V strahu pred uporom ljudstva: kako elite prizemljiti

To ni zapis o Sloveniji, čeprav je bilo v zadnjih nekaj tednih kar nekaj škandalov, povezanih z “elitami”, pač pa Martin Wolf, glavni ekonomski kolumnist Financial Timesa, piše o tem, kako globalne ekonomske (kapitalske) elite spet približati ljudem. Dohodkovne razlike v družbi so se nenormalno povečale, in kadar dejstvo, da je ameriški zgornji 1% v zadnjih 40 letih pobral polovico vseh koristi od gospodarske rasti (in nekoliko manj drastično drugod), križate s postkrizno stagnacijo, kjer vlade, ki so reševale bogate lastnike bank, zapitek za to izstavljajo navadnim davkoplačevalcem prek poviševanja davkov, zmanjševanja transferjev in rezanja javnih storitev, ter povečanimi migracijami obupanih “luzerjev“, ki jih je globalizacija obšla, dobite v razvitih državah povečano družbeno tesnobo, nezaupanje in naraščajoče vrenje upora do vladajoče elite. Vedno skozi zgodovino se je ljudstvo, ko so ga elite preveč privile, uprlo. Pa čeprav z vilami, kamni, orožjem ali zgolj z masovnimi demonstracijami. Vprašanje je le, kateri demagogi – skrajneži z leve ali desne – bodo maso pognali na ulice in zahtevali kri.

Wolf ima nekaj dobrih predlogov, kako zaustaviti te trende in ponovno vzpostaviti več demokracije – od zaustavitve migracijskih tokov, prenehanja s politiko zategovanja pasu v evrskem območju, omejitve finančnega sektorja, dviga davkov na lastnike kapitala, omejitve moči korporacij in prenehanja s paradigmo “vrednosti za delničarje” in njegovo nadomestitivjo s paradigmo “vrednosti za deležnike”. Wolf je pozabil le še na omejitev globalizacije – torej na omejitev proste trgovine in prostega pretoka finančnega kapitala, oboje je namreč v ozadju finančne krize, ki je izbruhnila v 2008. Prvo je sicer bogokletno, drugo pa je nujnost. Wolf je pozabil tudi na omejitev moči ZDA in njenih evropskih satelitov, ki so v prejšnjem desetletju in pol destabilizirale Severno Afriko in Bližnji Vzhod vse do Afganistana. Migracijski tokovi so posledica tega in ne globalizacije.

The outcome of individual economic freedom can be great inequality, which hollows out realistic notions of democracy. The governance of complex modern societies requires technical knowledge — and we already face the danger that the gulf between economic and technocratic elites on the one hand, and the mass of the people on the other, becomes too vast to be bridged. At the limit, trust might break down altogether. Thereupon, the electorate will turn to outsiders to clean up the system. We are seeing such a shift towards trust in outsiders not only in the US but also in many European countries.

So what are the root causes of this divide in attitudes? One is cultural change. Another is distaste over changes in the ethnic composition of nations. Then there is anxiety over rising inequality and economic insecurity. Perhaps the most fundamental cause is a growing sense that elites are corrupt, complacent and incompetent. Demagogues play on such sources of anxiety and anger. That is what they do.

How should those in the centre respond? Successful politicians understand that the people need to feel their concerns will be taken into account, that they and their children enjoy the prospect of a better life and that they will continue to have a measure of economic security. Above all, they need once again to trust the competence and decency of economic and political elites.

Here are a few elements of what needs to be done. First, of all aspects of globalisation, mass immigration is the most disruptive. Movement across borders needs to be brought under control. […]

Second, the eurozone needs to embark on a fundamental questioning of its austerity-oriented macroeconomic doctrines. It is appalling that real aggregate demand is substantially lower than in early 2008.

Third, the financial sector needs to be curbed. It is ever clearer that the vast expansion of financial activity has not brought commensurate improvements in economic performance. But it has facilitated an immense transfer of wealth.

Next, capitalism must be kept competitive. We are in a new gilded age in which business exerts great political power. One response is to promote competition ruthlessly. This will require determined action.

Then, taxation must be made fairer. Owners of capital, the most successful managers of capital and some dominant companies enjoy remarkably lightly taxed gains. It is not good enough for business leaders to insist that they are sticking to the law. This is not an adequate definition of ethical behaviour. This view is particularly disingenuous when commercial interests play such a powerful role in shaping those laws.

In addition, the doctrine of shareholder primacy needs to be challenged. Shareholders enjoy the great privilege of limited liability. With their risks capped, their control rights should be practically curbed in favour of those more exposed to the risks in the company, such as long-serving employees. And, finally, the role of money in politics needs to be securely contained.

Vir: Martin Wolf, Financial Times

One response

  1. Morda pa finančne in tehnološke elite računajo s hitrim tehnološkim razvojem (predvsem robotike), ki bi v 10-20 letih odpravil večino potreb po delovni sili v proizvodnih dejavnostih. Ostal bi le del storitvenih dejavnosti in visoko izobražena delovna sila. Odvečni delavci bi tako postali nekoristna »sodrga«, ki bi jo lahko v njim namenjenih nadzorovanih okoljih obvladovali s tehničnimi sredstvi, humanoidnimi roboti in iztrebljali z laboratorijsko mutiranimi smrtonosnimi virusi. Ko delavec postane odvečen o njegovem preživetju odloča zgolj dejstvo ali ga še lahko kvalificiramo kot potrošnika ali ne – v kolikor ne zmore biti potrošnik izgubi tudi pravico do obstoja. Če se komu zdi ta vizija preveč črnogleda ali celo brutalna, se lahko zazre v ne tako davno preteklost in si ogleda poskus »končne rešitve«. Cilji so bili sicer drugačni, ne gre pa dvomiti o zmožnostih človeške skupnosti (ne zgolj asocialnih posameznikov). Konec koncev se proces konverzije delavcev v brezpravno sodrgo že pospešeno izvaja – »kvalificiranih« potrošnikov je vse manj.

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