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Sunday, April 09, 2006

65] New Economic Plutocracy?

New Economic Plutocracy?
Azly Rahman
Apr 3, 06 2:48pm

We have authored yet another Malaysia Plan. This is one is based on plutocracy, or the rule of the wealthy. Race-based political-economy will still guide us till 2020, the year we achieve clear vision in a world of the blind in which many one-eyed men want to become king.

Robust growth, inspired by Sun Tze’s maxim of the art of war, guided by economic liberalism of a newer version of race-based policy, synthesised with a new keris-wielding philosophy of globalisation, and finally graced with the language of love and care and benevolence of a religiously-puritanic government - this is the new Malaysian deal of which Roosevelt’s America of the 1950s would have envied. The global economy is a mahabharatha or the great war into which we want to be sucked.

What are the assumptions of human nature on which the new deal of the 9th Malaysia Plan are based? How is race crystallised as a newer dynamics? Where is this government taking us in this turbulent economic waves of an oligopolic-capitalistic globalised world? Will we become happier and more sophisticated slaves in the global economy? Will we be able to get out of this new madness of a new economic piracy?

Will this nation - in its race to compete globally with the global economic giants - speed up the throttle of the human conveyer belt so that its citizen-slaves will work harder and faster until it suffers a massive heart attack borne out of the stresses of wanting to emerge triumphant as a global player?

Who will benefit from all this then? Is this the final solution to the pain we have inflicted upon ourselves from the liberal economic polices base on race-based ideology not longer in synchrony with the refreshing view of the anti-globalisation movement?

"Utilitarian view"

The newly unveiled NEP is such as case in point - it is still based on a utilitarian view of human nature and still crunches humanity by the numbers. Our ‘developmental' path continues to head in the wrong direction. We need to gostan as the old Johoreans would say - ‘go as you turn’ to de-evolve. Our notion of progress continue to be uni-linear and emphasises this poorly-misunderstood notion of human capital.

See...we cannot even escape from using the word ‘capital’ to stay in tune and in perpetual confusion of what ‘capitalism’ entails. Like our misconstrued notion of ‘feminism’, it is all a linguistic game. We will be continually trapped in this prison-house of language. It is a mélange and microbe of confusion based on a poor understanding of the philology of developmentalism. We have been so bought over by the shibboleth of developmentalism that we now only speak the language of cut-throat competition laced ‘confusingly’ with terminology such as Islam Hadhari.

Must we compete, among ethnic groups, among nations? Or is there a better lens we can use to craft a more liberating philosophy of development; one based on the development of the people, by the people, for the people, and one based on social-democratic principles of co-operation? This is our national dilemma which will continue to plague us as long as those who speak the language of national development have the mind of a parochialism unable to see the larger picture of dehumanisation unfolding. Cui bono - who benefits? - will be the guiding question in this NEP as a philosophy we borrow perhaps from Stalinism.

"Counter-ideology needed"

What a pity that the academicians in the nation cannot even agree to get together to craft a comprehensive counter-ideology of developmentalism or to even mount a good philosophical argument to guide us through this ‘feel-good-for-the-good-life guaranteed national philosophy of economic development’ crafted by our own mind’s enshacklement of neo-Rostowian ideology; one that is married to a McClelland notion of human development and achievement.

Perhaps our academics have turned into the much scorned intelligentsia and have become a post-modern caste and have been impoverished by the closing of the Malaysian mind that have undergone a systematic process of natural selection of what to teach and what to hide. We are too much schooled in ‘the developmentalist agenda’ borrowed from perhaps Adam Smith-Friedmanian economics borrowed from classical liberal theories of economic development that bury human beings alive under mountain of numbers.

Hence we still see words like ‘30 percent ownership’, ‘competitive economy’, ‘robust economy’, and ‘engines of growth’ that string the manifesto of Malaysian national development that will guide the construction and installation of institution that will further cleverly discriminate and devastate human beings into race and classes and the modern caste system.

Our philosophy of economic is this: Produce and keep on producing for the world market until we become slaves in this precarious international system. Produce and keep on producing things that human beings don't need. Create needs out of the things that people do not want - more televisions, satellites, cell phones, luxury cars, highways, multimedia products or whatever informational capitalism dictates. Or better still for us - create a bio-tech nation, even if we do not understand what this means. As long as policy makers profit from the creation of these ‘needs’ that will also spell ‘progress’.

Aren't we all now doomed and have we long ago planted the seeds of destruction? De-evolve or be destroyed Who owns the machinery of production that is linking us to the oppressive global and technocratic production system couched under the addictive ideology called ‘globalisation’?

In all sectors of our economy, we continue to reply upon the advice of the International Advisory panel who have become another addiction itself for a neo-colonialist nation like ours. What we need is a stronger system of check and balance. In other words, we need a strong Opposition/Alternative/Social-Democratic/Socialistic front that will mediate the contradiction of our economic growth. We have 9MP that is still authored, inscribed, installed and institutionalised by the very ruling coalition front that is becoming more and more totalitarian. We can never know the hidden curriculum behind the scope and sequence of our developmentalist agenda.

We have somewhat a parallel government running; one carrying our the agenda with perceived benevolence, and one working behind closed doors strategising the perfection of the instruments of domination. We need to de-evolve from our philosophy of hyper-modernity that is bringing us into a Formula One track of unchecked capitalist expansion, using the technical, manual, and intellectual labour of the nation to further enrich the few mandarins and kshatriya and the bangsawan of Malaysia’s newer economic piracy.

We must look back and if we are all going to be subjected to a massive national heart attack if we continue to speed up the inner workings of a cut-throat, competitive economy that continues to sell junk to the citizens.

Slow down - we’re moving too fast dancing with giants. We will have a heart attack right here on our Formula One track to a ‘developed status’. We need a counter-philosophy of development - one based on aristocracy of the many.

2 comments:

Wintermute said...

Don't feel to downhearted about the NEP, Dr Azly. After all it was simply another European import courtesy of the Norwegian Communist, Just Faaland whose passion for unreality is a commonplace among Scandinavians trained in mastery of the facile Marxist nostrum.

Wintermute said...

"too" of course.

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