Neo-liberal capitalism has transformed the social democratic capitalism that followed the Second World War into a more oppressive and destructive form with greater accumulation of minority wealth and majority poverty than the world has ever seen. The present stage in the usual boom-bust cycle of market forces under private profit rule now multiplied by a still unperceived factor, seems nearer total failure and more frightening than ever. This is leading to incredibly reactionary programs to assure minority rule while at the same time unleashing revolutionary possibilities for the global majority which threaten minority power as never before.
In America, fading from dominance as the center of the global system but still frighteningly powerful militarily and thus a menace to all humanity, voices are raised in opposition to that power, but so far successfully divided into minorities of relatively less social impact which only rewards segments of the population to keep in power the smallest minority with the greatest state control: the wealthiest 1% who own and operate what passes for a democracy but is no more so than the one which elected Hitler and the Nazis in Germany in the last century.
And that doctored historic memory of political fascism is constantly used to keep current populations in line, warning them against suffering the horrors of pre-second world war capitalism, rather than becoming aware of that system’s present horrors kept nearly secret by consciousness control and mind management techniques to maintain the prevailing disorder of our social life in maintenance of the dominating order of their private profits.
Capitalism ruled Germany before and after Hitler and still rules up to the present moment, as it does in the USA and most of the global community. Food, clothing, shelter, war, peace, health, illness, pets, tattoos and everything else are for sale at the market and available to any who can afford the price, and to none who cannot. If there is a private profit to be made, the product will be available. If only the public good will be served, forget about it. That is why we spend more than 700 billion a year on war and more than seventy billion on pets while hundreds of thousands live in the street and medical workers and the entire health care community are criminally over-worked and suffering breakdowns leading to death by disease and suicide during the present capitalist pandemic.
Germany in the 1930s, like the United States, was in the grips of an economy near collapse and moved to total ruling class domination without pretense of democratic values by putting the commanding heights of that economy under control of the state. That state, always an arm of ruling power, was a force to keep the peace among the rich and poor by having elections to maintain wealth and poverty in as polite terms as possible, even creating the world’s first national health care system long before the collapse.
The USA was also in economic chaos with as much as 25% unemployment and communist and socialist parties demanding real democracy, which would have meant radical transformation of the economic system.
While more overtly oppressive fascist capitalism took power in Germany, the social democratic form prevailed in the USA, as cooler ruling class heads saw that the market left alone, under religious belief that freedom would flower under the idiotic doctrine that buying cheap and selling dear was the word of god, was a bit more dangerous than minority wealth could rely on. It could lead to social revolution.
The capitalist war saw the USA triumph and after millions of deaths and incredible destruction the social democratic model took hold in the western world and market interference was allowed to the extent that dreadful poverty would not be visible to most of the population and confined to relatively invisible-by-design communities in national and foreign ghettos.
For some fifty years now that phase has been under assault by a return to free market fanaticism as an answer to the only slightly higher taxes and lower profits of the social democratic form, with practitioners of both schools preventing the people from seeing that it is the system itself and not the way it is arranged that guarantees failure for most at tremendous benefit to only some.
The 21st century has seen the enormous inequality of previous periods expand to proportions that only those confined to a mental concentration camp could see as a system of democracy and equality, though idealized as such by majorities reduced to accepting the purchase of elections by a wealthy minority under the guise of choice for the working majority. In the past, thousands of multi-millionaires were somehow rationalized as healthy aspects of capitalism since they would invest in businesses and thereby create jobs and prosperity for the toiling masses and their professionally trained upper classes.
At present, there are some 700 earthly creatures called billionaires, having amassed such incredible wealth and power over perverse democracies that past tyrants seen as deities by their subjects might in present terms amount to no more than what were once called rich peasants. These incredibly wealthy individuals shame the very notion of democracy and are treated as more royal than past deities in hopes that they will invest in “my” identity group’s security and that will somehow represent success for the millions left out of “my” group. Viva capitalist democracy.
At a time when the most incredibly massive state and personal debt ever accumulated have the system tilting precariously on a mountain of symbolic finance with roots in a foundation of substantial fiction, a capitalist pandemic has both aggravated the situation further while also making radical change necessary not just to overcome the pandemic but ultimately capitalism itself. So, the people are bombarded anew into fear of political fascism bringing on further deprivation leading many to be swept up in fake-left and phony-right political excuses for the preservation of the moral toilet of an economic system which must be changed for humanity, which is composed of far more earthly beings than our relatively tiny American numbers.
There are more than 7.5 billion humans on earth and the shockingly anti-democratic inequality in America is far more horrifying on a global scale, but the American numbers are bad enough to provoke social revolution once the public finds out, which will never be the case as long as bi-partisan capital owns and operates both major political parties.
The class differences which have existed since organized states began have taken on far more malevolence and created greater threats to the future of humanity under the rules of market capitalism which have rewarded many while destroying far more. The seemingly good life enjoyed by some under alleged democracy are really no different than they were under slavery, when many lived in a degree of comfort even though not owning slaves, just as a shrinking middle class now survives without owning any capital, let alone exercising any control over it. And rest assured that being privileged enough to own some stock in a major corporation will not mean the 1% will be phoning you asking your advice before hiring cheaper immigrant labor or laying off more expensive American workers in pursuit of still greater private profits.
The next American election will offer the usual lesser evil choice to be accepted by a minority of the electorate in a supposed exercise of democracy that would make sense only in a world where pimping meant true love and starvation meant being on a diet, the organizing and action that must take place to end the virus of con-19 and its parent capitalism will need to take on greater efforts than ever to avoid potential disaster not only for America but humanity itself.
Democracy, in material reality and not continued rape of language, is more necessary than ever, to bring about another world and not just a different America. We will all need to think globally while acting locally, and then not just politically but economically before that, lest our politics continually reinforce rather than transform social reality. And the lives of the American and global majority matter more than ever but will amount to less than nothing if we only think of ourselves as nationals or different-than-human members of subjugated groups, and not our class of humanity which is now, as always, the overwhelming majority of working people on the planet.