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END OF MIDDLE CLASS DEMOCRACY? July 16, 2006

Posted by wmmbb in Category to be ascribed.
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Paul Krugman, via Democracy Now! addresses the issue of the new class war in which the incomes of the very, very rich have increased, and median incomes have remained static. There is now a new Gilded Age. The Plutocracy is again in the ascendant with class differences and barriers. Paul Krugman reviews the statistics of income distribution and the evidence of real estate on Long Island and along the Connecticut shore. The major observation: “most people are not sharing in economic growth.” Krugman asks: “What does the polarisation of income do to our society?” He see at least two major implications – the increased liklihood of corporate corruption and increasingly polarized electoral process.

Why has this happened? It occurred to me it might have something to do with the fall of the Soviet Union on the basis that was the most significant development in the past thirty years. There may be other explanations, but how would this work? And Tarig Ali has the explanation the ABC program Rear Vision: The History of Democracy (Part 2). The argument follows this general outline.

[The Western Powers, who had been imperial powers argued that imperialism broughtg democracy and civilization. The process of decolonization took place in the context of the Cold War, a competition in the social systems of communism and capitalism. The newly decolonized countries had the option of adopting the Soviet Model. Tarig Ali suggests the fall of Soviet Union affected the internal working vitually in the entire Western World. There was no longer a interest to promote democracy in its own countries. With no enemy challenge the social order or captialism could follow its “natural order”. In most of the Western World difference between centre left and centre right has become non existence. Ideology of capitalism has assumed dominance with democracy getting weaker and weaker.]

The times have suited John Howard. We have witnessed the increased use of polarized issues to swing the maginal seats. The skills of propaganda have not changed since Goebbels, and they demonstated their efficacy then. It is surprising that people will vote against their best interests and believe in the illusion of prosperity.

The implications and ramifications for Australian society will be very significant if the next election is fought on the basis of the Industrial Relations legislation and the Labor Party loses.

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