Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Developments in proletarianization theory

News that the African Union has refused to cooperate with the International Criminal Court to demand the arrest of Colonel Muammar Gadaffi confirms the deepening rift between the west and the rest. The report from Associated Press appeared in the New York Times on July 2. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/world/africa/03african.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=libya%20war%20and%20africa%20union&st=cse

You'd think that this rift between Africa and the west would be maximum news and provoke much hand wringing. But no. As the saying goes, " No one cares."

Such cynicism would be deeply troubling if it was not understood as a combination of the balkanization of the west against the developing world - or sections of it at least - and the emergence of proletarian interests. By the latter I mean the increasingly large numbers of people and nations (including Russia and China) that have diminishing interests in western constructs of liberalism.

Enlightenment notions of rationalism produced the structures of western bourgeois liberalism. The courts, churches,  businesses, police, the state, civil society all coexisting are giving way to alternative sectarian systems. This aspect of proletarianization is characterized by the way it is promoted and mobilized by the internet.

Sadly, NATO and the US appear to be united on the utility of bombing the sovereign government of Libya into submission, assuming that Gaddaffi's government will give way to western styled democracy. The internet assures me that this cannot happen. Instead, the ongoing war or whatever it will be will be a thoroughly fragmented system of tribalist interests. The connectivity of people through the internet will lead to continued refusal to cooperate with the west's constructs, as proletarianization finds it energy through communication.

I suspect that many if not most recent uprisings have been the result of new communication technologies making it possible for a confused mess of non-elitist interests to be mobilized. The "confused mess" is now the standard system for understanding national organizations. In fact, the emergence of proletarianization means that the internet makes it possible for even tiny tribal interests to be organized around their own self-interests. Nations will increasingly be massively policed becoming police states, militarized to within a millimeter of the death of civil society.

Massive counter-western forms of social life are emerging and it is clear that proletarianization will become the standard operating method. Democracy may be shown to be a multi-headed hydra as well as a system that refuses the modernist imagination of the west. Alternatives to Enlightenment liberal bourgeois forms of social order are already in the beta stages of innovation.

More theoretical work sorely needed...