In the myriad of structured societies that straddled human civilizations (Hunting and Gathering, Pastoral, Tribal, Agricultural, Feudal, and Industrial), the ability to control resources has been instrumental in the development of dominant groups. Accordingly throughout the course of human history, even in societies that preceded the advent of constituent-states, the concept of resources redistribution has also been at the forefront of internecine and external conflicts. Naturally, the asymmetry between control and redistribution sparked insurrections and wars of conquest, domination and extermination that have impacted every culture, in every geographical area of the globe, and every socio-economic system established by humans.
Incidentally, as humans progressed toward establishing orderly societies, control of resources by dominant groups and challenges for their equitable distribution or rather redistribution by the dispossessed became an inherent component of these social orders. Even the modern-day concept of Law and Order upon which all constituent-states depend for viability and survival originated with the need to protect the interests of resources-holders against the incessant demands of those clamoring for redistribution. As a result, countless socio-economic theories meant to correct the imbalance were devised by social scientists and academics, many are not worth mentioning since they remained concepts that never left the world of their creators or were simply impractical.
Not surprisingly, one socio-economic system has defied the ages by reinventing itself whenever the need arose, and that is capitalism, whose origins can be traced back to the beginning of structured societies and not in 16th century Europe as most people are led to believe. Historians and pundits have embarked on futile debates about its origins while forgetting that the concept of structured societies itself originated with the control of resources (the quintessence of capitalism) which allowed successive groups (hunters and gatherers, shepherds, farmers, feudal lords, traders, factory owners, and holders of capital) to accumulate power and dominate.
Strangely enough, despite the periodic revolts and insurrections that marked the development of structured societies from the beginning to the present, capitalism, as a socio-economic system that relies on dominance of one group over the others, has never been in danger of being thrown into the dustbins of history. The reason: its compatibility with human nature. Conversely, the communism experiment in Russia (1917-91) and other countries failed because of that system’s incompatibility with human character; its prospective most valuable asset “the communist” never existed and was at best fictional. Even the official Communists never subscribed to the philosophy they claimed to have espoused and, as you would expect, formed a privileged group that thrived on dominance of others, the same premise as capitalism. In contrast with the symbiotic relationship existing between capitalism and humans, communism was superficial and impractical and that facilitated its demise.
It can be said that capitalism, as the world’s oldest economic system, haphazardly and naturally evolved not created. Its many celebrated aspects, (Mercantilism and Keynesian), to name a few, were corrective measures meant to anchor it to larger social agendas. Though the Soviet experiment is a textbook example that artificially created socio-economic systems are destined to fail, this reality nonetheless continues to elude the architects of the current economic system. They are using purposely created financial institutions, such as the IMF and the World Bank, to establish an artificial global economic order (Economic liberalism or Globalization.)
This emphasis on creating a one-size-fits-all economic order grouping developed and underdeveloped nations may, in the end, prove catastrophic to peace and security in our world. In the Third World where the disparity between the haves and haves not seems impossible to bridge, these institutions, through their policies, are adding fuel to the fire. By forcing Third World governments to relinquish ownership of their industries, the IMF and World are essentially engaging in the transfer of public wealth to individuals and multinational corporations, in effect reversing the trend that has allowed capitalism to endure and thrive.
Despite its shortcomings, capitalism greatly benefits the societies that manage to reduce the disparity between resources-holders and those clamoring for a fair distribution. This orderly redistribution of wealth helped hundreds of millions of peasants and urban dwellers ascend to blue-collar and middle-class status and naturally lessened the prospect of insurrections in many parts of the world. Strangely enough the architects of economic liberalism, through the IMF and World Bank, are discarding this successful method (state role as arbitrator) and spearheading a drive to concentrate the world’s wealth in the hands of a few. What’s worse, the policy is being implemented while the earth’s resources are shrinking and its population is exploding. Are the system’s creators (globalization) been invested with a messianic mission to usher the demise of constituent-states and, by extension, humanity itself?
One needs not be a doomsayer to conclude that this incomprehensible policy is creating the conditions for a perfect storm that could affect every country because of the interdependency of the world we live in. The ongoing global economic turmoil (2008-?), which has its genesis in economic liberalism, is a dire warning that should not be ignored because the survival of constituent-states depends on the soundness of their socio- economic system. As things stand now, the outlook for capitalism, which has survived countless challenges since the advent of structured societies, is not at all promising. The reverberations could be a complete breakdown of social peace that brings to an end the concept of constituent-states as we know it.
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