Monday, April 23, 2007

Blowback from the collapse of the modernist project

John Hagedorn has an important article that explains how the collapse of the social modernist project of development is at the root of today's "global gangs." Money:

Unlike the expansion of the state in the earlier industrial era, in the global era the state has retreated in the face of instantaneous financial flows and neoliberal monetary policy, while emphasizing punitive policies toward marginalized communities. Gangs and other groups of armed young men occupy the vacuum created by the retreat of the social welfare policies of the state....

Although the collapse of socialism and demoralization of left-wing forces have been replaced by new social movements that show promise for social change, in some places institutionalized gangs and other groups of armed youth have moved into the vacuum created by the demise of the left. These groups are cynical about politics and looking desperately for a better life today, not tomorrow. For them, the promises of modernity have proven to be illusory. Gangs are one price we pay for the failure of the modern project.

The collapse (or rather, the willful assassination) of the dream of social modernism continues to produce all sorts of unexpected blowback.

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