Transforming capitalist imperialism to the Golden Age
The end of the Cold War brought with it the triumph of capitalist imperialism over Soviet imperialism.
Both systems claimed their way of life was better than the other. Both systems created and sustained client relationships with other peoples and countries that involved exploitation of resources and labor, to the benefit of the imperial center. And both systems were terribly destructive over the environment.
We look today at the world, and struggle to understand what is going on. In order to understand, we have to develop a framework for understanding how it is the world works. That framework can be summed up in two words: capitalist imperialism
By “capitalist,” I mean that the global system today is one in which our governments and societies defend and protect the ability of powerful interests to extract natural resources, develop them, and sell them on global markets, and then to use the profits from those endeavors to do it again and again.
By “imperialism” I mean that the global system today is dominated by a single imperial power, the United States, which enforces and sustains the global order through violence. Sometimes, that violence is authorized and “legal” under international law; sometimes (as with the Iraq War in 2003), the violence takes the form of an international crime.
Capitalist imperialism has its defenders and critics. No doubt there were writers who defended the Caesars and Pax Romana, 2000 years ago.
But there can be no denying that whatever the “benefits” of capitalist imperialism, it is now triggering a devastating environmental crisis that will lead to the extinction of humanity, perhaps in 100 to 200 years.
I know there are good people who have benefited from the way things are. I know they mean well. But it is up to those of us who have benefited from the way things are to be the leaders we need to enable a positive transformation of our world, and to halt the extinction event now taking place.
Instead of capitalist imperialism, I advocate for a Golden Age. What do I mean by a Golden Age? I imagine a world that is at peace, and that is in harmony with Nature. I imagine a global economic and political system that enables human freedom in all its forms, and that has restored biological diversity and the natural world. I imagine a time where humans live full lives that are dedicated to the cultivation of joy and the development of each person’s consciousness. This is a world we must now build.
Let’s be honest about the current system -- warts and all. Let’s be honest that whatever the supposed benefits that it brings, the current system is also highly destructive to the environment, and also to our societies and to ourselves. It is time for good, thinking people to push for needed change. And we have to do it quickly, in order for the species to survive.