Tuesday, 26 November 2013


From the Commercial Revolution to the present, global economic integration has exacerbated geographic and social polarization. The rich-poor chasm would have been greater if it were not for revolutions
of the bourgeois revolutions in the 18th and 19th centuries, and worker/peasant revolutions in the 20th century. Despite the recent rise of the small middle class in China, India, and former East Bloc countries, World Bank, OECD and UN studies confirm that in the past forty years poverty has been rising. Similarly, there has been a widening gap between rich and poor nations. Nor is the solution the dissemination of the consumerism doctrine in underdeveloped regions and among lower social classes in the advanced capitalist countries.

Assuming that the capitalist world system's legitimacy and broader acceptance is predicated on the promise of growth and better prospects for upward socioeconomic mobility, it is difficult to see convergence between growth and upward socioeconomic growth in the system as currently constituted. On the contrary, empircal evidence shows a widening gap rather than convergence between growth and upward socioeconomic mobilization for the masses. Therefore, it is the multifarious and ceaseless ubiquitous marketing of the illusion imbedded in the 'consumption equals growth' dogma that is far more significant than the reality of material progress and human happiness. Despite economic growth figures based on GDP, uneven social
and geographic development and rising poverty are among the reasons that the legitimacy of capitalism and the illusion that it engenders happiness comes to question.

Besides the planet's rapid environmental degradation, the decline in the idyllic bourgeois lifestyle, now characterized by consumption and abuse of legal and illegal substances, entails that the broader middle
classes are governed more by fear and anxiety than comfort that capitalism promises in the marketing of the 'growth and happiness' dogma. Though there are many complex variables, among them objective conditions of the evolving capitalist system, for asymmetrical geographic development and unequal socioeconomic conditions, progressives throughout the world have an undeniable responsibility either for surrendering to the status quo or surrendering to fatalism. While co-optation of leftists is hardly a new phenomenon, it has accelerated since China's economic integration into the global market system, and since the disintegration of the Soviet Bloc.

Co-optation of progressives, their causes, factions, and political parties is not inevitable, despite the fact that we live in an unhistorical epoch as Carl Jung noted in *Modern Man in Search of Soul*. "To be unhistorical is the Promethean sin, and in this sense modern man lives in sin." The rise in co-optation corresponds with the rise of corruption in the public sector. That World Bank studies estimate 10% of the entire world's GDP is rooted in illegal activities is indicative of a very serious problem, one that will become much worse as geographic and social polarization increases and will contribute to the existing social order's eventual demise.

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