from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs Instead

From each according to his abilities and to each

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"from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs." Instead, it has thus far proved to be simply a more extended and more coordinated version of the system of huge monopolistic corporations that first emerged in the early twentieth century. 6 As the global vil- lage has taken shape, these corporations have achieved unparalleled political influence. It has also become increasingly clear that they are indifferent to the goods and services they actu- ally produce. For their main business is to maxi- mize profits by underpaying and, when desir- able, laying-off workers and by cajoling, tricking, or forcing consumers to buy more and more things that are less and less important. The glamorous and seemingly unstop- pable spread of the Internet, cell phones, the dollar, and corporate economics has a another, often unpleasant, side that residents of the more affluent neighborhoods tend to overlook. Along the same channels that bring innovations such as satellite TV to the far corners of the vil- lage, great fear and anxiety flow about the loss of traditional, local beliefs and practices. In response to such fears, the less privi- leged residents seek solace in what they believe to be the past (even if it is a largely mythical past). Old languages, art, and music are revived from the brink of extinction; and ethnic power and "cleansing" movements arise to challenge the cultural homogenization overtaking the vil- lage. Religious fundamentalism is embraced in increasing numbers by adherents of the village's major faiths: Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and in smaller sects and denominations as well, in response to the forces of seculariza- tion. Nationalism, and its frequent companion militarism, experiences a significant revival in an attempt to counter the reach of multinational institutions. These are not aberrations or myste- rious contradictions. Rather, the current growth and popularity of such movements, and the potential of social conflict that they entail, are as much a part of the global village as e-mail or MTV. As Benjamin Barber notes in his widely read work on this phenomenon, "the two axial principles of our age – tribalism and globalism – clash at every point except one: they may both be threatening to democracy." 7 In the absence of species consciousness, there is no reason to believe that current trends will cease or even slow down. To the contrary, a global village that is not a village for-itself is bound to be a village in continual conflict and strife: autocratic politics, monopolistic econom- ics, exploitation, religious intolerance, inter-eth- nic violence, and militarism. Of course, these are hardly new problems. But they are serious and dangerous in a new way when they occur in humanity's one and only village, with no other place to go and no one other than our- selves to whom we can turn for help. That is why the need for all people to see themselves as one has never been more urgent.
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