· the ongoing break-up of community relationships and the atomisation of the individual. This has been particularly characterised by the development of a competitive “every man for himself” type culture as the dominant one in society, and by the appearance and consolidation of seemingly unbridgeable generation gaps.
· the massive explosions of crime and drug taking, phenomena which were once peripheral or isolated in pockets, but which are now generalised throughout the market economy. Even in ‘tranquil’ Britain the official crime rate has more than doubled in the last 15 years alone, and drug culture and youth culture are now virtually synonymous.
· the increases in violence and social disorder, spurred on by the horror and violence infecting the media (especially for children), and the re-appearance — generally for the first time since capitalism’s turbulent infancy — of mass rioting on a regular basis. The worst of these riots, such as in Los Angeles, have turned major cities at the heart of capitalism into uncontrollable war zones.
· the continuing, if not increasing political vacuity of the capitalist class which has been mirrored in the rise of a nihilistic “no future” culture among large sections of young dispossessed workers who see no progress and no hope beyond their pint glass or next ‘hit’.
· the massive corruption of capitalism’s political apparatus, which is particularly evident in Britain with the succession of ‘sleaze’ scandals, but which is in fact a feature of the modern nation state virtually across the globe, from the US to France to Japan (let alone in Africa or Latin America).
· the revival of religious fundamentalism, creationism and the spread of mystical and millenarian sects, this being based on a loss of confidence in science and human progress together with a general rejection of rational thought and problem solving.
· and lastly, though certainly not least, heightened nationalism, racism and inter-ethnic violence, engendered and encouraged by the rampant competition eating away at the social fabric of society.