Neo-Oligarchical Colonization and the Marketization of Justice
Modern-day justice is but an international scam propagated through Social Darwinian broadcasting. It is an exclusive privilege that is rarely granted to the common man.
It is even plausible to say that the justice system is an international industry, a power structure that stratifies the society into categories and grades politico-sociological actors into ranks. So in a way, it is an organizing tool, even an algorithm that functions on programmes based on certain preconditions, assumptions, and sociological heteroscedasticity.
This exclusive status is deeply underlined by political supremacy and reified, in a Foucauldian sense, through dissemination of buyable [or sellable] narratives as well as the notion of political ‘kinship’. This notion of clientelist justice exists in local as well as international forms. It is indeed an all-pervasive [manufactured] ideology that cross cuts national boundaries and directs the Machiavellian international realm. Nevertheless, our sophisticated façade of political courtesies and unimplemented yet grand endeavors towards social justice obstruct us to refer to the world as though.
Time has proven the extensiveness of this pretense of which Covid-19's ‘vaccine diplomacy’ is an unfortunate example. The capitalist industry of ‘political aid’ is another.
In this instance, one can also easily refer to the filibustering inefficacy of the United Nations [UN]: from crisis to crisis it has reminded the simple mind of the perfidious nature of realpolitik and capitalist politicism.
Undeniably it has fulfilled one of its major founding objectives: hindering the coming of a third World War. Nevertheless, it won’t be erroneous to suggest that due to its very ineffectiveness, the physical third World War has been disintegrated into many outstretched conflicts in the form of networked flashpoints and proxies, that are imbued with a sense of a Cold War hangover. The realist power dynamics of the core and peripheral states are evermore emboldened, the world can be mapped through crises rather than borders, discrimination based on color, race and religion is rife and climate is evidently getting out of control.
There is another way of rationalizing it: for every Self an Other is present, whether actual or conceived. One way to look at it is what can be labelled as the obscure industry of the Other. The Social Identity Theory — to use the concept with an embedded nuance — has played an integral part in the creation of this outside malicious entity that solely exists to harm the Self, such that we are ingrained with the habit of looking at things and evaluating them through the lens of ‘juxtapositions’ instead of analyzing them in and of themselves. What it leads to, as dictated by opinion, is everyone fighting everyone.
As a by-product of this embedded psychological injustice that we often don’t recognize, there is one outsider that is grander than us all and that may be the biggest beneficiary of this ‘dystopianism’. This outsider is neither a person nor a State — it is a system. It is a superstructure that is manufactured layer by layer and comprises of interlinked substructures that are feeding to and feeding off of one another. This system is that of global institutions that is syndicated top-down through policies, interest, power, capital and, of course rhetoric.
Thus, it should not be imprecise to conceive this new order of globalized international institutionalism as ‘neo-oligarchical’ colonization by a Hydra of powerful States. Which means, we are inhabiting a new age of colonialism where market ideology and development discourse, rather than artillery and battalions, have become the dominant colonizing mechanism. Conquering the mind has replaced conquering territory while cyberspace too has been captured as a viable imperial domain.
It is therefore, interesting to see how consent is manufactured and this structure normalized and upheld. We need to exercise our objectivity by projecting ourselves out of the grand system to scrutinize the invisibility of this machinery of which we are inevitable cogs of.
But then if the entire global infrastructure is a sham, what’s the point of regulating it through international law? Is international law really just a capitalist means to a colonial end in the neo-oligarchical imperial system?
These are questions that any inquisitive mind would love to have answered. But to say everything is a sham is also too pessimistic and deterministically dystopic.
The more important question is this: is international law even capable of dealing with the complex fabric of the global ‘cosmopolis’ that now also assumes a prominent virtual dimension?
If all nations are legally and meaningfully equal then why do some States get to dominate an issue that least concerns their sovereign ontology? Why do the ‘core’ States become the dispensers of justice when their politico-capitalist biases make justice so skewed? At this point, the aforementioned Cold War hangover becomes prominently accentuated.
Why is funding the Iron Dome even a debate when it leads to so much displacement, so much destruction and so much catastrophe? Security is a rightful concern of each and every State while self-determination a fundamental right in the international arena. Then by this logic shouldn’t every country so threatened be funded to create a security dome?
Why does the prominent international troupe fine-tune the same development cadence into a new intonation over intermittent years when the net achievement amounts to empty words and calligraphic signatures on fancy papers? The Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] and the cumulative of all preceding protocols are almost identical in shape, form and result. It’s just like adding to the list of travel destinations when the airplane doesn’t even take-off — and not all of us own a plane.
This pertains heavily to ability and capacity of modern nation-states: political, institutional and even material. The structural inequality between nations is one of the major obstacles towards true emancipation from a state of wretchedness. Other obstacles include willful ambivalence and lack of political will, as well corruption. But these are all matters to be discussed in their own space.
What is important is to note that the roots of these structural limitations go deep down into a historical abyss imbibed in the darkness of wars, colonization and exploitation. It is one which reeks of the smell of blood and echoes the muted sounds of sheer melancholy and hopelessness.
Furthermore, the very institutions designed to rectify historical mistakes and refurbish the world on markers of social justice and equity are those very instruments that sustain the infrastructure of colonization that has now metamorphosed into a recognizably unrecognizable form. Whether the result of the creation of this international superstructure is unintended or not, is yet a moot point.
Then what should us common folks do? Take up intellectual arms and start a cosmopolitan rebellion?
Perhaps a cosmopolitan revolution is not necessarily ‘the alternative’ to the current neo-oligarchical capitalist order. As Samuel Moyn stated in one of his lectures that fixating on the capitalist v. communist debate is like choosing from a restaurant’s menu where there are just two dishes available — either this or that.
The question then arises: do we expand the menu? That is one ambitious yet important possibility that yet needs to be explored. However, as a starting point what we can do is change the lens with which we view the world. This would require us to not just challenge the existing socio-political ‘truths’ as given but to also question the normativity of arbitrary labels of developed and developing, core and periphery and many others, to lead us to a world that is fairer and socio-politically more just.