- If we had to summarize the history of humanity, there is a medium consensus among historians that we are going through the following general stages: Prehistory, which goes from immemorial times to the year 4000 B.C.
This period, in turn, passes through the Paleolithic where nomadic man soon discovers the use of fire and the wheel and moves on to the Neolithic where he becomes a farmer and a stockbreeder until he becomes sedentary and finally arrives at the handling of metals and develops the first collective settlements of individuals with daily social and commercial life. Then, we enter the Ancient Age, from 3,300 B.C. to the 5th century A.D.
It is in this stage where the rest of our history developed in a much more vertiginous way, because it is here where writing appears as a great reference of the first civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and the great Rome.
And it is precisely with the fall of the Roman Empire that we enter what we have called the Middle Ages, a dark, feudal and monotheistic passage that during 1,000 years (from the 5th century A.D. to the 15th century A.D.) went through specific periods such as the early, high and low ages, leading to the Crusades and the burghs, which are particularly fascinating for the subject that will occupy us here.
With the discovery of America in 1492 we arrive at the colonialism and absolute monarchy of the Modern Age whose conceptual epicenter is the Enlightenment, the century of lights that concludes with the French Revolution on 1789 where the popular power and the division of the Church/State is claimed.
This is how humanity arrives at the Contemporary Age which is born along with the 19th century and is characterized by the two industrial revolutions and the Second World War (1914-1918), the Great Depression of 1929, the Second World War (1939- 1945), the Cold War, the landing on the moon and the war for the conquest of space and globalization.
This elementary account is not idle, on the contrary, it is of vital importance because it is in the march of human history that we can find the points of revival that will help us to elaborate a better future for all.
- Now, in the development of humanity there are many elements that have allowed us to identify ourselves as a society or human aggregate, but the most important collective features as we all converge, are the aspects of economic, political and social organization.
This conceptual group brings as a result, along with other secondary elements, the culture of a people, a country or of the whole of humanity.
We can affirm that during these years of summarized human history, our system of gregarious organization is founded on the basis of private property, the possession and exchange of goods as well as their reproduction and accumulation.
That is to say, with Hobbes, that “man is a wolf to man” insofar as the origin of the State is found in the collective objective of delegating to a superior entity, the regulation of what belongs to us and what does not belong to us as well as the protection of our physical and patrimonial integrity for which the monopoly of the use of legal and legitimate force is delegated to that entity. The theories that follow only discuss which model is more pertinent to fulfill this task, whether the government of one (monarchy), the few (oligarchy) or the many (democracy), let’s say that this conceptual synthesis places us in the model in force in the West: The Nation-States Republic (with three powers) Federal (with local governments attached to a larger one) and electoral systems that allow access to such representative bodies (parties, laws, procedures and electoral institutions).
However, if in the West this is the model of political and social organization generally endorsed by the world concert (UN), it is also understood that the precursor ingredient (the economy) will also be designed to preserve private property and the corresponding chains of production, commercialization and accumulation of wealth. A capitalist world, with the stages that one wants (original, protectionist, monetarist, etc.) infers that humanity is based on a scale of values where the preponderant elements are to have things and this makes us better people than others, because from there the fundamental objective of the State is fulfilled which is to take care of private property and the process of accumulation as a whole.
It is for this reason that the wealthiest people of each country and their companies listed on the stock exchanges are the ones who really make the decisions, using the political systems and government bodies as actors of containment, understanding that the citizenry is both a market and a threat.
- On April 3, 2020, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund said that “it is humanity’s darkest hour” referring to the economic impact that the COVID19 pandemic is generating in all the economies of the world. The IMF and the World Bank are the global institutions that guarantee the current version of capitalism par excellence, which is why this declaration is so striking.
It makes it clear that we are not living the end of humanity, but the end of a capitalist economic cycle: the neoliberal, the savage or the monetarist whatever you want to call these last 45 years, where the current motto was “let it be done, let it be done”, which has already been widely theorized by Milton Friedman (Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976) and his disciples at the Chicago School of Economics.
Part of the collateral damage of this model implanted disadvantageously in several regions of the world brought as a result a new financial colonialism and a new center-periphery relationship.
On the other hand, one of the collateral effects of this model was the generation of such massive poverty that it had to be categorized as “extreme” and “acceptable” and an unprecedented concentration of the means of production in all its branches, as well as a compact and volatile market that allowed the preservation of the status quo for only half a decade.
The vertiginous nature of this process of capital accumulation meant that most countries were unprepared to face a health crisis such as the one that resulted from the COVID19 given that public health has not been a priority, nor has social welfare or the generation of decent, well-paid jobs; thus, the neoliberals who control their countries had their labor force and market paralyzed, a binomial that kept them at the top of the food chain.
And that is why, faced with the income crisis, their immediate option is to squeeze the precarious public coffers to oxygenate their profits and not lose the rhythm of accumulation.
In countries where companies are in charge, this has been resolved in this way, but in countries where governments are the product of the vow of poverty, there is an interesting crossroads: there is a debate between the rescue of companies and direct support to the most needy, once again the fight of the opposites, wild neoliberalism against populist state protectionism.
However, both within the margins of capitalism, since the populists have not presented a different model of production and accumulation, they simply keep “surviving” their voters with assistance and containment programs without this leading the poor to join effective and efficient productive chains, they just have them there, vegetating and voting with or without viruses.
- The COVID19 is a watershed in history that reveals the end of wild, neoliberal and monetarist capitalism.
But it also confirms the economic ineffectiveness of the distribution of the budget in assistance and credits, since neither one nor the other can be sustained anymore. In this dilemma, saving the rich again at the expense of the poor is not going to collapse socially with hunger and violence, on the other hand, saving the poor at the expense of the rich will bring stock market turbulence and economic collapse.
Then it is politics that can save us by conceiving a new social pact, which must come from the super structure, that is, from the super powers to recalculate the route and design a new world order, in the economic, political and social areas.
The G8 (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Russia) and even these same countries, extended to the recently industrialized countries (G20), must be the arena in which the course and destiny of humanity is determined.
This is why the production of knowledge, deep reflection and feasible proposals are becoming increasingly necessary.
Further tightening of positions will result in the general collapse of the aggregates of individuals, unviable countries, failed states and chaos and violence as bargaining chips.
It is in this context that we place at the center of the debate the right to re- embrace ourselves, for which we must put an immediate stop to several productive chains that are flagrantly wounding humanity: trafficking in drugs, arms, people, medicines and energy.
This is the minimum big five that must be seriously discussed if we want to preserve humanity in terms of collective modernity instead of moving on to involutive actions that put us in cavernous scenarios of the imposition of the strongest, where we are already, de facto and technically, in a position to do so.
To this end, we must promote a transition agenda that allows us to migrate from a model of wild neoliberalism to another with reasonable limits of production and accumulation of wealth, but above all, what we must migrate is the scale of values, from one where what matters is to have more than the most to another where the important thing is to support others, more than the others.
That is to say that we should not consider a capitalism where we stop being “so wild” to be just “a little wild”; rather we should ask ourselves if having so many cars, houses, jewels and money in the banks really makes us better people than others. If it does, this quarantine refutes it easily.
#HugsWillReturnabril 10, 2020