In 2012, I concluded:
Capitalism is seen as light-of-touch because it’s an inevitable process towards an injustice it has no need to question. It doesn’t really acquire a baggage of ideas because ideas aren’t its purpose.
Meanwhile, socialism is dogma-ridden because it’s a discipline of thought which both cares and dares to question not only that injustice but many others out there.
We may eventually need both, of course – I’m not suggesting that might not be the case. But I do wonder if it is right to position them as mirror images of the other. It’s both inaccurate in the case of capitalism as well as manifestly unfair in the case of socialism.
Know it’s conspiratorial, & infirm, to suggest #austerity is a globally coordinated plan. But if it isn’t, humanity’s discovered telepathy!
Or demonstrated the existence of synchronicity. Or Gaia. Or something.
Anyhow. If 20th century Communism had managed to engineer an #austerity on the scale we have it, we’d say it was deliberate and systemic.
But since its 21st century capitalism that’s doing the #austerity, we see it as random consequences of cyclical inevitability. Weird really.
& anyone who says that #austerity is coordinated is immediately typed as paranoid.
At least in the Cold War, paranoia was a virtue.
And so I suggested, earlier in the day, that:
In the end, the three steps as described above reposition our leaders, both political and business, in roles of great power and immense hierarchy over the ordinary folk: the paradox being that whilst independence is being savagely preached in public discourse, in truth the reality has reimposed a grand and terrible dependence of almost everybody on pyramidal structures we thought once well-vanquished long ago.
Instead of the broadly accepted randomness and essential unpredictability of capitalism-infused structures, we get me imposing agency in that almost paranoid way I describe.
Maybe I am paranoid; maybe that’s what unrelenting years of relative poverty do to one. But again, I would point you in the direction of who benefits (even at the risk of being accused of ever-increasing levels of paranoia!): if someone, some group, some coordinated interests were globalising austerity as I suggest, wouldn’t it also be in their interests to suggest all normal-thinking people consider it random?
Alternatively, we could posit the possibility that 21st century corporate capitalism is so like 20th century Communism in its highly centralised economic structures (just run far far more efficiently, and with tools that lend themselves to such efficiencies) that perhaps we’re not describing a world where free-market capitalism won the day – and consequently it’s fair, now (that is to say, not at all paranoid), to believe those economic structures mostly act as one.
Furthermore, we have the West’s view of oppressive regimes such as North Korea, where agency, intentionality and malice in the drive to a wider societal austerity are – quite rightly, quite accurately – attributed on a daily basis. But where all three of the latter exist (ie that agency, intentionality and malice I describe), it would be disingenuous to argue they could be satisfactorily combated by Western alliances without one – oneself – exhibiting and acquiring at least aspects of the same characteristics.