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WATCHING CAPITALISM WITH COKEY EYE by Ken Howell

posted 5 Sep 2014, 12:02 by Gerry Kangalee
The history of the struggle of our people against the colonial phase of capitalism, and it's neo-colonial reincarnation, can be described, as a struggle for the expansion of the rights and freedoms which we have won so far, and our apparent desire to win more of the same. One feature of this struggle has been the new found ability of the people to remove governments at the ballot box.

 

Without realising its significance when it first occurred in the 1980s, it has now registered itself in the collective consciousness of the people. And so, like a well tuned instrument in the hands of an adept musician, the people have come to the point at which they are now prepared to take charge of the stage for the purpose of ensuring that the music which they want to hear is the music which is being played.

 

While it may appear that the issue in contention is only about corruption, (specifically in the context which the political parties and their spokesmen in the media wish to frame the debate) that it is all about good governance and transparency in areas such as the procurement processes; it is really about the fact that the system was designed to produce the results which we see before our eyes every day.

 

The powers that be, who are really controlling the system, recognize that the focus of the people is shifting from a desire to receive the crumbs from the table to one which is about taking charge of what is on the table. This new found interest is not being influenced by any progressive organized forces in the society, it is the ills of the society and its negative impact on the consciousness of the people which has brought them to this cross road in their collective political development. Marxists usually describe such a development as the subjective and objective conditions acting on each other to achieve a certain result.

OUTLIVED ITS USEFULNESS

This is occurring because the system of society, constructed by the forces of capitalism, has outlived its usefulness and the objective relationship of the class forces in contention is creating stresses and strains which will obviously lead to changes in the system. The type of change will depend on the strength of the forces in contention and the type of issues which could stretch their relationship towards a point where it will burst apart.

 

At this juncture it is the election campaign and the responses of the “electorate” which will tell us how far the people are prepared to go on the question of participatory democracy. That, in my view, is the central issue now. In reading the situation, and the response of the powers that be, which will be concealed in the promises which political parties will make in their manifestos, it will tell us how they are prepared to treat with the demands of the people, and the assessment they have made of their respective strengths, and whether they are prepared or not to deliver on the people’s demands.

 

What we are currently witnessing in the utterances of the political parties, in contention for the approval of the electorate is really a snap shot of the disagreements existing in the camp of the ruling classes on the question of  how they should proceed on the question of the implementation of changes to the constitutional structure; if any changes should be made at all!.

 

The ordinary people have been drawn into this campaign -for and against- because they are required by majority vote not only to decide which band of Overseers will be placed in charge of the plantation, but also to decide what new rules/policies will be introduced into the processes by which the estate is managed. But you see, they are very clever, at hiding behind the support of the people who are led to believe that all this argument and the hysteria it is creating is because one of these parties is seriously interested in their interest.
 

 VERGE OF COLLAPSE


In reality the opposite is true. What is really happening is that repairs are being proposed to a system which is on the verge of collapse. All one has to do is to compare what is happening at Petrotrin, concerning the oil leaks which have been occurring on the lines and tanks, with not only the Constitution Amendment bill, but also, with the plans to privatize the valuable assets of the people and the many scandals which are being revealed, almost daily.

 

What is happening here is small, but it is a reflection of the much larger version which is being played out on the geopolitical stage. For those who are yet to understand the ramifications of what is unfolding before their eyes, it will be useful to know that there is no invisible hand which is responsible for the greed which is driving the desires of the one percent of the world's  population. These individuals, are the leaders of capitalism at its imperialist stage and have acquired new tools with which to manage the system.                                                                                     

 

They are sitting at a point from which, they are viewing the world in the context of the new globalisation philosophy, they have been preaching from the 1980s, with the objective in mind of shaping it in their own image and likeness.  Because the system is unable to yield the returns which they intend to achieve on their investments, they have resorted to methods which Naomi Klein described as disaster capitalism: the practice of creating military conflicts in targeted countries with the objective of gaining control of their mineral and other resources and also to create a market for the hardware produced by the military-industrial complexes.

 

Investments in wars and the resultant negative effects which are usually visited upon the people who become refugees is the new way in which the capitalists have decided to extract profits from investments they make, in the global market. That is what the conflicts raging in the Middle East and in certain countries of Africa is all about.

CONCRETE CONDITIONS                     

Here in the Caribbean and Latin America, it has assumed a different character, relative to the particular concrete conditions existing at this time in the geopolitical relationship between countries in this region and the rest of the capitalist world.  For example, we have not seen so far, a direct intervention into the crisis in Venezuela by the forces of imperialism. In the past they have been known to have done so in some countries of South and Central America.

 

Many attempts were made to bring down the Communist government of Cuba. The Grenada invasion is also a case in point. In the latter case the opportunity was presented to the anti progressive forces by the internal conflicts which exploded into the open, precipitated by the failure of the contending forces in the party in power at that time that could not differentiate the forest from the trees.  What happened in Grenada holds many lessons for the working class of the Caribbean and what is left of the progressive forces intent on bringing about change for the better.

 

We have to realize that the stage of development at which the capitalist system has arrived is one where the seeds which it has planted is no longer able to produce the rich harvest it has been reaping in the past and all the new methods it has resorted to has not achieved the desired results. So chaos is the only solution to which it has decided to resort.

 

That is why we have to watch them with cokey eye leading them to believe that we don't know what's happening. Let them believe that the people are foolish. It is imperative for persons who have an interest in understanding the interplay of the class forces and how political statements can impact on the sensibilities of the people to recognize when what is said is what we sometimes describe as attempts at sucking up in order to get on the good side of the masses. But what they don't know is that the ordinary people know a cocoa scorpion when they see it.

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