Capitalism, the Welfare State, and Social Unrest

There are two main pillars holding up the capitalist system: (1) The welfare state and (2) the police state. The welfare state supplements the inherent unemployment/underemployment experienced by the working class (due to systemic deficiencies), and the police state uses force (or the constant threat of force) to keep this systematically disenfranchised working class in line.

Without these pillars, society under capitalist modes of production would crumble, the capitalist system would be exposed for what it truly is (a racket), and social unrest would surely ignite revolution and/or civil war.

Capitalists and their government cronies have always known this, but are still losing their grip on it. The neoliberal era has created yet another internal contradiction within capitalism, as ever-powerful private interests are pushing back against the welfare state by simply refusing to fund it. And, despite being forced to rely on it, many of us are now hassled and shamed for doing so.

Something must give. The hyper-militarization and empowerment of police forces across the country suggest where this may be headed. Tear down one pillar and strengthen the other?


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