The Transnational Capitalist Class is at it again, controlling mindsets through class systems, state intervention and consumerism as means to maximize profits. And what’s even worse, they get away with it.
Oh Karl Marx, you could not have been anymore right than you already are. How come you ask? Well to put it in brief terms, the Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC) of course! By that I mean, as free as we all are, we are only as free as they want us to be.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have an issue and that issue is that class disparities STILL exist in the 21st century. With the rising Global Political Economy (GPE) and everyone on the right track to developmental success, we should have been over this matter a long time ago, but of course as Marx would have it, sometimes you just can’t see the world any other way. I can’t say that I’m surprised though, since TCC’s run the majority of the global economy, and to them someone has got to do the jobs the middle class will not do.
But how do they do it? How do they climb up a ladder so high that not even the state itself can keep them in line? One could say that history plays a big role in it. Trading began with merchants who were bound to no citizenship of any country, therefore they were free to move their trade elsewhere should they wish with zero constraints. These merchants moved on to become multinationals, in which they traded with multiple countries at a time (Ravenhill, 2011).
However within near to recent years, some began to view the world as a whole and as nothing more than one country, also known as transnationalization. That being instead of having multiple financial flows between countries, its one single global producer that brands the economy (Ravenhill, 2011). With such variables, an elite class that has been able to triumph in power has emerged, the Transnational Capitalist Class. Yes, it is a mouthful, but don’t worry they do carry multiple aliases such as: the elite, the upper class, and my personal favorite (thanks to Marx) the Bourgeoisie.
The ‘one-country-world’ type view they have is essentially fed by the strange need to privatize everything (not necessarily a healthy outlook but not that I can say anything to them). They do this by the concept of hegemony developed by Antonio Gramsci, where they reach a point so elite they manage to reorganize structures and relationships between society, the economy, and the state to better benefit the means of global trade and production (Ravenhill, 2011).
Reasons like these answer how the state essentially ends up having no say in anything (so much for ‘no higher authority than the state’). Due to the reorganizing of structures, especially social ones, individuals end up accepting the roles they were been born into, and so essentially we consent to these social disparities.
Another thing that they have going for them is Adam Smith, also known as the father of economics, where he insists on no state intervention, as the invisible hand will regulate the market itself. Keynesian economics however, argues that there should be little state interference within the market as a form of regulation. But not many ‘people’ seem to agree with it, although I might question if it truly is what the ‘people’ want and not what the bourgeoisie wants.
They idealize the fictional reality of the market run economy as beneficial to all individuals, but the unfortunate actual reality of it is that it only benefits them. Sure, one can see the positive sides as they do generate job opportunities and do help boost the GPE, but to that one also has to answer at what cost?
There is no reason as to why you should not be able to grow, but there has to be a system of checks and balances which regulate these growths, to ensure that it does not infringe on another’s livelihood. That, ironically, would be the liberal way of looking at things, where the state is there to make laws to protect individual freedoms and rights.
However, as I mentioned before, the TCC needs someone to do the job that others will not do. For them to be able to achieve this is to continuously sustain disparities in classes, and dictate that different classes are ‘meant’ for different things within their ‘structure-reorganizational-strategy’.
They do this by targeting the developing countries whose national economy depends on foreign trade and investment. Chances are, the elites do disclose a ‘few’ terms and conditions (which the states have no other choice than to abide by if they want the investment) and can’t impeach, even if it meant the abuse of human rights.
For instance Monsanto, the world’s largest genetically modified seed producer, helps highlight the degree of abuse in which agricultural workers face. Their main aim is to get farmers to buy a modified seed that resists the initial pesticide they sell as well. The pesticide’s toxins render the soil infertile and therefore would require a special seed (that they ‘conveniently’ sell) that can grow in such toxic soils.
From a business perspective, this would be identified as a success because now you have created a dependency cycle of pesticide and pesticide resistant seeds (both of which are sold at unreasonable prices). The company employs child labor and in India, they have employed approximately 12,375 children. But what they failed to disclose were the hazardous effects of the pesticide on human life. It had been reported to “cause cancers, skin disorders… and damage to the … nervous systems” along with many other threats.
At such a young age, children work in harmful conditions and are brought up to believe that doing this kind of work will sustain them and their families, instead of going to school. This only increases the chances of creating a doctrine that ‘this is all you are good for’, implementing an idea that this type of work is what they will be doing for the remainder of their lives. When it comes to their parents, it is highly likely that they believe in the same thing, as they see no use in what school offers children, not forgetting that poverty also plays a large role in these situations too.
It is in these ways the TCC digs its claws into class disparities, only making them wider, and more obvious as a means to maintain control. So how can this problem be fixed? The only ones who have more control than the elitist class, is the public itself (or as they like to see us: consumers). Because a company without consumers, has no demands, makes no profits and has an absolute
zero for a role. Simply put, boycotting.
The power is within civil society, but as of late, we tend to function more as brainwashed consumers who would demand for luxury items at a cheaper price, rather than being humans calculating the setbacks and budget cuts that such cheap prices actually entail. Lets not ignore that their aim is to maximize profit through cutting costs, so essentially what we need to not forget, is them. They are humans too, who work at atrocious conditions just to be able to live another day with a ‘hand-to-mouth’ mindset.
“Sorry, we are not taking any suggestions at the moment.”
Fadhila Al Asmawi | Dubai Campus
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