New Twist of Capitalism: The Demobilization of Citizens

Thinkers and strategists of international capitalism are aware of this growing threat of citizen movement in developed countries. In this article we advance some thoughts and arguments about the ways in which capitalism is making a new twist to keep irreplaceable as an economic system: the demobilization of citizens. 

by Rafael Yus and Paco Puche

June 25, 2011

[Translated from Spanish to English via Google Translator.]

Far left Marxist thesis based on the existence of objective conditions (contradictions) so that, mechanically, was given the transition from a capitalist society to a communist society. Capitalism, dominated by the liberal economy and a democratic political system called (but based only deposit a ballot every four years), has been surviving in spite of the continuing crises inherent in the system. The causes are complex and this is not adequate space to develop them, but we note some touches that show the extraordinary capacity for reinvention of capitalism, though not an eternal system, but sooner or later is destined to disappear , as predicted from Marxism.

In the early twentieth century was brought to the alliance between the proletariat and the peasantry, under the direction of the first to start a socialist revolution. But this happened in an industrial phase of capitalism that had as resource consumption and market their own national territories. Although the flame lit in some places (Russia, China, etc..), Capitalism reinvented itself through processes of internationalization of the pool of resources and the consumer society. This led to the gradual growth of the middle class, which began to swell up lower sectors of the classic proletariat and bourgeoisie classic. The increase of purchasing power needed to sustain industrial overproduction, caused a feeling of never being felt by the masses of the population and only interrupted by the cyclical crises of overproduction and underconsumption. Thus, the welfare of large middle classes in developed countries rests on the exploitation (development projects via debt or industrial relocation to lower cost of labor) of developing countries, leaving for class developed countries’ average consumption functions of the goods produced, services and speculative capitalism. And also rests on the exploitation of nonrenewable resources unsustainably increasing amounts, not to mention environmental damage and the general loss of environmental quality in developing countries, and further more global impacts but viewed as long-term problems (eg climate change, acid rain, ozone depletion, desertification, etc..) and therefore no concern for short-term enrichment craving and consumption.

The citizens’ movement and the mechanisms of deactivation

In this socio-economic framework, civil society only when threatened by mobilizing their welfare, their access to employment and purchasing power (eg, general strikes and other social movements). In the seasons of bubble development between two crises, however, many sectors of civil society critical of the system, an organized fight against abuses of power and large corporations, through which we generically call citizens’ movement. It is a movement that the system has to admit, while based on constitutional principles inherent in any democracy: freedom of assembly and association. The system supports the citizens’ movement because it is controlled by laws, limiting the possible actions to a legal framework decided only by those who have been chosen as virtual representatives of the community. The recent 15-M Movement is a sign that society is not blind and that clearly warns the pitfalls involved in this system to work as a real democracy seems to enshrine the letter of the Constitution. Thus, a certain level of organization and demands, the citizen movement, through partnerships of various kinds, with their critical disposition and use of the laws, could hinder the development of capitalism in its new phase post- XXI century industrial, or at least undermine the image of “only system capable of ensuring the welfare of the population.”

Thinkers and strategists of international capitalism are aware of this growing threat of citizen movement in developed countries. In this article we advance some thoughts and arguments about the ways in which capitalism is making a new twist to keep irreplaceable as an economic system: the demobilization of citizens.

By the time of “boom” economy (by bubbles of all kinds), associations and citizen mobilization is difficult. There is little motivation, because the population is unemployed, has consumption level and thus access to entertainment, or there hipertrabajo and consequently a sacralization of leisure time often is spent on alienating. Moreover, the fight against abuse of political power does not give immediate results and many sectors of the citizens’ movement began to grow impatient and fall into the trap of abandoning the activity of demands from social movements to enter the arena of confrontation institutional policy. The growth of party-building efforts arising from sectoral consumer movements, feminists, environmentalists, etc.. is a clear example. However, in addition to these sectoral parties cover only a small part of a minority voters who play in these sectors by the mass movement, they fail more than a very discrete representation in the political spectrum, in very unequal, because the political arena is equipped with mechanisms that prevent these minority sectors thrive. Besides these sectors, consciously or unconsciously, accept and endorse this behavior with the rules of representative democracy, perversion of real democracy that exists in the citizens’ movement, but it is essential to maintaining the status quo of capitalism. These are sectors that, paradoxically, you know that what determines the policy are not the ideals of society, but the rules imposed by international capitalism, as unfortunately it has become evident in the failure of politics to the international financial crisis

Thus, the creation of political parties like the Greens, or Equo now, not only are discharged with a drain on the citizens’ movement, but causes a distracting effect on civil society organizations, as this represents the perverse message that the only way to change the system access to local, regional or state, knowing that they will not be able to reach and assuming they do, they will never be able to change one iota of the system with the problem addition of the fuse carried citizen pump. Many politicians claim, for example, that the 15-M movement become a political party, which already end up camping and uncomfortable manifestations. In our view, this is a new twist of international capitalism, since it gets off the citizens’ movement, creating a naive illusion of power shift from institutional political arena. This thesis is based not only on the final acts, favorable to international capitalism, but, as noted below, behind these parties emerging sector financial support is often disguised as altruistic and beneficent institutions supposedly, behind which there are large capitalist corporations which, moreover, have to his credit a long list of environmental and social damage worldwide.

Power has always tried to manage the citizens’ movement to their advantage. There are few employers (national or international) and political (local and regional) that use the social prestige of certain associations, to show a nice image and wield a label solidarity. The financial support, the provision of premises, the grant of campaigns, etc.. by many companies, has no purpose other than to improve their marketing (in companies) and validate their vote (in politics). There are large corporations and foundations, national and international, to spend part of their capital to achieve continuously improve its image. All this is well received by many associations with it are growing their power of action, one of the latest versions of the creation of platforms cyberaction that slip by all social networks. But often one is not aware that this is supporting hidden entities whose real activity is far from being as successful as that appears with such support and are helping to clean up their image. Thus, as a new twist to the survival of international capitalism, both businessmen and politicians are able to reduce the emotional distance necessary for the citizens’ movement to maintain its critical and belligerent actions against each other.

Activities at the financial power to control citizens’ movements

One of us has left already written [i] some notes on this matter. This is what we called a Plan B of capitalism, which will to conquer the soul of the people and to control social resistance. It can be summarized by saying it is “the sum of maneuvers designed to gain consensus, legalize these forms of rich, achieve compliance and / or complicity, publicize its aims as if they were identical to those of society and discredit alternatives like ‘attacks ‘”[ii]. In a word, seeking legitimacy.

“No doubt that these plans B business, paid technicians, intellectuals and some NGOs (some paid and others only by vocation) are the biggest challenge to be overcome by the civil resistance, since ‘the night all cats are gray ‘”[iii]

For this fund and are allied to social movements, including the self-styled anti-capitalist, to legitimize the system from within actually existing business. As Michel says Chossudvsky “the complex network of NGOs, including alternative media segments, are used by the corporate elites to mold and manipulate the protest movement (…) the purpose is not to repress dissent, but on the contrary, shape and shape the resistance movement to establish the limits of dissent “[iv]

This is the case of entities AVINA and Ashoka, in the ten years they have been operating in Spain have been introduced, in one form or another in more than ten organizations that may be considered alternatives. In some cases co-opting leaders and entrepreneurs relevant, others providing funding and advice. Prestigious organizations are covering the water (New Water Culture Foundation), environment (SEO), peace (Greenpeace), rural (Platform Rural), parallel universities (University Rural Paulo Freire), systems ethical financial (Fiares), seeds (Cifaes), sea (Oceana), etc..; always about relationships with recognized leaders. This phenomenon has flourished in our country, in another place, we have called this intrusion, which “has taken place almost without realizing it,” as the metaphor of Swiss cheese.

But the case is now more in the limelight is the new political party called EQUO, which has announced its founding phase transition (as such was legalized only a few months ago, on February 17) to the political party, the June 4, at a meeting preconstituyente composed of “30 green and progressive political organizations”, as advertised on their website, as if a new United Left is involved.

Again, in the case of EQUO, the Swiss cheese metaphor worked. Specifically, in its Advisory Council, the highest Sanhedrin of the foundation and even showcase itself, meanwhile, just has included in its ranks, at least, three important partners-leaders AVINA Pedro Arrojo, Sandra Benveniste and Victor Viñuales. The first, former president of the New Water Culture Foundation, which has been strolling hand in hand AVINA throughout Latin America (thus also promoting the company Amanco of it), the label “new water culture”, the second which has been the representative of the foundation AVINA Barcelona for a few years and project director of Ecology and Development Foundation, an organization of which is the third director of the members of Equo, Victor Viñuales AVINA socio-leader since 1999; two foundations with common water projects in Latin America. Interestingly today’s blog Viñuales AVINA hide his membership. It does not hide his membership of the advisory board of ZARA, Inditex or of Greenpeace. These three prominent leaders AVINA partners, organized the Expo pavilion called ENJOY ZARA T Faro, which has resulted in the exhibition “waters, rivers and peoples” Arrojo walk halfway around the world.

What about AVINA?

Simply that its founder, financier and inspiring is Stephan Schmidheiny, Swiss tycoon enriched with the business of asbestos in the world. His immense fortune can only be explained because his family first, since 1925, and then himself, without scruple, reaped great money, at the expense of the health and lives of hundreds of thousands. Just as it sounds. So many victims of the alleged philanthropist seek justice and ask the International Criminal Court against the magnate for alleged crimes against humanity or genocide.

As one of us has explained in two articles [v], not only about the origin but also aim (getting it as we have seen) to penetrate the social movements of resistance and make them as gentle as possible, or at least control dissent capitalism as a system

As just one example

Without going any further, at the last meeting in Cancun on climate change, the prestigious Rural Reflection Group (GRR) Argentine infiltration detected in individual AVINA alternative movements that have been pursued and the counter-claim that: “Large Corporations and foundations that accompany them, have been working quietly to slip through alternative spaces. ” And, of course, makes an appearance AVINA. Go on to say: “The Avina Foundation, the Swiss billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny, a long and sinister history in our Mestizo America, by buying intentions behind projects supposedly beneficial for our peoples and communities, provided an economic boon for the organization of Klimaforum 10. The presence of the Rural Reflection Group in Cancun, served to warn of the Foundation and thus expose their attempts to co-opt these spaces, where they then decided to reject the funds Klimaforum trying to make Avina “. They conclude by saying, “Foundations as AVINA and Ashoka are the enemy of Mother Earth and oppressed populations.”

Bad start, throwing for persons alleged to be given reliability and reputation to an entity claims to be heard, not among its notable advisers and these figures are “Dangerous Liaisons” with foundations of big business.

And do not forget that AVINA (founded by Stephan Schmihheiny) can not break away from the deadly asbestos dust, with which he has amassed his fortune and whose crimes only if you have paid for them, just compensation to how workers were ignorant of what , took home contaminated clothes being dramatically they cause thousands of deaths among women and children, for decades

In conclusion, civil society must be attentive to the subtle movement systems off city, both in its face as cyber, which launches international capitalism through the financial support from entities supposed benefactors. Admitting legitimate social groups will enter the political arena, in contrast to the coolness of street politics of social phenomena as the movement of 15 M, warned of the enormous cost that this entails for its drain on the citizens’ movement , social force necessary to maintain the health of real democracy. Disproportionately costly for the real possibilities of changing reality from a system known his great weakness against the economic system, linked to international capitalism. In these decisions we play not only a new twist of capitalism but a matter of justice and dignity.

Be attentive.


[I] Puche. P (2011), “The hidden lobby” Ecoportal, 26.05.11

[Ii] Galafassi, G. Dimitriu, A. (2007), “The Plan” B “mining capital”, Journal Theomai, No. 15, first semester, p.1

[Iii] Galafassi, G. Dimitriu, A. (2007), “The Plan” B “mining capital”, Journal Theomai, No. 15, first semester, p.8

[Iv] Chossudovsky, M. (2010), “Globalists and elites control people’s movements” in

5 Stripped to Schmidheiny. The crimes with asbestos: the multinational Eternit the foundation AVINA Ecoportal, 26.05.2010, and Ashoka itself. The intrusion of large philanthropic capital in social movements, Ecoportal, 24.09.2010

Rebellion has published this article with the permission of the authors through a license from Creative Commons, respecting their freedom to publish elsewhere.