Last Updated: Mon Oct 24, 2011 09:40 am (KSA) 06:40 am (GMT)

The noisy collapse of capitalism

Mohsen Araishi

A new financial and economic system is apparently being built on the rubble of capitalism's collapse. Until a short time ago, capitalism was the favourite child of the US, Europe and several Asian countries.

The new financial and economic system is mainly promoted by China and to some extent also by Russia. These two countries, which used to be the sacred lands of communism, have the great potentials to lead the new economic era which is sweeping across the world.

While capitalist societies are fighting hard to silence their victims (workers, labourers, employees and the unemployed), China and Russia are oiling their bulging economic muscles. They are advancing neo-socialism in the formerly fertile land of capitalism and beyond.

The successful experiences in China and Russia are visibly manifesting in anti-capitalism mass demonstrations across the globe. Angry voices denounce capitalism and condemn its financial and economic system.

They should remind us of the hard-fought battle human rights activists waged in the 18th and 19th centuries to end slavery. Capitalism bears a striking resemblance to barbaric slavery systems. Like capitalism, slavery had its roots in the US and Europe.

However, regardless of its cruelty and barbarism, capitalism played a major role in the elimination of racial discrimination. Unlike slavery, which limited its victims to black people from Africa, capitalism did not select its victims on the basis of race, colour, religion, gender, social class, etc.

Furthermore, the victims of capitalism include descendants of slave trade leaders in the US and Europe, who sought to redeem their ancestors' history by disowning them.

With its heavy boots, capitalism crushed the fragile bones of small businesses, workers, labourers, employees, the unemployed and members of the middle class, who did not possess any wealth or production tools.

Learning the lesson from the tragic end of the slavery system, pioneers of capitalism devilishly created well-equipped police forces and intelligence agencies to preserve and protect the new system and their self-interests from their foes, such as human rights organisations.

An expensive and financially exhausting legal system was also created, to frustrate attempts by the slaves of capitalism to challenge their wealthy employers in courts of law. In the meantime, outrageous contractual terms and obligations in favour of wealthy employers were formatted so that brutal slavery rules and commitments could be transformed and introduced into the newly-founded capitalist system.

The global financial crisis three years ago and its catastrophic aftermath in big banks and financial institutions in the US and Europe brought the 'new slaves' face to face with the reality behind capitalism.

Reviving the great struggle of anti-slavery activists in the 18th and 19th centuries, the victims of capitalism-cum-barbarism decided to act. They punched the air violently when they were asked to increase their contributions to painful austerity measures implemented by the wealthy to help save the dying beast.

Workers, labourers, employees, the unemployed and members of the middle class took to the street when their governments ignored their plight. While tax collectors and price hikes emptied their pockets, the victims of capitalism defied tough police measures and took to the streets, chanting slogans against the guardians (their governments) of barbaric capitalism.

They attacked motorists, shut businesses down and clashed with the police, which tried to stop them from demanding a radical change to the global financial system.

(The writer is a prominent Egyptian columnist. The article was published in The Egyptian Gazette on Oct. 23, 2011.)

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