Globalised Capitalism will kill Democracy. This could not be clearer in the United Kingdom, where a majority of young people between 18 and 24 put capitalism at the centre of their public policy concerns, and communism at the bottom.
The underlying reason for these concerns is obvious. Governments around the world have surrendered economic control of their nations to the ideal of globalised capitalism and its free trade handmaiden. They have forgotten that governments are elected to look after the interests of their own people, and that trans-national corporations can NEVER do that job.
In a sense, this transformation in thinking is a tremendous victory for UK economists. They have taught the doctrine of comparative advantage for 200 years. Now everyone believes them, despite the fact that getting some goods 20% cheaper means widespread under-employment, lower wages for ordinary workers, and a major loss in economic diversity for each nation!
The world of democratic capitalism is already beginning to be weakened by this economic ideology. Governments no longer feel that they can protect the jobs of their own people, but they must change their own economy to be able to compete on a level playing field with everyone else’s economy. The fact that $20 hour will never be able to compete with $20 a day never seems to enter their collective (ideologically blinded) heads.
The arrogance behind this economic thinking knows no bounds. Those promoting this ideology seem to think that those trained and inculcated in the West are so much smarter than those in low-income countries that, of course, the West will have the “smarter and well paid jobs” and the more ordinary jobs can be done by “lesser mortals.” Grow up! The world has changed! The West has always had its own share of “lesser mortals.” They represent the majority of the population of every country. They also represent the majority of voters, and if something is not done, capitalism will be thrown out at the ballot box by those who are willing to clutch at the straw of socialism and even communism.
As recently reported in The Times, an historian warned about the growing influence of communist thinking in British universities:
A leading historian has warned against the moral relativism promoted at some universities after a Marxist student claimed on the BBC that communism only failed in the Soviet Union because it did not have the “chance to develop”.
The article goes on to say that communism is a poison for the people, not its salvation:
Most historians accept that tens of millions of people died in forced collectivisations and famines during the decades after the Russian communists took power in 1917. Stalin’s Great Purge in the late 1930s is thought to have claimed more than a million lives.
On the other hand, one could say that globalised capitalism is poison for most developing nations. Making cheap goods for the West is not the way to develop the economy. At best, it will make a few capitalists in these countries rich, but they are unlikely to spend their new-found wealth in their own country. What is needed is a way to create a new middle class who will spend their money in their own country. This can best be done by ensuring new small businesses can thrive and make profits.
Only protectionism can help developing countries to truly develop. They may need protection from nations which already have a first-mover-advantage for the rest of the 21st century. So what? If more people are locally employed, why quibble about imported goods being 20% dearer?
Alternatives to Globalised Capitalism
There are only two viable alternatives to the current dominant model of Globalised Capitalism:
- Communism of the Chinese style, which exploits the free trade policies of the rest of the world, while protecting and enhancing its own businesses and trade. This brings with it the “thought-control” of communist ideology and the inevitable excesses from not having a democratic government.
- Democratic Capitalism, where the interests of the citizens of each nation are put ahead of ideological principles, whether those of communism, socialism or the poison of unrestrained free trade.