Socio-economic Evolution and the Future of Western Civilization

Socio-economic Evolution and the Future of Western Civilization
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By Mudasir Sheikh

The current state of human civilization is a result of evolution not only in biological and technological spheres but also in social, economic and political aspects too. From the invention of fire up to the engineering marvels of the twenty first century, from cave dwelling to modern real-estate and from slavery to liberal democracy evolution, stemming from curiosity, is at work. The basic objective behind curiosity of man to innovate technologies and the transition from one socio-economic system to another is to make our planet a happier place to live where everyone can live without any fear of discrimination, exploitation and poverty. The technological evolution is well understood by everyone but a very few have paid attention towards understanding socioeconomic evolution, irrespective of its huge implication on our daily lives. Proper and beneficial implementation of scientific developments is only possible when there is an open, just and transparent socio-economic system in place. In the past, major social systems like socialism and communism have halted as they have inbuilt inconsistencies, which resulted in the collapse of Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, western liberal democracy and capitalism were considered by many as an end to the history of socio-economic evolution, but in reality it isn’t.
When socialism and communism were first proposed , they promised a hope for transparent and a just economic and political systems. These socioeconomic systems were based on a philosophy of common ownership of the means of production and equal distribution of wealth with in the state. But, the lack of incentives for hard work and innovation and proper pricing mechanism within socialism and communism has resulted in their failure as universal socioeconomic systems. Thus, the countries which adopted them has resulted in their downfall like Nazi Germany and Soviet Union. Today Cuba, Venezuela and China constitute socialist democracies but they are suffering from modern slavery, censorship and other human rights abuses.
The lack of incentive for hard work and inefficient pricing mechanism in other socioeconomic systems has led to the rise of capitalism. After the failure of communist Russia, capitalism has spread like a wild fire in most parts of the globe. With the advent of capitalism, many prominent changes occurred like before capitalism, money was just a tool for exchange but now the priority has shifted from real production for earning more and more money. This has given birth to unregulated financial system which has brought miserable crisis for masses. Today, crises are much difficult to understand than crises in the past. In the past, there was lack of food due to population growth or natural calamities. Today, we have store full of food but outside people are hungry and begging for money. Global wealth inequality is on the rise, one part of the globe has grown extremely rich while other part has grown poorer and poorer. So, there is something wrong in the mechanism of global economy. The financial crisis of 2008 has proven the inefficiency of capitalism in which trillions of dollars of economic wealth was destroyed; millions of people were left unemployed and half the world’s GDP just disappeared from the surface. On the other hand, the centrally controlled and autocratic Chinese economy grew by $4.5 trillion during the course of financial crisis of 2008. China alone has pulled out 624 million people out of extreme poverty which is more than 150 democracies of the world combined. Germany , the most successful economy of Europe exports more stuff to developing Asia, than to United States. During the last 25 years the world’s economic center of gravity has shifted from west to east.
Throughout its history Democracy which is a main pillar of today’s socio economic order has remained a subject of controversy among intellectuals. Greek philosopher, Socrates, has considered democratic society as a sailing ship where everyone on board is a captain of the ship,so it will never reach its destiny and maybe drown. He has considered vote for every one as a democracy by birth right not a democracy by wisdom. In modern era, democracy has remained confined to the ballot box where every five years people cast their vote without knowing the reality behind the scenes. In the United States , which considers itself as a world leader of democracy, election campaigns are actually funded by economic elites and mega corporations. A study conducted by Sydney University in collaboration with Harvard University under the title “The Influence of elites, Interest groups and Average voters on American politics” in which they have compared government decisions with three groups of people. In the first case, government decisions were matched with the view point of economic elite and a positive correlation was found between these two variables. In the second case , government decisions were compared with the views of “organized interest groups”. Again, a positive correlation was found. In the third case, government decisions and the views of average voter were compared. This time surprisingly zero correlation was observed. From this study, it is obvious that economic elites and organized groups are the actual decision makers for the model of global democracy. During the 2012 US presidential election campaign, Barrack Obama spent $934 million and in 2016 Donald Trump spent $957 million for his election campaigns. The success of presidential candidate depends more on his bank account rather than his acceptance as a political leader among the general public. Involvement of huge sums of money has narrowed the demographics for contesting elections and has provided an opportunity for economic elite to decide a candidate according to their own interests. The democratic governments across the globe are more concerned with their survival against opposition rather than good governance. The controversy regarding recent US presidential elections has put a question mark on all democratic governments of the world. In addition to these flaws, the autocratic countries like China have outperformed the democratic countries in economic, technological and other fronts.
Since the dawn of human civilization, great empires have collapsed not due external conquest but as a result of their inherent faults in the first place.Ariel Durant once said “a great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.” The collapse of the great Ottoman Empire in modern history is a testament to this fact. As history repeats itself, we may see the same fate of western civilization in a nearer future due to the inherent inconsistency of democracy and capitalism which are its main pillars. Today, with the advent of internet and other communication technologies, humanity is more connected than ever. There are hundreds of human rights activists, investigative journalists, whistle blowers and independent news networks that are constantly engaged in unveiling the real face of democratic governments and mega corporations. People across the globe are now well aware about the facts of income inequality, false flag terrorist attacks, overthrowing of legitimate governments, central banking fraud and other countless flaws of democratic and capitalists governments. As humanity has always made transitions from one social order to another in search for peace, transparency and equality, so the replacement of democracy and capitalism by a radically transparent socio economic order is unavoidable.When masses become more and more aware about the injustice of their prevailing social order then the rebellion becomes necessary and later they never hesitate to overthrow the system at any cost. The future of democracy and capitalism is no more than its replacement by a more transparent and people friendly system like “Sharia” of Islam which has been designed by supreme authority to serve the needs of society in political, social and the economic spheres.

 

—The author is an independent researcher. He can be reached at:mudasir.shk01@gmail.com

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