Looking forward to 2022 – social liberation or fascism?

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2021 has been an extraordinary year.

Capitalism has demonstrated it is incapable of protecting people’s lives or living standards. Quite the opposite.

A system that requires 3% growth a year is a system that doubles the extraction of wealth from our labour and mother earth every 25 years cannot continue.

A system based on the “concentration and centralisation of capital” (to quote Karl Mark who got it right 150 years ago) with the attendant growth of a 21st century oligarchy and grotesque inequality cannot continue.

The system created globalisation of production, and “just in time’ methods of distribution that have paralysed systems of production and distribution across the globe.

This system has generated deeper and deeper economic crises each decade for the last three decades. The unlimited creation of government, corporate, and personal debt to escape these crises has only led to permanent stagnation and now decline. The inflationary wave now unleashed across the globe could well be a final blow to the debt mountain. It will be working people that end up paying the price for this system’s failure through lost jobs, homes and lives in the deepest crisis we have yet seen.

The system must keep extending its reach into every undeveloped corner of the globe in the search for profit, eliminating biodiversity and importing pandemics.

Capitalism is a system of empire and permanent war to maintain  that empire. No sooner has the disaster ended in Afghanistan and Iraq after decades of war and occupation for the US military, than it is preparing new confrontations with China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and whoever it sees as an economic or political competitor. Afghanistan, meanwhile, has been abandoned to face a humanitarian and social disaster without even the central bank reserves which have been effectively looted by the empire on the way out.

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Living standards for working people outside of China (which is a story for another day) have been driven down for a generation. Casualisation and gigwork has become more the norm than any hope of regular life-time employment. We have all become debt slaves to survive.

A deep alienation from the system that repeatedly fails to deliver for working people despite all the effort being made has led to widespread demoralisation, despair, drug abuse and death. The profit-driven, pharmaceutical industry-made opioid crisis has killed literally a million people in the US from overdoses in the last two decades with no one being accountable.

Social media is allowed to take over our free time and manipulate us in ways that lead us into a competition where we must sell ourselves and our emotions in a desperate search for meaningless “likes”. The successful are rewarded and deemed “influencers’ while the rest of us must fail just like happens in any competitive capitalist market.

Our children are being objectified, commodified, sexualised in this emotionally empty and painful Metaverse.

In 2022, will we roar with anger and join a collective fightback across the globe to place the commanding heights of the economy in the hands of the people to democratically and collectively find a way out of the nightmare.

Or will the despair and frustration and need to blame “the other”  take us into the dark hells of fascism, war and planetary annihilation.

The fight has started. We only need to look at Palestine, Chile, Bolivia, Sudan, India and so many other places over this past year to get a sense of hope. Even in the US – the belly of the beast – there is a revival of socialism on a mass scale for the first time in a century.

We have a choice as to which side we want to be on but we must make that choice and time is running out.

28 COMMENTS

  1. There is no longer a future for Socialism to inherit.
    The environmental damage Capitalism has wrought is yet to be fully realised.
    We are feeling the effects of actions from decade ago.
    The iceberg is looming, and this ship ain’t for turning 🙁

    Take some advice from Prince:
    “They say 2000, zero-zero, party over, oops, out of time.
    So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999”

  2. I’m guessing we get Fascism for our dystopian future, debt slaves are too heavily chained to the system to throw off the status quo. Guess I’d better go & polish my jack boots.

    • Pollyanna delusional. I understand that is his angle, but I can’t see much of this happening. Maybe he has been doing the sticky-icky but I would hate to see a booze infused silver lining.

  3. Let’s not forget that this system is not benign. There are people behind it, there is power behind it, they being those that have benefited the most from this system, thus have shaped this system into what it is now. Point being, they stand in our way, and arguably, they are a step ahead of us, in as much as they are looking to recreate this system – build back better – as they let it be known as to what they intend to do with it.

    This should tell us all that they are well aware of the growing resentment and that in their plan to build a system that benefits them even more, they also have plans to nullify future push-back, bearing in mind that in this day and age, protests and non-compliance are commonly seen as socially destructive acts, let alone criminal acts, then the jump to outlawing any protest or non-compliance over any governmental decision, is only one short step away.

    Yes, we need to fightback now because we may never, ever, get another chance to fightback again. Seriously!

  4. Capitalism works well when it is based on “capital” it fails when it is based on “debt”

    Communism works well when more is contributed by the people to the system than is taken by others.
    It fails when more is taken than contributed.

    Socialism stands between these two extremes, and both rules apply for socialism.
    So right now in NZ we have business (the so called capitalist enterprises) through their debt controled by foreighn banks.

    We have too many of the population dependant on the state (tax payers) for basic income, (direct benefits, working for families, housing grants etc) for their survival.

    We have right now In fact the worst of both systems!!

  5. the west now reminds me of the old eastern bloc in the late 80s, we have bewildered politicos stood on podiums(is podia the plural? whatever) brezhnev like spouting tired slogans no one belives, neither them nor the audience….it wasn’t tom hanks who caused the fall of the soviet union….the people after so many false starts and lies just stopped believing..you could say they lost their faith…I see this all over the west right now..what will happen…nothing good I fear…our leaders will stand flummoxed like chaucshecu as the edifice collapses

    • It was the Monday night demonstrations in East Germany that started all of that. A bunch of people who stopped being afraid of the Stasi and their questions, the volkspolizei and their guns, a bunch of people who simply had run out of fucks to give.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monday_demonstrations_in_East_Germany
      our regime will be totalitarian, each country will have their own flavor of it, and nothing much can be done, after all our Leaders will work as hard at preserving their status, perks and income as any others will. The peasants are again left holding the bag full of shit and the bill demanding payment for that bag full of shit.

      • also sabine the GDR Politburo knew they couldn’t rely on russian tanks with gorby running the show…so what to do?..by that stage even the SED weren’t up for mascaraing their own people…so for whatever reason they were paralysed by inertia just as western govts are today….failure to change only ensures future radical change….and ‘radical’ can go left or right, make no mistake about that.

        • well someone needs to tell that to our radical progressives in government. they seem to have forgotten on their little bandwagon of bullshittery that they are traveling on.

  6. We now have socialist fascists as well as capitalist fascists – even worse they seem to agree on many of the policies that have gone wrong like housing. aka it is a supply problem not demand problem and removing housing regulation and democracy from council planning would solve the problem. Instead they made it much worse. Then the healthy homes, well now there are very few low cost private housing to rent available especially in the small towns who now can’t keep staff. Baches not only don’t comply with the gold standards of healthy homes, you wouldn’t be able to get a builder due to changes to liability and the lack of skills (funny enough if you don’t get paid, locals leave the profession, (https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/developer-calls-in-liquidator-covid-price-rises-loan-default-take-toll/3O4S5QGU42UUSDPKWGQQEUCHBI/) or afford to pay to upgrade the bach and still keep rents low.

    In addition a fixation of low and underpaid wages, is making workers poorer though lower and lower wages that increasingly need government subsidies to get to a liveable wage, which is no longer livable.

    • indeed SNZ if you wanna see the REAL dole bludgers look at NZ employers who leech on the system by paying wages so low the state needs to subsidise them.

      • And look at the bludgers in parliament. Like literally you could send half of them to Siberia for a vacation and no one would miss them.

      • A pet hate of mine, how dare we compromise their profit.

        Ironic that these low paid workers also pay tax

    • You’re ridiculous. The Left hasn’t even purred aloud since 1980. No blame can be allotted to them. If they can build themselves up they are our saviours. Strange bullshit even amongst Left talk.

  7. @ MT. You write:
    ” Capitalism has demonstrated it is incapable of protecting people’s lives or living standards. ”
    “This system has generated deeper and deeper economic crises each decade for the last three decades.”
    ‘The system’ you write about @ MT was never really, actually, meant to protect us or to enable us to prosper. Capitalism was designed within the minds of sociopathic crooks to exploit those many relatively normal people who are inherently good, kind and honest. That’s why we need politicians, because the only mandate capitalism understands is to help themselves to ever more money than they’re morally entitled to. And let’s remember? Only normal human beings are fettered by morals. Capitalism is as amoral as fuck. It doesn’t matter to capitalism if we’re dead or alive so long as we feed the capitalist meat grinding machine.
    Capitalism is a polite crime committed against us by those whom write the rules within which the crimes of ‘capitalism’ can prosper. I refer to crooked politicians of which there are now many.
    ‘Capitalism’ uses popular-culture vernacular to obfuscate and confuse to lure us away from our solemn responsibilities to each other to protect and support each other while they, capitalists, grope around in our pockets for our hard earned money.
    In short; capitalism’s a fucking scam while neoliberal capitalism is a sociopathic, egomaniacal and even more evil mutation of a capitalist fucking scam.
    ( I’ve been drinking Gin. Do I make sense? Don’t ask a capitalist or they’ll figure out how to make ‘good coin’ from my drunken gibberish. You see? Therein lies the ugly rub. )

  8. And as an aside Martyn, you sum it up as a battle between fascism or socialism except we dont have any socialists left to vote for. We have Neo Liberal LINOs whose only super power is identity politics. Give us back our Labour party and we will all vote for them!!

    Read this, this morning and almost choked on my weetbix. More of this is my prediction for 2022. https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/uknews/teachers-union-calls-on-government-to-address-ethnicity-pay-gap/ar-AASyaR7?ocid=msedgntp

    This is so effed up – their own statistics show how the ideology has overtaken all common sense. Apparently State Services are working on the same thing here! We cant afford housing for the desperate but we can afford a bump up for all women in the public service, second round, will be a further bump up for all ethnic minorities (on top of what was given to women if they are a minority) and then the kicker, a possible additional sum on the basis of reparations presumably based on length of service.

    As you are fond of saying Martyn, Jesus Wept.

    I also wish I knew a guy.

  9. What we need is not more socialism, which history showed that does not work, but more democracy so that people can have more say about things that matter the most like what their money are spent for by local councils and by government and what systemic changes they want to implement to improve the funcionality of the system and what they do not want.

    • I’m all for democracy. Who wouldn’t be. But people having more say about things that matter the most … well, again, who would also not support that. Trouble is that most people are, frankly, not all that well educated beyond the basics. And some not even that. More so in so -called ‘developing’ countries. I don’t necessarliy mean a formal eduication, but just what used to be called ‘well read’. Critical of the bullshit and lies around them. Even a good many of those who do have formal qualifications fall far short. But eventually they lash out, like the deplorables. They are attracted to false prophets, but no more so than those attacted to the ‘real’ prophets.

      Most people, don’t you think, are simply manipulated by the system, irrespective of the postion they take. Consume more resources, consume more useless stuff, and make more money to pay for it all, compete in the great game. And, those who faulter, well its their fault, the lazy sods. Too bad there are structural inequalities built into the system. Too bad the playing field is not level.

      The things that really matter to most people, on a personal level, irrespective of their position, don’t align with what really matters at the global level, or even at the national and community levels. Most. Granted there are brave souls with vision and conviction to change things, at the personal, local and global level. Hard yakka in a globalised world speaking with one tongue: neoliberalism. Democracy? Nah, it’s been corrupted.

      • How do you want to achieve any improvement, to remove structural inequalities, to level the playing field, if not by democratic processes? By implying more and more autoritative rules until we will end in totalitarianism for our own sake? The only way is to educate, to explain, to persuade, to expose corruption, to show the goal and the method etc. The way how democracy has worked since ancient Athens.

        • No, I don’t wish to imply more and more autoritative rules until we will end in totalitarianism for our own sake. Perhaps I was having a bad day, despondent at the enormity of the task in the context of neoliberalism, false truths, fake news, and political inaction. We all have bad days.

  10. Nice piece, Mike. Capitalism extracted our present material comfort, from which we lot judge goats from sheep. Marx’s labour and Smith’s capital are in an eternal dance — capital lead, but that time is over.

    But ‘extraction’ is the central fact. Labour left to itself to govern only has finitude it can face– the organising of the end.

    Do I believe that? Certainly, I prefer a govt of the people for the people in this time. So not the weak-milk folk Helen Clark has descended on us. Clark reminds me of the lady-Clinton, her identity being all the achievement necessary.

    After putting aside so many principles, just ego.

  11. No worries Mike! Greta said the world is due to end in 8 years or so in 2017. So we haven’t got much longer to suffer in this cruel world.

    Or …

    The green Wash’n Capitalists saves the world! With more pollution! And EV’s will eventually cost so much due to the fact their power plants are made of rare precious metals, no one will be able to afford them! Public Transport will become king!
    Unfortunately, governments will be unable to build the public transport network due to the fact that they’ll be more broke by then and the private investors won’t invest in PT because there’s no profit in PT for them.

    Let us just watch another movie instead and dream up a ‘Better Future!’

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