Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Economic Hitmen

This is an excellent video, well worth watching. At just over two minutes long, it sums up how Western capitalism exploits the rest of the world, and it's coming to a country near you very soon. I hope John Perkins, the author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman doesn't mind me posting a link to this video, especially since I don't agree with his view that this is an aberrant, mutant form of capitalism. If anything I think that the more sharing capitalism we had after the second world war - the 'Golden Age' - was the mutant form of capitalism. That real mutant form existed after the war because of the Cold War, a time in which western workers had to be kept onside because of the supposed threat of the Soviet Union. Now that 'threat' has gone we are seeing capitalism as it truly is. Of course it's not just about the Soviet Union but the boom and bust cycles, and the fact that we are in a crisis because profit is falling.

There are also two other important factors which, in the past, helped to mitigate the worst excesses of capitalism. The kind of capitalism we see now is 19th century capitalism, the worst excesses of which were disguised, at that time, by colonialism. Progress for ordinary people happened then because the more advanced western capitalist nations protected their economies from overseas competition. In addition, ordinary working people, who made up the bulk of the population made democratic gains - pensions, healthcare etc - through political parties like the Labour Party in the UK and the Democratic Party in the USA. Those factors no longer exist, protectionism has gone and so have the parties of the working class. That is why workers in the West are now being screwed, rather than just those in the Third World.

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