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Reflections of a working writer and reader

 

 

Undermining Freedom

Nick Cohen in the Guardian on the UK’s pandering to despots:

Europe’s most blatant example is Vladimir Putin’s Russia. When its agents poisoned Alexander Litvinenko with polonium-210, the Russians were as astonished as the Saudis that Britain insisted on bringing alleged criminals to justice. ‘I don’t understand the position of the British government,’ a foreign ministry spokesman spluttered. ‘It is prepared to sacrifice our relations in trade and education for the sake of one man.’
From Leon Trotsky on, the Soviet regime has killed exiles. The difference between the old and the new Russia is that now Russia can buy the support of corporations and capitalists who will excuse their crimes.
In The New Cold War, his study of Putin’s impact on Europe, Edward Lucas of the Economist argues that the Russian elite has understood that money can be used to undermine freedom because there are many in the West who believe that ‘capitalism is a system in which money matters more than freedom’.

Discuss.

One Response to “Undermining Freedom”

  1. Paul says:

    Capitalism is no longer a system, used as a means of achieving common ends. It is now an entity in its own right, exercising control over decision making by corporations and governments alike. Where once mankind said, ‘Let the Gods decide,’ they are now content to abrogate even greater responsibility and allow the market to make their decisions for them.
    What government or corporation with its eye firmly fixed on the next election or the next shareholders meeting is going to say that economic growth is unsustainable?
    It’s not the media that is the message, it’s the market, the numbers game, in our every area of activity.

    jb says: Thanks, Paul. I was trying to get around to where you’re at. The problem, the real problem with all that, is that the single individual disappears altogether. We’re all consumers now, maggots on the scruff of a dead dog.