The Western political class enjoys the “infantalization” of its people by periodically reminding them of their good fortune to be born into a Western democracy and to be enjoying its benefits, magnanimously accrued to them. The corporate mass-media is awash with tales of the greatness and endless virtues of democracy, but they deliberately omit to mention that congruent with the principles of democracy is the basic mutual understanding of “security of livelihood” and tenure of reasonable existence? In other words that our right to a good life seems to me to be as indivisible and inalienable a right to life as Freedom of Speech?
So how is it that the two greatest democracies in the Western world, the United States of America and England have such a dismal record of “good citizen care” with more than half of their respective populations having less than $1000 in savings and between 4-6 million Brits reportedly so poor, some kids eat toilet paper to stave off their daily hunger pangs? We are supposed to be at the beginning of IR4, the Industrial Revolution four, where we see a return to marketable so-called “handskills” and artisanal skills being revived within smaller village economies, where trade becomes more direct and interpersonal? Yet, post the catastrophic global collapse of 2008/09, the growth in stockholder value is on a steep rise with corporate executives raking bonuses big enough to feed small villagers for a year?
We are bombarded by the daily awed and even envious derision of the exponential growth of the economy of China as flawed simple because it lacks a democracy, more specifically; it lacks a Western-style democracy. This doesn’t seem to bother most Chinese who experience the creation of a middle-class of between 500-600 million people in just one generation under Mao Zedong’s successor Deng Xiaoping. By the mid-twenty twenties, China will have overtaken the United States of America as the largest global economy both in terms of productive and consumptive capacity. This fact so riles the “old world” corporate power Mandarins that President Donald Trump has asked congress to approve a military budget of $780 billion, an amount larger than the next seven countries budgets combined. Evidently when Western corporate power and the old moneyed class feels threatened, they do what all toppled Empires do, resort to a bombastic display of overwhelming military power and political jingoism stewarded by a long ago captured global corporate media network. What this same sycophantic media doesn’t tell you is that unlike in the West, corporate power in China is successfully separated from the ruling political class, in this case, the Chinese Communist Party. In other words, the billionaire oligarch class has very little influence in policy making and policy decisions in China, as opposed to the West.
The 19th century French philosopher and sociologist, Emile Durkheim, presciently described this strangling impasse between the ordinary people and overwhelming corporate power as evidenced by the rapacious growth of extractive, heterotopian, patrimonial corporate neocapitalism, as “Anomie.” Anomie is a state of normlessness where society inevitably breaks down because of a lack of normal ethical and social standards, thus the expectations of behaviour becomes unclear?
To be continued…