Mmegi Blogs :: The political poison of Neo liberal commercialization
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Thursday 13 December 2018, 12:33 pm.
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The political poison of Neo liberal commercialization

In cities and towns across the world, from New Delhi to New York the socio-political policies that led to the Grenfell Tower disaster in west London are being repeated; redevelopment and gentrification, the influx of corporate money and the expelling of the poor, including families that have lived in an area for generations.
By Solly Rakgomo Thu 06 Jul 2017, 18:55 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: The political poison of Neo liberal commercialization








To this, add austerity, the privatisation of public services and the annihilation of social housing and a cocktail of interconnected causes take shape. Communities break up, independent businesses gradually close down, diversity disappears and another neighbourhood is absorbed within the expensive homogenised collective. People living in developed industrialised countries suffer most acutely, but developed nations are subjected to the same violent methodology of division and injustice that led to the murder of probably hundreds of innocent people in Grenfell Tower.

The rabid spread of corporate globalisation has allowed the poison of commercialisation to be injected into the fabric of virtually every country in the world, including developing nations. As neoliberal policies are exchanged for debt relief and so-called ‘investment’, which is little more than exploitation, the problems of the North infiltrate the South. Economic cultural colonisation smiles and shakes hands, wears a suit and causes fewer deaths than the traditional method of control and pillaging, but it is just as pernicious and corrosive.

In the Neo-Liberal world of commercialisation, everything is regarded as a commodity. Whole countries are regarded as little more than marketplaces in which to sell an infinite amount of stuff, often poorly made, most of which is not needed.

In this twenty-first century nightmare that is choking the life out of people everywhere, human beings are regarded not as individuals with particular outlooks fostered by differing traditions, backgrounds and cultures; with concerns and rights, potential and gifts and heartfelt aspirations, but consumers with differing degrees of worth based on the size of their bank account and their capacity to buy the corporate-made artifacts that litter the cathedrals of consumerism in cities north, south, east and west.

Those with empty pockets and scant prospects have no voice and, as Grenfell proves, are routinely ignored; choices and opportunities are few, and whilst human rights are declared to be universal, the essentials of living, shelter, food, education and health care, are often denied them.

Within the land of money, such rights are dependent not on human need but one  with the ability to pay, and when these rights are offered to those living in poverty or virtual poverty, it is in the form of second and third rate housing, unhealthy food, poorly funded and under-staffed education and health services. After all, you get what you pay for; if you pay little don’t expect much, least of all respect.

The commercialisation of all aspects of our lives is the inevitable, albeit extreme consequence of an economic model governed by profit, fed by consumption and maintained through the constant agitation of desire. Pleasure is sold

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as happiness, desire poured into the empty space where love and compassion should be, anxiety and depression ensured.

Corporations, huge and getting bigger, are the faceless commercial monsters who own everything and want to own more. These faceless corporate entities are given rights equivalent to nations and in some cases more.

They have incalculable financial wealth and with it political power.  Neo Liberal commercialisation is a headless monster devoid of human kindness and empathy, it sits within an unjust global  economic system that has created unprecedented levels of inequality, with colossal wealth concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer men whilst half the world’s population attempts to survive on under $1 a day and the earth cries out in agony: every river, sea and stream is polluted, deforestation is stripping huge areas of woodland, whole eco-systems are being poisoned and the air we breathe is literally choking us to death. How bad must it get before we put an end to the insanity of it all? It has to end; we can no longer continue to live in this fog.

The systems that govern our lives are inherently unjust, because we have been made to believe that competition and division is natural, that we are simply the body and are separate from one another, because corporate financial interests are placed above the needs of human beings and the health of the planet.  In a hopeless world governed by neo liberalism, excess is championed, sufficiency laughed at, ambition and greed encouraged, uncertainty and mystery pushed aside.

As a way to change, there is need to create structures that are just and see the flowering of tolerance and unity within society; Sharing is absolutely key.

After Grenfell hundreds of local people shared what they had, food, clothes, bedding; they shopped for the victims, filling trolleys with baby food, nappies and toiletries. This happens all over the world when there is a tragedy, people love to share; giving and cooperating are part of who we are as humans, while competition and selfishness run contrary to our inherent nature, resulting in sickness of one kind or another, individual and collective.

Sharing is the answer to a great many of our problems and needs to be placed at the heart of a new approach to socio-economic living, locally, nationally, and globally. It is a unifying principle encouraging cooperation, which, unlike competition, brings people together and builds community.

The fear of ‘the other’, of institutions and officials dissipates in such an environment, allowing trust to naturally come into being, and where trust exists much can be achieved.

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