Neoliberal globalist capitalism is animated by two tendencies, diametrically opposed in practice and yet absolutely converging in purpose. These propensities are both political and economic. The first is a separative trend while the second is a propensity for homologation. The separative tendency of neoliberal capitalism is a political manoeuvre whose purpose is the attempt to practice the famous Roman adage “divide et impera” while the propensity for cultural homologation of the masses is a condition sine qua non for the unification of the market, of consumers and of products. These two aspirations, despite their apparent divergence, are none other than the two primary methodologies aimed at maintaining, strengthening and developing the system.
The capitalist economic/political system, as Marx explained much better than me, is naturally, structurally, divisive. In fact, it tends to create, strengthen and favour the division of society into classes of “winners and losers”, exploited and exploiters. The globalist and neoliberal drift of capitalism today has not only highlighted this innate tendency of the system, but has accentuated it. Nowadays, the disproportionate difference between rich and poor has grown out of all proportion and tends to accelerate. As an example, I report the following data: during the year 2018 an average Amazon worker earned $ 30,000; roughly the same amount that Jeff Bezos, CEO of the company, earned every 10 seconds.
Although neoliberal globalist capitalism has as its sole purpose the greatest profit for the least number of people, this discrepancy between the economic power of the “masters of steam” and the vast majority of the people has become a serious problem. Obviously it is a problem for the working people, who see the fruit of their work transferred and concentrated in the hands of a transnational elite, but it has also become a problem for the elite themselves who, responsible for the social injustice (or legalised theft) in action, runs the risk of being overwhelmed by an ever more conceivable “awakening of consciences”.
One of the strategies adopted by the “masters of the world” to respond to this problem, and to subvert and channel the growing anger of the people, is that, as mentioned above, of the use of the old Roman stratagem of “divide and rule”. The greatest danger to the status quo, in fact, is a condensation along party lines of the people. A massive organisation of intentions and their political coordination would mark the end of the current system in a short time. It is therefore of paramount importance, from the point of view of the elites, to ensure that this does not happen. Any form of commonality of objectives, of community aggregation and legislative compactness must be (and in fact it is) blocked, ostracised and discouraged.
The capitalist system, in fact, has as its first enemy the social pact intended as a defense of the interests of the many and as a cohesive attempt of the human brotherhood. The dominant economic and political apparatus therefore desires individuals emptied of any collective belonging and therefore politically solitary individuals unable to refuse everything that capital will want to impose on them.
This politically separative tendency is evident in many aspects of today’s social and working life. From the systematic weakening of trade unions, to the impoverishment of community work in favour, for example, of teleworking or the gig economy, which exploits the worker in his condition as an atom separated from the working community (and moreover devoid of any form of right), there are many examples that could be made of this current. But no example is more evident and oppressive than the perpetual separative effort of identity (individual and individualist).
This effort – of culture, media and propaganda – aims to separate the mass, the people, which if united would represent a revolutionary potential, into small nuclei closed in on themselves, not communicating, antagonistic and therefore in constant struggle with each other. This is often rightly defined as a “struggle between the poor”.
The people are then incited by power, mainly through propaganda, to form factions at odds with each other. These factions, or non-dialoguing dichotomies, are continuously and alternately fomented by the ruling class through the lever of individual, particular and exclusive identity. So we see white versus blacks, natives versus migrants, men versus women, Christians versus Muslims, heterosexual versus homosexuals, yes-vax versus no-vax and so on step into the ring of social conflict. These conflicts, albeit spontaneously existing, are continuously amplified both by the media drums and by the system itself which, by producing masses of dispossessed forced to compete with each other, creates the conditions for conflict. The purpose of this operation is to push the divided people to fight against themselves horizontally and to distract them from the true source of their discontent (the elite capitalist system) which would instead require a vertical struggle against the guardians of the established social condition.
In other words, the separative attitude of the capitalist system is nothing more than a weapon of mass distraction unsheathed in defense of the uncritical and static conservation of the system itself. The citizen is led to believe that the fault of his condition is, for example, the migrant and that if he were to disappear this would change his social and economic situation. At the same time, the migrant is pushed to believe that he is not well liked by the native population because of the color of his skin and not because, probably without knowing it, he has arrived in a country whose social and economic fabric is at the end of it’s tether and his presence is therefore seen as one too many. These contrasting and specifically targeted narratives allow the system and its defenders to transform two potential allies into bitter enemies.
This is an old trick but it is very efficient. A bit like skilful pickpockets, the defenders of the established power distract the citizen by attracting his attention to the left hand while stealing his wallet with the right.
The second propensity of globalist capitalism is diametrically opposite to the one just described. The globalist economic system, in fact, is formed on what the philosopher Diego Fusaro calls “neutralising inclusion” and that is a necessary, from the point of view of the system, neutralisation of regional cultural specificities. This has a purely economic function.
The economic task of this trend is to standardise the production model and the way of consumption of goods. To summarise this task, we can cite the famous exclamation of Henry Ford who, speaking of the choice his customers had on the color of his cars, said: “They can choose the color they want. As long as it’s black! ”. Here, global capitalism similarly exclaims: “You can choose the product you prefer. As long as it’s ours! “
The aim of globalised capitalism is to sell as many products as possible to as many consumers as possible. To achieve its aim, the system needs neutral, indistinct, narcissistic and above all homologated consumers. This allows the merchant to exponentially expand the market and therefore the number of consumers that can be reached by the same product. In other words, to achieve the maximum possible profit, the globalised capitalist system wants everything to be selfsame. The product must be the same as must be the consumer.
The homologating trend of the market is particularly visible in the clothing sector. The new frontiers of fashion are pushing more and more towards a thinner proposal of differences. Just think of unisex garments or homogeneous prêt-à-porter whether it is sold in Italy or sold in China. Perhaps the most striking example of this homologation can be found in the famous “United Colors” advertising of the Benetton brand where children of all races, and therefore representatives of different cultures, all pose together dressed in the same way. In short, “United Colors” yes, but under the sign of dollar green.
The biggest obstacle to this consumerist relativism therefore remains the regional and cultural identity under the spur of the specific popular tradition. This tradition, deriving from the particular history of a given people, reflects its peculiarity and therefore, consequently, its identity. This regional typicality is what global capitalism refuses and tries to destroy and level by any means, be it propaganda, cultural, political or economic. It should therefore not be surprising that the two prevailing political visions fork between sovereignty and globalism and that the economic ones between globalised production and consumption and locally sourced one.
In short, the capitalist and globalist “open society” wants nothing more than a society emptied of its specific cultural values, a society which, therefore, devoid of tradition, can be moulded at will by the market and in which it is possible to insert products manufactured in mass and consumed by the multitude. This economic system yearns to neutralise any communal aspiration other than that of commercial exchange, that is, the market. The state, a fundamental organ for the democratic expression of the polis, is therefore extorted from its congenital function and forced to govern FOR the market instead of governing THE market.
It should be briefly remembered that all dictatorships tend towards standardisation because this destroys individuality and consequently weakens the attitude and habit of dissent. The concrete example is the uniform imposed by the dictator; which on the one hand unites the wearer and on the other kills all forms of originality. The peculiarity of today’s financial dictatorship is that it simultaneously promotes uniformity of tastes and encourages a false choice (the Fordian “As long as it is black!” Which updated becomes “As long as they are jeans!”). To summarise, it could be said that without cultural roots the citizen loses his specific regional identity, without identity he loses the sense of belonging to a community and without communal awareness he loses his ability to resist. Which is exactly what the system wants.
Following this thought, a question arises spontaneously: if the aim of the system is to homogenise the heterogeneous cultures, which dominant culture must they adapt to? What is the original archetype to clone? The answer is obvious and predictable. The cannibal and oppressive cultural model is that of the “American way of life”. A North American model based on unbridled and low-quality consumption, on extreme individualism, on wild competition and promoter of a childish and infantilising culture. In short, the “fast-food and quick money” model.
IDENTITY AND BORDERS
The greatest fallacy of modern thought consists in confusing the right and necessary yearning for equality with the erroneous and destructive claim of sameness. While equality is a sacrosanct political claim built on justice, both social and economic, sameness is an overbearing and tyrannical attempt to level the different. This levelling assumes, as we have seen previously, a collective approach to a basic model (in our case the North American one) from which to clone the multiple manifestations of being. Like a virus, sameness takes hold of the other to make it the same, thus destroying the individual and collective identity of peoples.
In fact, identity can only exist in difference. One is one because it is not the other. I am me because I am not you. It is precisely in the mediation of differences that the individual understands, nourishes and enriches his own specificity. Open and respectful dialogue, therefore, becomes a necessary means to ensure that two distinct realities can communicate. Without difference, the dialogue becomes a repetitive and demeaning monologue, a killer of fantasy, education and relationships. On the contrary, true dialogue forces the parties to try to understand each other without therefore abandoning their own perspective. In doing so, true dialogue enriches and embellishes one’s own identity, and that of the other, through comparison.
This peculiarity of the human experience is most noticeable in the act of traveling. During the trip, the citizen comes into contact with a social and cultural reality different from his own. From it, in the first place, he observes and learns different visions, rites and approaches to the human adventure and secondly he compares them with his own. The exploration of the different increases his wisdom and the comparison with it increases his awareness of identity. Anyone who travels, once back home, brings back not only new knowledge and the scent of distant worlds, but also a new sensitivity in observing his own gardens.
It is too often forgotten evidence that every culture, however different, is nothing more than a manifestation of the human race. Humanity, unitary in itself, stands out in its plurality, complexity and variety. In fact, regional cultural identity is nothing more than a narrative identity deriving from specific stories, traditions and memories.
Just as between two human beings, at the micro level, identity arises from the distinction from the other, at the macro level the national culture is geographically distinguished within the border. The national border, the frontier, is nothing more than the delineation of the limits of a reality beyond which the other exists. This limit defines the historical, cultural and traditional identity of a people but also, and perhaps above all, determines it’s sovereignty, that is, the possibility of governing it’s own destiny.
In ancient times of war the victorious aggressor, as a first move, demolished the walls of the conquered city. The demolition of the walls was a conquest for the aggressor but a loss for the attacked. During the Peloponnesian War, when Sparta conquers Athens on the battlefield, it orders, according to the surrender pacts stipulated, to tear down its walls. This is not done to unite Sparta and Athens in brotherhood but to leave Athens naked, so to speak, defenceless, vulnerable to the command of Sparta. It should therefore come as no surprise that Athens would never regain its former prosperity and that the collapse of its walls marks the end of the golden age of Hellenic civilisation. The demolition of the border is always an act of colonisation by the dominant army or thought or economic system which, as we have seen repeatedly, wishes to impose its own supervision and consequently dominate the other. It follows that the famous speech of Pericles to the Athenians “Here in Athens we do so”, in which the famous politician describes the characteristics of Athenian democracy, once the city walls have fallen, no longer subsists. Without the walls that delineate Athens, there is no longer a “here” or a “we”. And without them it is impossible to define the “we do so” as distinct from another doing.
To return to our times, it is clear that the principles of nation, sovereignty, tradition and cultural identity are under attack from an anthropophagous economic system that intends to destroy the different in order to impose its own. In this context it seems obvious that the current demonisation of national borders is nothing more than a trick of capitalism which wishes to colonise the minds and bodies of the world in the name of profit. The political and media campaigns conceived to execute the very principle of nation as an intrinsically racist, warmongering and isolationist principle serve transnational capital to destroy and abolish all the legal, political and economic defense systems available to the various peoples. The globalist and capitalist “no border” society wishes to see the same triumph on a global scale: one language, one thought, one law, one single way of producing and consuming… in short, a single way of life dictated and controlled by an always narrower elite.
We can therefore conclude that there are two types of universalism: the first perceives the levelling and in-distinction of the parts as the only way of union; the second, on the contrary, celebrates and defends differences as the only healthy and fraternal attitude of being in the world.
In an episode of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s masterpiece “The Brothers Karamazov” a noblewoman, as pious as she is rich, visits the starec (Christian mystic) Zosima in her monastery. Moved by a profound crisis of conscience, she confesses to him that: “I love humanity, but to my great surprise, the more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular.” The episode described by the Russian master perfectly describes the dilemma in which today’s societies find themselves.
Driven by an honest desire for peaceful and fraternal coexistence, peoples, guided by globalist propaganda, believe that borders are the problem, forgetting that true equality and true brotherhood is not the elimination of differences but rather the development of them in respect of their specific identity and therefore of their otherness. In short, true equality is the antithesis of standardisation. Or as one of the characters of the Idiot, also by Dostoevsky, exclaims: “In abstract love for humanity, one almost always ends up loving only oneself.”
And it is for this strange game of the human soul that the “no border open society” is nothing but the most vulgar form of nationalism. True nationalism, in fact, is the reduction of cultural differences to one; the desire, in fact, to impose a vision (the “American way of life”) on all the others and to standardise all human expressions. This is called colonialism.
I leave you with extracts from Pericles’ “Speech to the Athenians”, which was pronounced over 2500 years ago.
Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. Our government does not copy our neighbours’, but is an example to them. The administration is in the hands of the many and not of the few and for this we are called a democracy.
Here in Athens we do so.
There exists equal justice to all and alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognised; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit and poverty is not an obstacle.
Here in Athens we do so.
There is no exclusiveness in our public life, and in our private business we are not suspicious of one another, nor angry with our neighbour if he does what he likes.We are free, free to live at ease, and yet are equally ready to face the perils which we face. While we are thus unconstrained in our private business, a spirit of reverence pervades our public acts; we are prevented from doing wrong by respect for the authorities and for the laws, having a particular regard to those which are ordained for the protection of the injured as well as those unwritten laws which bring upon the transgressor of them the reprobation of the general sentiment.
Here in Athens we do so.
We do not consider a man uninterested in the state harmless, but useless; and although few are able to give life to a policy, everyone here in Athens is able to judge it. We do not see discussion as an obstacle on the way to democracy. We believe that happiness is the fruit of freedom, but freedom is only the fruit of merit. In short, I proclaim that Athens is the school of Hellas and that every Athenian grows by developing in himself a happy versatility, self-confidence, readiness to face any situation and that is why our city is open to the world and we we never chase a foreigner.
Here in Athens we do so.