ppi.012-Frank Scott: “Market Force: Democratic Farce”


Richard Moore

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    a public service of CADRE (Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance)
        ppi.012-Frank Scott: "Market Force: Democratic Farce"
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                  Market Force: Democratic Farce

        Copyright (c) 1998 by Frank Scott. All rights reserved
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Date: Thu, 7 May 1998
From: Frank Scott <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: column-May 98

COASTAL POST (415)868 1600 FAX (415) 868 0502 P.O. Box 31 Bolinas CA 94924
http://www.coastalpost.com email: •••@••.•••

Market Force: Democratic Farce

Following the rules of capital accumulation, our system is
producing massive mergers of multi- billion dollar
corporations. These new monopolies exist to end
competition and drive out obstacles to unbridled profit
taking. This contradicts mythology about competition being
the strength of capitalism, but the cover story is that people
will be better served by one stop shopping for everything
from clothing, cars, and cosmetics to artificial forms of reality
like stocks, bonds and other paper representations.

As business approaches becoming one gigantic, global entity,
government is being downsized into a local mom and pop
enterprise, with people driven into smaller and smaller
groups. Whether they are called interest, ethnic or
professional, these groups strengthen corporate monopoly, as
fractured publics are reduced to relative helplessness, unable
to come together with political solutions for common

Capital's interests lie in greater profit accumulation through
total market domination. This is achieved , in part, by
corporate power using its political and media influence to
persuade populations to vote against their commonality.
Citizens are convinced that their interests are distinct, diverse
and unique, thus insuring that they remain powerless
individuals when confronting monopoly.

Many find themselves driven to anti-government
conservatism, or pro-government liberalism. Both these
variations on a unified theme guarantee the power of
corporate capital, the first by romanticizing an often bigoted
idea of individualism, the second by making a fetish of an
often equally bigoted idea of groupism.

As business gets bigger and government gets smaller, the
dictatorship of capital becomes gargantuan, while democracy
shrinks . The political process becomes the domain of
millionaires, with parties run by professionals and media
manipulators. Lower voter turnouts result, as citizens lose
any faith they may have left.

Meanwhile, the globalization process of capital engulfs and
devours all in its mercantile path, eating up the natural,
social and even spiritual environment, in mindless pursuit
of the greatest gain for the fewest investors.And all of this,
according to mythology, is supposed to strengthen
individuals, getting government off their backs and enabling
them to become totally responsible for themselves.

As never before, we have the freedom to shop for everything,
whether we can afford it or not. >From food, clothing and
shelter, to diet, fashion and health care , everything is for
sale, if you can afford to pay - or more likely, charge - the
price. If you cant, too bad. Join the overwhelming majority of
humans who are deemed failures by this anti-social
economic arrangement.

This process helps create an enormous multi - trillion dollar
credit bubble which continues its dangerous growth as
citizens must charge more and more payments in the
material world, while being reduced to less and less in their
spiritual and psychological lives. Hysterical materialism
brings about a glut of consumer goods that waste, pollute and
endanger, not only in their consumption and the financial
burdens created in their purchase, but in the emptiness they
produce at the core of human values.

TV ads urge borrowing up to 125% of the value of homes, so
that it might be invested in private schemes, to create the
security denied through public programs. Ordinary folks
consider themselves participants in the stock market boom,
but they are usually only members of pension plans and
mutual funds . They have no control over what is done with
the investment pool that they create, and even less with what
is done with the profits, if any. Their debt plays a role in the
economy, but from the standpoint of capital, they are non -
beings, only existing as market units of consumption and
financial obligation.

The desire to end bloated bureaucracy in institutional life is a
healthy one, but it has been perverted by economic forces
promoting individual excess at public expense. Smaller
government makes good sense, if it can more quickly react to
public need. But scaling back government while allowing
corporate capital to expand so that it is approaching a form
beyond any democratic control , is a prescription for disaster.
We are being driven toward such disaster, but there are signs
that we may have reached a turning point in public

The word class has worked its way back into common usage,
even if returned by some who would deny the ravages of
race. Still, awareness grows that the larger the group making
claims for justice, the greater the chance for success; there is
no larger group than the multi-cultural, multi-racial and
socially diverse working class.

Up to 80% of the population has not truly shared in what is
called a booming economy, and that group is composed of
many different minorities. They can become a majority only
when they identify themselves and begin taking action as
such. Moves in the direction of cross-cultural solidarities are
taking place, as citizens begin to identify their strength in
communities that extend further than ethnicity, race, sex or
interest, and encompass economic common ground.

Some academics and politicians have begun to call for greater
public spending for social action, in opposition to the present
anti-social-ism, which ensures that capital maintains profits
and workers sustain loss. The current phase of obscene
merger frenzy may well bring the urgency of the situation to
even greater public awareness. Total reliance on market
forces to solve all human problems is making a farce of
democracy, as it enriches hypocrisy . The unconscious process
of capital accumulation and individual greed, may help lead
to a conscious process of democratic opposition that brings
about social generosity.


                  "Seeking an Effective Democratic
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