Saturday, March 17, 2018

When Imperialism and Greed Work Together

The United States began its history as an anti-imperial revolutionary nation. For most of human history revolt against concentrated power has been the struggle of mankind's politics. From time to time the masses acquiesce under the rule of oppressive minorities, and in the modern world something like democracy is brought to exist yet the will to power of minorities always persists.

Russian revolted against concentrated wealth and power in 1917. In the 1989 revolution that nation sought relief from the inefficiency of communism and state totalitarianism. The west featured free trade, free speech, freedom of religion and national self-determination as moral arguments against state totalitarianism in the form of the Soviet Union. 

After the transition; a remarkably nonviolent transition that could almost be described as an evolution rather than a revolution, Russia faced the unprecedented challenge of creating de novo a free market economy. Unfortunately the west and the United States in particular under President Bill Clinton took the lack of military and ideological resistance from Russia for an opportunity to plunder and take as much business advantage as they could. Probably the U.S. would have better developed a Marshall plan for the reconstruction of Russia. Without any real tradition or establishment of democracy the Russia faced decades of evolution toward a better society. The United States and its media of course were impatient with that and found it more convenient to be critical and adversarial. A new cold war could replace the old and traditional roles and attitudes resumed with a geographically smaller Russia.

 The Soviet Union provided a governor on the extremes that concentrated wealth in the United States could force on the public. There was a debate in a global communism versus capitalism political struggle about who really cared more for humanity. In the aftermath of the Soviet Union's fall the west evolved the viewpoint that pure greed rather than enlightened self-interest works best politically. Fundamentally they selected corporatism and plutocracy to replace democracy. That meant that imperialism returned to the United States as the corporate state.

  An irony is that the Democratic Party evolved to become the leftist branch of corporatism with just a mild dialectical competition with the Republican right wing branch of corporatism. Effectively it is a one-party system that generates the same imperial and corporate results. That isn't good for the United States and it isn’t good for mankind.

 It is challenging to predict what a global corporate empire will be like; one driven by greed, godless in its atheist evolution toward extreme minority power. It is certain that there are not sufficient natural resources in the world today to sustain an American standard of living for 9 to 12 billion people. The environment too cannot sustain the ongoing mass extinction of species and degradation of habitat. If the U.S.A. could return to democracy and individual self-determination with an adequate safety net to keep people out of poverty and restore the environment to its best condition realistically possible, if strong boundaries were respected for nations, if the differences between rich and poor were not so great, it is possible that the world's population would have better prospects for continuing progress that in a self-reinforcing system of greed and ecospheric indifference.