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When two tribes go to war…

September 19, 2017

So, if you pay attention you will see that it is currently very much in vogue in the mainstream media to highlight that the current political unrest in the world – and the rise of right-wing quasi-fascist nationalist sentiment – is a reaction to Enlightenment principles – that we are at the end of the 300 year historical process known as the Enlightenment era.

Some even argue that the Enlightenment itself is a colonial relic that needs to be discarded into the dustbins of history – as if it were only white Europeans who discovered and built upon the ideas of equality, human rights, environmentalism. (A concept which you may note is itself racist and colonial.)

Far better it would be to cast out the principles of enlightenment than discuss the elephant in the room – global capitalism and its inherent structural contradictions, which, when unregulated, leads to the crisis of capital accumulation (where too few people sit on (horde) too much of the money), which subsequently leads to widespread poverty amongst everyone else, that can only deepen over time as this fundamental contradiction continues to play itself out – like a cancer killing its host.

If say McDonald’s can increase its profits by eliminating all of its workers through a full automation of the burger-to-mouth process (which it is working on as we speak) – at a very basic economic level this is good business. That this completely disregards the notion that fewer people will actually be able to purchase said burgers due to increased unemployment seems to be beyond their understanding of quarterly profit reports.

When most jobs are automated in what some people are calling the largest impending disruption of employment since the Industrial Revolution – who will buy the goods? Six million jobs are expected to be lost in the world over the next 10 years due to increased automation. Some argue that over the next 25 years, at least 100 million jobs worldwide will be lost with the arrival of self-driving cars and trucks.

It’s not surprising that much of corporate media would avoid any real de-construction discussion of capitalism as they are part of the corporate structure themselves – especially with media outlets increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands (also part of a deregulation that began under Reagan in the US and Mulroney in Canada).

When Canada’s national newspaper is owned by one of the richest families in Canada (the Thompsons) you are not going to see any discussion about the failings of capitalism.

Even the CBC, in highlighting today that the use of food-banks in Canada is up 9% this year, despite Canada’s so-called booming economy, there was no discussion about stagnant wages, or receding wages (the minimum wage is worth only about 1/2 what it was in the 1970’s – less than a 1/4 of its value in some American states) – nor did they connect the strike at a GM plant in Ontario where production has been gradually siphoned off to cheaper wage workers in Mexico.

They did mention the high cost of housing but with no analysis whatsoever as to where the high cost of housing comes from – who profits from the high cost of housing – or how governments work with developers to maintain the high cost of housing.

No, the mainstream news does not connect the dots for us. Any more than they connect the dots when it comes to global warming. (Sidebar note: In a review of media coverage here in America of media coverage of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma – two hurricanes described by scientists as once every 500 years type storms – none of the big American media players ever mentioned – even once – climate change in their coverage.)

There’s just too much at stake for those who continue to make enormous wealth, and gain global power, from the current system, for there to be any real examination of what the current economic model is doing to the 98% of the world who are being economically marginalized, or the price the planet has to pay for their exploitation.

Should we be surprised that nationalist unrest here in America is located primarily in those parts of the country most adversely affected by the past 30 years if neo-liberal capitalist policy? It is the same in financially marginalized regions in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, India, China, and Russia, where the majority of nationalist protests are occurring.

History has shown repeatedly that when the workers get squeezed to the financial brink, they start reacting by blaming “others” – minorities, immigrants, women – failing to see the larger forces at play.

Nationalism, fascism, authoritarianism are never far behind…we ignore the structural contradictions at play in the current global economic model at our own peril…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Eric Weiner permalink
    September 20, 2017 12:56 am

    Great article! And if the left doesn’t stick up for the lower classes (and the liberal so called left has not) then it is ripe for the right wing to exploit (as it always has).E Eric A Museum Of My

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