Barack Obama has recently met with Xi Jinping, President of China. Mr. Obama, who bowed to the Emperor of Japan and the King of Saudi Arabia, is likely being duly deferential. After all, he’s meeting with the Boss. One can only wonder if there is a performance review.
For those of us who grew up during 70 year struggle known as the Cold War, one of the defining features of our lives was to make sure future generations would live in a free society and not one run by the commissars of a totalitarian State. It has been the great disappointment of history that we lost that struggle. Oh, sure, the Soviet Union fell but its successor, China, has developed the model of Capitalism which is our future. A very small power elite owns and controls 90% of the wealth created by the exploited labor of a vast majority who are allotted a bauble or two before expiring. Commissar or Capitalist? Who can tell the difference? Is there a difference when American industry manufactures its widgets and whiz bangs using Chinese slave labor?
The biggest retailer in the U.S. is Wal-Mart, one out of four retail dollars is spent at Wal-Mart. Where does Wal-Mart get their goods? It purchases over $ 27 BILLION goods a year from China. So while 40,000 factories closed here, China is building labor complexes where the workers work for 16 hours and then sleep for 8, seven days a week. American CEOs marvel at the Chinese accomplishment and look forward to reducing American wages and benefits down to a point where homegrown labor camps could compete with the Chinese.
As Sara Robinson wrote in The Progressive Populist (August 15, 2012), “It’s not just that the corporations have taken control over our government (though that’s awful enough). It’s also that they’ve taken control over -and put serious limits on – our choices regarding what we buy, where we work, how we live and what rights we have. Our futures are increasingly no longer our own: more and more decisions, large and small, that determine the quality of our lives being made by Politburo apparatchiks at a Supreme Corporate Soviet somewhere far distant from us. Only now, those apparatchiks are PR and marketing executives, titans of corporate finance, lobbyists for multinationals and bean-counting managers trying to increase profits at the expense of our freedom.”
A new Feudalism uniting America and China is underway. Tom Friedman will get his wish, the world will flatten by bringing the American worker down to the level suffered by the Chinese, Indian and Indonesian worker while bring the Chinese Commissar and Third-World Potentate up to the standards enjoyed by the American CEO and Bankster.
We have seen the future and it is Hell.