Thursday, August 4, 2016

Waving our corporate logos to the very end

GUEST: Ellen Isaacs, retired physician, political activist, and freelance writer, talks about the refugee crisis, racism as well as their links to Neoliberal capitalism.

The world's massive refugee problem seems like it came out of nowhere. There were wars in the Middle East, right?

Ellen Isaacs points out the role of Western militarism in devastating this whole region, with weapons sales, bombings and outright invasions, all done in the name of making a profit for the few.

But war is not the biggest cause of mass migrations. The World Bank plays a major role in applying neoliberal capitalism to countries that were self sufficient before the infusion of billions of dollars. With all this money to be invested, the elite class steals what they can, and the rest gets poured into projects that benefit stockholders in developed countries. Peasants are thrown off their land to build dams, to clear forest for agribusiness, and to build low wage factories. Life for the average Third World person becomes unbearable and they pack their meager possessions for the perilous journey ahead.

It is not just the Middle East and Africa; it is also Latin America, all despoiled by capitalism run amok. Or is it capitalism run amok? Ellen thinks capitalism always leads to exploitation and war. It's the nature of the beast. All the rest, which includes much of the left in America is stuck on a feeble incrementalism that makes our system better for a time, only to relapse again when the pressure is off. Hold Hillary's feet to the fire anyone?

I have always had hopes that the system of savage capitalism we have seen in the last thirty years could be reformed. The Scandinavian countries were successful for a time. So was the US during the Great Depression. Why is that still not possible?

Perhaps this is a different age. We see climate change as having the potential to end our species. We know that a full scale nuclear war would do the same. Is capitalism just too dangerous now that human kind is this close to the edge? Or will our innate greed carry us right over that cliff, waving our corporate logos to the very end?

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