Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Indeed, inequality and end times

"In our own time, as Marx predicted, inequalities of wealth have dramatically deepened. The income of a single Mexican billionaire today is equivalent to the earnings of the poorest seventeen million of his compatriots. Capitalism has created more prosperity than history has ever witnessed, but the cost - not least in the near-destitution of billions - has been astronomical. According to the World Bank, 2.74 billion people in 2001 lived on less than two dollars a day.
We face a probable future of nuclear-armed states warring over a scarcity of resources; and that scarcity is largely the consequence of capitalism itself. For the first time in history, our prevailing form of life has the power not simple to breed racism and spread cultural cretinism, drive us into war or herd us into labour camps, but to wipe us from the planet.
Capitalism will behave antisocially if it is profitable for it to do so, and that can now mean human devastation on an unimaginable scale. What used to be a apocalyptic fantasy is today no more than sober realism. The traditional leftist slogan 'Socialism or barbarism' was never more grimly apposite, never less of a mere rhetorical flourish. In these dire circumstances, as Fredric Jameson writes, 'Marxism much necessarily become true again'."