dissonance: knowing better but acting as if you don’t.

  4. “Nine out of ten Chileans are demanding government intervention in the redistribution of wealth, while a vast majority want to bring control to free market capitalism, advocated by the far-right candidate Sebastian Pinera.” True but many Chileans think don’t realize Pinera is a neo liberal chicago boy Friedmanite and he will be moving toward privatizing further(and Chile is probably the most privatized already thanks to his brother Jose Pinera who “reformed” education, water rights and pensions under the dictator Pinochet). Pinera will also “make it easier to fire workers”. Many people in Chile think think things will be the same but everyone will be richer.

  5. Pingback: COTO Report Tops 100,000 Visitors « COTO Report

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