“More and more, it appears that in the 21st century we are returning to the economics of the 19th, where wealth was overwhelmingly concentrated in the hands of a few owners and astute speculators.Neither the Right nor the Left seem capable of creating a society in which all benefit from increased prosperity and economic security.Right-wing claims that free markets will enrich all sections of society are palpably false, while the traditional European welfare state appears to penalize innovation and wealth-creation, thereby locking the poor and unskilled into institutionalized poverty and unemployment.
Thus in the new age of globalization, both ideologies create the same phenomenon: an underclass caught between welfare and low wages, a heavily indebted middle class increasingly subject to job and pension insecurity and a new class of the super rich who escape all rules of taxation and community.
In terms of economic development, free market fundamentalism has been a disaster. The free market solutions applied to Russia during the Yeltsin years succeeded only in mass impoverishment, the creation of a hugely wealthy oligarchical class and the rise of an authoritarian government.
Similarly, the growth rates of Latin America and Africa, which had been higher than other developing nations, dropped by over 60 percent after they embraced IMF-sponsored neo-liberalism in the 1980’s, and have now ground to a halt.
This in a nutshell is the problem: Both Left and Right seem incapable of challenging monopoly capitalism. Neither welfarism nor statism can transform the lives of the poor, and neither, it seems, can neo-liberalism. Only a shared economy can correct the natural tendency of the free market to favor monopolies.
But we can only share if all own. Thus there is a radical and as yet unexplored possibility – that of a general and widely distributed ownership and use of assets, credit and capital. This would dissolve the conflict between capital and labor since it would be a market without monopoly and a state where waged labor – since it was the owner of capital – did not need state welfare.”.
That last paragraph gave me goose bumps. After everything that happened in the old USSR, you got to be really crazy to say this stuff seriously. It is good to remind all the alarmists in the world that it is this kind of lunacy that they enable with senseless panic.
Or maybe this is just my unsophisticated self playing tricks on me again.