Capitalism has failed to bring about a better world

Dear Editor,

I was looking at Al Jazeera News and listened to the serious situation in the world today. I saw the “democracy” imposed on Libya and Iraq by the West and I could only shake my head.

But the major problem is our inability to be objective as we examine the world, what is happening and where it is going. “Intelligent” people seem unable to recognise the failure of the present system to bring about a better world. As soon as someone makes a criticism of capitalism, they would respond by talking of the failure of socialism and the collapse of the USSR.

They ridiculously, would ask, “why is it that persons who are critical of capitalism go to the US and not Russia and Cuba?” I am at a loss to understand the logic of such responses.

These defenders of the present economic system seem to be of the opinion that the rich countries represent what capitalism is and ignore the plight of the 170 poor capitalist countries. They would write that China shifted to capitalism and so developed rapidly. If it was not serious, I would have a hearty laugh at such illogic and lack of objectivity. This logic, that the injection of capitalism caused the rapid development of China, seem to be negated by the very existence of 170 poor capitalist countries.

So often they tell you about Singapore. The problem is that for the past 60 years, there are claims of a couple of countries making it. That statistic is definitely not inspiring and cannot generate any optimism that the present system can advance the world in a way that allows the level of technology to accomplish what it is capable of doing.

I wrote before about cultural hegemony where the population would have internalised the ideology of the present system, which ideology is geared to have the population accept the present system and go all out to defend it even though the system does not look after their interest. Cultural hegemony is at work and I encourage all to research that concept. The system is geared to look after the owners of the means of production. And the evidence is clear that the wealth is shifting more and more to this category.

My question is, “why is it that we see condemning socialism or speaking of the collapse of the USSR as a logical defense of the present system?”  Imagine when philosophers and economists commenced criticisms of the capitalist system centuries ago, before the socialist revolution, what would the defense of capitalism have been.

Let’s examine present day Guyana. The PPP seems to defend itself by pointing to the ills of the present regime. I personally am questioned for my rejection of the PPP and support for the coalition. They question my actions saying, “Look! Where are the changes?” Etc. The question is, “how can you question my decision taken years ago by pointing out ills of the present government and how exactly can this be a defense of the past PPP government”?

Would this defense have been possible at the time when members of the PPP rejected the PPP? The answer is definitely no! So, you cannot logically say that the decision was wrong and that they were wrong because the present government has chalked up some wrongdoings. So why would criticisms of the present capitalist system be negated because of perceived or factual wrongdoings of socialist governments?

The reality is that while the present system has done well historically to advance the world, certain internal transformations have generated serious contradictions. And while this is so, many educated persons are not prepared to seriously examine the present system being stuck with the socialisation to raise the issue of socialism while capitalism is the topic and under trial. Just open your eyes; open your minds; look at the real world; look at the sufferings. With all the sophisticated technologies and a world that is unable to eradicate poverty and a world that is steeped in wars, we need to ask ourselves if this is all humankind is capable of.  

We have to question the information that we have unconsciously and spontaneously internalised. This information is controlled by the one percent that controls 90 percent of the means of disseminating information. One has to make a conscious decision to unlearn; to open our minds to new ideas, new ways of thinking and analysing. Education is a process of change. How many are prepared to change?

And I bet some would jump up and say I am advocating socialism and miss the thrust of this letter.

Yours faithfully,

Rajendra N Bisessar

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