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CHECK YOUR COMPASS, AMERICA

Too often change comes as a shock, an uncomfortable surprise and though it  clearly has happened and change has arrived,  it often  becomes  something to oppose. I see this happening daily as we ignore the fact our economy has changed from Industrial Corporate Capitalism  to  International Corporate Capitalism .In our consistent refusal to deal with this reality, we poison our present and condemn our future. Many of us around the globe still don’t know where we are. A while ago,  the President of France addressed Congress. President Macron spoke of the “international community”. These simple words bring  terror to the right and even  to many  on the leftt.

America had to be slowly  lured out of the concept of international  isolation. Even today some people  occupying important  positions in the present administration oppose even the United Nations, seeing it  as a threat to American sovereignty .  But, sorry,  true internationalism has arrived.  It came while many of us weren’t looking but busy  fearing the loss of our  jobs, homes, social  comfort zones. The economic system of our nation has changed. And many in America and England are throwing themselves down like two year olds having a tantrum, a tantrum  that, in the end, will not stop the reality that corporate industrial capitalism based on national states is over, gone never to return.

We now live in an International Corporate Capitalist economy. And we like it. We can quickly connect with anyone , anywhere in the world. We can find our favorite fast food or coffee in Beijing or Bengal..  Hop on a plane and we can find work in cities across the globe. Goods we desire are cheaper. But alas, every positive has a negative and that negative is the destruction of the national state as we know it and many of the ideas, beliefs, and customs of the 20th century.  And, perhaps, more impactful, the way we earn our livings.

Historically, government organization reflects the economy.  The lack of analysis of our new economy and what it means, leaves the us  open to looting by the rich who know exactly where we are because, in part, their internationalization came first. They did not fight it. They manipulated it to their own benefit, while many here and abroad  were crying for an end of any kind of multinational cooperation which with the right leadership might have been able to mitigate against the corporate greed supported there. in a fight to stop the future.  While many of the multinational agreements signed favored corporations, blanket opposition to cooperative regional venture reflects  a blindness of the left and the right. History/ unless you destroy most everything (ala the Dark Ages), refuses to go backwards.

I remember about thirty  years ago buying a brand new  IBM computer because  at the time IBM had an excellent reputation. When the computer died in under a year, I complained. Obviously, this was a mistake that a reputable company like IBM would surely rectify. Well, they didn’t.  In arguing with the representative I mentioned IBM’s reputation. I could see his shrug even over the phone. “Look,” he said, “ all computers are all made by the same Chinese companies.”

That made it very clear as to  what was happening to national brands,  and I never bought a brand again. As national brands stop being national their connection to citizens in their nation ends and the new connection  is simply profit. There is no longer a national loyalty or any to their workers.

Marx predicted this international capitalism in his book Das Kapital. He predicted the time would come where more and more of the world’s wealth would fall into fewer and fewer hands, while the majority of us became more and more dependent on the rich. Marx doubted  the rich would be compliant or generous to us.

The public reaction to our present  change in  economy has been , except for Mr. Macron, reactionary. And in the reactionary morass the of America and England, politicians have become merely the minions of the wealthy. While the rest of find any monetary support for workers that  developed during national corporate capitalism  has been gutted. Thus  the middle class  falls into poverty.

Marx knew  an impoverished workforce can be easily subdued.  Marx imagined the majority of us would one day rise up against International Capitalism, disempower the 1% and begin a different kind of international cooperative economy.  Marx, of course, was a cockeyed optimist. But whatever the real change will be it won’t happen until we understand no river gets turned off its course with glittering words. Don’t believe “America, will be great” again because a national states, not acting in cooperation with others has no power against international corporate forces.

Right now the biggest and most catchy calls for change are reactionary. The Democrats act like it is 1960 and are asking for “free college tuition”, “government supported health care,” when the past is burning before their eyes. Americas are frightened because vocal leader  is identifying the problem. They will vote for anyone who sings songs of security. Change scares people and change is constant. The Republicans in this country and right wing forces around the world (representing, of course , the international corporation) are soothing people with fascism.

Their propaganda  works like this: “They are trying to take our nation away. We must defeat them.” But let’s define fascism. Fascism is corporations working with the state to enhance their profits. Fascism depends on distraction and deception. And who are they? The enemy is identified as the “other”  the immigrants, black people, brown people, the ever available Jews, snowflakes, Democrats, Liberals, the media…...accompanied with great shows of military strength and soul cheering rallies. While the voice of “Democratic Socialism” hums through the most “progressive” Democratic voices.

Around the world the reality of International Corporate Capitalism has led to a resurgence of  Fascist ideals. “Some people are better than others.”  “It is better for the weak to die , than to help them live.”  “Truth is what I say it is, anything else weakens us as a people.” It goes on.

And now for reality: Old Industrial nations are getting older and unless we replicate the Handmaiden’s Tale there will be far more old people, in say, America , than young people whose work supports them.  On the other hand emerging nations have a surfeit of babies. The sensible move would be to invite immigrants in, not toss them out. Without immigrants these old , bigoted Industrial nations will be buried by the elderly and the low birth rate. As duly noted by many International Corporate Capitalism has no sense of obligation to anything but profit. If the old nations fall, profit will be made in emerging nations.

As our world is peopled by folks who are not white…….well, what is a bigot to do?

We are watching the last stand of the world of national states. Let us begin thinking about our future in terms of reality and not vainglorious dreams of the past.  We have yet to hear from 21st century  visionaries like Adam Smith, and Karl Marx who saw the changes in their world and suggested a way to utilize those changes for the benefit of humankind.  But to have a vision , one must begin with reality.

Carol Polcovar

Carol Polcovar

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