Capitalism, Chris Hedges, Corporate State, Corporatocracy, Financial Elite, Gross Inequality, Inverted Totalitarianism, Poverty, Robert Hunziker, Social Unrest, The Elite 1%, Transnational Capitalism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
Continuing on my last post’s theme of technology and man’s insatiable quest for more lethal weapons, Chris Hedges wrote an article this week in remembrance of the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. He reminds us that science and technology are amoral, advancing of their own accord, and that they have become the new religion, heralding solutions to all that ails modern man. Geoengineering, anyone?
The atomic blasts, ignited in large part to send a message to the Soviet Union, were a reminder that science is morally neutral. Science and technology serve the ambitions of humankind. And few in the sciences look beyond the narrow tasks handed to them by corporations or government. They employ their dark arts, often blind to the consequences, to cement into place systems of security and surveillance, as well as systems of environmental destruction, that will result in collective enslavement and mass extermination. As we veer toward environmental collapse we will have to pit ourselves against many of these experts, scientists and technicians whose loyalty is to institutions that profit from exploitation and death…
It was science, industry and technology that made possible the 20th century’s industrial killing. These forces magnified innate human barbarity. They served the immoral. And there are numerous scientists who continue to work in labs across the country on weapons systems that have the capacity to exterminate millions of human beings. Is this a “rational” enterprise? Is it moral? Does it advance the human species? Does it protect life?
For many of us, science has supplanted religion. We harbor a naive faith in the godlike power of science. Since scientific knowledge is cumulative, albeit morally neutral, it gives the illusion that human history and human progress also are cumulative. Science is for us what totems and spells were for our premodern ancestors. It is magical thinking. It feeds our hubris and sense of divine empowerment. And trusting in its fearsome power will mean our extinction…
Now on to the second point – Transnational Capitalism. This is an excellent article written by a former hedge fund manager that gives an overall, system-wide summation of the capitalist system controlling the world. It’s well worth the read and helps to flesh out what I have alluded to in other posts – the emergence of an elite capitalist class that has no allegiance to any country and shares more in common with its global members than with the fellow countrymen and the nation-state from whence they originated. Some excerpts:
This federation of convenience by the global elite is a lingering problem for the lower economic classes in America. The U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds told Chrystia Freeland that his firm’s investment committee often discusses the question of who wins and who loses in today’s economy. In a recent internal debate, he said, one of his senior colleagues argued that the hollowing-out of the American middle class didn’t really matter. “His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade.” Notice the CEO’s reference to “not such a bad trade” as representative of free market lingo, i.e., “trade.” Everything is measured in trade terms, like statistics, if you look in the mirror, you’ll see the reflection of a commodity.
This viewpoint is typical of how the global ruling class thinks, and proof positive of it is reflected in today’s politics in America. The right wing embodies this same viewpoint by striving to strip the federal government of public welfare services, privatizing governmental assets, and undercutting benefits to society at large, especially via manipulation of the federal tax code. This same occurrence is happening in real time right now in Greece, Spain, and Portugal as the cadre of elite technocrats out of Brussels, de facto capital of the EU, dictate nation-state policies to those three forlorn countries. The world’s elites love hard times/recessions because of the set up. It makes it easier for them to strip away government largess via austerity programs that they force upon governments, and it allows for undercutting the wages of average citizens as well as dismantling of governmental regulations. This, in turn, prompts protestors to congregate in the streets of capital cities, but over time, the capitalist class waits them out, temporarily residing in one of their homes elsewhere, away from danger, and with time on their side, the capitalists win.
Upon reading Chrystia Freeland’s article in Atlantic Magazine, one comes away with the impression the elite capitalists look down with disdain upon the masses of people, expressing a contempt for those in society who do not have the personal merit to rise to the occasion of wealth and power. Meritocracy is their biblical source, not equality and fraternity. These are hackneyed terms from ‘America of old’ and no longer applicable in the new technologically enhanced world, which itself is the major source of many of the new self-made wealthy.
This global ruling class controls the levers of an emergent trans-national state apparatus of global decision-making and orders emanate from the IMF, World Bank, the EU, and the WTO. The ruling bloc of this world order consists of chieftains of global corporations and financial conglomerates, major players in the dominant political parties of the world, media conglomerates, and technocratic elites….
According to William Robinson: Transnational capital has been able to break free of nation-state constraints to shift the correlation of class and social forces worldwide sharply in its favour and to undercut the strength of popular and working class movements around the world. One new structural dimension of 21st century global capitalism is a dramatic expansion of the global superfluous population or that portion marginalized and locked out of productive participation … constituting some one-third of humanity. The need to assure the social control of this mass of humanity living in slums gives a powerful impetus to neo-fascist projects and facilitates the transition from social welfare to social control, otherwise known as police states. Over time, this system becomes ever more violent and the ability of economic power to determine electoral outcomes opens the door for 21st century fascism to emerge without a rupture in electoral cycles and/or a constitutional change.
The door for 21st century fascism has more than opened. It has been blown off the hinges…
Just as science is amoral, so is capitalism which treats everything living and inanimate as a commodity ripe for exploitation. Welcome to a world ruled by the new globe-trotting, predatory elite who will profit from what remains of the planet’s depleting resources and exhausted ecosystems while paying no heed to the plight of the masses or future generations.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi