We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, July 29, 2016

Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism

Click here to access article by Ismael Hossein-Zadeh from CounterPunch

He offers as useful description of how capitalism has changed over time, its transition from a nationalist based phase with that of the rise of global capitalism. He sees basically four changes from previous versions which emphasizes the component of imperialism to reveal how this current form of imperialism differs from past versions.

As an almost after-thought he describes how the nature of the capitalist ruling class has changed from it base in nations to today's transnational nature. This, in my opinion, is what I regard as the most important qualitative change in capitalist rule which determines the very nature of imperialism. National boundaries to capitalists mean very little except to control the movement of workers. Otherwise they--most especially under the US-led Empire--see themselves as a transnational class with their own interests separate from workers' interests within various nations under their control. He accurately describes this phenomenon as follows:
Globalization of capitalism and (along with it) universalization of economic austerity, has led to an indisputable cross-border class alliance between global plutocracies. Representatives of transnational capital and their proxies in capitalist governments routinely meet to synchronize their cross-border business and financial policies—a major focus of which in recent years has been to implement global austerity measures and entrench neoliberal policies worldwide. These meetings include the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the World Bank and the IMF annual meetings, the Periodic G20 meetings, the Aspen Institutes Ideas Festival, The Bilderberg Group annual geopolitics forum, and the Herb Allen’s Sun Valley gathering of media moguls—to name only a handful of the many such international policy gatherings.

Today’s elites of global capitalism “are becoming a trans-global community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home,” writes Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor of Reuters, who travels with the elites to many parts of the world. “Whether they maintain primary residences in New York or Hong Kong, Moscow or Mumbai, today’s super-rich are increasingly a nation unto themselves,” she adds.
But then I was very disappointed at his recommended remedy which was contained in only one paragraph, and which he thought sounded radical. There was no mention of the elimination of the very basis of capitalism--the private ownership of the economy which creates the class structure, all the class conflict, and all the imperialism. However, how could one expect anything different from a retired academic who has enjoyed a lucrative career in the heart of the capitalist Empire? This is what passes for dissent in the Empire along with Bernie Sanders' "revolution".

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