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Towards Post Neo-Capitalism

By Nimer Ahmad

06 November, 2008

French revolution, prior to it a few hundred years of political evolution, gave birth to nation-state. A necessity, at that time, to build a supreme central authority in order to regulate clash between class interests within society and further revolutions by making a social contract between interests. Nation-state form was finalized after industrial revolution in America and Europe and it was all set to be implemented in other parts of world with capitalism, exploitation, as its basic principal.

“Dusty Feet”[1] of Western Europe and “Potentiores Burgenses” (Powerful bourgeois) of Chateauneuf[2] -- now called revolutionaries in modern European history -- may not have thought that their protest and struggle “against taxes and the curtailment of their freedom to work and trade”[3] will not just “totally abolish feudal regime”[4] but also give birth to a new form of social contract, based on “Potentiores Burgenses” mentality.

A mentality that originated Industrial Revolution, Annexations, Colonialism, Capitalism, World Wars, Bretton Woods Agreement, GATT, Non-State Actors (Multinationals) – who not just have the muscles to control the economic development of poor but also have the power to restrain them from mental development[5] -- and WTO. In short, that mentality gave birth to the most exploitive economic system of human race.

The struggle that was started by an “exploited class[6]” with “breaking into the houses of their lords, or bishops, drinking up wine, molesting hosehold members, and letting off with sheep and cows[7]”, will come at this point; where once exploited has become the sole exploiter; where experts are suggesting major changes in current international economic system, or, otherwise, by 2020 half of the world population will live below the poverty line.

In age[8] of GATT capitalism started its trajectory towards transcending nation-state and with the end of Cold-War it transcended nation-state, the dawn of neo-capitalism; the age of WTO with globalized exploitation; cruelest form of exploitation in history[9]. Current global economic crisis has enforced changes on neo-capitalism and world economic system is phrasing as “Post neo-capitalism.” Capital and non-state actors, once transcended nation-state, revised their exploitive strategy and align themselves with nation-state establishment for a long term neo-fascist (state and corporate sector alignment) relation.

Bush administration bail out plans for banking and automobile sector; and creation of strategic investment fund of 20 billion Euros by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to promote technological warfare and to keep advanced industries in French hands; and partial nationalization of the banks by Gordon Brown are echoing this new phase, “Post neo capitalism.”

Brown’s proposal of “alliance capitalism”, as British Chancellor, and Sarkozy’s announcement about the “death of laissez-faire capitalism”, merely suggests a neo-fascist approach toward market economy, where state establishment and capitalist; symbols of “Oppression” and “Exploitation” will be placed in “Board of Directors” for a joint-venture of exploitation.

Will this new era of capitalism is going to be pro-poor? For me the answer is simply, NO. As President Sarkozy had mentioned, “The day we don’t build trains, airplanes, automobiles, and ships, what will be left of the French economy?” or he can simply say, “The day we don’t build trains, airplanes, automobiles, and ships and lose our competitive advantage over poor, or our power to exploit, it’s all over for France.”

It’s not just about France, but for the whole developed world, where cost of living is extracted from the exploitation of developing world. The most important question about this new age of capitalism is whether the neo-fascist approach will be more exploitive from its previous form, or not? Is there a real chance for the poorest or underdeveloped world?

Quasi nation-states, or non-viable economies, or unfinished national projects, or developing countries, whatever we may name them, being actor of this exploitive system they always enacted the part of exploited. The general acceptability of capitalism enriched ruling classes of world with the idea that If you have the muscles to exploit the nation than you are developed, otherwise just developing.

With little competitive advantage or, with most of the cases, no advantage and being on the peripheries of capitalism, but being part and parcel of this system and exploitation, the ruling classes of developing countries, with the passage of time, have developed or accepted the idea of exploitation, to serve their interests, as a class. They have accepted that we do have the muscles but off different capacity and power, so exploitation should be within the nation-state boundary.

This state of internal exploitation is visible throughout the developing world. Where authoritarian or democratic regimes are still selling the idea of nation-state, hatred and sacrifice for a holy nation, to serve an unholy cause of exploitation. The holy truth of “unlimited wants and scarce resources” had accelerated exploitation throughout the world and this new neo-fascist alignment will further add fuel to fire. The neo-fascist alignment will continue to extract development cost and higher profit ratios from developing world, where chances of exploitations are more than developed countries.

The new phase is going to be the superlative form of “cruelest” because with entry of a new partner the urge for higher real profit will ultimately result in higher level of exploitation. The desire of a reform is likely to provide this current system with the moral justification, that things can get better by reforming some attitudes, without changing the basic feature of competition and exploitation. What needed is the destruction of current system, a revolution, not within the boundaries of one or few nation-states, but a global revolution, not just to uproot this system but to uproot the attitudes and fixation towards knowledge, ideas and initiatives.

Explanatory Notes

[1] Merchants of Western Europe were called “Dusty Feet” in 1000 A.D. to abuse them.

[2] In 1184 A.D., in French town of Chateauneuf, merchants took control of the principal buildings in protest against curtailment of there freedom to trade.

[3] The protest of Chateauneuf was against taxes and curtailment. [See, Law the Rise of Capitalism by Micheal E. Tigar (1977)]

[4] On August 11, 1789, the French National Assembly, in the first flush of revolutionary victory, decreed that it “totally abolishes the feudal regime.”

[5] TRIPS Agreement, (see Behind the scenes a the WTO: by Fatoumata Jawara & Aileen Kwa)

[6] Traders & Merchants

[7] Such kind of complain were very common between eleventh and twelfth century Europe.

[8] 1947-1990s

[9] See Behind the scenes a the WTO: by Fatoumata Jawara & Aileen Kwa

Dear Editor,

Nimer Ahmad live in Lahore and a columnist (Urdu) in “Daily Aaj Kal” Pakistan. He is also an activist working with "Lok Sangat" for the rights Punjabi speaking people. Email: [email protected]

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