Saturday, 18 March 2017

The illusion of progress

This is precisely what you'd expect of a self-serving elite that was desperate to cloak the unhappy reality that the relative few are benefiting immensely at the expense of the many. The core narrative of politics everywhere is progress. If progress isn't being made, politicians and the system are failing. In the past, "progressive" movements sought to advance both social and economic opportunities for marginalized groups. Now a days, social progress has been decoupled from economic progress.

Progress is defined as the social advancement of a marginalized populace into the mainstream. When the marginalized populace is comprised of many millions of individuals, social progress and economic progress are mutually reinforcing dynamics: opportunities for social advancement in the mainstream created economic opportunities, and vice versa. For variety of reasons social progress has been effectively decoupled from economic progress. Woeful lack of economic progress for the bottom 90% proves financial progress is now limited to an elite comprised of oligarchs, technocrats and entrepreneurs. Everyone else has been losing ground in wages, wealth and opportunity. The movement for the vast majority is now backward, not forward.

This self-serving elite is desperate to cloak the potentially explosive reality that the relative few are benefiting immensely at the expense of the many. If we measure progress solely by participation in and ownership of the most productive parts of the current mode of production, a much different snapshot emerges: economic stagnation is not progress.

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