I rarely start with a quote but Umair Haque pretty much nails the point of capitalism to fascism for which I’ve been writing about for quite some time now.
Please read his words carefully:
Here was the theory. Following America’s lead, countries like India and China could get rich. All they had to do was trade with America — become parts of its global capitalist economy. And as a result, wealth would bring with it democracy. More capitalism — more freedom, more equality, more democracy.
Here’s the reality. None of that ended up being true. China and India didn’t end up more democratic and equal as they became more capitalist. They became less democratic and equal — to the point that they are now verging on authoritarian-fascist societies. Just like America is.
By the way, one caveat, these three countries also have the largest militaries in the world as they become “authoritarian-fascist societies.” Censorship and the surveillance state will take on all new meanings in the coming years.
What was the plan and how did it play out? Umair nails the two other lynchpins who bought into this global capitalistic scheme:
The capitalist global economy that America built was premised on a very simple idea. The American “consumer” was at the heart of the system. He or she receives the lowest price possible — by any means necessary. That’s all people need to live, not healthcare, retirement, education, and so forth — including the ones making the stuff cheap for the American consumer. Along the way, profits are mega-maximized for capitalists, too, because they pay people a pittance, and build huge monopolies. And with greater profits — don’t ask how, because American economists and pundits have never explained — comes more freedom and democracy.
Aren’t we feuding with China? #Tradewars #Tariffs
Here was their role, according to Umair:
China was the key supplier of material goods, and India the key supplier of services. Walmart was nothing in the 80s, and then in the 90s and 00s, it grew to prominence and power, largely by becoming a Chinese trading outpost, cramming giant warehouses with ultra cheap Chinese goods. America’s technology and finance industries grew wealthy, too, by “outsourcing” programming and whatnot to India.
As we already know about capitalism — it exploits people. Look at income and wealth inequalities in the USA. Pope Francis called global inequality, “The moral dilemma of our time.”
Has anything been done about it? No.
Well, at least it improved our democracy, right? That was the theory of capitalism — more democracy, more equality, and more freedom.
Exactly the opposite has happened in ALL THREE COUNTRIES. The rich got richer and the poor were exploited and got poorer. Umair writes:
The result was that the American economy had a hidden collapse, an invisible depression. Decent jobs dried. Entire industries vanished. As a consequence, the middle class shrunk to a minority for the first time ever in the history of a rich country. Today, the only growing jobs in the American economy are being neo-servants to the super rich: their butlers, chauffeurs, maids, cleaners, nannies, barbers.
Service jobs, stagnant wages since the ’90s, government austerity, shrinking safety net, cuts in benefit and entitlement programs, and inequality with Fascism.
Did a few Chinese and Indian capitalists make money…you betcha? But what about the masses? Very predictable.
So. Three Big Problems. One, exploitation of India and China’s poor. Two, impoverishment and implosion of the American middle class. Three, the emergence of a class of ultra-rich, who took the lion’s share gains from the other two. You could put the results like this: India and China traded capitalism for democracy. Just like America did. Contrary to the theory, capitalism didn’t bring democracy with it — it eroded and corroded it. It’s norms, values, rules, codes, incentives, structures.
Not a pretty sight, is it? However, it’s our reality — failed theory. Worst of all, it’s unsustainable for the people and the planet. Both are revolting in their own ways while Big Media plays videos of today’s crisis in Small Town, IA. Farmers are struggling with China’s new policies in reaction to our new tariffs. They refuse to see the BIG PICTURE.
Umair Haque sees it. I’ll close with one final quote:
It’s not a coincidence that the linchpins of the global economy America built, America’s most significant economic partners, are facing political destabilization and authoritarian upheaval — just like America is. It’s a relationship. Capitalism implodes into fascism, by way of inequality, despair, greed, precarity — as labour’s share of income stagnates, but capital’s skyrockets. A society turns to hate and violence to expel the rage which has come to consume it. All the classic ills of capitalism emerged in all three of these societies — and those classic ills, from economic inequality to financial speculation to psychological narcissism to structural insecurity to socioeconomic precarity — implode into fascism.
This is not a pretty picture but it is accurate. And I don’t think it will get better before it gets much worse because our “leaders” are deep in the forest and only see one tree after another. Politicians are sold off to the wealthy who amassed their fortunes under the failed global capitalist experiment. They are spineless and impotent to act quickly enough to satisfy the masses. This is the exact point where Fascism enters.