Capitalism has little to celebrate 20 years on
Capitalism has little to celebrate 20 years after the fall of communism.
Western leaders triumphantly commemorate the fall on the Berlin Wall 20 years ago yet their over-hyped celebrations betray a false sense of success.
The fall of the Berlin Wall symbolically marked the beginning of the end of communism in 1989. Communism had failed as an ideology and system and was emphatically rejected by the people. It was said to be a victory for capitalism, freedom and democracy.
Today’s western leaders appear to be exploiting events of two decades to extend the sell-by-date of capitalism – an ideology in decline much like its previous nemesis – communism.
Economically capitalism’s flaws have been exposed for all to witness in the last couple of years with the near collapse of the western financial system. So great was the disaster that western governments pulled out all the stops to avert domino-like bank failures from London to New York to Paris to Bonn and the rioting that would inevitably have resulted on the streets of western capitals.
As unemployment climbs with tens of millions workless and debt ridden growth comes to a halt trust in free markets is now at a low ebb. A recent poll by the BBC found nearly 1 in four respondents thought capitalism was fundamentally flawed. It was over 4 in 10 in France.
Militarily capitalism has shown its true colours with western nations conducting wars and the occupation of foreign lands, at will. Western military invasion of Afghanistan in 2002 was followed by occupation of Iraq in 2003. While battles continue to rage in Afghanistan eight years on, the western battlefront has extended to the boarders of Pakistan. The warring and belligerent nature capitalism has been exposed – spreading freedom and democracy at the barrel of a gun or callously committing war crimes to gain access to vital energy resources.
Politically capitalism’s mother of all parliament’s, the UK’s House of Commons, has been discredited like never before. Members of Parliament, who lecture society on citizenry, have been found exploiting allowances to boost their incomes and advance the life styles of their families with gratuitous disregard for the people who elected them to office.
Finally, capitalism’s social construct based on individualism and materialism has created a cruel, greedy society. Criminals are younger while crimes are increasingly more violent. The stark reality of broken families, teenage mothers, absent fathers, sexually transmitted diseases are not the exception but increasingly the norm – surely clear signs of a dysfunctional social model.
Thus if truth be told, capitalism has little to celebrate 20 years after the fall of communism.