On a global scale, the reign of free market ideology has wrought profound changes. Manufacturing jobs in the developed nations are rapidly shrinking, while abroad there has been a rise in sweatshop production, bringing with an exploitation of labor that is reminiscent of the 19th century. The effect has been to widen the gulf between the living conditions of the wealthy and those who labor for them.
Inequality has reached such an astounding level that it requires an act of willful blindness on the part of Western media not to notice it. Over half of the world’s population subsists on less than $2 a day, while the 200 richest individuals own more wealth than 41 percent of the world’s population, or in other words, more than 2.6 billion people. Such an extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of the few cannot be construed as a failure of global capitalism. Indeed, it is a mark of its success, for this is what the system is designed to do. Nor can the mass immiseration on which the system rests be dismissed as an unfortunate and unintended byproduct of the process. The system is the very engine that drives the accumulation of riches. Read More »