One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Interesting Times; The divorce between Capitalism and Democracy

The rise of China as an economic power with a single party government have put BIG question marks to a wide range of systems. Some of former Soviet Union administrators had frequently expressed their regrets (Please watch the video provided at the end of this Knol for one of expressions) that the decisions were made in hurry without investing much thinking in it. China has not only escaped a collapse but instead soar in global arena. It an open secret that the rise of China was not because of changes in political system but was rather achieved by economic reforms. This is a very clear demonstration that economy is more crucial in stability than politics. Soviet Union tried to solve an economic problem by a political reforms/transitions and the results were disastrous not only for Russia and other central Asian states but also on South Asia, Middle East and on West equally. After more than a decade of terrorism and "counter-terrorism" wars and global economic melt down people have just realized that Soviet Union was actually a shield of stability.

By expressing regrets nothing change but it seems that world is not ready to learn from past experiences. What is happening in the Middle East is the repetition of the same mistake. So called "Arab Spring" started because of deepening economic disparity in the Arab World, especially in North Africa but the solutions are coming as political. Does political changes have the capacity to solve the economic problems? The Soviet and Chinese models are providing a very clear answer to the question.

Of course, the opposite is also true. If there is a genuine political problem like a cultural group wanting self-determination then economic solutions might work for short time period but on long, political problems are only solved by political solutions. This is what happening in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq for example.

I think, European Union is also learning from China. Europe in general like to present herself as capitalist democracy but the economic crises have pushed Europe to make exceptions/undermine democratic values and to go for tough austerity measures. People have to bear the costs of economic experiments.

The Occupy Wall Street movements in USA and the police responses to them do not make much sense in a democratic country. This is not a movement against state or system but a collision between people and corporations. People think that their rights have been undermined by corporations' undemocratic influences over state.

Until now, it was believed that one of the biggest causes of Persian, Turk, Mongol and Arab empires to collapse was the absence of corporations. The absence of corporations not only made the economic successes short lived but with no big impacts on society in general. So despite of having oldest and long periods, the people of these empires had not benefited from them and are now counted as third world countries. I agree with this point of view. On other hand we are also witnessing that corporations on long run do not allow democracy to function properly.

In short, democracy have been undermined by economic systems whether it was by one party system or by corporations. The Success of Chinese model and undermining of democracy by corporations have soured the relationship of capitalism and democracy. Slavoj Zizek terms it as a divorce between capitalism and democracy and of course it is interesting to see how this relationship will go....

Following is Slavoj Zizek' interview with Aljzeera. It looked interesting to me, you might also like it as we all need fresh eyes to look at what are happening around us...



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