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
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Fundamentalist Theology is Bleeding Us Dry: Stop the TTIP
Despite some major conceptual flaws that contaminate this article, most of it provides an excellent description of what is happening under neoliberalism across the world that goes larger unreported in mainstream media. This is fact does not represent an oversight--it is a deliberate strategy to keep the world's Ninety-Nine Percent unaware of the erosion of national laws and subordinating them to supra-national neoliberal bodies created by, and serving the interests of, the trans-national capitalist elites.
So, please excuse his references to "democracy" as residing in nation-states and being subverted by neoliberal investors. This is much like asserting that nation-states are like innocent, pure virgins being seduced by rapists. Such a view fails to recognize that nation-states were created by the capitalist classes largely to mediate competition between enterprises within the geographical boundaries they controlled.
Also, framing the issue as caused by a "fundamentalist theology" is very misleading. To be sure, there is a lot about capitalism that is faith-based, but what we see happening today is not some narrow interpretation of capitalist theology, it is an advanced form of capitalism.
Like many other critics of neoliberalism, Todhunter does not understand the nature of capitalism and its various stages of evolution. Such critics fail to understand the growth imperative of capitalism which results in ever greater concentrations of wealth and power. We have now merely arrived at a global stage in the growth of capitalism made possible by technological advances.
Of course, technology, like everything else, was created by working people, but under capitalism it does not belong to them and will not be used to serve the interests of ordinary people. No, it will be used to serve investors who insist that they "own" it--and, of course, they do under the rules of capitalism. And, no, it is not possible to reverse its development back to some mythical golden age of capitalism.
The point so well illustrated in this article is that capitalist elites now see nation-states as providing barriers to their enterprises and the financial institutions which feed off the latter. Thus, neoliberal capitalists are erecting supra-national institutions to override the authority of nation-state institutions. Todhunter provides an excellent description of this phenomenon and the devastating consequences it is creating for ordinary people throughout the world.