Thursday, October 16, 2008

The end of the civilisation as we know it draws nigh.

A reporter once asked Gandhi what he thought of the Western civilisation. It would be a good idea, he quipped. In December 1991, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics disintegrated. The West exulted over the triumph of Capitalism. Marx had said that the capitalist state would "wither away" eventually, "due to its own internal contradictions". What had come to pass instead was the exact opposite. The world also watched China turning to "brutal" state or authoritarian Capitalism around the turn of the century. This faithfully replicated the early development of Capitalism in Europe. There, except in the 17th-century Netherlands where democracy was confined to propertied liberals and did not include workers, all other nations were ruled by near-absolute monarchies with sufficient muscle to create ideal conditions for the emergence of Capitalism by forcible expropriation of the common people, turning them into the proletariat and then teaching them to accept their new lot. & Come mid-September 2008, Marx's prophecy about the internal contradictions of Capitalism (remember last year's sub-prime debacle in the US, too?) seemed to have been fulfilled the world over. Ironically, the bailout of the American financial entities, caught in the derivatives' trap, by the US government resembled what a socialist state might have done. For a while now, alarm bells have been sounding about Barack Obama's Marxisant tendencies and radical past. Does it mean that, should he get elected come 4 November, he may proceed to deconstruct the Homeland of Capitalism and turn it into a post-modernist albeit Marxist dystopia? Will Marx and Engel have the last laugh? Do not watch this space for the answer.