America: After the Fall

20 years after the fall of communism , American style capitalism has also fallen. But the downfall was silent, without any visible walls toppling or crumbling. The 9/11 like collapse of the financial firms of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers left no piles of rubble or slabs of fractured concrete on the ground, just lots of laid off traders and deal makers. But the brokerage and investment banks’ end signalled the death knell of market capitalism as we knew it; another misbegotten ideology born out of the musings of Adam Smith, Ricardo and Milton Friedman was laid to rest unceremoniously. The troika which presumed that man’s most bestial instincts can be curbed in the pursuit of profit and happiness were wrong. Unfortunately these great men just like Marx, Engles and Lenin underestimated man’s penchant for larceny and venality. In theory, the quest for individual gain — i.e., greed — should trickle down to the less fortunate and serve the greater common good. As we now see with the “banksters” in pin striped suits, this is not the case. The craven financiers who recklessly gambled away the hard earned saving of pensioners and members of the now defunct middle class continue to “roll in dough”.

That is thanks to the cash handouts generously given out to them by the Goldman Sachs run administration in Washington. The Wall Street regime continues to make monetary policy over the heads of the electorate, devaluing the dollar purposely (in the name of ‘carry trade’ transactions) while bringing the erstwhile American economic powerhouse to its knees. An ailing economy, whose financial system has imploded like the twin towers, is now headed for an Argentinean style default and/or Weimar like hyper inflation. Casino not entrepreneurial capitalism still rules over us but the ideology is morally bankrupt. So gentlemen place your bets “rien n’est va plus” as the croupiers would say on Wall Street.

1989-2009: From the dislocation of Soviet Empire to today’s American decline

What brought down the Soviet Union was economic morass and industrial paralysis. Along with colonial adventurism in places like Angola and Afghanistan which drained the national treasury. A bloated bureaucracy and an inefficient gargantuan military industrial complex which also bled the federation’s resources. America today is in a symmetrical situation to the Soviet Union’s predicament in the late 1980s. Hence, 2009 maybe to the U.S what 1989 was to the late and somewhat great U.S.S.R. The U.S is entangled in two endless war of occupation one in the Middle East the other in central Asia.

These costly conflicts at a time of great economic distress which recalls the deprivations of the great depression era, have led to historic budget deficits. During the Bush neo con years ( the neocons being a ruthless clique driving foreign policy in the White House equivalent to the KGB apparatchiks who were influencing the Kremlin’s actions abroad) the federal government’s spent like there was no tomorrow and big government grew to monstrous proportions. Huge increases in the military spending added to this horrid fiscal nightmare. Barack Obama, the man of the moment or the “Gorbi” of our times, like the last Soviet leader, has inherited a huge mess which requires Herculean, if not superhuman capacity to clean up. And like the last leader of the Soviet empire, Obama enjoys huge popularity aboard, while being practically loathed, ridiculed and derided at home (especially on the radio airwaves). And now after the recent electoral gains of the Republicans in some key states, he’s wounded (perhaps fatally) politically.

Obama: The post modern “sun king” and absolutism American style

Obama’s pseudo or simulated “Glasnost” or the apparent policy of maximal publicity, openness, and transparency in the activities of all government institutions has led ironically to many Americans placing an absolute blind trust in the man who embodies “change”. There is an abdication of reason in the name of “yes we can”. A kind of collective hypnosis hangs over the nation. Meanwhile, there are some “hard core” pockets of dissent, made up of tea party patriots, who are denouncing his “socialist style” health care project. For its part, the zombie like mass media appears to be either asleep at the wheel to all this, or is willingly (in an insidious and complicit manner) allowing a Soviet style personality cult to take shape-mold the minds of millions and enthrall the masses.

The Obama Factor

The president’s inverted version of “perestroika” (that is the restructuring or retooling of the economy) has been fine tuned to meet the need of the oligarchs and corporate barons who support him and prompt him behind the curtains. Obama and his czar –commissars (and his adoring minions of PR spin operatives) have deftly in a brilliant slight of hand in one swift jest, effectively expropriating the entire financial and industrial sectors in America by means of massive taxpayer funded “bail outs”. These ploys have turned the essence of capitalism upside down, by rewarding cronyism and criminal behavior to the point where “crime pays” very handsomely indeed, and enables billionaires, fraudsters and financiers to obtain great gain almost without almost any pain or punishment. These perverse policies are likely to fail. In the end, Gorbachev’s policies although ostensibly well meaning, actually hastened the demise of the Soviet state. This later led to its fragmentation and disintegration of the communist superpower and its Eastern Empire. America’s current plight may lead to a similar outcome.

Michael Werbowski is a graduate of post communist studies from the University of Leeds, UK. Read other articles by Michael.

27 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Alexander Nekrassov said on November 7th, 2009 at 11:09am #

    Classical capitalism started to collapse as early as the 1930s, being gradually replaced by the dominance of middle men in banking, trade and services and the growing interference of big government . The producer was no longer king, as it is supposed to be under capitalism, and small and middle size companies, the backbone of proper capitalism, were wiped out by the big corporations. What we are witnessing now is the re-introduction of classical socialist and even communist methods that are used to tackle the current economic crisis. The subsidising of banks is classical communism. It has nothing to do with capitalism and the free market. Many people are wrong in assuming that communism is dead. It is very much alive.

  2. Deadbeat said on November 7th, 2009 at 1:28pm #

    The subsidising of banks is classical communism. It has nothing to do with capitalism and the free market.

    This is such nonsense. It appears that the extent of the Capitalist crisis is bringing out such rhetorical apologist of the Capitalist system that now they are trying to convince people that it is not Capitalism. I lived through the Cold War and that is what the U.S. was doing and has always done — defend and expand the ideology of Capitalism and spent trillions doing so.

    What we are experience is the direct outgrowth of the “free market” especially since NOTHING is “free” in the “F[r]ee Market”. It discriminates against those who DO NOT have money. And the winners in this system is guaranteeing their continued winning via the government as it always has.

    The ideology of “Communism”, like “Democracy” has been distorted by the ruling class for the obvious reason — to sow confusion and befuddlement. Apologist are now coming out of the woodwork to redefined term in order to maintain and continuance of a confused mass. Such conditions are designed to maintain the status quo.

    Capitalism is structured around the concept of “perfect competition”. That concept is by definition a contradiction; an oxymoron. Such a system based on contradiction is by definition IRRATIONAL and designed not for the common good by for people to become cruel, selfish and greedy. Therefore the current crisis of Capitalism is self-fulfilling and intrinsic to the system. It is Mr. Nekrassov who is in denial and he is doing a disservice by spreading misrepresentations due to his inability to properly analysis Capitalism.

  3. Obstreperous said on November 7th, 2009 at 2:41pm #

    Capitalism has not fallen. Idiot government regulation and mandates have created the problems we’ve faced since the 30s. Those who have had to live with the oppression of socialism are gradually appreciating the vitality and social justice that capitalism, modestly regulated can provide. We will be eaten alive by these nations because too many Americans are free riders who cling to collectivist fantasies while enjoying the fruits or others labor.

  4. Deadbeat said on November 7th, 2009 at 3:41pm #

    Capitalism has not fallen. Idiot government regulation and mandates have created the problems we’ve faced since the 30s.

    Really. You are so ideologically blind you cannot even read the contradiction of your own rejoinder. There would have been NO regulations had Capitalism not entered into an economic crisis better known as THE GREAT DEPRESSION. Those regulation were instituted in order to smooth over crisis. Even with those regulation in place they did not overcome the problem of crisis. In fact Capitalism has been in a long 35 year crisis whereby workers wages have stagnated while worker productivity has increased enormously. This gap was then “treated” with enormous debt and bubbles and the reduction of worker power leading to the worst levels of inequality.

    We will be eaten alive by these nations because too many Americans are free riders who cling to collectivist fantasies while enjoying the fruits or others labor.

    You mean too FEW “Americans” (or rather Capitalists) have been living FREE on the value produced by WORKERS. The collective WORKERS has been transferring their collective efforts to the Capitalist for far too long making them rich at the expense of the whole society and environment. It’s time for that to change and your hateful, greedy and spiteful attitude to “slither” away.

  5. Max Shields said on November 7th, 2009 at 3:48pm #

    Alexander Nekrassov I think you are partically right. Classical capitalims was usurped in the early 20th Century, and Federal Reserve has been viewed as the death nell of classicalists.

    Capitalism in the form the Smith and Ricardo presented has certainly not been present since then, and like much theorizing never really existed in most nation-states.

    Regulations are problematic, but that is because of the need to have them at all. Self-regulation is only feasible when transactions are local and exchanges are naturally transparent. Even then it’s not perfect, but than the human condition is a liteny of imperfections.

    While a perfect state is not likely for the living human species, what with it’s never ending angst about EVERYTHING!, there are obvious flaws that occurred when classical economics dissipated. But before going there, and to the author of this article: Milton Friedman is NOT a classical economist – he is aligned tightly with neo-liberalism and neo-classical economics, pure and simple.

    The best way to look at economics (or any system) is to de-ideologize it. Looking at how economies establish themselves, when it brings the most to the most, and when it becomes more and more for fewer and fewer (economic collapse is when most people are left out of the picture) is perhaps the best way to peel off the good, the bad and the ugly.

    What you are left with is not socialism or capitalism, but relationships and how those relationships are either based on democratic principles or oligarchical ones. Financial institutions are meant to provide capital; i.e., they serve the economy not the other way around. This is not true today which is why Wall Street and Banks are thriving and national economics are collapsed and in despair.

    Corporatism is a major part of the problem. Corporations are based on profit for shareholders, FIRST. This means that all goals and missions of these entities are subverted to profit for its own sake, at whatever that takes and means. And as such it has made PRODUCTIVITY king. Productivity, in today’s service, off-shore, financially-driven world requires fewer and fewer workers. So, productivity goes up even as unemployment goes up. The relationship between production and workers is utterly severed.

    Which brings us to one of many bottom lines – Production to what end? What is it we produce and why? And are these needs or fabricated wants? And if they are the latter what role to humans have in producing these wants? None of this even begins to touch the real issue – ENERGY. The kind of energy that makes the material world of economics rotate. The inability to shift gears, to manage consumption, to shift from an economics of consumerism, and yes, productivity to one of REAL NEEDS, is what is called for. None of this is ideologically based.

    Of course trade is totally regulated. These regulations have been established through the World Bank and Trade Agreements that favor the powerful. It was not the deregulation as much as who has created the last round of regulations – the Corporations themselves.

    All of this is made possible because we have no way of harnessing a corrective course, because our politics are owned by our corporate entities, and guided by the school of neo-classical economics, with a compliant media all working to make what we have happen, and to sustain it until it implodes.

    The depression we are in will create, paradoxically, a repreive from energy depletion. The less consumption, the less energy used. But this depression seems to not have made as much of a dent in the reduction of energy expended – after all we are in constant war, and in 3 or 4 nations which requires enormous energy consumption.

  6. Obstreperous said on November 7th, 2009 at 5:59pm #

    Oh my, still with the century old “exploitation of the workers” lie. Yawn. That is the most tired lie around. If you want to work, you work. If you choose to work for others, it is because they provide you with a better deal than you can working for yourself. If you don’t like it walk away. Wow, how horrible. People need to grow up and decide to give up the meager teat of a thieving government.

  7. Deadbeat said on November 7th, 2009 at 6:15pm #

    Oh my, still with the century old “exploitation of the workers” lie. Yawn

    And when you don’t have a rejoinder then use ridicule. Capitalism is based on exploitation — robbing the workers. Coercion, force, and propaganda is required to maintain this system of thief. Unless you are Capitalist it’s really crazy to to kiss massa ass and embrace wage SLAVERY like you are.

  8. Deadbeat said on November 7th, 2009 at 6:22pm #

    Max Shield writes …

    Capitalism in the form the Smith and Ricardo presented has certainly not been present since then, and like much theorizing never really existed in most nation-states.

    Smith and Ricardo were APOLOGIST for the system. Capitalism was under way a century before they wrote about it. And it was the SLAVE TRADE that help to bolster the system. The Capitalists needed apologists like Smith and Ricardo to JUSTIFY the cruelties of the system.

    Unfortunately Mr. Shields refuses enlighten himself and spread foolishness, unintelligence, and duplicity (FUD) in this forum.

  9. Obstreperous said on November 7th, 2009 at 6:29pm #

    No ridicule. It’s just boring. You can be a shill for collectivist oppressors if you like. I hope you’re part of the power structure when it’s all over, or else you’re screwed like all of the sheep.

  10. Deadbeat said on November 7th, 2009 at 7:36pm #

    Max Shields is wrong yet again…
    Regulations are problematic, but that is because of the need to have them at all. Self-regulation is only feasible when transactions are local and exchanges are naturally transparent. Even then it’s not perfect, but than the human condition is a liteny of imperfections.

    Regulations are needed because of the Capitalist profit motive. Even if the exchanges were local, if the motives is solely for profit and if laws function for the Capitalist class it doesn’t matter. Just bribe the local enforcer. This desire to convince people that “smallest” is “good” is misguided. What matters is a system that promotes the common good over profits.

    While a perfect state is not likely for the living human species, what with it’s never ending angst about EVERYTHING!, there are obvious flaws that occurred when classical economics dissipated. But before going there, and to the author of this article: Milton Friedman is NOT a classical economist – he is aligned tightly with neo-liberalism and neo-classical economics, pure and simple.

    Classical “economics” is a euphemism for classic laissez-faire “free-market” Capitalism. By the 1930′s classical economics and especially Say’s Law was shown to be flawed and discredited. By the 1930 the United States could not use “Manifest Destiny” to encourage workers suffering under Capitalism into the “new frontier” to offset their exploitation.

    The best way to look at economics (or any system) is to de-ideologize it. Looking at how economies establish themselves, when it brings the most to the most, and when it becomes more and more for fewer and fewer (economic collapse is when most people are left out of the picture) is perhaps the best way to peel off the good, the bad and the ugly.
    This idea of separating economic from politics (ideology) began in the late 19th Century for the obvious reason of trying to promote economics (Capitalism) as a “science”. In other words to make it seem that Capitalism is “natural” and “immutable”. Economics is ALL about IDEOLOGY and therefore politics. It is clear that Max has absorbed the propaganda that economics is apolitical – an IDEA that clearly represent an IDEOLOGY – the ideology of Capitalism.

    What you are left with is not socialism or capitalism, but relationships and how those relationships are either based on democratic principles or oligarchical ones. Financial institutions are meant to provide capital; i.e., they serve the economy not the other way around. This is not true today which is why Wall Street and Banks are thriving and national economics are collapsed and in despair.

    Max’s logic is circular. Socialism defines a economic system that functions democratically. His argument is based on the propaganda that economics is somehow separate from politics when for centuries it was referred to as POLITICAL ECONOMY. The notion of needing “financial” institution is entirely political. Wall Street and private banks are in business to make a PROFIT. Providing “capital” is ancillary. These institutions are making profits AT THE EXPENSE of the economy.

    Corporatism is a major part of the problem. Corporations are based on profit for shareholders, FIRST. This means that all goals and missions of these entities are subverted to profit for its own sake, at whatever that takes and means. And as such it has made PRODUCTIVITY king. Productivity, in today’s service, off-shore, financially-driven world requires fewer and fewer workers. So, productivity goes up even as unemployment goes up. The relationship between production and workers is utterly severed.

    “Corporatism” is a euphemism by apologists of Capitalism in order to divert analysis away from this awful system. Capitalism is based on PROFIT for the owners. “Corporatism” is just another form of Capitalist “ownership” of the means of production used to product PROFIT for the owners. Therefore “corporatism” is an OUTGROWTH of Capitalism and profit-making and a struggle to end “corporatism” will still keep Capitalism in place. It is clear that apologist of Capitalism like Max chooses to fool the public in order to maintain his advantages and privileges.
    Even if there was no corporation, Capitalists are not bound to share their profits that they extract from workers. They can still pay subsistence wages and exploit workers. In this arrangement the power continues to remain with the Capitalist class and is not shared among workers.

    Which brings us to one of many bottom lines – Production to what end? What is it we produce and why? And are these needs or fabricated wants? And if they are the latter what role to humans have in producing these wants? None of this even begins to touch the real issue – ENERGY. The kind of energy that makes the material world of economics rotate. The inability to shift gears, to manage consumption, to shift from an economics of consumerism, and yes, productivity to one of REAL NEEDS, is what is called for. None of this is ideologically based.

    Max contradicts himself because he is such a hell-bent apologist of the Capitalist system. “Humans” do not control production only a “small” (which Max believes is good) class of people called “Capitalist” controls production. Max chooses to blame consumption rather than the profit motive which encourages DEMAND in order to sell products (of various utility) for PROFITS. However over the past 30 years especially, Capitalist has been in control of the HUMAN NEEDS meaning that the greatest rise in cost has been crucial human needs – housing, transportation, education, child care, and regressive taxation. Thus Max is engaging in the classic “blame the victim” rhetoric in order to divert the blame away from Capitalism and the profit motive with gobbledygook.

    Of course trade is totally regulated. These regulations have been established through the World Bank and Trade Agreements that favor the powerful. It was not the deregulation as much as who has created the last round of regulations – the Corporations themselves.

    Sell that line to the railroads, airline pilots, and the host of industries where regulations has been relaxed or rollback since the late 1970′s. In fact NAFTA, GATT, and the WTO sought to “normalize” regulation to the lowest common denominator. It is an attempt to DEREGULATE nations who had stricter laws. Since the corporations are Capitalistic ergo the WTO is actually providing a “FREER” and “FEE-ER” market.

    All of this is made possible because we have no way of harnessing a corrective course, because our politics are owned by our corporate entities, and guided by the school of neo-classical economics, with a compliant media all working to make what we have happen, and to sustain it until it implodes.

    You forgot to include yourself Max into that equation. Your rhetoric is full of delusion, to quell dissent and to sow confusion.

    The depression we are in will create, paradoxically, a repreive from energy depletion. The less consumption, the less energy used. But this depression seems to not have made as much of a dent in the reduction of energy expended – after all we are in constant war, and in 3 or 4 nations which requires enormous energy consumption.

    I guess Max you’ll be happy with 100% unemployment since there will be less “consumption” under such conditions of misery so long as YOU happen to be wealthy enough to be immune from such misery. You are a very SELFISH INDIVIDUAL but then again that IS what Capitalism is all about.

  11. Obstreperous said on November 7th, 2009 at 8:34pm #

    Max,

    There is not much dent in energy consumption because there is no Depression. The Recession has hurt the US more due to our self-imposed governmental efforts at suppressing business and employment. Government spending, and as you mention, wars keep the environmental impact cruising. Other economies, particularly China’s, are in far better shape and will stay that way as they become less dependent on US trade for their GDP. Hence, cap and trade and other self-imposed punishments will speed their ascendancy. The influence our culture will give way to theirs. Is that a trend for positive change? My children will definately take Mandarin classes, perhaps a little Russian as well.

    Deadbeat, Wow! Not much to say. The light years that separate our thoughts would take more than our respective lifetimes, before communication occurred. I’ll respect your right to say it and leave it at that.

  12. Max Shields said on November 8th, 2009 at 9:12am #

    Obstreperous label it what you will. Oil reserves are dented when growth and productivity increase. The GNP relies on that and calls it a “healthy” economy.

    What forstalls oil depletion are wars in oil rich nations (Iraq has maintained its reserve because the oil stays in the ground); or because the larger consuming world significantly decreases it consumption.

    Western/US wars are deeply oil dependent. The picture is not simple; but if productivity is up, ipsofacto, energy expenditure is up. An economics of material consumption demands high energy expenditure by definition. Today, there is no alternative to non-renewable energy which can sustain the continued growth of US/Euro/ Japan/ China/ India/Russia. The commanding nations will be those, not with military might, but resource riches, particularly energy-based.

    The problem is as petro depletes, demands increase, the oil left is “tough oil”. Tough oil is located in places few want to go, and will require trillions of USD in investment.

    Energy rules. We need a radically different economics that reduces energy needs.

  13. Max Shields said on November 8th, 2009 at 10:37am #

    The reason why employment “lags” recession recovery (and ever increasingly so) is because labor (in the general sense of employment) is increasingly detached from productivity.

    A corporation can increase “productivity” with fewer and fewer US workers. This is due to a combination of off-shore outsourcing, improved processes for inventory management, and a variety of technologies which require less people-intensive work.

    But, the crux of the problem, as I’ve stated it, is not simply increasing employment, but re-framing what work is. Let’s say we put every US citizen to work in the Military Industrial Complex building tools of mass destruction, directly or indirectly. Is that a healthy sustainable economy? Or the Obama lite version – building more roads to nowhere (which is the same difference).

    What is work? If humans wish to contribute to the local and larger community, than does working in an insurance company that adds incredible overhead costs to the whole health care system, while denying millions access to health care provide such contributory work?

    Not all work is useful, nor is it particularly healthy for the local and larger community. It may provide a paycheck, but at an expense that far and away exceeds any value.

    The productivity which is increasing, as Wall Street stocks go up, is not simply disconnected to the lives of most people, even if it made work for those many people, it would be completely disconnected from anything useful, no no no…it would be disconnected from anything sustainable and healthy for the continued existence of the species we call homo sapiens.

    This is a pathological economics which is not made better by doing more or even providing more jobs. In fact, it is the true that for a time, however limited, jobs were created, wages did go up, and life was one long Leave It To Beaver episode. And it was this total fraudulent, non-sustainable picture that allowed this cancerous Western existence to flourish its way into the creation of endless war for energy, and global control and irreversable climate warming. The maddness over the autombile…an extavagance that has killed millions and destroyed, community and lives and produces green gases in its wake. In fact it is the autombile that is the legacy of the last 70 years. That’s what we have to show, along with unsustainable cities with their skyscrapping shambles.

  14. bozh said on November 8th, 2009 at 1:26pm #

    max,
    i agree with what u say. I wld add, if i may, that all that is governed-allowed by and functioning under a hallowed constitution-governance.
    If one wld say that american doings are not managed-controled by some people, then one wld have to conclude that it is managing itself.
    And that is impossible.
    So we go back to people; their thinking-needings-behaving-learnings, etc.

    All that is happening under the ‘greatness’ of america, its hallowed constitution-governance.
    And mismanaged or managed [mismanaging being nanaging also] by how many people?
    i am not american; thus i’d leave that topic to americans.
    I do note that all that happens or does not happen in US is controled by the one party system of rule.
    Judiciary, which interprets the constitution, is a mere twig of the same party.
    That party owns america; corporations being also part of one and only party is US.
    If one wld have in US second party which when elected to power wld appoint own judges to supreme court, they wld come with different interpretations.

    It is essential to note that any constitution is interpretative writ just like communist manifesto, bible, quran, torah, etc.
    Such writs are dead but interpreted by the living
    and not dead people who wrote them. So, we can’t ask issaiah, marx, moses, jesus, mohammad, adams, jefferson what they meant when they said this or that.
    It can be proven very easily that meanings are not in any writ but solely in people.
    And solely in living people. And US constitution is interpreted solely by one party.

    All that i have said in this post comes directly from my nonverbal hunches, ideas, feelings, knowledge, observations. I am actually just talking about myself.
    And fully aware how fallible i am, i don’t get that religious ab what is say; i.e., i am just theorising.
    However when it comes to killing people in alien lands, hunch in me tells me; OK, u don’t know if that is right or wrong, but please err on the side of nonkillings, healthcare for all; right to be informed. tnx

  15. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2009 at 2:43pm #

    However when it comes to killing people in alien lands, hunch in me tells me; OK, u don’t know if that is right or wrong, but please err on the side of nonkillings, healthcare for all; right to be informed. tnx

    Thinking Bozh and now here in the States the media after the killings at fort hood and here we go Muslim, terrorism and on it goes. Do we see err on side of reason or knowledge no just more hate. Again to think in this way being calm at peace seems far far away.

    Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
    Carl Sagan

  16. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2009 at 3:23pm #

    Capitalism the system requires it to be rigged and more then more and of course the last hundred years it worked sort of and now it appears the system is in control not human’s anymore. The answer just rig it more while keeping a few with the more. More is never enough it’s the system first chapter in how to win friends and influence people. This is amazing to see as the next year or so as we now know Earth is just one planet and would need maybe four to keep this going and just more rigging for the few for more will be well strangeness.

  17. bozh said on November 8th, 2009 at 3:47pm #

    Don, i agree,
    everything is managed, ordered, wanted, etc. Even drugs are sold before they are properly tested. It may take yrs to test if a drug works. But people who manage america do not demand the drugs be proven to work for all people.
    That may take decades and a mn people to use a drug to properly asses it. And the question arises whether we need all this drugs. Especially if our managers wld ban so much salt, fat, and sugar fromour foods.

    But then there wldn’t be that much money for managers if drug corporations go out of business. tnx for your reply.

  18. Max Shields said on November 8th, 2009 at 7:05pm #

    Deadbeat, you continue to miss my points (your desire to disagree seems to outweigh your capacity for a careful reading of what I’m saying).

    I am not saying government regulations are unnecessary. I’m saying that the need for them is due to the way in which the whole economics has exploded beyond human scale. On a human scale set up self-regulation would be not only appropriate, but I would add, more effective than large scale bureaucracy that is laden, all to frequently, the small business, and less so the transnational corporation that the regulation is suppose to oversee.

    Take the Feds involvement in certifying organic farmers. This “oversight” does more to push out small farm operations, and does almost nothing to provide organic food to local communities. Large “organic” agribusinesses, easily flourish under such regulatory constraints. This is a simple example.

    I am not an apologist for Capitalism. Again, anyone with the patience to read what I said, without prejudice, would easily see that I’m not. I’m simply saying that we need to think outside the ideological divide that makes economic discussions meaningless, fighting imaginary battles, while the problem remains untouched.

    There are multiple forms of commerce. That’s a simple fact. No more or less. Whether some form of what we call Capitalism or Socialism existed before the more scholarly works of Smith, Ricardo or Marx is neither here nor there in this context.

    I think I’ve adequately answered the issue of employment in my previous post. It may be a bit difficult for you to understand it without your usual lens of distortion.

  19. Deadbeat said on November 8th, 2009 at 8:20pm #

    Deadbeat, you continue to miss my points (your desire to disagree seems to outweigh your capacity for a careful reading of what I’m saying).

    Really Max. This is why I ALWAYS leave the CONTEXT of your remarks intact before I respond it. It represents a careful read and consideration of the original context. This is something YOU Max refuse to do and you’ve been called on it not only by me but by others.

  20. Deadbeat said on November 8th, 2009 at 8:50pm #

    Max Shields writes …

    I am not saying government regulations are unnecessary. I’m saying that the need for them is due to the way in which the whole economics has exploded beyond human scale. On a human scale set up self-regulation would be not only appropriate, but I would add, more effective than large scale bureaucracy that is laden, all to frequently, the small business, and less so the transnational corporation that the regulation is suppose to oversee.

    Once again Max you are incorrect. The function of the [Capitalist] government is to defend Capitalism not to manage human scale. Therefore the assumption that regulations were put in place due to human scale is incorrect.

    Regulation, especially the regulations that grew out of New Deal had absolutely NOTHING to do with human scale. It had to do with the POLITICAL conditions of the 1930’s. Those regulations were useful and accepted by the ruling class during the period of post WWII profitability. By the time the 1970’s arrived, the rate of profitability began to wane and thus the ruling class responded with neo-liberalism

    There are several problems with your analysis:
    1. You misdiagnose Capitalism and thereby ignore inequality of power.

    2. By ignoring ruling class power you unfairly shift the blame onto everyone.

    3. Because you blame everyone you naturally blame scale and thereby bureaucracy. Scale and bureaucracy are not the problems. In fact only through scale will it be possible to overthrow Capitalism. But the real problem is the lack of POWER and inequality.

    4. Because you fail to properly analyse Capitalism you ignore who CONTROLS the surplus. Workers DO NOT CONTROL the surplus. In fact since you like to lambast agriculture, agriculture crated the surplus that humans used to SHARE among themselves. Capitalism on the other hand is designed to prevent humans from sharing its surplus.

    I think this is why you prefer the simplistic “solution” of “smallness” because in your mind it would be easier to share such surplus. However since you ignore inequality you fail to analyse that it would be also easier to co-opt the surplus of smaller and less defended entities.

    The problem Max is that your perspectives is full of contradictions. I’m pointing out to you and others here on DV who may be attracted to your simplistic and infantile “green” rhetoric of its fallacies.

  21. Max Shields said on November 8th, 2009 at 8:57pm #

    Deadbeat YOU are incorrigible.

  22. Deadbeat said on November 8th, 2009 at 9:25pm #

    Max: Right back at you.

  23. Max Shields said on November 8th, 2009 at 9:30pm #

    And who’s calling who “infantile”?

  24. Deadbeat said on November 9th, 2009 at 2:03am #

    And who’s calling who “infantile”?

    I’m referring to your simplistic and infantile perspectives of complex systems.

  25. Deadbeat said on November 9th, 2009 at 2:41am #

    Deadbeat, Wow! Not much to say. The light years that separate our thoughts would take more than our respective lifetimes, before communication occurred. I’ll respect your right to say it and leave it at that.

    I reject your condescension and do not need your approval. The truth is all I need.

  26. Max Shields said on November 9th, 2009 at 5:40am #

    “The truth is all I need.”

    I’d respond with the Jack Nicholson line, but I wouldn’t want to be “condescend[ing].

  27. Don Hawkins said on November 9th, 2009 at 7:19am #

    Truth to power and difficult to say the least when power and truth don’t rhyme.