“Liberalism, Landa reminds us, was the socioeconomic doctrine used by the budding European bourgeoisie in the 17th through 19th centuries against the nobility. The bourgeoisie won that battle but upon taking hold of power, they predictably had to defend it against its ultimate existential opponent, the propertyless majority. “It must be borne in mind that the whole purpose of liberal civil society from a Lockean point of view was to shore up nascent capitalist property and production. The political aspect of liberalism, namely parliamentary and constitutional rule, far from being an autonomous sphere alongside the economic one, was entirely a function of capitalism, conceived at all times as fully subservient to it”. “Parliamentarism and the rule of law were thus from the very beginning not the liberal end itself, to be defined, say, in terms of guaranteeing political pluralism; rather, they were mere means to an end, that of protecting capitalism”.”
It’s impossible to understand today’s political dynamic without beginning with the core fact that we live in a class society. For the entire 5,000 year history of civilization, the propertied few have possessed nearly all material power and have thereby ruled over the propertyless majority. So it was thousands of years ago and, crucially, so it remains today.
While this massive asymmetry is a simple indisputable fact that flies directly in the face of commonly accepted notions of democracy, populations have shown themselves easily conned into accepting it as natural and legitimate. The ruling ideology has become part of us.
One of the ways this has been accomplished is the misuse of key terms. A good example is in the name we give our socioeconomic system. We live not in an oligarchy of concentrated material power that the facts show to be the case, but rather in a benign ‘liberal…
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