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.”