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Citation: Sepehr Samiei. “Globalization, Immigration and Rainbow Revolution" International Journal of Research in Sociology and Anthropology (IJRSA), vol 5, no. 1, 2019, pp. 33-44. doi:http://dx.doi.org/ 10.20431/2454-8677.0501005.
Globalization, Immigration and Rainbow Revolution
We live in the age of globalization. The term “globalization” is a reference to the latest stage of development in capitalism. It denotes the current state of affairs in economics, politics, society and culture, each of which may appear as a separate domain of human sciences, but all are simultaneously influenced and transformed by “globalization”. Therefore, to understand globalization, we need to understand its impact on at least all of these four domains, and perhaps other ones.
Our starting point, could indeed be any of these domains. All analyses, whether originally economic, political, social or cultural, will ultimately have to include the other three to see the full picture. But, to use the vast legacy of great and rich critical works, we will start our journey from economics. As we shall see, the implications of our economic insights will reach into political, social and cultural dimensions, and those will feed back into economics, thus, forming a systemic loop. We will also see that such a systemic loop is a representation of dialectical super-dependence between our domains of study.
In volume II of his most famous work, entitled Capital, Karl Marx uses a simple model of a capitalist society. It is composed of two classes, namely capitalists and workers. Both classes are divided into two economic departments:
· Department I: Production of means of production
· Department II: Production of means of consumption
this model to study the process of absorption of aggregate surplus-value as it
is generated by the economy
This model was at the core of Soviet economic planning, which directed a rapid industrialization program. Soviet development started with a fast pace, continued with a fairly steady growth and over time ultimately flattened out in stagnation. However, free-market capitalism of developed countries faced another problem which was discussed in volume III of Marx’ Capital:
“The creation of this surplus-value makes up the direct process of production, which, as we have said, has no other limits but those mentioned above. As soon as all the surplus-labour it was possible to squeeze out has been embodied in commodities, surplus-value has been produced. But this production of surplus-value completes but the first act of the capitalist process of production – the direct production process. […] With the development of the process[…], the mass of surplus-value thus produced swells to immense dimensions. Now comes the second act of the process. The entire mass of commodities, i.e. , the total product […], must be sold. If this is not done, or done only in part, or only at prices below the prices of production, the labourer has been indeed exploited, but his exploitation is not realised as such for the capitalist, and this can be bound up with a total or partial failure to realise the surplus-value pressed out of him, indeed even with the partial or total loss of the capital. The conditions of direct exploitation, and those of realising it, are not identical. They diverge not only in place and time, but also logically.
The first are only limited by the productive power of
society, the latter by the proportional relation of the various branches of
production and the consumer power of society. But this last named is not
determined either by the absolute productive power, or by the absolute consumer
power, but by the consumer power based on antagonistic conditions of
distribution, which reduce the consumption of the bulk of society to a minimum
varying within more or less narrow limits. It is furthermore restricted by the tendency to
accumulate, the drive to expand capital and produce surplus-value on an
extended scale. This is law for capitalist production, imposed by incessant
revolutions in the methods of production themselves, by the depreciation of
existing capital always bound up with them, by the general competitive struggle
and the need to improve production and expand its scale merely as a means of
self-preservation and under penalty of ruin. The market must, therefore, be
continually extended, so that its interrelations and the conditions
regulating them assume more and more the form of a natural law working
independently of the producer, and become ever more uncontrollable. This
internal contradiction seeks to resolve itself through expansion of the
outlying field of production. But the more productiveness develops, the
more it finds itself at variance with the narrow basis on which the conditions
of consumption rest. It is no contradiction at all on this self-contradictory
basis that there should be an excess of capital simultaneously with a
growing surplus of population. For while a combination of these two would,
indeed, increase the mass of produced surplus-value, it would at the same time
intensify the contradiction between the conditions under which this
surplus-value is produced and those under which it is realised.” (emphasis
In summary, Marx was arguing that in a free-market capitalist system, supply will increasingly overwhelm demand. As productivity increases, consumption will not be able to catch up due to antagonistic conditions of distribution.
between Soviet-style “market socialism” and free-market capitalism was drawn
and analysed by János Kornai.
Arguing that chronic shortages throughout the Communist bloc were not due to
planning errors, but rather caused by inherent systemic flaws, he observed that
socialist economies are resource-constrained, whereas capitalist economies are
Using the two-department model developed by Marx, and also switching from free-market to a controlled and centrally planned economy, over time the Soviet system was able to sustain an economy free from booms and busts, but very slowly growing. The productivity of this resource-constrained economy was ultimately unable to compete with that of the Western demand-constrained capitalist economy. As Marx stated, the free-market capitalism has a tendency to continuously increase its productivity, to the point where consumption can no longer catch-up, therefore falling into economic recession and depression. Thus, the main problem for a free-market capitalism is to expand its aggregate demand and absorb the economic surplus.
Baran and Magdoff expanded Marx’ model of economy by
adding the following
Department III: Absorption of economic surplus.
This model was also picked up by Samir Amin and others who used it to gain further insight into the way contemporary capitalism operates. Department III includes all institutions within the developed capitalist countries that are nourished by the immense magnitude of their economic surplus. These institutions include:
· Consumerism, selling costs, advertisement and promotion
· Military and security complex
· Media and entertainment
· Welfare-state institutions
expanded their analysis to include the mutual impact of Department III on
rentier classes, known as the FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance and Real-Estate).
The concept of Department III was originally developed to explain surplus
absorption within the national confounds of the developed centres of
capitalism. Samir Amin attempted to expand it to cover globalized capitalism by
adding imperialist rent to context of Department III, therefore emphasizing on
the value flowing from underdeveloped peripheries to the centres of capitalism.
“The historic task of bourgeois society is the establishment
of the world market, at least in its basic outlines, and a mode of
production that rests on its basis. Since the world is round, it seems that
this has been accomplished with the colonization of California and Australia
and with annexation of China and Japan. For us the difficult question is this:
the revolution on the Continent is imminent and its character will be at once
socialist; will it not be necessarily crushed in this little corner
of the world, since in a much larger terrain the development of bourgeois
society is still in the ascendant.”
lines it is clear that Marx was thinking about the impact of asymmetric
development on evolution of capitalism. Later, others developed various
theories to study and explain the same observation. Among the most influential
and important ones was Immanuel Wallerstein and his World Systems theory
Wallerstein argued that the economic structure of underdeveloped peripheries becomes deformed under the influence and shadow of the centres of capitalism, thus creating dependency and forcing them to export raw materials in exchange for finished industrial products imported from centres of capitalism.
important but less known theory was proposed by Hamza Alavi,
the Pakistani Marxist political economist. Alavi
observed that the social classes within the centres of capitalism are developed
symmetrically, thus allowing their interests to converge and therefore
sustaining functioning democratic civil societies. On the contrary, social
classes in the peripheries of capitalism are developed asymmetrically, i.e.
while some sectors and portions of the society are highly developed and
influenced by centres of capitalism, other sectors and parts are underdeveloped
and struggle against the first groups. This asymmetric status causes social
classes to diverge and begets unstable political systems governing these nation-states.
We now have a fairly clear picture of capitalism in a global context. As pointed out by Marx and confirmed by Kornai and others, free-market capitalism is demand-constrained. Therefore, it cannot grow beyond a certain point without creating massive unemployment and economic depressions. Prolonged and widespread unemployment and depression would have serious political consequences, challenging the very existence of the capitalist state. However, it has two major ways to surmount this problem:
1. Department III and absorption of economic surplus
2. The “world market”, where peripheries generate demand for centres of capitalism
We shall see that there is a link and symbiosis between these two domains. Our understanding of the second domain is further enriched by theories of colonialism and neocolonialism. While trade and access to raw materials were the early triggers of colonialism of the mercantilist age, colonization changed the direction of development in colonies and enforced two major effects:
1. It energized rapid development of those industries within colonies that were complementary to the industrial base of the colonizing centres. E.g. mining, extraction of oil and other raw materials, transportation, etc.
2. It inhibited and stifled development of other social sectors and industries in colonies that were in competition with the industrial base of the colonizing centres.
This is the root cause of the social divergence observed by Hamza Alavi. This asymmetric development, also known as “underdevelopment”, leads to a situation where the society demands consumption of advanced industrial products, whereas its own productive capacity is unable to supply those products. This is the inverse of the problem observed in centres of capitalism. In other words, Kornai’s demand-constrained model of capitalism only applies to advanced centres of capitalism. The underdeveloped peripheries are always resource-constrained, although their problems are fundamentally different from those plaguing socialist bloc societies.
The oversized productive output of the advanced centres of capitalism observed by Sweezy et al., and the excess consumer base in underdeveloped countries observed by Wallerstein et al. are two sides of the same coin. On the one side, Capitalism, as observed by Marx, has a tendency to increase and swell its productivity to unlimited capacity, but its antagonistic conditions of distribution hamper its continuous development within the producing society. Therefore, it seeks to expand its consumption base by acquiring external markets, i.e. underdeveloped peripheries. On the other side, peripheral societies who get used to consuming high-quality, relatively low-cost and psychologically established brands of the advanced centres, are unable to compete and their industries will not be able to develop.
Since peripheries act as consuming extensions of the centres, there will be social and political forces actively seeking to sustain this symbiosis. Of course, since peripheries are not in control of the industrial complex that benefits from their consumption, there are also social (and therefore political) forces within the peripheries that always oppose their status as peripheries. In societies that are overwhelmingly rural, these forces can sometimes be orchestrated into a popular movement to detach that society from the colonial centres and kindle a national industrial revolution, aiming for an ongoing symmetric development (either through a socialist system, or developing a controlled national bourgeoisie). However, once an underdeveloped society finds itself as overwhelmingly integrated into the economy of the centres of capitalism, popular national development becomes impossible.
Thus, integration into economies of the centres of capitalism (euphemistically called “Globalization”), becomes a lever for political influence and hegemonic projection of metropole power over underdeveloped peripheries. This is the true meaning and essence of Imperialism in contemporary capitalism.
In addition to the natural tendency of peripheral societies toward continued integration with metropoles of capitalism, those metropoles actively wield their Imperialist power to curb and strangle any attempt to challenge their supremacy (henceforth, we shall call this Imperialism). This is often done in the name of liberty, freedom and democracy. As we’ve seen here, these references to democracy and freedom are understandable in light of popularity of metropole dominance in peripheral societies. However, promises of welfare, prosperity and progress are often deceptive and proven to be baseless according to numerous historical evidences. Nevertheless, the downward spiral is in favour of metropole dominance. As, consequent of their continued integration into metropole economic dominance, circumstances of peripheral societies further deteriorate, popular opinion puts the blame on incompetency of local authorities rather than Imperialist domination, therefore demanding for more integration into metropole economy. Greece is a glaring example of this trend. While majority of people voted to end austerity policies, the majority opinion was also in favour of Greece remaining a member of European Union, thus, given the strict monetary policies imposed by EU, leaving no choice but to continue austerity policies.
This is not
the full story of contemporary Imperialism. To be more accurate, one has to
understand the fact that the contemporary globalized capitalist system is
commanded by a hierarchy topped by the United States. As detailed by Michael
Hudson, super-Imperialism of the US is attained through monetary dominance and
enables immense magnitudes of imperialist rent flowing from the rest of the
world into the US economy
Imperialist power is projected through three major ways, in order of precedence:
1. Soft power: Moral suasion using media and entertainment.
2. Cold power: Legal and political sanctions through financial and international institutions.
3. Hard power: Unleashing military might to coerce opponents into submission, or change geo-strategic equations in favour of Imperialist powers.
As evident, all three are through institutions of Department III. The first option is also used as precursor, complement and supporter of second and third options. While the second (through financial support) and third (through psychological effects) also feed back into the first option, the first option becomes the highest and most elegant manifestation of the globalized civilization born through contemporary capitalism.
All civilizations throughout human history have always been formed on top of economic surplus. The higher the surplus output of a society, the more sophisticated its forms of civilization. From the Egyptian Pyramids to Soviet and US space programs, all are relics and icons of civilizations with massive economic surpluses. The fact that there is a huge ecosystem built on top of a working population is not new at all. What is new about the contemporary civilization headed by US Imperialism, is “Globalization”. This Globalization is not just in the sense that it is spread across multiple continents. History has seen older empires with that character before, such as Roman, Mongolian, Macedonian and Persian empires. What makes contemporary “Globalization” special, is its enormous capability to relocate human population. As we shall see, this character has given Globalization peculiar characters that make it more resilient against independence struggles.
As we saw, the asymmetric development in capitalism leads to two sides: one overdeveloped side where supply always exceeds demand, and the other underdeveloped side where demand always exceeds supply. Consequently, overdeveloped side requires exports to the underdeveloped side to absorb its economic surplus and avoid widespread unemployment, while underdeveloped side requires imports from overdeveloped side to avoid chronic shortages and famine. Either side would face serious political backlashes if it loses the other side. Superficially, it may appear this is a mutual dependency that does not give either side an upper hand. However, the existence of Department III invalidates that proposition.
Overdeveloped countries can utilize Department III institutions as an alternative to absorb any excess economic surplus, to the extent required to avoid a serious economic depression. This possibility acts as an advantage for the overdeveloped side in two ways:
1. Department III
institutions can absorb economic surplus and generate sufficient aggregate
demand to keep economy going ad infinitum. This has been diligently
demonstrated by Keynes and most recently by Steve Keen
2. Department III institutions can be wielded to crush resistance of mutinous underdeveloped countries and subjugate them. As shown above, this could be using soft, cold or hard power, all of which are funded by the economic surplus.
Contrariwise, underdeveloped countries do not have any of these weapons in their arsenal. Therefore, their struggle for independence with popular character is likely to come about and succeed only if their population is not yet overwhelmingly integrated into the global economy. Russian and Chinese revolutions are examples of this possibility, both of which experienced popular revolutions at a stage when their populations were overwhelmingly rural and self-sufficient. Otherwise the only other option is through an undemocratic autocracy strictly controlling trade through imposition of tariff barriers and controlling capital flight using an iron fist. Such an autocracy would immediately invoke reaction from overdeveloped side in the name of defending democracy, while also provoking civil resistance from local population. Furthermore, the autocratic institutions would be highly prone to corruption, further aggravating popular indignation. Popular dissent corroborates Imperialist aggressive policies and ultimately results into either colour-revolutions, or regime change through military intervention.
Nevertheless, neoliberal and democratic governments in peripheral societies are often no more popular than autocratic versions. This is due to the same tendency observed by Hamza Alavi. Since social classes of peripheral societies are divergent, there is no possibility to establish stable and functioning democracies in these societies. Precarious domestic base naturally pushes these governments to rely on supernational support, mainly from metropoles of capitalism. Thus, these peripheral democracies are no more democratic than autocratic states. Pakistan and Mexico are examples of this group of states. Theories of neo-colonialism mainly revolve around this observation.
Since on the
one hand continuation and sustenance of peripheral status necessarily
perpetuates political and social instability, and on the other hand it is a
major requirement to stabilize metropole societies, thus, instability of
peripheral societies becomes a permissible and desirable state of affairs for
globalized capitalism. Furthermore, divergent social structure in peripheral
societies impedes formation of nationalist sentiments. Authentic national
identities are either not formed at all, or if pre-existing, are renounced in
favour of a new identity that is mostly associated with what Thorstein Veblen
called “conspicuous consumption” of industrial products and brands of the
Capital flight forms one stream of immigrants, however, the main stream is composed of two groups:
· Skilled labourers
Both groups of immigrants are motivated by push and pull factors, but refugees are substantially more likely to migrate due to push factors. As we saw, inherent instability of peripheral societies maintains a continuous outflow of refugees. This could be due to domestic social and political unrest, or due to foreign military intervention. The same reasons could also energize skilled labourers; however, this group is more likely to emigrate even during periods of relative stability and peace.
Push factors for skilled labourer immigrants are mainly in the form of:
· Unemployment in home country
· Default, delayed payment or very low levels of wages
· Gloomy prospects of career growth
· Non-existing or rusting infrastructure
· Non-existing or dysfunctional welfare-state services
· Feelings of stagnation and depression
Pull factors are mainly comprised of:
· Better prospects of job market
· Regular payments and relatively higher wages
· Higher exposure of industries where new skills can be acquired
· Better infrastructure
· Better welfare-state services
· Feelings of social prestige and progress, especially in the context of their own ethnic community and society of home country
Therefore, globalized capitalism maintains a constant flow of immigrants from peripheral societies into metropoles. These immigrants are generally much more obedient and disciplined than native population, and those who bring trouble can be deported and dealt with, a lot easier than native mutinous elements. Indeed, the vast source and inflow of immigrants is the principal reason behind formation of the new social class known as “The Precariat”.
While the triad of immigration, outsourcing and automation works towards disempowerment of the working class (and these three are most effective at the top of contemporary Imperialism, i.e. the United States), the rate of unemployment for the native population of metropole (i.e. US) still cannot soar beyond a certain point without serious political consequences. All three elements contribute to higher unemployment, therefore, there must be a countering mechanism at play.
All big US industries have been impacted by globalization and their workforce is decimated in that process. Even those industries that still have retained their manufacturing sites on US soil, would not be safe investment outlets in terms of job creation and controlling unemployment, as they could relocate their plants to offshore at any time, or they could simply hire immigrants who are not US citizens yet. The only big exception is the military industry. There are legal and national-security safeguards that ensure the military industry remains in the most part exclusively operated by US citizens. Therefore, the safest investment outlet for any US administration is in military-industrial complex. The bloated US military budget is not just a wasteful area to lavish Department III resources and keep corporation profits high, nor it is a drag on US economy. It is indeed the most effective way US government can control unemployment. The long-term trend, therefore, is specialization of US industrial power in military and security production, which maintains US military supremacy, thus enabling US to wield it and project its power on peripheries, protecting the global arrangement that powers US military machine, which keeps US citizens employed, etc.
Military spending may counter the impact of immigration and outsourcing, but it does not counter the impact of automation. Quite contrary, the increasing magnitude of sophistication in military technology further bolsters the trend toward automation, especially as its breakthroughs may also find civilian applications. E.g. drone or surveillance technologies. This implies, over time, not only number of jobs may decrease, but also the native population increasingly needs specialized skills for being kept employed. The general tendency of capitalism for ever higher productivity becomes a challenge again. Due to this, there may be reactions from the native population against outsourcing and immigration. Hence, the need for subjective tools to pacify the native population.
No civilization has ever been able to rise in human history without a mass population with converging beliefs and a common moral system. In ancient societies, priest caste was formed to undertake this function. People would be indoctrinated using myths, religious stories and scriptures. Superstition has been an old and extremely effective method of transferring knowledge, experience and ideas. Unlike scientific method, superstition does not rely on careful explication of natural observations. Instead, it relies on story-telling and mythology which has always been easy to remember and is preserved through generations.
Story is a medium of communication and presentation. The character of this medium is by definition a distorted account of the real world, as imagined by story-teller and perceived by its audience and receivers. However, its power lies in the fact that through entertainment, it can include subliminal messages and persuade the audience.
In ancient Greece, Plato believed, in an ideal society drama should be completely banned. He argued that drama has the power to distort reality and persuade its audience into seeing the world in illogical ways. Aristotle, however, disagreed and argued drama is simply a medium which can be used for educating the mass of people.
For a while it appeared that modern capitalism is promoting scientific method and public education to replace the old superstitious system of beliefs with the new scientific thought. Scientific method, of course, has advantages over superstition. Science has been unquestionably successful at harnessing the nature and bringing it under command and control of humans. However, science has two weaknesses vis-à-vis superstition:
· Superstitious ideas have been formed throughout thousands of years and hammered through several generations of humans, whereas science is relatively young and has a long way to go.
· Superstitious ideas are transferred through vulgar and popular stories and myths, therefore making them easy to digest and endure. Science, however, is transferred through dull and voluminous scientific texts, therefore making it very difficult to absorb and spread.
Attempts to “debunk superstitious and religious myths” are as pointless as attempts to debunk the story of Cinderella or Shakespeare’s Hamlet! Such a “debunking” presupposes these stories as if they are literal descriptions of reality. They therefore are flawed in the same way that fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible are flawed. It is possible to criticize these stories by focusing on the messages that are inferred from them. However, even this has proven to be very difficult, as there are numerous exegeses and interpretations from various people and at various points of time. This goes back to the power of story-telling as medium of presentation and education, making it enduring and efficacious. Those who attempt to debunk stories are misled by confounding the medium of story-telling with scientific fact-telling.
Although scientific method is a lot more powerful in research and study, even scientists and researchers are specialized in one or a few branches of science. The vast majority of scientific literature is therefore unknown even to the most high-ranking scientists. The situation is even worse for the general public. Most people will never get the chance to absorb a first-hand account of scientific discoveries, and have no alternative but to rely on second-hand and “simplified” anecdotes given by “experts”. A common person would simply ingest these anecdotes through mass media, or word of mouth. If a person observes all anecdotes on a given subject concur, he would take that anecdote as a fact of science. In cases where there seems to be disagreement among experts, common people would resort to other methods to make a judgement. These methods often have nothing to do with scientific method, as the common people do not command sufficient scientific knowledge to be able of using scientific method. Therefore, all it takes to persuade majority of the mass of people that a certain proposition is scientifically accurate, is to either make them believe all “experts” agree with it, or otherwise resort to “public diplomacy” and “public relations” tactics that are designed and purposed to persuade people rather than ensure scientific accuracy. Hence arises “pseudo-science”.
Pseudo-science is an extension of superstition. It is a story that can be classified as “science-fiction”. It has the same function and efficacy of all other stories, only difference is that, pseudo-science is intended to persuade those who prefer science over fiction.
If in the old world the function of story telling was preserved for priests and clerics, in today’s world, this function is carried out by the media. As we saw, media and entertainment are institutions of Department III and therefore funded by the immense economic surplus of overdeveloped side of capitalism. News, movies, TV dramas and online streaming services keep these stories flowing to people. They entertain people, and at the same time, submit their subliminal messaging that indoctrinates them. If during the twentieth century people had to go home to watch TV, and theatres to watch movies and performances, now they can watch all of these at any moment using their smart phones. People watch TV dramas while waiting for the train, or scroll through social media content while taking their children to playground, or read the news while using the toilet. In any situation, their eyes and ears are devoted to the stories that entertain them.
extend an individual’s life experiences. All forms of art follow the rules of
aesthetics. A good story, whether transmitted through text, movie, or TV drama,
will ultimately provoke a sensation. The audience who experience that sensation
will bring their experience forward to their lives.
All societies develop cultural superstructures that are compatible with the relations of production at their base. Serfdom and Feudalism formed the aristocratic society of the middle ages, which then fostered the culture of nobility and gentry in alliance with the Catholic Church. Modern capitalism was accompanied by liberalism and modernity, and welcomed Protestantism. The cultural superstructure of contemporary globalized capitalism is post-modernism. Neloberalism is a combination of the asymmetric world order as we saw before, and post-modernism as the ideology that intends to legitimize the existing order.
Earlier stages of capitalism first witnessed the struggle between the modern bourgeoisie and old rentier classes, and then the two modern social classes, namely workers and capitalists. Revolutionary movements emerged from the grassroots and formed mass parties such as, Social Democracts, Socialists, Labour Parties and Communist Parties. Over time, however, the “iron law of oligarchy”, as postulated by Robert Michels, transformed those mass parties into another group of elites who would rather preserve the status-quo, than to challenge it.
For a while “worker rights” and “resistance against Imperialism” seemed to be appealing and effective to canvas popular votes and crowdfund these parties. Over time however, elites of these political parties realized such slogans are losing their effectiveness and, in order to promote their careers, they have to move on to a new “business-model”!
was that all revolutionary movements were based on a convenient assumption,
that the historic task of capitalism is to eliminate rent and rentier classes
from the economy, therefore, the last and most fundamental source of social
friction that would remain was the struggle between exploited labourers and
exploiter capitalists. However, instead of performing its “historic task” as
expected by these revolutionaries, capitalism made peace with rentier classes
and brought all forms of rent back into the new world. This was land rent in
the form of real-estate bubbles, financial rent in the form of predatory
banking practices, and monopoly rent under the guise of free trade, imposed by
institutions such as WTO
In addition to that, as industries developed towards employing ever more complex and sophisticated technologies, labour itself became more and more specialized. Special skills could benefit from special privileges that used to be unthinkable for labourers. Furthermore, workers were increasingly gaining stakes as members of rentier classes, in the form of property owners, pension-holders or stock owners. Add to this, the Imperialist rent that flows from peripheral societies to metropoles of capitalism, and you will see a fully-fledged labour aristocracy. The enormous magnitude of rent that was flowing from one part of society to other parts, warped the political economy of capitalist societies.
Social institutions such as labour unions and syndicates lost their power in the face of emigration of industries into parts of the world where labour was cheap. If an industry could not move to another part of the world, it would import cheap labourers through immigration and inflow of refugees. If neither of these two options were available, automation and reduction or elimination of reliance on workers was the third alternative.
While traditional identities such as Catholicism were already destroyed in favour of the new identity as citizens of a functioning bourgeois society, globalization and deindustrialization of metropoles of capitalism took even those identities away from a portion of the population. The aggravation of identity crisis begot a fertile ground for the formation of new identities, based on race, sex, or “inter-sex”.
Before disintegration of Soviet Union and during the Cold War years, religion and conservatism performed a crucial function as a bulwark against encroachment of Communist ideology into capitalist territory. Once Soviet Union collapsed, that function was lost. Today Russia is beginning to re-emerge as a competitor and threat against total supremacy and dominance of US Imperialism. However, Russia has transmogrified from a Godless Communist bloc, into an Orthodox Christian country. Therefore, a post-modern ideology that promotes anti-orthodox identities such as gays and transgenders, and seeks to deform traditional religious conventions such as marriage and family, suddenly comes to surface as a convenient ideological tool in the context of a second cold war between US (the metropole at the top of the hierarchy of Imperialism) and Russia (the strongest military power among the peripheries).
As we saw earlier, the general tendency in globalized capitalism is to have an endless and continuous flow of immigrants from the periphery to metropoles. All societies need to maintain a steady rate of population growth. Societies who experience negative population growth, face serious challenges for replenishing their workforce and taking care of their old population. Therefore, maintenance of population growth becomes a serious problem. However, this problem is easily solved by societies who are at the receiving end of the constant flow of immigrants. They can easily replenish their workforce by changing their immigration policies to allow higher number of immigrants. Another benefit of this policy is that skilled labourers can readily be obtained, with no need for error-prone forward planning and investment to train and educate them. Furthermore, as we saw before, immigrants are often more obedient and disciplined than native population. Immigration solves the problem of population growth for metropoles of capitalism, and precipitates it for peripheries.
Historically, most human societies rejected sexual practices such as sodomy or incest as obscene and inadmissible. Although birth rates used to be higher in older times, but rate of death was also higher. Therefore, it is not difficult to see the link between the need to sustain a healthy population, and traditional verdicts on sexual practices. In today’s globalized capitalism, this rejection is often conserved in peripheral societies, but vehemently dismissed in metropoles of capitalism. Post-modern doctrine of “struggle against meta-narratives” fits well into this picture. Translating promotion of unconventional sexual identities into the struggle for freedom, equality and empowerment, further amplifies ideological crusade of metropoles against peripheries.
Most giant corporations of metropole societies fund and promote programs devoted to “diversity and inclusion” and “empowerment”. It is clear that these post-modern initiatives and slogans are aligned with interests of corporations, and therefore the capitalist class of the metropole.
Most metropole societies are enacting new laws and legislations that are increasingly targeting children. Examples are legalising gay couples to adopt children, or mandating educational programs that expose children to homosexual and transgender tendencies. These programs cover age ranges from preschool to high-school. Furthermore, parents are encouraged to put their underage children who express desire to adopt an opposite sexual identity, on medication that suppresses their puberty. All of these are in the name of “keeping the child happy”.
Recently, members of the Royal Family, Prince Harry and Douches Meghan, announced that: “they plan to raise their child with a fluid approach to gender and they won't be imposing any stereotypes”. Since the Royal family is meant to be an icon to preserve the tradition and faith, this move can be the sign of an irreversible qualitative change in the way globalized capitalism functions.
mass media, movies and TV dramas have been indoctrinating people to embrace
these ideas as common sense. Notice, e.g., the same media, movie and drama makers
neither promoted polygamy, nor paedophilia (there have been few experiments
with these ideas, but they were never pursued seriously). Both are still
considered obscene in public opinion, regardless of the fact that the same
post-modern ideological reasoning could be applied to justify these as well
(e.g. one could argue child marriage is permissible if it “makes the child
happy”, similar to the argument for prescribing puberty-suppression medication;
or polygamy could be vindicated in the name of freedom of choice, liberty and
diversity). This could be merely a coincidence, but another plausible
explanation is the fact that both polygamy and paedophilia increase population
growth, whereas homosexuality and transgenderism slow it down. Of course,
another reason for disfavouring polygamy and paedophilia could be due to the
fact that both are somewhat acceptable in Islamic faith, and to various degrees
commonly practiced in peripheral societies (indeed, as relics of old times when
inter-tribal battles used to be common, polygamy and child marriage used to be
solutions to prevent prolonged collapses of population). This would undermine
the progressive and innovative gesture of these movements and does not play
well into the progressive flavour of metropole culture
people who have gone a few steps further to recognize this as an element of
white-supremacist tendencies that seek to keep Muslims out of Western
However, anti-Semitism falls mainly under the “racial struggle”. Racial identities are another big chunk of the Rainbow alliance. Apart from pro-Zionist elements, racial diversity is clearly aligned with the tendency to replenish workforce in metropoles of capitalism through regular inflow of immigrants. This policy is naturally popular among immigrants themselves, and encourages them to support other elements of the Rainbow alliance. Likewise, parts of the population who associate themselves with other minority groups also feel obliged and encouraged to support immigrants and racial diversity, as implied by the motto “we’re all different”.
In terms of
“empowering women”, one of the most fervently debated topics is the right for
birth-control and abortion. Birth-control and abortion always contribute to
lower population growth. Furthermore, many corporations are encouraging female
employees to freeze their eggs and delay their pregnancy to older ages: “They
have said it empowers women and offers them other choices.”
of these into account, the Rainbow Revolution is the product of asymmetric
development that is perpetuated by globalized contemporary capitalism. Although
each individual element of Rainbow alliance may have been originated in a
separate context, all of them are brought together, emboldened and energized in
the context of asymmetric globalized capitalism. However, despite being rooted
in such a deep and systematically reproduced inequality, Rainbow movement
grotesquely masks this inequality with a semblance of equality. Suppression of
entire populations in the peripheral societies is masked by welcoming a token
stream of immigrants into metropoles, therefore creating a semblance of “equal
The long-term trend seems to be an extended version of Ricardo’s comparative advantage theory, applied in population growth management. Peripheries will reproduce, train and export labourers, and metropoles will import and employ them. Therefore, no surprise to see public education in metropoles of contemporary capitalism is losing funding and degrades in quality of education. Of course, in this application of it too, the theory itself is more of a euphemized justification. The real motivations go back to the way the flow of immigrants is sustained and the way it helps control and manage mass sentiments, expectations and behaviour.
Although here we have mostly cited and used Marxist sources and theories, ironically, as evidently demonstrated here, the logical conclusions that follow from these theories are in stark opposition with the policies that are indeed prescribed by Marxist thinkers, activists and politicians. These policies include, on the one hand welcoming refugees and immigrants, embracing sexual and inter-sexual identities as indispensable allies of any progressive movement, racial diversity, and so forth in metropole societies, and on the other hand welfare-state policies leading to formation of a pro-Imperialism middle class in the peripheral societies.
While in isolation each one of these policies may appear as a progressive movement, when observed synthetically, they turn into component parts of a global system that acts as a centrifuge, concentrating the best global talents, wealth and welfare at disposal of a small minority of people positioned as the top global elite, and spreading misery for the growing majority at the bottom. Once grasped, these insights can throw light on many ostensibly irrational tendencies, and enable more accurate predictions as to the consequences of long-term trends. E.g., it is not difficult to see, unlike what most Marxist activists and thinkers expect, the general tendency is not toward total abolition of welfare-state in the metropole societies. The welfare-state is a crucial requirement to sustain the constant flow of immigrants from peripheral societies into metropoles. However, certain aspects and functions of the welfare-state may be distorted and repurposed to support its new function. A conspicuous example is the education system, which is no longer as important in metropole societies, for any skill shortages are instantly mended by means of adjusting immigration policies. Certain strategically sensitive research areas will retain or even increase their funding, such as those applicable in the military and security technologies.
On the other side, implementing welfare-state policies in peripheral societies leads to destabilization and deindustrialization. Therefore, the necessary condition before vindicating these policies is to assume isolationist policies delinking these societies from the “world market” and globalized capitalism. A peripheral society may somewhat safely go back to open borders policies, only given two preconditions are available: First, if it has developed a national bourgeoisie who is deeply tied to their domestic economy and national institutions; and second, a domestic industry that can satisfy domestic needs and does not succumb to productive and psychological supremacy of global competitors. China is the most successful example of this approach to development, while Venezuela and many others are examples of failed welfare-states who ultimately destabilize their own popular base.
Once a peripheral society develops a middle class that is integrated into the globalized capitalism, it is no longer possible to have a democratic road to development. In these cases, democratic institutions become unstable and need to be stabilized by other national institutions. Iran is an example of this case, being a relatively stable state, despite its already overgrown middle-class pushing for unfettered integration with global economy. Few scholars and progressive activists have noticed this tendency, while often most others choose to support democracy as a nonnegotiable principle.
Back in the metropole societies, especially during periods of economic downturn, the native population would naturally react to the flow of immigrants. The political response will be in two directions. The so called “political right” will capitalize on popular resentment and pretends to be tough against immigrants, while ultimately trying to palliate economic climate through expansion of military budget, tax-cuts and other monetary and fiscal policies. The so called “political left”, however, will double-down on fighting racism, going tough against Xenophobia and promoting diversity and inclusion, hoping to pacify the population through subjective means. As we saw, since the palliative actions taken by political right are also ultimately insufficient, the political left can also capitalise on failure of their right-wing competitors. Therefore, this turns into a perpetual swing from left to right to left, ad-infinitum. Unlike what many contemporary Marxist thinkers have argued, there is no tendency toward resurrection of Fascism, unless we use the term in reference to something other than what emerged during the first half of the twentieth century. Back then the effect of immigration did not exist as it does today. Furthermore, the ruling classes of industrial powers of that time were mostly restricted within national confines of well-defined and contrasted nation-states. Today’s elite, however, do not support nationalist agenda and mass resentment may only be used as temporary advantages to canvas votes. Ultimately, all political forces coalesce in favour of keeping the status-quo. Although, the democratic principle of “freedom of speech” will pale out even more, not so much by the political right, but more so by the political left as they push harder to build a uniform culture of “diversity and inclusion”.
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