Friday, October 17, 2008

The Mythologies We Live By

In recent days we have seen the mythologies we live by begin to show deep fissures exposing many layers of misconceptions and illusions. Primary among these myths is the idea that our economic system is the ultimate model for development that the entire world should emulate. This so-called "free market economy" has been driven forward by greed and exploitation; now, it is gripped by fear when faced with a severe economic downturn that is, in reality, the necessary consequence of this approach to commerce in general and human affairs in particular.

In a society that disdains the very idea of government as a vehicle for regulation and social control, socialism is a concept to be feared, yet the government finds itself with little choice but to intervene and use public resources to rescue the financial sector and purchase partial ownership of the banks. If this is not socialism than I am puzzled to understand what is.

At the same time, this same government is vehement in its opposition to universal health care, calling it of all things: socialized medicine and, therefore, bad for everyone.

In other words, public resources can be used to rescue private financial interests from their own ineptitude and chicanery, but public resources must not be used for the public good: a kind of backwards socialism.

It must be remembered that it is from this same ideological framework that vast sums have been borrowed from social security resources to help fund a private war and a mass transfer of wealth from the many to the few. It is not social security that is broken, but rather the government that has bankrupted it.

Karl Marx had predicted many years ago that the nature of Capitalism is such that it necessarily must go through extreme cycles of advance and decline.

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