Shaukat M Zafar
A small group of corrupt and power hungry ruling class has emerged in different countries of the world against the hopes and designs of their founding fathers. It is a self-selecting group of rich having got together to plan and implement a particular agenda with the goal of grabbing more and more power, money and social control. This group of dynastic families, institutions, powerful oligarchy of banks, and big corporations are now running world. They are suffering from sickness of greed and look to be gentlemen outside but extremely selfish and ruthless inside. Societies have become increasingly unequal instead of promised equality amongst the citizens. This class believes in group bank robberies, drug deals, weapon deals, street crimes, well planned and organised crimes, bloodshed and abuse of power etc.
We have a history full of blunders and deceptions by our ruling elite. Capitalism introduced by this group for its personal gains has destroyed the main planks on which most of us intended to build our societies. They see life from their own point of view; everybody else is wrong except them. They believe their actions are quite justified because they think they are smarter than rest of all us – so clever that they can run our lives better than we ourselves can. They believe they know better than all of us. They have a superiority complex and have been attacking the institutions and undermining the law of the country. Democracy has become fragile and is now easy to manipulate even more than any other style of government. Over the last half a century, the rulers have by and large rejected the concept of Constitution / laws and expanded their own power.
Post-capitalism public finances are out of control, education and health are unaffordable, basic infrastructures have been broken but ruling elites are still suggesting the solution is for masses to grant them even more control. They want all of us enslaved. We are forced to live in a world being pillaged by the institutions of global capitalism to enrich few at the expense of all others. As they accumulate more and more wealth and power, they undermine democracy; ruin lives of innocent, exploit the weak and vulnerable, and kill hopes for millions and millions. Media is the most powerful tool they are using to manipulate the masses which shapes and moulds public opinion in their favour.
These corrupt power grabbers have managed to control the media. Majority of main media houses never let us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way the system of capitalism is working. Thousands of misguided articles and dozens of fake research papers / books in addition to hundreds of talk shows advocated this system which resulted in loss of political, economic and democratic power for the majority of the global population and concentrated the money at the hands of this very small minority. Now it has become much more than just a political issue.
The purpose of privatisation, stated by these gangsters is to free up resources for social services, but in fact social safety nets already available to the people are being reduced drastically or even abolished. Despite great importance of the social dimensions of privatisation on workers class, it is one of the least addressed issues in privatisation process. On the pretext of “improving” the public institutions, the workers are being deprived of their jobs. Bread and butter of millions have been snatched by this cruel class. Every day new punishments are introduced for the workers. There is robust evidence that rapid privatisation has highly increased unemployment, reduced access to education and healthcare, formerly provided by the state.
Under the capitalistic system, democracy is always ready to be sold out to highest bidder. The ‘market’ is designed and planned by big multinational corporations having budgets even more than that of most of countries. Loss of jobs and livelihood of taxpayer citizens at mass level escalating poverty and hunger, creating uneven distribution of wealth, destruction of nature and life for making more and more money for already rich is now viewed as ‘progress’ and ‘development’. Let us be honest, capitalism is neither democratic nor is it friendly to market economy.
The present financial crisis seen by different countries is the crisis of capitalism. The secularism is now gone, leaving behind only loss and ruin. The cultural breakdown is undoubtedly a product of capitalism because it is morally and culturally corrosive. The bureaucratic-capitalist economies of the world really are cultures and traditions in crisis. Our lives are today fast-paced, high-stressed and busy. With a much more demanding work life than earlier we are losing our cultural identity, culture and traditions. One of most beautiful ideologies we had created and experience as living and loving humans we had adopted, has been lost. Monopolisation in the free market economies have ended liberty of poor consumers and have pushed more and more people to poverty. We are no longer following age old practices which reflect our true culture.
The world is no longer working the way we are being led to believe by media, by our ruling elite, by the big corporations, by our education system, or by our financial institutions. We are being deceived by disinformation, propaganda and outright lies. Capitalism has failed; we need more government controls over entire financial markets. We need policies quite opposite to those being followed today. We need our old system back in which everybody was contented. We have reached point at which our survival is in danger. For our survival, we must replace capitalistic economy with real democracy and create mindful competitive market economies. We should create cultures and institutions of just, sustainable, and compassionate world. It is time of action, not dreaming. The dictatorship of alarm clock is constantly reminding us to resist for our rights to get rid of present tense, angry and frustrated life.
— The writer is former banker based in Islamabad.