HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Robert W. McChesney: &quo...

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 10:26 PM

Robert W. McChesney: "Capitalism as We Know It Has Got to Go"


Robert W. McChesney: "Capitalism as We Know It Has Got to Go"

Tuesday, 30 December 2014 10:32
By Robert McChesney, Monthly Review Press | Book Excerpt


The following is the first chapter of Blowing the Roof Off, "America, I Do Mind Dying":

Please, mister foreman, slow down that assembly line
I don't mind working but I do mind dying.

—JOE L. CARTER, "Please, Mister Foreman," blues song, 1965



THESE ARE PERILOUS TIMES for capitalism, the reigning political economic system of the United States and the world. The economy is stagnating, and Mother Earth is gravely ill. In the second decade of the twenty-first century, we face widening economic inequality, plutocratic governance, endless militarism and mounting planetary ecological degradation.

Not many years ago, this would have sounded hyperbolic to many people. But today, it is not just radicals who are sounding alarm bells. Nobel Prize–winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been writing about secular stagnation in the past year in remarkably alarmist terms, arguing that the rich economies may be caught in decades of slow growth. No less an establishment figure than former World Bank Chief Economist and U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers warned the International Monetary Fund in 2013 that the United States and the advanced economies may be facing a generation of stagnation.(1)

Moreover, some of our leading social and natural scientists have recently established the magnitude of the difficulties we face with cutting-edge research. There is now wide agreement on what the influential French economist Thomas Piketty has demonstrated, which is that growing economic inequality is built into the core logic of the capitalist system.(2) His research also suggests that a new oligarchy of inherited wealth has come to dominate society and the state, and the process is accelerated by stagnation. According to Krugman, writing on Piketty's discoveries, "We're going to look back nostalgically on the early 21st century when you could still at least have the pretense that the wealthy actually earned their wealth. And, you know, by the year 2030, it'll all be inherited." Indeed, "we are seeing not only great disparities in income and wealth, but we're seeing them get entrenched. We're seeing them become inequalities that will be transferred across generations. We are becoming very much the kind of society we imagine we're nothing like."3)

In other acclaimed new empirical research, Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page examined 1,800 policy decisions made by the U.S. government between 1981 and 2002:

The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence. . . . Ordinary citizens might often be observed to "win" (that is, to get their preferred policy outcomes) even if they had no independent effect whatsoever on policy making, if elites (with whom they often agree) actually prevail.(4)


In short, when organized wealth wants one thing and the mass of the people wants another, money wins—always. "Democracy" has been reduced to powerless people rooting for their favored billionaire or corporate lobby to advance their values and interests, and hoping such a billionaire exists and that they get lucky. Doesn't that sound like the oligarchy that was explicitly rejected in this nation's founding in Philadelphia in 1776, and reaffirmed in Lincoln's speech at the bloodstained earth of Gettysburg some four score and seven years later? ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/28273-robert-w-mcchesney-capitalism-as-we-know-it-has-got-to-go



16 replies, 1907 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Robert W. McChesney: "Capitalism as We Know It Has Got to Go" (Original post)
marmar Dec 2014 OP
Octafish Dec 2014 #1
Unknown Beatle Dec 2014 #6
antigop Dec 2014 #7
Cleita Dec 2014 #8
Nuclear Unicorn Dec 2014 #13
niyad Dec 2014 #2
project_bluebook Dec 2014 #3
blkmusclmachine Dec 2014 #4
silverweb Dec 2014 #5
marmar Dec 2014 #12
Odin2005 Dec 2014 #9
drm604 Dec 2014 #10
marmar Dec 2014 #16
vive la commune Dec 2014 #11
xchrom Dec 2014 #14
lovemydog Dec 2014 #15

Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 10:45 PM

1. Why not give everybody a piece of the action?

Not just Wall Street. Profits. Corporate Profits.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 11:55 PM

6. Because that would be

the scourge of SOCIALISM that repugs dread. But the repugs loves 'em some corporate socialism where they take from the middle class and poor and give to the rich.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Octafish (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 12:48 AM

7. how 'bout we get rid of corporations and have worker co-ops? nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to antigop (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 01:20 AM

8. +10

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to antigop (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 07:44 AM

13. Nothing is stopping that from happening now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 10:51 PM

2. k and r

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 11:08 PM

3. Yes, but

 

the DOW is over 18000!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 11:37 PM

4. The Republicans and the Democrats tag-team the middle/working classes into political/economic

 

oblivion...


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Dec 30, 2014, 11:47 PM

5. Looks excellent... but long.

[font color="navy" face="Verdana"]Bookmarked for later.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to silverweb (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 07:12 AM

12. its worth the read tho

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 01:21 AM

9. Socialism or Barbarism.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 01:50 AM

10. K&R

I think Piketty started a revolution in economic thought. The problem now is how do we get political solutions when the wealthy have so much political power and continuing growth in the inequality that creates that power is built into the system?

The only answer that I can see is someone wealthy and powerful with a conscience and actual concern beyond their own well-being using their influence to cause political change, particularly regarding taxes and redistribution.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to drm604 (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 01:34 PM

16. I'm glad that we can at least have the conversation now......


.... for way too many years to even question capitalism as it's practiced in the U.S. was considered heresy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 05:06 AM

11. Excellent Article n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 08:10 AM

14. du rec.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 09:58 AM

15. We need a lot more socialism in this country.

We should start by nationalizing health care.

On a local level, more places should pass living wage ordinances.

And my dream: minimum living income for all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread