Andrew FURSOV: The Death of the middle class

Originating in the XIX century., Middle-class core kapsistemy a long time led a modest life. This changed in the post-war period (1945-1975 gg.), Which became the middle class of the West "glorious Thirtieth Anniversary" (Jean Fourastié) era "fat cow" and a political triumph. In the post-war period (upward wave Kondratieff cycle, 1945-1968/73 years) dramatically, by orders of magnitude, increase the "social pie." This "wave" is not only surpassed all previous periods of expansion of the world economy (1780-1815, 1848-1873, 1896-1920 gg.), But all of the previous century and a half period of its development: in the years 1945-1975. was produced (in value terms) the same amount of goods and services, as in the previous 150 years. As a result, the tip of the West received a "fund" from which theoretically could unfasten something the middle class and the elite of the working class (in absolute terms it is "something" was a very, very important). However, in theory — does not mean in practice.

Practical imperative in the economy was to increase the mass demand, and it required at least a little to increase the well-being of these same masses, rather, the middle of society. However, well-being has increased to a great extent. Why? After all, capitalism — not a philanthropic organization, and just so no one's well-being, especially — the mass strata, will not increase. By this "iron heel" kapverhushku prompted presence in the global system, along with capitalism, anti-capitalist system — the socialist camp and the USSR.

The very existence of the Soviet Union, its rapid economic development, even among Western politicians of the second half 1950-1960's to create the impression that the Soviet Union will overtake the United States, egalitarian social order, finally, the ability to financially support the anti-capitalist movement around the world, including communist, socialist and labor Party at the West forced the capitalists zamiryat their working and middle classes pay off from them. From the working class — not to rebel, from the middle class — that curiously served as the social buffer between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

The means of reconciliation was dressing-welfare state, which, through the tax system redistributes part of the assets (in absolute terms very large) from the middle of the bourgeoisie and to a lesser extent — the working classes. As a result, in the West by the mid-1960s took shape fairly large and prosperous middle class, such as has not been seen in any other social system in the framework of Western civilization, and beyond. The very existence of the middle class (the "socialist bourgeoisie") kapsistemy as a sign, a symbol of the mature (overripe?) Moderna was caused by factors that are unique to capitalism, but this era.

First, only in conditions of industrial capitalism and its nucleus with a characteristic urban structure of life is possible to create such wealth, "social pie" of this size and scope, a part of which, in principle, the tip can share.

Second, only in kapsistemy with its division into the nucleus (center) and the periphery, to the mother country and the colonies / semi-colonies exposed to severe operating conditions in the unseen in other — local — systems of the world division of labor may increase the "social pie" is not the nucleus only due to the very core, and due to the accumulation of capital from external sources, while it is not just about the tribute, and the systematic withdrawal of surplus product in the world. Actually, raison d'etre of capitalism exists as long as there are external non-capitalist areas, which if necessary can be transformed into a capitalist periphery, ie zone recovery of profits.

Third, capitalism — the only social system that can co-exist with a "plus" ("good capitalism") and with the "minus" (systemic anti-capitalism, the "negative capitalism", "real socialism"). The presence of systemic anti-capitalism, although he vnepolozhen capitalism, at a certain stage begins to deform, distort capitalism, makes it grow not only in their own, but also anti-capitalist logic, which — paradoxically — to a historically short period of time — can solve problems capitalism, smoothes its contradictions.

That is the "three sources, three parts" or, if you will, the three pillars of the phenomenon of middle-class welfare.

And most important of these "pillars", so to speak, "kitych whale" — the third since the bourgeoisie included redistributive mechanism is not out of kindness. Welfare state — this is a clear departure from the logic of the development and the nature of capitalism, which is only to a small extent, can be explained by the concern about creating consumer demand and mass production. The main thing in the other — in the presence of systemic anti-capitalism (historical communism) as the USSR. During the Cold War, the global confrontation between the Soviet Union, in the battle of two world projects burzhuiny in fear of the "secret passage", "in which as you clicked, so we are responding," were forced to buy their way out of the middle and working classes, zamiryat them (taxes on capital, high salaries, pensions, etc.), dress up in clothes kvazisotsialisticheskie.

Beginning of 1970 was a watershed in many ways, to assess the value of "long 70" (1968-1983 gg.) For the history of the twentieth century., Modernity and capitalism is still ahead, as well as overt and covert write the history of that segment. Here I will limit myself to directly relates to our theme.

First, there were a number of serious adverse changes in the economy (on this later), and post-war prosperity was ascending ends.

Second, at the turn of 1960-1970's welfare state with its huge bureaucracy has come to the limit of their political-administrative efficiency.

Third, and most importantly, bulging middle class has become too heavy a burden for the capitalist system (even in relatively prosperous nucleus), and the global economic downturn, coupled with inefficient and costly welfare state further exacerbated the situation. The middle class, multiplied by the level of well-being, and went beyond what could provide kapsistema without major changes to their nature and no further significant redistribution at the expense of the top, without further socialization of capitalism. No less, and, perhaps, a greater threat to her and represented the political aspirations of the middle class. In this situation, the owners stopped kapsistemy retreat, regrouped and launched a counter-offensive social. Ideological and theoretical basis of the counter-offensive was extremely important, and frankly cynical document entitled "The Crisis of Democracy," written in 1975, "three wise men" "trilateralov" — known to sociologists and political scientists Samuel Huntington, Michel Crozier and Watanuki Dzedzi — commissioned established in 1973 . Trilateral Commission ("behind the scenes" of a new type, whose job was as a "good cop" to strangle the Soviet Union in the arms).

The report clearly recorded threats to the ruling stratum — first of all, against him start working democracy and welfare state (welfare state), took shape in the post-war period. Under the democracy crisis had in mind is not a crisis of democracy in general, and this development of democracy, which is unprofitable top.

The report stated that the development of democracy in the West leads to a decrease in the power of governments that different groups, taking advantage of democracy, began to fight for these rights and privileges, which had never been claimed, and these "excesses of democracy" are a challenge to the existing system of government. The threat of democratic rule in the United States is not an external character, wrote the authors, its source — the "internal dynamics of democracy itself in the highly educated, mobile society, characterized by a high degree of (politicheskogo. — AF) participation." The experts recommended that contribute to the growth of non-involvement (noninvolvement) masses into politics, the development of a certain apathy, moderate democracy, based on the fact that it is just a way of organizing power, and is not universal. In particular, the report stated: "In many cases, the need for expertise and excellence in the state rank (seniority), experience and particular abilities may outweigh the claims of democracy as a way of constituting authority."

However, the weakening of democracy in the interests of the western tip was difficult social and political task. Who has been the backbone of western democracy, which had to be moderate? The middle class and the upper part of the active working class. According to him, then was dealt the first blow. In 1979 in the UK and in 1981 in the United States come to power market fundamentalists Thatcher and Reagan. In place of the elements of "old" bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy associated state-monopoly capitalism (MMC) that the young prey fraction of the corporatocracy, is directly related to the TNC, fighting for a place under the sun from the 1940s-1950s, and, finally, having achieved success (in large extent this was due to the U.S. defeat in Vietnam).

The main objectives of Thatcher and Raygana, these politicians of the first rank of the corporatocracy were dismantling of the welfare state and the attack on the middle and working classes. However, while there was the Soviet Union, "The Lord of the Rings" kapsistemy could not fully deploy such a course. Hence — the two effects.

The first — the course of a sharp weakening of the USSR (1989-1990, he changed the course of his dismemberment and destruction) to this end, the Soviet Union was lured to Afghanistan, and then followed by another sharp turn of the Cold War.

The second — the desire to arri that it was impossible to immediately take away from the core of the middle classes, the middle class peripherals, destroying the latter as a class. In the 1980s, with the help of the IMF structural economic reforms in Latin America was almost completely destroyed by the Latin American middle class is associated with the public sector, and the middle class got the most developed countries in Africa (eg, Nigeria). The proceeds from the expropriation of the peripheral middle classes siphoned to the West, and it is somewhat hindered the top offensive on the Western middle class. When in 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed, the Cold War space as a form of world governance has taken globalization. It is fully unleashed "The Lord of the Rings" of capitalism and at the same time let down capitalism itself and the society of modernity to the last line, because, paradoxically, communism played a huge role in stabilizing the operation kapsistemy.

In recent years, decided to write about the crisis of communism and Marxism, and treat it as a triumph of capitalism. When Manichean view on capitalism and communism as a completely opposite mutually integrity of the way it turns out. But if the relationship of capitalism and communism, anti-capitalism as a system is much finer and more subtle than the very existence of communism is the healthy indicator kapsistemy? In this case, the collapse of communism — "sign on the wall" kapsistemy, a signal of its imminent decline.

Communism as a set of ideas, there is almost two and a half millennia. However, as a special socio-economic system of Communism materialize only in the capitalist era. Historical communism ("real communism", "real socialism") — this is just anti-capitalism. In history there has never been such systems as antirabovladenie and antifeodalizm. Communism as a social system has never existed as a antifeodalizm or antirabovladenie. Thus, there is only one epoch in which historically existed (and could be) Communism — Capitalist. And that is not all, but only a mature industrial phase, limiting the realization of communism in time, in the history of a particular stage of development of capitalism.

All this means that in capitalism itself as a phenomenon, as a world system of relations of production is something gives it a very special, unique to him alone, but because — enigmatic and mysterious ability to perform, sell yourself in two different social forms: positive and negative. Capitalism exists as a kind of a double star, double weight — the unity of the capitalist and non-capitalist, moreover, it is condition sine qua non of its existence. At the same time, objectively the progress of capitalism — the eradication of non-capitalist, but this is the path to destruction of the system: the normal functioning of capitalism requires a non-capitalist segment. And the constant struggle with it — the dialectic.

First, in the XVII-XIX centuries., So the segment was postfeodalny dokapitalizm Old Order. First Capital used it as a shell, and then in the XVIII century. engaged him in battle (the Enlightenment, the French Revolution 1789-1799.), and during World War II, 1914-1918. destroyed it. Schumpeter noted in this regard: breaking so that hindered his progress, capitalism is pulled down and the supporting structures to protect it from collapse. This is partly true, but I think objectively eliminated those non-capitalist forms, which were inadequate new era, and in their place there were other, more appropriate. It is primarily a systemic anti-capitalism of the USSR, which was the next after the Old Order stadial form (but the "anti-" and not "pre-"), double the mass of capitalism.

Acting as an alternative global project (mid-1950s in all decreasing order), and significantly limiting the scope of action in the world of capitalism, communism historical at the same time decided to capitalism — mostly indirectly, but in this case it does not matter — a number of tasks. This involvement in World War on the side of the Anglo-Saxons, the role of an external stimulus for vnutrikapitalisticheskih transformations, joint with capitalism control of the world and the stabilization of the latter by means of the Cold War, etc.

Supporting left parties in the First World and the national liberation movement in the Third World, the Soviet Union did not allow burzhuinam crush them. At the same time, subjecting the movements of his opposition to the logic of capitalism — the system, and the second half of the 1950s, increasingly state-geopolitical, historical communism limited, "disciplined" these movements, making them more predictable and manageable. As a result, as the integration of the Soviet Union and its dominant groups in kapsistemu — integration, which ultimately led to the downfall of capitalism antisystem, built into the Soviet Union, together with a peripheral kapsistemu in the "dangerous classes" in part "domesticating" them on a systematic footing.

However, this "domestication" in the global twentieth century. often turned to capitalism defeats. First, however, these lesions in all their meaning and resonance (eg, Vietnam in 1975), as a rule, were local in nature, and secondly, even if the damage went beyond the local framework, the hosts kapsistemy often quickly learn the lessons and used them for self-transformation on the principle "for a broken two unbeaten give." Thus, the victory of the Soviet Union in the Cold War over the state in the United States in 1975 (Vietnam, Helsinki) is greatly facilitated vnutrikapitalisticheskuyu transformation and access to leading roles in kapsisteme corporatocracy ("giberpubruazii", "cosmocrats" — J. Duclos) — a young and predatory fraction of the world the bourgeoisie, which is closely related to the TNC.

It corporatocracy, which began its ascent as a result of and after World War II, 1939-1945. and which was first announced itself overthrow Mossadegh government in Iran in 1953, in 1980 planted their presidents to the White House (Reagan, Bush), and in 1991 defeated the Soviet Union as a system and as a state, "promising to" turn in the structure, at least part of the nomenclature, and the other to give "yes barrel jam basket of cookies."

The triumph of globalization, which became the first victim of systemic anti-capitalism and the Soviet Union, is the triumph of the corporatocracy. Globalization has allowed capitalism corporatocracy — "turbokapitalizmu" (Lutvak) partly solve many of the problems to stabilize the system, which previously dealt with the anti-capitalist system. Or, on the contrary, to solve the problems that previously prevented solve the very existence of the Soviet Union. For example, the presence of nuclear weapons in society — anti-capitalist system generally called into question, and a large-scale (global) war, and, as shown by the revolutionary war in China, Vietnam, Algeria, Cuba, kaptsentra victory over the weaker periphery even in a local war. Globalization, inter alia, decided that problem, and not only because it eliminated the Soviet Union, but because by creating a global market for financial capital, fully guaranteed the victory over the periphery of the core non-military methods — up to its economic destruction, as happened, for example with Argentina, and turning to «finished country» — «dead countries".

However — every acquisition is a loss and every loss is an acquisition — solving intractable problems kapsistemy medium term, globalization has created intractable long-term, pushing capitalism (that's because the "turbo") — and quickly — to the edge of the abyss.

As already mentioned, the normal functioning of capitalism requires a non-capitalist areas. Every time there is another cyclical decline in global profits kapsistema answered her expansion and transformation of the outer periphery of the capitalist nekapzony in with cheap labor and new markets (the forcible establishment of the colonies and semi-colonies) — and so on until the next time. By the end of the XIX century. the whole world was divided, and in the twentieth century. colonial expansion was replaced by the expansion in the area of the nucleus itself — the dynamics of capitalism in the first half of the twentieth century. (More precisely, in the years 1871-1945.) Acquired primarily military in nature. World Anglo-Saxon-German war for hegemony in kapsisteme (the war of nations 1914-1918. Masses and the war of 1939-1945.), Among others, have destroyed a huge mass of material substance, capital, thus creating a clean sheet for the development of capital and profit growth the kernel itself and led to unprecedented economic growth of the world economy (especially Japan, Germany and Italy) in the "glorious thirty years" 1945-1975.

By the end of 1960 there was a full recovery defeated in World War II, 1939-1945. Germany and Japan, and the core of almost homogenized — without the feasibility of new wars in it because of the presence of a new hegemon — the United States and the need to maintain a "united front" ("unit") in the face of the Soviet Union, but what a war with semiperiphery and periphery, in- First, were costly, in part because of the presence of the Soviet Union that could seriously help the poor of this world, and secondly, many of the things that was previously managed by military means, now you can achieve the financial and economic methods (ie, in USSR called "neo-colonialism" and "neo-imperialism"), just economic terrorism, the mechanics of which is set out superbly professional economic hit man John Perkins in his book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man."

Globalization Zamir core, the system has eliminated the anti-capitalism and in fact suppressed the possibility of peripheral societies struggle for a better position in the global system, for the best sdelochnye position with respect to the core, ie Globalization triumphantly decided those issues on which the whole of the twentieth century. fought capitalism. However, the victory of the "hidden emptiness" — decided to medium-term intractable problems of capitalism, globalization has created intractable long-term and as a result kapsistemy position at the turn of the XX-XXI centuries. was much worse than the turn of the XIX-XX: zugzwang pressed for time and at the same time with the prospect of a new war — only this time the social, against the bottom of the upper and middle layers in the core. In fact, this war has already begun. Why and how? Very simple.

As already mentioned, the normal functioning of capitalism requires a non-capitalist areas, for which he is fighting with whom. At the end of the twentieth century. capitalism, these areas 'won' — globalization has eliminated them by making the entire world capitalist system. But it does mean that now the decline in global profits threatens to become permanent. World "iron heel" was the choice of either a significant loss of profits, privileges, and possibly power, or the transition from ekstensiva to intense, ie mainly to domestic sources of profit and accumulation, intensification vnutrikapitalisticheskoy operation in the kernel itself and its enclaves around the world.

In the way of such a "volte-face" is worth a lot. This is the formal democratic institutions of the bourgeois nuclear kapsistemy, civil society, the nation-state, "universal values" and many other conquests of the lower and middle classes of the era 1830/1840-h — 1960/1970-h years. In fact in the way of transformation in question, the very system of capitalism as a whole, from which, it turns out, and must be free capital that its top and started making in the 1980s.

Contrary to popular belief capitalism as a system can not be reduced to a pure and boundless celebration of capital. Capital existed before capitalism and will exist after him. Capitalism (core) — a complex system of economic, social and political institutions, limiting the capital in its own long-term interests, not allowing him to reach, and eat all at once — including himself. The total national capital is capital, limited nation-state, civil society and quasi-democratic political institutions. Exemption of capital (market) of these institutions profitable capital, but disastrous for capitalism. Sometime in the interests of capital was the creation of the capitalist system (and in the interests of dominant groups — making the bourgeoisie, or rather, in the "collective capitalist", often against their will). No wonder that at some point the interests of capital demand (already required) dismantling of capitalism — the only way dominant groups to preserve their privileges and power, transforming the capital into other forms of domination, and capitalism — in a different system.

External expansion capital (and capitalism was a system of public-political organization of the external world capital expansion) ended: capitalism swept the planet as a whole, because in this plan is no longer needed, in the sense — not only can boost profits, but can not stop the process of decline. Therefore, large-scale attack on democratic institutions and the weakening of public and legal spheres, the degeneration of politics in the administrative system and the combination of show business, "rastaivanie» (fading away) of the nation-state of the impact (global) market for financial capital is nothing but a kind of spontaneous and even more so directed (though perhaps still not fully conscious design) process of dismantling capitalism. Eliminate all obstacles in the way of capitalism, allow it to realize itself on a global scale, allow it to become a global — and you destroy it.

That part of the global elite, including the American neocons that eliminates all that limits the realization of assets and the interests of the United States as a cluster of TNK, destroy capitalism is much faster and more productively than the left-wing movements of the twentieth century., Which is actually hindering self-realization of capital ultimately more strengthened it defers its end.

Globalization — that needle "Koshcheeva death" of capitalism. However, the "finalization" of capitalism — the process is not spontaneous, the dismantling of the system — a conscious process. I am willing to go even further and assert that the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union coincided with the beginning of the dismantling of capitalism as a system of the western tip. Moreover, they are two sides of the same coin — the decline and fall of the capitalist world, the fight being waged between the top and the middle class over who will exclude any of the future post-capitalist world, on whose bones it will be built.

At first glance, the thesis of the dismantling of capitalism may seem paradoxical — the owners of the system, "The Lord of the Rings it" themselves and dismantle it? And why not, if it is the only way to preserve the privileges and wealth in the face of challenge from the middle class and other forces kapsistemy, to retain power in a reduction of the planet's resources and increase its population. The history of Western civilization knows this systematic transgression, which spontaneously carried out by representatives of the ruling groups to maintain power, privilege and wealth, not to lose them in relation to the lows. We are talking about the crisis of the "long XVI century" (1453-1648 gg.) (Podr. see below).

Karl Marx and Max Weber made a mistake in the evaluation of this period as a teleological ranneburzhuaznogo, well, many liberals and maksisty XIX-XX centuries. conceptually falsified "early modernity" and presented it as "the era of the early bourgeois revolution" (another myth: no bourgeois revolutions in history, strictly speaking, did not exist and could not be). In contrast to the dismantling of feudalism, capitalism itself — a process not primarily spontaneous, and he is on a completely scientific basis — the thousands of research centers around the world are working on the current "iron heel", as its intellectual attendants. The notional start date of dismantling capitalism can be considered in 1975 (report, "The Crisis of Democracy"). In fact, all activities of the corporatocracy after 1975 — that's pretty much the realization of the ideas of the report and the developments that followed him "think tank" serving "the iron heel."

The collapse of the Soviet Union eliminated the factor that prevented a full-scale offensive "iron heel" for the middle class core — now do not need anyone to zamiryat can rob both internationally (Yugoslavia, Iraq), and within the country. Yes, and there was a corresponding tool — the corporation-state.

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