Society Magazine

Capitalism a System of Unregulated Greed

Posted on the 01 February 2013 by Azharnadeem

capitalismPakistan is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Its recent history has been marked by plunder. It is being systematically stripped of its natural assets by small elite of politicians. Government is also required by IMF to sell off state-owned enterprises to pay off the debt. The result has been a massive increase in costs to the poor for basic services. Many of these projects have destroyed valuable cropland, displaced thousands–and in some cases millions–of people, and have benefited only a few. The fact is that all of us are affected by globalization in one way or the other. The people are feeling the pinch of capitalist economic ‘reforms’ encompassing liberalization of corruption, privatization of economic resources in favor of foreign and local multinational companies, and globalization of scandals and frauds. The capitalist economic ‘reforms’ have shrunk the state and allowed monopoly of powerful foreign companies, have enriched corrupt political-bureaucratic nexus but failed to improve the lot of common people.

The ideology of economic globalization, including free trade, deregulation, privatization, and structural adjustment have destroyed the livelihoods of millions of people, often leaving them homeless, landless and hungry, while removing their access to even the most basic public services such as health and medical care, education, sanitation, fresh water, public transport, job training and the like. The contemporary form of globalization, driven by economic power, clearly promotes the hegemony of Western culture and corporations; puts jobs and communities at risk and exploits cheap labor in the poorer countries; increases threats to the environment; and undermines the foundations of democracy and social stability by subjecting national political institutions to forces of economic change beyond their control.

Multinational Corporations, with the backing of powerful states like the US, Britain and France have dominated the country, exploited its people and destroyed its environment. Linked to this, the U.S through the IMF has kept Pakistan’s people in an almost complete state of serfdom by extracting vast amounts of money from them through debt repayments. Economic globalization has only proved to be successful in making global corporations and a few elites wildly wealthy. Globalization is in fact disruptive and inequitable in its effects. Collaboration of the Western multinational corporations with the local ruling elite is looting the Pakistani public treasury as well as the people of Pakistan, which has contributed to extreme poverty.

Pakistan is suffering from huge inequality of wealth due to western elite and capitalist system blindly followed by Pakistan, which makes the few rich people stinking rich while rest of the people struggle through their lives for food and clothing. Western multinationals still control majority of resources by plundering the nations like Pakistan, which even doesn’t belong to them while billions of people have not enough to survive. Their policies are faulty and junk and only create poverty. Today many multinational corporations have annual revenues greater than some countries’ national budgets; governments are increasingly held to ransom by their economic power. Multinational oil companies have been implicated in bribery; kickbacks and other predatory enterprise culture to enable them win oil contracts in Pakistan.

The reason for this paradox lies in the corrupt nature of the ruling elite, which seems to have filtered down and infected the fabric of the socio-political, economic and cultural environment of the society. A small section of the Pakistani society, in the form of politicians, leading state officials, and powerful business people – have also been involved in this plunder. Over the years, state officials in Pakistan have whisked away billions of dollars, and have stashed these funds in various tax havens. As part of this, the Pakistani elite have kept people divided and weak. In fact, the situation in Pakistan highlights how the state and capitalist system are inherently violent, exploitative and oppressive. Each year, through acts of corruption, Pakistan loses billions of dollars that find safe haven in international financial centers. By conservative estimates, every year an estimated 4-5 billion dollars is stolen from Pakistan through bribery, kickbacks, misappropriation of funds and other corrupt practices.

The unprecedented collapse of Pakistan’s economy and its capital markets, the wholesale looting, the quiet extermination of millions of Pakistanis from the shock and destitution, the terrible consequences of imposing radical libertarian free-market ideas on an alien culture—turned out worse than any worst-case-scenario imagined by the free-market true-believers. Of all the disastrous results of that experiment, what troubled many Western free-market true-believers most wasn’t so much the mass poverty and population collapse.

The economy of indebtedness has become what I call a suicide economy. The gap between the very rich and the very poor in Pakistan is widening. Even the much-vaunted middle class of Pakistan is rapidly dwindling as the economic status of many people cannot keep up with the surging cost of living. Ccorporations focus only on maximizing profits. Clearly, the corporations are not concerned about feeding the hungry. This liberalization system has left the country utterly dependent upon market and pricing systems over which they have no control. What does Pakistan need?  Good governance, peace and security, investing in people, adopting mixed economy, price control, economic growth and poverty reduction, more and fairer trade, more financial resources, and better partnerships with other countries. Enough is enough. Stop looting our natural resources and killing people.

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