• Books: Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild, Endless War: Hidden Functions of the "war on terror" by David Keen, Capital Vol. 1, Tin Drum by Günter Grass, What is Islam? by Shahab Ahmed, Desiring Arabs by Joseph Massad, Spies, Soldiers and Statesmen by Hazem Kandil, La Condition Humaine by André Malraux, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Imagined Community by Benedict Anderson, Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, The Richness of Life by Stephen Jay Gould, Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz, The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, Noli me Tangere by José Rizal, Age of Extremes by Eric Hobsbawm, ذهنية التحريم لصادق جلال العظم, Karl Marx by Francis Wheen, وليمة لأعشاب البحر لحيدر حيدر, Candide by Voltaire, النزعات المادية في الفلسفة العربية الإسلامية لحسين مروة, Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich ..
  • Films: Alexanderplatz by Rainer Fassbinder, Clockwork Orange, Apocalypse Now, The Battle of Algiers, films by P. P. Passolini, Persepolis, Midnight Express, 1984, Papillion, Gangs of New York, Sophie Scholl, Life of Brian, Ivan the Terrble, Battleship Potemkine ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"The best of all possible worlds" (G. Leibniz)

All what matters is the income of the lower middle class. "Neo-liberalism" has survived thus no wonder the liberals, or most of them, find a reason for defending globalisation and capitalism in general.

Putting the blame on local institutions is pervasive. Before that the defenders of the status quo had used "the cultural backwardness" of Africa and the Middle East, for example, as the cause of underdevelopment. For them local institutions are isolated from the global institutions and the main powers control of finance, trade, terms and conditions, military power, etc as well as their interests in tacitly supporting local regimes. For "the masters of the universe" the law of combined and uneven development is non-existent.

The authors of this article ignore that the country which elevated more poor people out of poverty than any other (see UN reports on China) has done and that because the state controls the main levers of the economy and investment (see the Economist on China and the commanding heights). No, I am not a supporter of the Chinese regime!

The approach used in the article clearly excludes any criminal role of the regimes and the multinational capitalists, who advocated and excuted globalisation, in causing the wars and social dislocation because, according to them, that is also something to blame on local institutions. Are we supposed to ask the authors and the FT to have a dialectical approach to such issues? God forbid, that's the outdated argument of finance capital and imperialism.

The biggest plunder ever by governments and banks? Austerity? Fundamentalist drive in privatising everything? Corruption and tax havens? Media monopolization? Wars (globalisation has nothing to with wars so they do not deserve a mention)? Corporatization of education and undermining academic freedom? Destruction of the environment (globalisation has nothing to do with what has happened to earth and its ecosystem)? 

No, all can be justified because the lower middle class has done better than we thought. That the same FT, by the way, which tried to refute Picketty's data on inequality.

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