Davies takes us on an historical journey over the past several centuries since near the end of feudalism and the rise of capitalism to see how humans have benefited--or not. Both systems have divided societies into a tiny group of "haves" and a multitude of "have-nots", into owners and the dispossessed. Then he brings us up-to-date with the advanced stage of capitalism known as neoliberalism which we are now entering.
Although throughout this long period there have been sporadic gains along with horrific periods of wars and famine, we are now faced with a neoliberal world order which threatens to mire most of humanity in a swamp of poverty along with the threat of our extinction either from climate destabilization or a nuclear holocaust--depends on which comes first.
In the Western world, the prior gains of movements for labor, environmental, civil and human rights have fallen victim to a rampage of neoliberal political and economic policies, backed by triumphalist claims for the “magic of the market” that have more in common with religious dogma than social science. But the laws of economics have not really changed since the 1930s, when an apocryphal saying attributed to J.M. Keynes defined this kind of laissez-faire capitalism as “the absurd idea that the worst people, for the worst reasons, will do what is best for all of us.”In the end it is up to all of us to see whether this human saga ends or whether we survive in reasonably dignified conditions, or survive at all. Are we simply going to submit to the predations of our capitalist masters, or are we going to model our lives after Fidel Castro, Helen Keller, and many others, and fight back with every ounce of our courage and intelligence? Stay tuned, or better yet, stay informed and active.
The parasites who Orwell called the “so-called owners” of the world think they have built an impregnable legal fortress on the equally absurd idea that they own everything and that the rest of us therefore come into the world with nothing and must pay them for the privilege of living here. This is not the way that human beings have lived throughout our history on Earth, and it is not an improvement.
These so-called owners now threaten our very existence with their insatiable greed and genocidal behavior. So let us make sure that this disastrous experiment is short-lived, and that it ends, not in a nuclear holocaust, nor with a society destroyed by climate change, but with a peaceful, sustainable world that we will all love, share, and safeguard for future generations.