The Shape of things to come
I have put up several posts on fb and my blog regarding the significance of Brexit and its historical significance and aftermath.
Now let me go a little further.
1. The developed countries like England and France became colonial powers because they wanted new markets, sources of raw materials and cheap labour for their growing industries. For this purpose they conquered countries in Asia and Africa.
A typical example was India. Before the British came here we had a highly developed handicraft industry in India, providing employment to a large number of people, and exporting to a large number of countries. This was smashed by the British, so as to capture the Indian market for their own mill industry and eliminate competition. The British kept India largely unindustrialized and backward throughout their rule.
The same was done by France in the countries they conquered.
2. The international crisis began when newly developing countries like Germany and Japan also wanted colonies. But much of Asia and Africa had already been colonised by other powers. So the matter could only be resolved by repartition of the world by wars e.g. the First World War
3. Upto the Second World War there was a period of extreme nationalism and rivalry between the developed countries. But after this war, a period of internationalism began, since multi national corporations crashed through national borders in search of markets, raw materials and cheap labour, to enhance their profits.
4. This no doubt gave super profits to these corporations, but it also spread unemployment widely in their own countries. This was for two reasons (1) These corporations, using the latest discoveries and inventions in science and technology, began using more capital intensive rather than labour intensive machinery. This was because cost of labour is a big chunk of the total cost of production, and so if the same production could be done with less labour the cost of production could be reduced, thus enhancing profits (2) foreign labour was cheaper than indigenous labour. Such foreign labour could be obtained by either importing foreigners, or outsourcing jobs abroad.
5. This increased unemployment has led to a world wide economic recession. This is because a worker is not only a producer, he is also a consumer. Thus, for instance, a worker in a steel mill not only produces steel, he and his family also consume food, clothes, and a host of other things. Now if he loses his job his purchasing power is drastically reduced. And if this happens on a large scale, the effective demand in the economy goes down, leading to a recession. Then the businesses cut down their production and lay off some workers, thus further intensifying the recession. It is a chain reaction. This is what has happened in the world.
6. Earlier such crises were often resolved by wars, and even World Wars, but after the invention of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction this has become impossible. So how will the crises be resolved ?
7. England's leaving the EU is bound to result in the breaking up of the EU and a reversion to extreme nationalism, right wing politics, and even some sort of fascism, in many countries, as was seen before the Second World War ( though of course the form will be different ). Angela Merkel's desparate attempt to keep the EU intact is bound to fail.
8. The crisis will be resolved only after intense internal conflicts, not by exporting them abroad to underdeveloped countries, or by wars. To begin with, right wing goons will now attack immigrants and other foreigners, blaming them for taking away their jobs, and making them a scapegoat, like Hitler made the Jews in Germany. Attacks may also be made on foreign companies ( Indians are said to have 6000 companies in England ), often inspired by local businessmen who regard them as competitors, and responsible for their own woes.
8. But this will solve nothing, and instead create immense disorder, dislocation and chaos. Today the situation is that world wide, economies of all countries are interlinked. To throw out foreign companies and foreign workers is easier said than done. If, German workers and businesses are attacked in England today, the Germans will pay back the Britishers in their own coin by attacking them in Germany.
9. Before the Second World War, the imperialist powers kept Asia and Africa largely unindustrialized. But after the war a certain degree of industrialization has taken place in most of these countries, and industrial consciousness has arisen in the people there. So now it is no longer possible to recolonize them, as that will be stoutly resisted.
10. Thus, an apparently unresolveable crisis has arisen in the world. A period of Great Chaos has begun in history, and one cannot predict how it will end
However, one thing is certain.
After the Industrial Revolution, which began in England in the18th century, a unique situation has arisen in world history. Earlier, the methods of production were so primitive ( the bullock being used to till the land in India, and the horse in Europe ) that so little wealth could be generated that only a handful of people ( kings, aristocrats,etc ) could be rich, and the rest of the people had to be poor. But now modern industry is so powerful and so big that enough wealth can be generated to give a decent life and a high standard of living to everyone. So naturally now the poor people in the world are saying that when we need not be poor, why are we being kept poor ?
The rest of this century will therefore be characterised by the struggles of poor peoples all over the world for a better life