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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Globalized tragedy: The new capitalism

The horrors of this century are not likely to be rooted in the ideals of the far Left. Communism has failed and the Right is correct to quickly acknowledge that. The new tragedy, however, will likely result from the shameful triumphalism that was built from the rubble of the Berlin Wall.

As a result of this embarrassing post-Cold War moralizing (manifested in tax cuts used to pay for massive increases in military spending) the US has, at almost $10 trillion, become the world?s largest debtor. This includes not only government debt, but also the debt of average Americans.

While many citizens of the US buy products without thinking about where they came from, much less the exploitation of that resource, their payments do cause repercussions. For example, little thought goes into buying cow meat, a food that may have come from the ranches of arguably the largest cattle producing nation, Brazil.

The burning of rainforests to make way for cattle grazing affects both the traditional lifestyles of Amazon natives and the biodiversity of that country. Apparently, the swipe of a credit card does more than simply buy a product.

This process of environmental and cultural degradation quickened its pace tremendously in the aftermath of the Cold War, when Right-wing western leaders felt that capitalism had ?won in an absolute way,? as John Tirman said, ?Adam Smith defeated Karl Marx, end of story.?

With that simple contrast, proponents of globalization sum up all of their hopes, among them the rule of market forces and reductions in government spending on social services.

While opposing government action on poverty, neoliberal thinkers are largely silent on issues such as tax benefits and government subsidies for large businesses (as are the upper and middle classes). By giving more money to the already rich, extreme ?free? markets are destroying the opportunities they claim to create.

In fact, the main goal of neoliberal globalization is to perpetuate or restore the relationship between the weak and the powerful around the world. As this motive is disguised by such appealing words as ?freedom? and ?democracy,? it would never occur to many that this capitalism is one of exploitation and control.

?This is no longer the capitalism of freedom, but the capitalism of walls, of barriers,? as philosopher Slavoj Zizek said. Immigration restrictions and concrete fences demonstrate this truth, by class segregation and conceited superiority.

Yet perhaps what is most appalling is the ignorance shown by the American consumer. While the wealth of multinational corporations skyrockets, poverty increases and debt soars, those consumers are not voting for change or demanding it in other ways. They are in an all-out celebration of extreme capitalism and brutal free-market systems, spending money they do not have on products they do not need.

The sickening complacency of the middle class and the shortsighted enthusiasm of the upper class continually create globalized tragedy. Although America?s role in the Cold War is nothing to be praised (as is the Soviet Union), its role after the conflict is simply shameful.

Environmental degradation, cultural extinction, debt and social stratification have shot up dramatically since 1991. These effects of post-Cold War triumphalism will certainly turn out to be just as terrible as the Cold War itself and consumers will not be innocent of any blame.

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    Paige PowellJan 16, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Rachel, your amazing! You are such an encouragement to me and the rest of the team. You always push yourself to do your best (or until you pass out at meets) and you always have a “this one time…” story to tell.

    You bring a smile to my face when hills just can’t get any worse. I love you and I’m going to miss you a lot next year!

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  • G

    Gigi ThaoJan 16, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Way to go Rachel! Sprint till the end.

    Good job at this meet even though I couldn’t go. At least we will have nice weather today though.

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