As socially beneficial services – healthcare, education, housing, transport, care for older people and even the fight against climate change – are brought into the market economy, there is more scope for corporate power and greed to taint the political process. This has led to a sense of individual powerlessness and disillusionment with the whole political process.
But though there is growing alienation from the political system there is also growing hope – especially amongst young people – that another world is possible.
Successive governments have embraced corporate-driven globalisation policies which have had socially and environmentally disastrous consequences. On the ECONOMY page the supranational bodies which set the rules fro the market economy and shape government policy to bring it into line with the interests of the corporations are named. Previously state-funded and accountable public services are now, increasingly, delivered by the private sector – which has in many cases proved to be less efficient, more expensive and difficult to hold to account.
However, as John McDonnell points out, information technology has led to interaction between individuals, communities and organisations challenging the ideology and practices of the market economy
- delivering public services through taxation,
- creating new forms of direct, participative democracy,
- giving the right to free and equal legal representation in civil and criminal courts,
- re-establishing the rule of law in domestic and foreign policy areas,
- holding out the hand of friendship to other nations