Skip to main content

USA's constitutional capitalism 'is based on' marginalisation, exploitation, inequalities

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*

The political turmoil in American presidential election reflects the limits of capitalist constitution and crisis of market democracy in United States of America. Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden represent different versions of American capitalism. The imperialist foreign policy and domestic security states are twin pillars of American governance system. These twin pillars are going to stay whoever wins this presidential election. It will neither benefit the American society nor conducive for the world.
The American Constitution limits emancipatory political and economic alternatives to flourish. The American constitutional democracy was shaped by Anglo-American legal frameworks, which promotes propertied classes and corporates for the growth of capitalism with constitutional protection. The American political and economic dreams are shattered by the capitalism ingrained within American constitutional law and its practice.
The unfettered culture of individualism and consumerism emanating from the capitalist praxis did not help in the growth of individual freedom within American dream. It fortified the processes of capitalist accumulation within American constitutional and legal framework, which led to the freedom of legal contracts of private property.
The industrial revolution in USA led to the further consolidation of capitalism by integrating American working classes within its culture of mass production; the foundation of American dream. The need-based American society was converted into a desire-based society in twentieth century to sustain, expand and globalise American capitalism.
The economic dynamism of American capitalism gets its strength from the American political system sustained by its constitution. It has managed to emerge as the most successful and powerful system in the world.
American constitutional capitalism and its market democracy is showing all signs of its deteriorating democratic culture and marching towards authoritarianism led by political oligarchy of two-party system. The United States Supreme Court has enough judicial power granted by the American constitution which forces federal constitutions to serves its purpose of centralisation of power. The centralisation of power is central to capitalism and American presidential system is designed in concomitant with the requirements of capitalism.
From the pre-industrial, or agricultural period prior to mid 19th century and the corporate industrial period of late 19th century to corporate capitalist monopoly of 20th century and finance capital of 21st century, American capitalism in all its forms gets its full support from dominant forces of American politics.
Therefore, concentration of economic power in USA is a product of political consolidation of powerful forces in American society. Senator Boies Penrose was a Republican Senator from Pennsylvania during late 19th century. He told big businesses directly by asking that “you send us to Congress; we pass the laws under which you make money and out of your profits you further contribute to our campaigns funds to send us back again to pass more laws to enable you to make more money".
This is the foundation and fate of many democracies in the world today. From Westphalian democracies to postcolonial democracies, the corporate led market forces are dominating the political forces.
The spirit of capitalist accumulation moves along with American democracy and complement each other. It is the rule of capitalist classes within the constitutional frameworks. The constitutional frameworks are adjusted as per the changing circumstances, needs and desires of the capitalist classes in America.
The political regimes, constitutional laws, and economic structures are interwoven with each other and work together to uphold the class rule, which mass produces inequalities in all areas of American life. Therefore, the political freedom does not breed economic prosperity for majority of working-class Americans. There is a growing gap between political freedom and economic liberties within American society.
Economic alienation reduces American citizenship to a mere symbol of political freedom without rights and liberties
In this way, the constitutional capitalism in USA has established a lopsided society based on marginalisation, exploitation and inequalities. The economic alienation reduces American citizenship to a mere symbol of political freedom without material foundation for empowerment of citizenship rights and liberties of majority of Americans.
The issues of unemployment, debt trap, hunger and homelessness are exposing the dubious American dream, which converted human lives into orderly objects within a market led society. Deaths and destitutions are posing a serious threat to American democracy and destroys many progressive, transformatory and positive aspects of American constitution.
The American experiments with constitutional capitalism have reached its dead-end. Socialisation of risk, marginalisation of individuals and their democratic rights, and privatisation of prosperity cannot be a model for governance in a liberal and constitutional democracy. The constitution cannot be selective upholding rights and ownership of corporates and landed elites in USA.
The American capitalist classes get all forms of immunities of law with the help of different contractual clauses like; contract clause, equality clause, due process clause and commerce clause. These clauses enjoy absolute freedom. The ‘freedom of contract’ derives its ideological origin within Adam Smith's doctrine of laissez faire. The so-called free democracy is imprisoned within a capitalist economic framework within the provisions of constitutional laws shaped by the capitalist classes in USA.
The self-inflicted crisis of American dream is inherent within capitalism as a political, economic, social and cultural system. The commodification of nature, human creativities and lives are primary source of profit making within capitalism. The commodification produces metabolic rift between interests of the capitalism and human necessities.
These fundamental contradictions reflect in every step of human life in the name of efficiency and economy that serves the capitalist classes. Any search for alternatives needs to understand these social, political and economic dynamism of capital within America and beyond. Therefore, the struggle for alternatives within and outside America need to demand transformation of capitalist foundations of constitutional laws.
The struggle for political, economic and cultural democracy and freedom based on shared peace and prosperity can be the only alternative for the present and future. Let’s start our struggles to save our present and fortify our future beyond boundaries as global citizens of this planet.
---
*Coventry University, UK

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Govt of India 'compromising' on mandate to regulate gene technologies, protect nature

Counterview Desk  In a letter sent to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and other related ministries and departments, the Coalition for a GM-Free India has raised "serious concern" over the guidelines notified for Genome Edited Organisms, in which major exemptions from regulations have been offered to certain categories of Genome Edited Organisms/Plants and products. A letter signed by Sridhar Radhakrishnan and Kapil Shah, co-convenors of the NGO network, addressed to Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, said, the Office Memorandum, dated May 17, 2022 of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology about Safety Assessment Guidelines, which follows the Office Memorandum dated March 30, 2022 of the MoEFCC, said, the move "essentially amounts to entry of risky GMOs through the backdoor. Text : Coalition for a  GM-Free India is a national volunteer-driven platform of hundre

Dalit scholar's comment on Lord Shiva 'harming' Muslims, 'damaging' secular cause

Shahid Siddiqui, Bobby Naqvi By Our Representative   Bobby Naqvi, who is with the "Gulf News", and is a well-known name among Muslim intellectuals, strongly objecting to the social media post of Prof Ratan Lal, has said that "a big reason for majoritarian hatred against Muslims is irresponsible remarks by people like Prof Ratan Lal of Delhi University." In a Facebook comment , which has attracted paise, among others, from journaliat-politician Shahid Siddiqui, Naqvi said, "Their commentary on Hinduism and icons of Hinduism (while angering religious and liberal Hindus alike) also triggers a massive backlash against Muslims. When the likes of Prof Lal criticize Hinduism on social media, Hindus bring Islam and Islamic practices and ask 'what about this' or 'what about that'." Naqvi insists, "Muslims (without their fault) and Islam get caught in this crossfire between the so called Hindu liberal class and the religious Hindus. And the ult