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
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Freedom or Subjugation: It’s (Not) Your Choice
This article is, in my opinion, not important for the conclusion it draws in support of the devolution of nation-states into smaller ones, such as Catalonia or Scotland (the separation of these regions into nation-states will have little benefit to their citizens in a globalized neoliberal world); rather the author provides within his argument some blockbuster revelations that can serve to inform an accurate understanding of power in today's world. If I am correct, then it is necessary that we study and understand them to enable us to wrest control from capitalist elites who currently rule the world (of humans) and are driving it toward the cliffs of a nuclear holocaust and climate destabilization.
His argument in favor of devolution is frequently espoused by capitalist ideologists ranging from liberal (Sen. Bernie Sanders) to libertarian views (Ron and Rand Paul). They want to re-establish an earlier stage of capitalist development which they tend to idealize either as providing social safety nets for workers (the former) or providing many opportunities for small businessmen (the latter). This is simply not possible. Also, I think that a lot of the strident opposition emanating from Spain and Britain is because of the fact that some influential members of the Empire will lose influence due to the reduction of their fiefdoms within the Empire.
Capitalism is a dynamic process that goes through many stages until in reaches a concentration of wealth/power that characterizes what we see today. It is very much like a cancer in that it starts to feed on a small body part until it reaches a level of power that starts spreading (metastasizing) to all other parts. And, you know the end of this development.
Okay, so you ask: what are these all important revelations referred to above? Most important of all is his citation of a global power study in his link "explosive 2011 Swiss study"; but also to the quoted writings of one of the Empire's chief ideological exponents, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who really understands (and approves) where capitalism is leading societies, and to allegations by a former insider at the World Bank, Karen Hudes.
The Swiss study attempts empirically to unravel the very complex world of capitalist power as exercised by the US-led Empire and therefore requires some level of social research training to fully understand it. Having just perused it, I do not fully understand it, but I understand enough to realize that it is worth much more study.
The basic concept used to measure power by the researchers was "ownership", a key component of capitalism which can be ascertained by share ownership in economic entities. Using this component they found networks of power, in which a core network consisting of well-known financial institutions the owners of which possess a very high degree of concentrated control over world affairs. This important conclusion lends support to the intuitive understandings of many critics of power in today's world.