Socialism, being the antithesis to global capitalism, will necessarily be the system of the world replacing the established system against which people are railing in greater numbers every year. Thanks to modern communication systems it is now easier than ever to reach even the most distant parts with our message of solidarity with the majority population. Together we can build world socialism. The article below gives a perspective from India, but insert different names and it could be the perspective from your country or mine.
It’s The Business, Stupid!
By Parvez Alam
Politics is all about business and economics. Business conglomerates are running the world and not the elected governments. The recent Oxfam report 2015 says that “1% of the world’s population will own more wealth than the other 99% in 2016.” This is grave issue of inequality where democracy prevails in more than 80% of the globe. Democracy stands for building egalitarian society, that’s what common masses believed and accepted as the political system. But it seems that ideals of democracy is muffled and twisted for the ruling class. Mind it. Ruling classes are not at all those who are at the helm of affairs in political affairs of the country. It is them, those who are prevailing in economic affairs of the country.
This is often repeated discourse in India that are you son of Tata, Birla or Ambani? And if you are then law is yours. The recent addition is Adani. Are you son of Adani? If you are reading then, keep your head high because your father is growing as no one has grown before in Indian history of capital accumulation. According to the statistic Gautam Adani is new name in the list of 100 richest in India. According to the Forbes, Adani rose to eighth rank in the list of Indian billionaires in 2015 from 609th rank in 2014. The rocket-speed growth of one industrialist is telling story of political economy of this country. Though it is sad story that, nothing much has changed in one year rule (2014-2015) of Narendra Modi led government except the change in nomenclature of the institutions and catchy titles.
Now coming back to the conceptual linkages between political economy, corporate houses and democracy, it is pertinent to establish the relational nexus between these three. Today throughout in the world, capitalists are accumulating wealth without any check and control. On the other hand people or critical masses are denied basic rights which are promised in the democracy. The political representatives everywhere in the world in one way or other are funded by the capitalist forces during elections, which is again one of the routine in five/six years. Political parties get huge amount of money from different corporate/sources as part of their fundraising. This leads to the political parties involving in doing courtesy to the corporate houses by passing favorable laws contrary to the ideals promised in the manifestos during election campaigns. This has become norms and also the unwritten laws in capitalist democracies.
Reflecting upon the resistance movements throughout the world against this loot and plunder of the natural resources and wealth of the common masses, I believe we are somehow convinced that one day our fate will change and our sons and daughters will become like Ambanis, Adanis and Birlas. We are disillusioned and at the same time optimistic about the future. Here ‘we’ represents I think, everyone who collectively forms the critical mass. After all believing in change is also Marxian thought. What’s wrong if we believe-in-change to become capitalist? Well, seriously the movement against the plunder is not coherent and we are also lacking global ideology to tackle the menace of imperial-capitalism.
So, thinking that any Modi or Gandhi will change the destiny of this country is total farce. They can do only business. Whether Aristotle will redefine his own idea of politics or not but certainly ‘Man is social animal’ and for being political animal, one needs to be businessman in 21st century. ‘Political’ today is thriving on the economic base of market and public share is shrinking from the national sphere and going into the hands of private enterprise. If we all know these linkages as well as leakages and we are also talking about the plight of this country then what is stopping us to question the governments or demanding for accountability of the state structures.
The fundamental point is that we are imparting our sons and daughters the kind of education which is making them, robotic, mechanical and not critical. In other words, we are imparting the kind of education which imperial-cum-capitalist forces wants us to impart. Today large chunk of our education system is controlled by these forces. They are in printing houses, they are running chain of schools, they are running media houses, they are making films, they are deciding cuisines and what not. This cumulatively combines the epistemology or knowledge of everyday life. We are so much into the trap of all these superfluous knowledge/s that we rarely get time to reflect critically that what are the ulterior motives of these hegemonic forces. The obvious answer of any laymen would be, control.
Yes, they want to control and drive the world according to their wishes. We are driven by their wishes. They wants us to fight among ourselves on petty issues of religion, caste and sects, we oblige them. They want to deprive us from our own basic rights, we accept it. They wants us to behave robotically, we put extra efforts to prove that they are right. Our mental faculty is shaped by their rosy promises about the future.
Today what is necessary is very simple. Let’s question each and every authority, who is trying to dictate its own terms. Let’s question what is till today considered as unquestionable. Let’s question our body, our self, our identity, our knowledge, our government, our world, our opinions, our prejudices, our stereotyping of others. Let’s liberate ourselves through questioning. I might sound pessimistic. But I am sure there are hundreds and thousands of pessimists getting born everyday in opposition of illusionary optimism which lacks meaning and sensibility. The question I asked today is Was Marx right about accumulation of capital, class distinction of bourgeoisie and proletariat? Was he right that “history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles?” The class struggle of 1 per cent (haves) vs. 99 per cent (have nots). How far Marxian ideals are going to be fulfilled by withering away the state and uniting the workers of the world?