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(19,429 posts)
Mon Nov 20, 2017, 11:42 PM Nov 2017

You all are being distracted ---

Last edited Tue Nov 21, 2017, 11:56 AM - Edit history (1)

Hayekian democracy serves the function of making a capitalist market society appear to be "the people's choice" even though it has long been removed from democratic control.

What I refer to as a technocratic authoritarian market dictatorship is a political-economic regime that delegates decisions on the distribution of people's life chances to the "free play" of market forces or, which is the same, concentrates them in the hands of executive agencies that supposedly command the technical knowledge necessary to organize such markets so that they perform best.

Emptied of distributional politics, Hayekian democracy is free to busy itself with national interests and international conflicts, especially on the exotic margins of the capitalist world, or with the public spectacles offered by the personal rivalries and private lives of competing leaders. Culture wars, "family values", lifestyle choices, "political correctness", the age and sex of politicians, and the way they dress and look and speak deliver an unending supply of opportunities for pseudo-participation in pseudo-debates, never allowing for boredom to arise whether the foreign minister should or should not have his male companion accompany him on a state visit to the Middle East; if there are enough women cabinet members, and in sufficiently powerful positions; how female ministers attend to their small children, too little or too much; whether the president of the Republic should use a motorcycle when visiting his lover; and how often a week the minister of economic affairs takes his daughter to Kindergarten in the morning.

With exciting issues like these filling the public space, who will want to hear about the entirely predictable failure of international financial diplomacy to agree on meaningful regulation of offshore banking and the shadow banking system?

From HOW WILL CAPITALISM END, by Wolfgang Streeck, p 188

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(13,485 posts)
1. This is where we are. Unfortunately
Mon Nov 20, 2017, 11:54 PM
Nov 2017

this warning won't help. This info has been passed around here and elsewhere in many different forms for a long time. People don't listen. We're too deep in the quicksand.


(51,233 posts)
2. Anyone with a triple digit IQ knows this.
Tue Nov 21, 2017, 12:28 AM
Nov 2017

I sure do not want to see DU turn into the National Enquirer. IGNORE IT ALL!!!!!!!!!


(6,747 posts)
3. Capitalism won't end. There will always be a way to leverage some commodity or fiat currency
Tue Nov 21, 2017, 01:38 AM
Nov 2017

so that people will cooperate with the financiers' intentions. For a piece, the worker will make peace. Self-interest is always involved.

Capitalism and altruism can coexist, must coexist.

That said, the assault that this administration is perpetrating on humanity and decency must be answered and opposed. Don't assume that people aren't paying attention. We are being spread thin, but all fronts are important, and we just need the numbers.

That's fine. The more fronts from which the Right attacks, the more people are called to oppose. Those that didn't think they had a dog in this fight, now realize that they do.

What we don't need is attacks from behind or from those who would join our team.



(19,429 posts)
4. Haven't finished the book yet, but I think that is the conclusion that Wolfgang Streeck will reach.
Tue Nov 21, 2017, 11:55 AM
Nov 2017

He has observed that capitalism has survived multiple crises in the past 200 years by mutating and adapting to changed social, political and technical conditions. However, the fact that it has survived the last several crises is no guarantee that it will survive the next.

He is pessimistic about what would follow if capitalism does not survive, since there is no political economic system that appears ready to take its place. The implication is that if capitalism falls, social and political chaos follow.

In another book I recently finished the theory is that once a society disintegrates, as in the USSR, the sequence is that you go back to third-world chaos and near anarchy until a second-world authoritarian government asserts itself. Those two phases would correspond to Yeltsin and Putin. Then the transition to a first-world system with effective laws and constitutional order may or may not follow depending on a variety of factors.


(15,277 posts)
6. So, what do we do about it?
Tue Nov 21, 2017, 12:22 PM
Nov 2017

Because merely claiming something is a distraction doesn't mean it's actually insignificant. If everyone else is paying attention because collectively they've decided it matters, ignoring it going to change that. And if society, via the media, is focusing on an issue, then depending on what it is, well, it could matter whether we like it or not. Ignoring it could mean losing an opportunity to act when it was important.

Rather than complaining each time we think a story is a distraction because not everyone is going to agree on which stories are the most important, we should look at the big picture and address it systemically. If the media keeps distracting us with issues that don't matter, we should address the reasons behind that, like media consolidation.

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