Thursday, February 22, 2018

Global market forces

Globalised markets force industrialisation and urbanisation, which destroy traditional communities and interrupt family relationships, as the customs that nourished local communities are disrupted.

People become “independent choosers” responding to a market that provides limitless choice of consumer good. They can meet their needs without worrying about anyone else. This fosters selfishness, a basic human condition.

The global market brings a drive for efficiency that separates people into winners and losers. Some succeed, but many are forced into precarious employment with very low pay and harsh working conditions. They are overwhelmed and isolated, without reliable personal networks to provide assistance in time of trouble.

People who struggle are forced to look to the state for assistance, but they are faced by an impersonal, uncaring, rules-driven bureaucracy, that leaves them feeling powerless, frustrated and resentful.

The modern urban environment gives people immense social and personal freedom. The successful people flaunt their freedom by living promiscuous lives without any moral accountability. Those who have missed out express their frustration and resentment in aggression, abuse and undisciplined behaviour that makes their situation worse.

Once outside of traditional communities, customs and social mores that constrained behaviour seem hypocritical and repressive. They are replaced by standardised, impersonal laws developed and enforced by human governments. Despite the promise of freedom, the state has to become more and more involved in intimate personal affairs. Legal and political solutions are needed for issues that were once resolved at a local level.

Leaders claim that all people are free and equal, but the drive for efficiency creates a new meritocracy that directs the economy and society. They have no obligation to care for others, except from a distance, through donations to “caring organisations”. The winners congregate in wealthy neighbourhoods of prosperous cities. The people with the capacity to organise social and communal support tend to follow them out. The losers remain where they were and are swamped by the global economy without any support networks.

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