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SOME CHOICE? by Sylvestre McLaren

posted 2 Nov 2011, 12:14 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 2 Nov 2011, 12:16 ]

World capitalism is at the cross roads where Neo-liberalism and Keynesianism leads to different destinations. One leads inevitably to the destruction of the system and the other may save it for a little while longer if it wins out in the struggle which is currently raging between the two ideologies of capitalism.


The problem confronting the capitalist ideology speaks to the question of the political and economic formulae to be prescribed for the disease which has afflicted the economies of Europe and America.


This disease is infectious and has the potential to contaminate other economies, if those who have the responsibility for the well being of their respective countries are unable to contain the spread.


The nature of the disease is capitalist greed. It is partly responsible for the destruction of the environment as a result of which we are now experiencing climate change. It must be held responsible as well for the collapse of the financial systems of the USA and Europe.


It was greed which was responsible for slavery, indentureship, colonialism, neo-colonialism and apartheid. Because of capitalist greed two world wars were fought. All of these historical experiences occurred not for the benefit of the working people and the poor but for the benefit of a few.


I don't know if anyone is listening or paying attention to the fact that a process of change is already taking effect and is being felt in nature and in civil society. These changes are being propelled by the destructive nature of capitalist greed, because, by its very nature it is unable to serve the needs of the broad masses of the working people and as a consequence, its behaviour leads to class conflict.


When we speak of class conflict, we are referring to class struggle, which is manifested in the sometimes hidden, sometimes open antagonism, which occurs in the relationship of the capitalist class to the working class in the production process at the economic level.


The outward signs of the existence of such antagonisms, are manifested in the happenings such as, the protest action that is taking place in the U.S.A., and Europe and the wage negotiations between the public and state sector unions and the government.


If the parties to the conflict are flexible in their dealings with each other, then, the situation may not assume the character of a class struggle. But when the conflict is not only about dollars and cents but about the loss of jobs, austerity measures, the dismantling of social programmes by the state, then all the requirements for class struggle are present in the conflict. At that stage the conflict could explode into a political struggle.


The capitalist system emerged out of class struggle within feudalism. When that feudal system of production and accumulation of wealth out grew its national borders a new approach was implemented for the acquiring of wealth and the expansion of political power. That was when colonialism was born.

We must understand therefore, that the geopolitical stance of capitalism is rooted in what it has learnt from feudalism; that the annexation of countries by whatever means in order to control its human and natural resources is acceptable as long as it is for profit.


That has been the practice of capitalism from its inception. The anti-colonial struggles brought an end to colonialism, but it mutated into a new form known as neo-colonialism. This was possible, because the capitalist had control over the financial and commodity markets of the world. In fact, in almost all of the former colonies, the capitalist powers controlled the financial sectors, the government, the education system, as well as vast areas of land in which existed rich mineral resources.


Because of the enormous political and economic power which it holds over the economies of the world and the apparent absence of a challenge from another political system, the capitalist leaders believe that the time has come to shape the world in the image and likeness of their capitalist god; regardless of the cultural values of other countries.


It is about 400 years since the emergence of capitalism as a political and economic system and despite all the advances made in the development of new ways of doing things (technology) we seem to be back where capitalism stood in the 16th century.


Capitalism today can be defined as naked and brutal capitalism of the 16th century, dressed in new clothes. This is because, liberalism is the economics of right wing politics, whose features and objectives are similar to those of capitalism 400 years ago.


Another feature of liberalism, is its predatory nature where it will and has resorted to the creation of disasters in order to profit from them. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are recent examples of  the lengths to which it will go in order to subjugate a country so as to exploit its people and its resources.


The problem is, that working people of the world are now better informed, than in those colonial days and they are not prepared to give up what they fought for in order to put more money into the pockets of the fat cats of the capitalist system.


Therefore the struggle against neo-liberalism is a struggle to protect the gains made by the working class in the area of the quality of life of its members and for improvement in same.


It is clear that the struggle is at that stage where the working people are in the process of mobilizing their forces in every affected country and if those who caused the crisis are unable to solve it, the struggle is going to assume revolutionary proportions in many of the countries of Europe and even in America. As it gains momentum, and spreads a further and further a shift in the balance of forces could occur in favour of the working people and liberalism could be  forced to retreat.


Make no mistake about the gravity of the crisis which liberalism must assume responsibility for creating. If the advocates of liberalism choose not to deviate from the path on which they are now travelling, then the world will be witnessing wars, not only between countries, but civil wars in every country where neo-liberal economic policies are being implemented.


If Keynesianism wins out in the ideological struggle in the capitalist camp, then the system may be able to buy some time once again. If it fails, then a new era of class struggle will rage across the globe and will result in far- reaching changes to the capitalist system.