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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Freedom Or Subjugation? It’s (Not) Your Choice

Click here to access article by Don Quijones from Raging Bull-Shit
With each passing day it becomes increasingly clear what this new economic system would look like. As the welfare state continues to disintegrate here in Europe, leaving the vast majority of us to grind out a precarious living in a dog-eat-dog world of hyper consumerism, the mega banks and super corporations are fast erecting the castles, moats and citadels of a neo-feudal global economic order.
While the article provides a good description of the ominous growth of transnational governing agencies in this age of neoliberalism, his focus is limited by a middle-class perspective. This is evident when he justifies his support for political independence for Scotland and Catalonia with this quote attributed to John Raston Saul:
“The question that was never really raised through all of this was that if you’re going to weaken the nation state in the name of economics and you’re happy to get rid of nasty nationalism what about the really important thing — which is that we spent a couple of hundred years creating citizens who are the source of legitimacy for the lives of their nation states."
His lack of a class analysis, and specifically his unconscious middle-class perspective, prohibits him from any understanding of class rule, and hence his understanding of the significance of the neoliberal agenda of a capitalist class that has outgrown the confines of nation-states. The political independence of Scotland and Catalonia will not magically return some limited influence to middle class citizens of these regions as long as their economies are owned and controlled by trans-national elites. And, if the ownership of their regional economies could be magically transferred back to some local citizens, this would do little for working people who are the vast majority.