Quote Arundhati Roy in "Capitalism, A Ghost Story":
The Dholera SIR is only one of the smaller Matryoshka dolls, one of the inner ones in the dystopia that is being planned. It will be connected to the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), a 1500 km long and 300 km wide industrial corridor, with nine Mega-industrial zones, a high speed freight line, three sea-ports, and six air ports; a six-lane intersection-free expressway and a 4000 MW power plant. The DMIC is a collaborative venture between the Governments of India and Japan, and their respective corporate partners, and has been proposed by the McKinsey Global Institute.
The DMIC web site says that approximately 180 million people will be “affected” by the project. Exactly how, it doesn’t say. It envisages the building of several new cities and estimates that the population in the region will grow from the current 231 million to 314 million by 2019. That’s in seven years’ time. When was the last time a State, despot or dictator carried out a population transfer of millions of people? Can it possibly be a peaceful process?
A deconstructive synthesis of the terms "public" and "private" has occured through the permutation or perhaps transmutation of "capitalism" over time. The terms "public" and "private" have been synthesized under the term "private", transformed from abstract principles which denoted seperate spheres of application in reference and action to a single rubric of capitalist political ideology. The above quote demonstrates the completion of capitalism as a political philosophy, in the process of subsuming all aspects of public life into the private domain of capital and in this process negating the applicability of the term "private" to the individual. The privacy of the individual no longer exists as a quantity within the public sphere, as the expression of individual volition within the political-economic social sphere. The private nature of capital itself becomes a public project, and it is in this sense that "capitalism" is - and perhaps has always been - a thoroughly political concept.
In the "country" called the "United States of America", the transformation of capitalism has progressed through roughly three stages of ideological rhetorical corrolaries. First, capitalism was seen as the economic system most suited to the US form of democratic society. Next, it was seen as the natural, necessary form of economic political life which defines democracy itself. Now, as Roy shows, it has negated the concept of the political except as a reference to the total synthesis of political economy as the sole discursive mode of contemporary modernity.
Roy's piece articulates the intersections of cultural and political discourse through the concept of "human rights" against the backdrop of a burgeoning police state which criminalizes all forms of dissent from the dominant order. Corporations cultivate this discussion and attenuate the expression of opinion, including protest, to the projects of the state. Roy describes the cultural projects of corporations, such as literary festivals and the commissioning of works of art, and laments the lack of oppossition to these countries practices. "This is only the burlesque end of the Exquisite Art." She continues her piece laying bare the history of philanthropy, the role of non-governmental organizations, and the facade of "pluralism" in promoting neoliberalism and privatisation (and thus corruption). Roy sounds an almost obligatory optimistic note that the Occupy movement can re-infuse society with a genuine progressive movement which addresses the plight of farmers dispossesed of their land by mining companies and the perennial hardships of the "untouchables".
During the late part of the nineteenth century through the years of the Depression and up until the end of WWII, there were major debates over the nature of political struggle and the desireability of different economic systems. It was during this period that the plutocratic class began propogandizing in favor of capitalism. The agrarian tradition influenced the outcome in favor of private property, and the constitutional guarantees of such mitigated in favor of an economic system which recognized existing inequalities of wealth as legitimate. Industrialism could benefit all classes, though capitalists lobbied hard against any variety of socialism including democratic socialism. The "Bolshevik threat" was largely concentrated among the urban workers, unlike elsewhere such as in Italy where it had roots among the peasant class which worked on the large estates (in South America "latifundia"). Democracy could still effect major reforms and regulations but capitalism was seen as desireable to communes or central planning, the other major concepts rooted in the theories of socialism and communism. Many on the left today intuitively grasp at similar models of social and economic organization by adopting the theme of "localism", but the theoretical underpinnings which could be used to effect a transformation to such a mode of political economy have been gradually and deliberately stripped out of the national discourse over the last several decades.
After the Second World War, the rubric of neoliberalism and neoconservatism began to take shape as US foreign policy adopted neofascist, imperialist global designs. The success of the CIA in infiltrating and coopting trade unions while the State Department worked in tandem with philanthropic organizations helped guarantee that there would be no effective opposition to the power of the elites. Democracy gradually became synonomous with capitalism as the role of politics became defined through the media as the participation of the masses in the dismantling of the state. The material wealth of the neoliberal years of the 1990's within the US, while "free-trade" devastated the rest of the world, convinced the US voters to reject the themes of compassion put forth by the "new liberals" and those such as Kennedy, Kucinich, Jesse Jackson in favor of competition. Competition itself became redifined as the individual attempt to situate him or herself in relationship to ever more powerful corporations in as advantageous a position as possible. All forms of power were ceded to these corporations during this period which followed that of acquisitions and mergers which created the transnational super-corporations we know today. The doublethink of portraying corporations as virtuous and benevolent actors in an arena of amoral, vicious competition allayed any fears raised by those who protested their emergence as a global government, for example at the meeting of the WTO in Seattle. The success of protesters in Seattle was a direct result of the fact that the corporatocracy did not expect serious resistance from the masses.
They would not make that mistake again. Shortly thereafter, the WTO having been forced to meet in Dubai, a stolen election and the events of September 11, 2001 resulted in the imposition of a police state and the military invasion of the Middle East. It is likely that radical terrorists falsely believed that they could carry out the attacks themselves, but that these attacks were aided and abbetted by elements within our government and society. But that's just one theory. The point here is that terms such as "free trade" have actually replaced "democracy" in the national discourse. When the term "democracy" is used, it is only in the sense of being thought to be synonomous with "libertarianism".
The planning described in the quote at the head of this post exemplifies this stage. Central planning has become a perogative of the capitalist state. The industrial components of development and the elements of transportation are facilitated through the higher levels of the state. The impacts Roy referrs to are handled by the lower levels. This stage will culminate in the elimination of the institutions of the state as privatization completes its course and adopts the tasks of security and licensure.