It is fairly known and evident that the world has never been just and egalitarian. There has always been a sort of class struggle based on different ideologies and interests. The powerful have always abused the weak and the weak have always fought for their rights but without any true change. Before the advent of free markets there was domination of feudal lords within the dimension of economics who controlled much of the wealth of their nations. But this system was soon challenged by the likes of Adam Smith who revolutionized the sphere of wealth and trade and became the messiah of the common man. He glorified the concepts of free trade and markets in the 18th Century Europe. Smith’s magnum opus became the unrivalled gospel for the classical economists like Ricardo and Say; for common man it was the Bible that promised them a future full of riches and leisure.
But what Smith failed to mention in his Wealth of Nations was that ‘wealth begets wealth’ and the wealth in the 18th Century Europe was distributed as such that it remained in the hands of the same Aristocrats and Feudal lords from whose clutches Smith promised to save common men from. Smith’s old Aristocrats became the new Capitalists who used the wagon of Industrial Revolution to speed up the process of accumulation of wealth. The free hand mechanism of the market that Smith propounded turned out to be the puppet used by despotic capitalists. History repeated itself and the Father of Economics was fooled by the exploiters of economics. In the end the wealth in the society was further redistributed in a way that the rich became richer while the poor starved to death. The only transition that happened was that the former slaves of the kingdom were turned into slaves of the industry.
The messiah had failed but the hope never died. This hope took an entirely new form when common men were overwhelmed and intimidated by the powerful phrases of The Communist Manifesto so much so that it became the new Bible, its ideology became the new religion and its author Karl Marx the new Prophet. There was a new impetus pumped in by the words of Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels from which the ever existing society of proletariats extracted their zeal to fight against the so-called Bourgeois, the ruling class. The promised system of classless society only proved to be more futile as it gave birth to more oppressive states where even the right to think was imprisoned behind the bars of censorship developed for ‘protecting’ the State. Communist nations became the apparatus for exploitation of Human Rights and the vehicle for ambitious leaders to fulfill their heinous dreams.
But what has become more dangerous in the 20th and 21st Centuries is the absolute supremacy of the style of economics what I call ‘Satanomics’ over all other spheres of life. Democracy that owes its birth for the need of equality has failed to prove to be an institution that safeguards the interests of every citizen of the society. It has rather become the instrument for the majority to exploit the minorities. In the realm of economics or business, majority takes the shape of the individuals who own the major chunk of the wealth. These individuals affect the policies of their countries to favor themselves in ways we have just started to understand. Media which should have been our biggest aid in preventing our exploitation has become our greatest adversary. It has become the illegitimate mistress of the corporate and hides all their dirty work behind the veil of their false information. It has fallen down so much so that it pledges its loyalty to its highest bidders.
These highest bidders remain to be the controllers of the engine that drives the economic wagon, which in modern times is called money. And these controllers are the so called bankers and their commercial banks. They have developed such fine tools of exploitation that leaves only little trail of loot behind. But their biggest weapon remains to be Fractional Reserve Banking System through which they have been digging ever deeper graves of debt for common men. They simply create money out of thin air without any asset backing it and then further worsen the situation by repeatedly giving loans to businessmen. These businessmen invest this money in ever riskier avenues and stock markets eating away most of the profit like hungry wolves if they win, but sharing the risk of losing equally with the depositors of the real currency. This process has led to the creation of ever increasing mountain of debt as it was used to be called in Florence during the time of the first bankers, the Medici. And if these institutions are on the verge of bankruptcy they are saved by the tax payer’s money since these banks are termed as ‘too big to fail’, a concept designed by the economists on the payroll of these banks in order to save them even during the gravest dangers. The concept is justified by saying that these institutions are so extensively connected throughout the economy that if they fail the whole economy would go into a state of recession through the domino effect. But instead if the government bailouts the very people whose wealth these banks have risked, then it would send out a bigger message to these investment banks that would prevent them to take actions that can lead the economy into recession in the future.
Founder of the self-styled “New Austrian School”, Professor Antal E. Fekete, has stated the following in relation to the current monetary system:
“The world economy, sagging as it is under the weight of its debt tower and fast depreciating irredeemable currencies, is clearly on its way to self-destruction. The forcible elimination of, first, silver and then a hundred years later of gold, from the monetary system removed the only ultimate extinguishers of debt we have. In consequence, total debt can only grow, never contract. The process is hidden since the unpaid and unpayable debt is accumulating as sovereign debt of governments. The world is deluding itself that sovereign debt can increase indefinitely as governments can extend its maturity indefinitely. In 2008 we had the wake-up call that it cannot. Unless we stop the proliferation of debt, the world is facing prolonged deflation, depression, continuing capital destruction, bankruptcies and unprecedented unemployment. It is leading to a breakdown of law and order. It could spell the end of our civilization.”
I am afraid that even India is walking the path that led to the western countries into the 2008 crisis. The schemes like Jan Dhan Yojna and new stock investment scheme for EPFO under the present government are only channels of upward flow of money to be available for use by the corporate lobby. If any serious attempt is to be undertaken, then the effort should be made within the area of micro-financing. Only then can the poor be made truly eligible to benefit from the schemes like Jan Dhan Yojna when they can themselves take loans from the central system. But for me the very system of promoting loans on everything except for assets like land and precious metals is doomed to lead the people to crisis under the burden of their own debt.
The reason why there is a lack of consensus for the change in the working of the system is practically due to the lack of relevant information available to the people. They only receive whatever information is fed to them by the mainstream Media, which is unfortunately the side business owned by the corporates in order to influence the thinking of the common men in accordance with their needs. The information that is available through the statistics of indicators like GDP and HDI are unfortunately not comprehensive enough to shed light on the reality. These indicators are mere failures like the institutions that use them; IMF, EU, Federal Reserve et cetera.
There should be an effort by the governmental agencies to first find out the exact distribution of wealth based on the comparison between nation to nation, state to state, nation to state, region to region, city to city, city to state, community to community and on any other relevant ground in order to draw a complete and true picture of the division of wealth. After this efforts should be made to design policies in such a way that money flows more toward the areas where it is most needed by the poor. Also there should be reconsideration on how profit should be shared amongst different levels of production. It has been found that all the production processes below the level of the company’s final selling of the product into the market is taken care of by a small fraction of the MRP. This means that the trickling effect that is said to occur in a capitalist society occurs for that fraction of that MRP. The major chunk of the profit goes to the owners of the corporation and the top most managerial employees. This process has been fundamentally responsible for the ever increasing difference in the distribution of wealth. A recent report by the BBC Corporation states that under a research it was found that the richest 1% of the individuals own more wealth than the other 99%. These figures serve my argument for the failure of the economic system of the New World Order which has systematically and lawfully seized more and more wealth from the poor. Here the word ‘lawfully’ is used in order to show that even the present world order’s laws are made by the influence of these top most corporatocrats. They have made the Judicial System itself a cripple who cannot serve justice right They have made their oppression legal through their influence over the governments.
What mainstream economists are always trying to prove is that capitalism is the best possible option we have. Although it has its own problems, but it is still better than the other options that are available. One such recent attempt has been by Paul Mason who in his latest book ‘Post-capitalism’ has tried to show that the era of resource sharing is inevitable now. He tries to show this by giving the example of the spread of information technology in past decade. He writes that a huge amount of content available on the net is free. He gives the example of Wiki Media project along with social networking platforms that are giving their services free of cost. He says that these services are only going to increase in the near future and people will be able to share more relevant information freely. This concept will then flow from the virtual world of the internet to the physical world where the material sources will shared according to the need of the people. What Mason is trying to do here is to save Capitalism by reconciling it with Socialism. He is trying to give a positive picture of the path present day capitalistic societies are on. But this writer believes that this is the advent of a new era of absolute capitalism where rather than the use of traditional methods of marketing, more sublime and sophisticated use of targeted consumerism has been developed. What we see today on the home screens of our Facebook profile are the advertisements of the products that are best sold to the individuals of our exact profiles. We would see ads of so many sunglasses every day that we end buying one of them on some online store, even if we already have sunglasses to use. We are now using multiple smartphones, tablets and laptops when the real need would have been fulfilled by smartphone and a laptop. They are created demands and then targeted towards a category of consumers that have the highest probability to consume it. These free social networking platforms serve as a sophisticated database of centralized information on a plethora of individuals. This information is then used by these websites themselves and also sold to other private enterprises that have use for them. I mean is it the end of capitalism as Mason put it in one of his articles or a beginning of a highly evolved form of it. Paul Mason in his article ‘the end of capitalism has begun’ writes
“Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopia”
Mason here talks about a Utopia that is inevitable. Whenever we talk about Utopia the first name that comes across our mind is of Sir Thomas More.
More in his famous book “Utopia” tries to define his version of the perfect society. He says;
“There are in Utopia fifty-four towns, all on the same plan, except that one is the capital. All the streets are twenty feet broad, and all the private houses are exactly alike, with one door onto the street and one onto the garden. There are no locks on the doors, and everyone may enter any house.
The roofs are flat. Every tenth year people change houses — apparently to prevent any feeling of ownership. In the country, there are farms, each containing not fewer than forty persons, including two bondmen; each farm is under the rule of a master and mistress, who are old and wise. The chickens are not hatched by hens, but in incubators (which did not exist in More’s time). All are dressed alike, except that there is a difference between the dress of men and women, and of married and unmarried. The fashions never change, and no difference is made between summer and winter clothing. At work, leather or skins are worn; a suit will last seven years. When they stop work, they throw a woolen cloak over their working clothes. All these cloaks are alike, and are the natural color of wool. “Each family makes its own clothes. Everybody — men and women alike — works six hours a day, three before dinner and three after. All go to bed at eight, and sleep eight hours. In the early morning there are lectures, to which multitudes go, although they are not compulsory. After supper an hour is devoted to play. Six hours’ work is enough, because there are no idlers and there is no useless work; with us, it is said, women, priests, rich people, servants, and beggars, mostly do nothing useful, and owing to the existence of the rich much labor is spent in producing unnecessary luxuries; all this is avoided in Utopia. Sometimes it is found that there is a surplus, and the magistrates proclaim a shorter working day for a time.”
I ask my readers if they see any Utopia even at a distance. The proponents of such ideologies say that because now even a middle class man can own a car, we are moving towards Utopia but they fail to mention that the poorest do not even have a bicycle and the richest fly in their lavish private planes. Basing your Utopia on standards of the past century is most foolish thing to do. Utopia should be a system of the present and neither of the past and future. It is now that we need Utopia and so now is the change needed for it. A Utopia is based on equal and egalitarian distribution and not on the distribution of resources for the benefit of selected few.