Look around the world and you see nations engaging in a kind of verbal warfare. Better of course than actual warfare but pointless and limiting. The problem is or so it seems to us, too many countries fail to understand their shared value base. They, for one reason or another, prefer to obsess about difference rather than what is similar or familiar. The reason is probably because they came to where they are via different routes.
Just as you can “hack” across the English countryside to get to Sheffield, you can also take the motorway. Both journeys end up at the same place but the experience of getting there will be very different. So like Russia and the West we have arrived at a 21st century socioeconomic system that is broadly the same; Debt based and consumer driven. This is currently where all western type nations stand. Nations who have, by dint of capitalist exploitation or exploitation by the industrialised state, got to a point where working people have acquired a level of freedom which is different from cultures which are for other reasons locked into a mediaeval “dark ages”. North Korea, Saudi Arabia and most of the Middle East, are feudal systems propped up by wealth controlled by a state elite who ruthlessly control power. No good being an outspoken soldier in North Korea or an outspoken woman is Saudi. This would be too much for the “state”. Death would await.
The perversity of why the West is as it is, is to us quite simple. Before you can equalise people (moving away from gender or race based discrimination for example) you have to prolatarianise them. It is the process of prolatarianisation, be it private capitalist or state capitalist systems like Russia, which drives the demand for equality. Industrialisation simply needs workers, not male workers or female workers, black workers or white workers but workers! Eventually Gay workers etc. Countries that have not industrialised and have not therefore prolatarianised cannot deliver freedom and equality. It simply isn’t in the cultural vocabulary for them to do so. So invariably you end up with a North Korea or Saudi Arabia, Myanmar or wherever. It is just the way it is. Look at a woman in a Burka and you don’t see a person defined by her work you see a woman defined by her gender. Scary stuff if you are a woman on the left wing of politics!
Now this reflects a problem for the West in that we no longer have a “capitalist” system, reinforcing capitalist principles of contract, choice and consent.
Capitalism, before it morphed into the ghastly debt based “free market”, had spawned one very significant but ignorant and ungrateful offspring, namely socialism. Socialists don’t seem to see that the wealth spent by socialist governments came from capitalism, wealth they spent on welfare systems and social reform.
Socialists somehow think that this bounteous wealth came from the actions of socialist governments alone and not from the actions of industry and workers. It’s ignorance makes it careless about the freedoms that have flowed from capitalism. The freedom for women to work, to be part of the political system, to freely marry divorce and have lives determined by them and not the state or their gender, is thanks, not to socialism alone, but to the principles laid down in early capitalist society. Without those principle socialism would have had neither the vocabulary nor the money to effect real change in peoples lives via health, welfare and personal rights.
However modern socialism with its state managed obsessions about diversity and its embrace of all things anti capitalist, is now in danger of promoting systems of rights which are pre capitalist and pre socialist. Rights defined by gender predominantly. Today socialism provides a fertile home, particularly in the United Kingdom,for islamists, misogynists, anti Semites and homophobes to flourish. The sad thing is most modern socialists including our old friend Jeremy Corbyn are too ill informed about socialisms roots to realise it, or to understand how they contribute to it…..as too are most of their voters.
Only a Blue Revolution can take ordinary workers on a progressive journey into the future, preserving our hard fought for workers rights and freedoms. Sadly the modern left will simply bankrupt us, ball us up and drop our culture into the dustbin of history, followed shortly by socialism itself!