Skip to main content

Pandemic has only concentrated world economic power in hands of few oligarchs

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* 

The Westphalian capitalism and all its structures, agencies and mouthpieces have promised a world without poverty, inequalities and instabilities. The neoliberal variant of the Westphalian ideology has promised a world of prosperity, stability, peace, social and economic inclusion; the trickle-down effect.
Reform not revolution was the fundamental principle on which Westphalian state managed to accommodation the aspirations of people within a dysfunctional capitalist world order with the help of nation states. This order was considered to be the only available alternative. There is no alternative to this promised land of capitalism, which produced war, conflicts and worldwide exploitative system.
From the era of ‘New Deal’ to the era of ‘Bretton Woods’ reforms have managed to help Westphalian capitalism to flourish and survive from all its internal conflicts and crises during 20th century. The worldwide propaganda in defence of capitalism has helped this brutal system to survive in 21st century.
Today’s world is engulfed with different forms of risk and crisis in which people suffer from unemployment, homelessness and hunger. The Achille’s heel of Westphalian ideology and its capitalist system is falling apart. It spreads fear and insecurities to hold on to a dysfunctional system based on irrationality and exploitation. The Covid led pandemic has accelerated this process in which political and economic power is being further concentrated in the hands of few oligarchs in the world.
The world is witnessing the rise of a new form of corporate monopoly capitalism backed by the state. This is the core of the great reset led by the priest of the World Economic Forum. The states and governments are sponsoring corporate enterprises where profits are privatised, and risks are socialised.
This is the new form of corporate colonialism which is fundamentally based on Westphalian ideology. The constitutional and legal contract led negotiation between the ‘state-government-market’ and ‘citizenship’ does not work any longer. The Lockean social and political contract between the state and its citizens are falling apart.
The states are becoming security states for the safety and security of the corporates and their markets whereas citizens and their citizenship rights are left to rot in different crises. The American dream of capitalism is falling flat in the face of wage stagnation for the past five decades in US itself. The purchasing power of American citizens is falling regularly. The income inequality has increased from 1980s onwards.
The Dollar dominance over world economy and American capitalist system has failed to reverse such a negative social and economic trend. Many other capitalist countries in the developed economies and capitalist economic systems in developing countries are facing similar challenges. 
The inter capitalist conflicts are replaced by fraternal capitalist cooperation by destroying fraternity among the people and their societies by promoting an elusive desire-based society driven by consumerism.
The consumerism as an ideology dismantles societies, collective cultures and communities by promising elusive individual freedom in a society led by markets. Therefore, capitalism is not an alternative. The Covid led pandemic has exposed the delusions of capitalism and its fictitious values.
The working masses are suffering and getting marginalised during the Covid pandemic. Layoffs, furloughs, and reduction in working hours are becoming a new normal in the world of work. The public expenditure and welfare budgets are shrinking but corporates are making super profits with the support of state and governments around the globe.
Even the McKinsey Global Institute’s James Manyika, Gary Pinkus, and Monique Tuin in their article on ‘Rethinking the future of American capitalism’ (November 12, 2020) have argued that “the top 10 percent of companies capture 80 percent of all economic profit” during the pandemic.
The top one percent of Americans have gained massively and embezzled $50 trillion from the bottom 90 percent of population. Only eight American families own as much wealth as 50 percent of American population.
The Tax Justice report on “Pandemic Profits: who’s cashing in during Covid” shows that a number of companies saw the rise of their global profits during the period of pandemic. The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust’s profit increased 801% in compared to previous years.
The report further shows that six companies have made 16 billion in excess profit during the Covid-19. It shows the myth of trickle-down mantra of capitalist ideologues and vulgarity of liberal arguments to reset capitalism with an environmental, sustainable and human face.
The world has experienced worldwide capitalism in all its forms for centuries now. It has failed people and the planet. The pandemic shows the fallacies of varieties of capitalist system. The human cost of capitalism is unprecedented. Its reversal is not only necessary but also urgent for the sake people and survival of our planet.
The Covid pandemic provides an opportunity to develop a political blue print for radical transformation of our world by focusing on the interests of people and planet in mind. The radical transformation of our political, economic and social system needs to be based on the principles of peace and prosperity for all. The political and economic reset is possible and inevitable.
The time has come for workers led social, political and economic world order beyond Westphalian state, government and capitalist system. The agenda is to establish peace, prosperity and ecological equity for establishing individual sovereignty in its individual and collective form.
The global citizenship rights, collective ownership over resources and collective decision making in the process of production, distribution and need based consumption is central to the vision of a sustainable new world order, where workers decide the present and future of their work and life.
The cooperative and collective human endeavours can only shape the dignity and freedom of individuals under a truly pluriversal democratic set up. It is time to struggle and reclaim democracy and individual dignity.
---
*University of Glasgow, 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

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

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.

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

Why there's strong likelihood India may resurrect its presence in Afghan capital

By Anand K Sahay* Since India evacuated its mission in Afghanistan once the Taliban re-took Kabul last August practically under American aegis, following what came to be called the Taliban’s Doha “negotiations” with the US, New Delhi is evidently doing a re-think. It is considered likely that an Indian representation will soon be restored in Kabul, even if this will be small and not at the level of ambassador. This is reflective of realistic thinking. Of course, there can be no question at present of according recognition to the Taliban regime. That is likely to happen when a broad consensus amongst the leading powers emerges. Currently the Taliban government is not helping its own cause of gaining world recognition- which will help it access overseas funds at a time when the country is in dire straits- by imposing severe restrictions on women and girls in serious violation of human rights. More basic is the issue that the Taliban regime is not considered r

Message to 'high caste' attackers? Dalit leader's daughter rides elephant in wedding march

By Our Representative  In what has been termed as “jumbo celebration”, a Gujarat Dalit rights leader belonging to Saurashtra region ensured that his daughter rides an elephant as part of wedding celebrations which took place in Vadhwan town of Surendranagar district. Natubhai Parmar, who shot into prominence for organising a unique protest against the notorious Una flogging incident in 2016, in which five Dalit boys were flogged as they allegedly slaughtered a cow. Belonging to the Rohit community, whose traditionally live by skinning dead cows, in 2016, Parmar reached Surendranagar district collector’s office with vehicles full of carcasses of cows asking him to organise them disposal of, declaring, his community had decided not to continue with the caste occupation, as it had been termed cow slaughter by saffron vigilantes. The decision to make his daughter ride the elephant, which he brought to Ahmedabad, was to send a message to members of the dominant castes, whose aggressive atta

Govt of India 'ignores' GMO regulation, 'overlooks' Constitutional process

Counterview Desk Dr Narasimha Reddy Donthi, independent public policy expert, in a letter to Nareshpal Gangwar, additional secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), New Delhi, has expressed “seriously concern” that a recent office memorandum (OM) has sought to exempt certain types of gene-edited plants from the country's genetically modified organism  (GMO) regulations, without any reason or basis or representation. Dr Reddy regretted, “Such a serious decision, with an impact scale of unimaginable proportions, in terms of time and ecology, is being pushed through an ordinary office memorandum”, insisting, “This is circumvention of the processes enshrined in Indian Constitution, which has defined democratic participation in matters of critical importance.” Stating that the exemption from regulation is a policy decision and has legal implications, he demanded immediate withdrawal the OM, insisting, the government should take a "strong stand again

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