The fierce neoliberalism is sweeping all over the world. Here in Japan, just to give you an example, more and more youngsters are forced to settle with an informal job, either in the form of so-called “freeter” or “dispatched employees(haken shain),” and are unable to plan for their future, i.e. marriage and childraising, because of their uncertain labor condition on top of their low income. Even formal workers are afraid of layoff and are obliged to work overtime(sometimes 70 to 80 hours per week!), without being duly paid or even unpaid(so-called “service zangyô”). None of these new slaves is happy with this circumstance, but this is the only way they can make ends meet.
Well, I know Japan is an extreme case as individuals are meaningless before the “culture of harmony”(wa-no bunka) people in the archipelago are proud of. Those who stick to legally-acknowledged rights without taking people’s emotion into consideration are rather blamed as “selfish” as the abduction of three JP nationals two years ago showed. But something similar is happening in Germany too where some workers gave up their 35-hour just to prevent their employer from transferring its factory to somewhere in Eastern Europe. Workers are afraid that the company will take them out to the street, so they need to do as much as possible to please their boss.
I just don’t understand what makes it possible for us to live in two contradictory disciplines: political democracy and economic tyranny. We can elect any politician we like, but what does it serve for while we are still deprived of human rights in the economic life? Why isn’t there anybody at all to discuss seriously how to achieve the same democratic process that we have today in the politics for our economy as well?
This blog is just my small attempt to seek for such a transformation in our economic life. Your comments will be highly appreciated.