Global Capitalism and the Demise of the Left - Steve Best
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Global Capitalism and the Demise of the Left

Written by Steve Best
Format(s): PDF
Language: English

Also available here:

http://www.inclusivedemocracy.org/journal/pdf%20files/pdf%20vol5/Special%20Issue%20Winter%202009.pdf

S
ince the election of George Bush in 2000 (and his
re-election in 2004), the tragedy of 9/11, the US
invasion of Iraq in 2003, and ever more indicators
of human-induced global climate change, the crisis in the
social and natural worlds has sharpened considerably. The
deterioration of society and nature demands a profound,
systematic, and radical political response, yet in recent
decades Left opposition movements have grown weaker in
proportion to their importance. As the globe spirals ever
deeper into disaster, with all things becoming ever more
tightly knit into the tentacles of global capitalism, and as
oppositional voices propose programs of reform and moderation at best, there is an urgent need for new conceptual
and political maps and compasses to help steer humanity
into a viable mode of existence. Karl Marx’s 1843 call for a
“ruthless criticism of everything existing” has never been
more pressing and profound than in contemporary times
of predatory global capitalism, neoliberalism, the World
Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA), the demise of social democracies, the
police states of George Bush and Tony Blair, the assault on
liberties and the criminalization of dissent, species extinction, rainforest destruction, resource wars, and global
warming.
Given the advances of capitalism and the cooptation and
retreat of radical politics, it is urgent that genuine oppositional viewpoints be kept alive and nurtured in intellectual, public, and political forums. When one considers the paucity of radical viewpoints that still survive, the project of
Inclusive Democracy immediately comes to mind as one of
the few, if not the only, coherent and comprehensive theoretical and political frameworks for systemic social change.
Inclusive Democracy aims to develop a radical theoretical
analysis of – and political solution to – the catastrophic
social and environmental impact of the market economies
spawned by Western capitalist nations. This approach is inclusive in two senses. First, it seeks to transform all realms
of public life, economic, political, legal, cultural, educational, and so on. Second, it aims to incorporate a wide
diversity of social voices (or at least those legitimate expressions of difference not dedicated to ending difference
and democracy by imposing authoritarian, elite, and fascist systems onto others) into revitalized public spheres. It
is a form of radical democracy in its synthesis of classical
Greek and libertarian socialist outlooks, a perspective that
seeks to abolish all hierarchies and dissolve power into
confederated local direct, economic, social and ecological
democracies.

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