Now #StephenBannon is set free again to rule his little empire of Breitbart News. This may give him the time to focus on splitting the nation deeper. Over the past months we should have learned that #racism was never eradicated. It’s been with us all the time, covered under the veil of welfare through consumption. This phase is over. Racism is deeper entrenched within us than we admitted ourselved to believe. The marketing of the taliban an ISIS has contributed to turning fear to hate. The oil gets pumped into the gap of existential fear that an anti-social neoliberalism created. We can condemn people for hating „fags“, „muslims“, „jews“ or „niggers“ – and we should. However, dialog should never stop or we will see something explode from within. The fuel that fear and keeps anger growing is condemnation and misinformation.
The proof of dangerous forces arising is the thin layer of congruency in world views: from political left to right, all through the centre. It is the fear of losing social security and wealth on one side and the anger over recent wars that were fought for resources.
The liberal system has failed the USA as soon as „freedom“ became a narrowed-down version of itself: liberated greed. It is the cause not just for an ever-increasing gap in wealth but for an ever-increasing inequality. The freedom of contract law is one fundamental cause of this. When two parties agree to a contract, the idea is that obligations and rewards are equally negotiated. This presumes equality of the contracting parties. In 2017 everyone of us westerners has signed a pre-printed paper or accepted endless pages of the fineprint of the T&C’s. People in the west are aware that a contract is always an obligation and most of these are paying money.
Many contracts we sign cannot be altered by us. A cell phone contract gives you options but nothing negotiable. Renting home or getting a loan to buy it is in many cases a process that does not involve much rehashing by the party paying money. In 2008, when nearly a million US-Americans found themselves without a home as a result of a worldwide crisis. They lost even more than a roof. These people lost their credibility to the only few instances in the western world that are seemingly able to help (with money): banks. Pure cynicism, when banks which caused the desaster would no reject the people they forced out on the streets.
Contract does split society on all levels. In Germany exist 3 classes of workers: the traditional employee with all social security benefits, the temps and the contractors. Social security differs fundamentally and reaches zero with the contractors. These people are bleed dry as the money they earn is not enough to take care of insurance. Each of any of the groups does not feel equal to the other. While the employee feels threatened by the temps and contractors as they work hard for less money, the other groups have reason the envy. Yet, all workers share the same issue: They do not have any impact of the contracts they sign to get employed. And the less organised a worker is the less he would risk being rejected for even initiating negotiation. A contractor in negotiations will easily be lowered in price where temp workers just sign whatever they can to get work. The issue that lead to a situation of competition – the contract – is not immanent as such anymore. It is not to blame, because every worker would have to blame himself for not negotiating or not working harder. A free market demands human improvement, being better, more flexible. „Freedom“ becomes responsibility in just one sense: efficiency.
Contract law splits further. The middle class is the layer of society that used to endure economic competition like no other. As work hours for a small self-employed trader could pile up, money could just be enough to get by. Looking at people on social welfare, some may be enrapt to contempt for people who „sit on the couch and get money for it“.
Society is not just divided in rich and poor, the 1 and the 99 percent. There is a fundamental crack through it.
The USA was the first nation where that patched up crack in western society became visible: A society that is torn to the core with distrust in a democratic system which interpretation of freedom became deeply intertwined with freedom of finance. Slack political intervention is an indicator of lobbyism (greed), yet it may be political incompetency (stupidity).
When people talk corporate greed they share a common understanding of the world – at least to this degree that the „free markets“ are failing. This tear in confidence is not stitched up like a closed system like socialism would try. The western world is guided by economics and therefore its political fate will follow. Economy does not care about confidence or social wellbeing. It craves for opportunity. Anything is one – even a democracy that is used against its people.
It raises the question whether capitalism can ever be a place for a thriving, healthy society. The answer may decide how fierce people’s reactions are and how well Marx will be perceived in modern time. It seems that unleashed capitalism does promote human traits undesireable for a community. Frankly, greedy people will rise – as we can see taking a look at the oval office in Washington.
The fundamental idea of a free market is the idea of equality – an attribute it shares with democracy. This overlap has been used to betray people’s trust over years.
Capitalism suffered greatly and it is taking democracy with it, even though they are just connected by that word „freedom“ which has been biased in favour…
Is it my freedom to build a house and to found and defend my family? Is it my freedom to buy a car, use power, accumulate and produce trash and CO2? Is it my freedom to choose whom I vote for? We are discussing our options who to vote for. We are discussing our abstract responsibilities to the earth.
But have we ever been discussing our concrete responsibilities to society outside of the pay-your-bills scope?
The right wing is starting that conversation now. Your duty is to serve god and fatherland. We’ve had that. But if a little word like „freedom“ can mix democracy and capitalism into one, how quickly will right wing paroles enter our brains? It is as easy as using certain nomenclature often enough and even grown ups will start to babble using new vocabulary.