A Pessimistic View of Consumerism

Western nations are rapidly losing their manufacturing sectors at a great cost; part of the problem is the dominance and influence of large retailers. We are becoming dependent on international corporations that have their goods made in foreign countries. The consequences have proven to be devastating: domestic jobs are lost to foreign workers often suffering from horrendous working conditions and poor pay; we have been purchasing toxic imported goods; quality control of our products is left to large corporations intimately tied with corrupt governments such as China.

As the middle men, our mega corporate retailers are part of the problem of inflicting society with shoddy goods.  These organizations demonstrate complacency and contempt for the general public. Profit and greed are their driving forces. Quality is their enemy; a durable, well made product means that it won’t soon be replaced, negatively affecting short term profits.

Don’t we have a right to access well made products created with pride in workmanship? Shouldn’t we take comfort in knowing that what we buy was produced by people paid fairly in good working conditions? How have we become so callous and selfish? What we need is a complete overhaul of our economic system. A country less dependent on trade, and one that begins to develop its own strong manufacturing base, is a country on the verge of self-sufficiency and strength. We have become too enthralled in a one world system on the verge of collapse due to the greed of a few powerful people in governments and big business. Large North American corporations are actually their own worst enemies; by eliminating jobs domestically, they are losing great numbers of consumers who can actually afford to buy their products. Greed. It’s not called a Deadly Sin for nothing. The workforce is not completely innocent either; if workers hadn’t demanded unreasonable wages in so many sectors through their unions, they might not have scared off their employers so quickly. It is mutual self-destruction.

One way we can get out of our economic conundrum would be to support and encourage small manufacturing businesses. Safe products with high quality could become in demand by consumers when compared to the junk that is available in large retail outlets. If we could buy goods that are actually made to last and not fall apart in a few weeks, we would more likely go back to the retailer that sold them; that option is being challenged by our present system.

Unfortunately there are tremendous obstacles to a domestic manufacturer surviving even just the first few months of business: firstly, large corporations in the retail business are not easily persuaded to sell the goods of such companies; secondly, domestically produced goods compete against cheap foreign counterparts that flood the market. By sheer massive inventories, mega retailers dominate their industry by selling at reduced rates. We have been conditioned to value quantity over quality. We jeopardize our economies, our health and our pride as independent nations. Imagine if countries developed strong manufacturing bases and focused more on their domestic market; employment would increase dramatically and we would all be less dependent on a global system run by a few powerful men. We need to again produce what we need at home and dramatically diminish imports.

Leonard Matte is a Canadian artist, residing in Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Read other articles by Leonard, or visit Leonard's website.

46 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on August 26th, 2010 at 8:33am #

    Suppose chinese govt is corrupt? Mind u, Matte does not offer any evidence for that.
    So, how many members of chinese govt are billionaires? And how many billionaires are there among the US ruling class; which is actually the govt of US?
    Another question for Matte would be: is he running dwn china for being fascist or socialist? I suspect, it is for the latter!
    If he’s blaming china for fascism and corruption, but not US which appears very corrupt [u can get rich only by stealing, in US, china, korea, canada], he’s still engaging in massive lying! tnx

  2. MichaelKenny said on August 26th, 2010 at 10:15am #

    This is a good idea, but in practical terms, it will work only if the domestic market is large enough to justify economically viable production runs (leaving aside a few niche markets). The US is certainly big enough but I would wonder about a small country like Canada. The solution for small countries is, of course, regional confederations such as the EU. The European experience is that mere trading blocs such as NAFTA, lacking the EU’s political project or the history to feel the need for such a project, never work for very long. The collapse of the US may well help, but, to put it mildly, geography has not been kind to Canada!

  3. hayate said on August 26th, 2010 at 10:26am #

    Much of this article is based upon propaganda “factoids” the zionist controlled, western corporate media feeds people.

    “uality control of our products is left to large corporations intimately tied with corrupt governments such as China.”

    That’s horse manure in several ways. Those corporations are not intimately tied to Chinese guv, they are intimately entwined into western governments. Of all the world’s guvs, the Chinese guv is the least controlled by these corporate parasites. Compared to american corruption, Chinese corruption is nothing. Singling out China for that label is the bias of the writer – something that becomes obvious later in the piece with this:

    “The workforce is not completely innocent either; if workers hadn’t demanded unreasonable wages in so many sectors through their unions, they might not have scared off their employers so quickly.”

    Does he mean the investment brokers at goldman sachs, perchance? They don’t seem to have skerred off their employers. No, he means the vast majority of people in the usa who have seem their incomes fall in relation to their cost of living over the last several decades. Those greedy plebes who demanded that 2+ people in a family must work to keep up with their parents who got by 1 person working. That’s middle income people, the poor in the usa always needed every able body member of a family working to get by, but things have even more greatly deteriorated for them as well, as their meager wages have fallen the worst in relation to the cost of living.

    Sorry, but the writer is promoting the usual neo-lib rubbish the “liberal” wing of the zionist occupied, western corporate media does.

  4. Cameron said on August 26th, 2010 at 10:36am #

    It’s very true that China is abusing workers in more ways than one. Recent labor strikes despite government ban demonstrate that the labor is becoming more militant and they need our support. Matte is right saying that what we buy should be produced by people that are paid fairly and in good working conditions. But then he complains that workers where he lives had demanded unreasonable wages.
    Assuming the labor wages, consumers, and greed are to blame for the economic problems as Matte claims. Let’s put some numbers to see how it would work if we were to overhaul the economic system he’s proposing.
    What would be considered reasonable wages for labor?
    What would be considered reasonable profit rates so that the greed wouldn’t get out of hand?
    What would be a good matrix be for prices Vs quality for consumers to choose from?
    What would be considered a reasonable size for retailers? How big can they get?

  5. Don Hawkins said on August 26th, 2010 at 11:01am #

    And where might this fit in the martix just on the off chance.

    Solution therefore required a rising fee on oil, gas and coal – a carbon fee collected from fossil fuel companies at the domestic mine or port of entry. All funds collected were distributed to the public on a per capita basis to allow lifestyle adjustments and spur clean energy innovations. As the fee increased, fossil fuels were phased out, replaced by carbon-free energy and efficiency. Farming practices Worldwide began to change and those that needed help got help. Did we all live happily ever after no but it was a start and America for the fist time began to lose weight.

  6. bozh said on August 26th, 2010 at 12:20pm #

    I suggest we do not search for the right wage. What we do know, is that we can determine with fare accuracy what a family, any familly in US or elsewhere, needs.
    It needs a house; the smaller the better, healthcare, education, job, healthy food, some clothes, medicine, etc. And all families would have to live sustainably.
    We can find out how much money such family would need to live on, but never ever the right-wrong wage.
    But it goes without saying that those who control money, meaning of flag-constitution-diktats-security-defense, would not ever allow equal money for equal living! tnx

  7. teafoe2 said on August 26th, 2010 at 12:26pm #

    hmm: Bob Scheer at “Truthdig” (which publishes a lot of IMO trash, like Eugene Robinson’s paen to Obama & Co) recently did a very good interview with Martin Jacques about the latter’s recent book on China. I found Mr Jacques’ remarks very solid. At one pt he remarked that, and I can only paraphrase from memory, “China is not really Communist OR Capitalist, it’s Chinese. The main ideological current in China is the same as it’s been for two thousand years: Confucianism”.

  8. teafoe2 said on August 26th, 2010 at 12:35pm #

    Cameron writes: “It’s very true that China is abusing workers in more ways than one. Recent labor strikes despite government ban demonstrate that the labor is becoming more militant and they need our support.”

    I wonder what Cameron means by “our support”? I hope he isn’t calling for US government or ZPC-supported NGOs to interfere in China’s internal affairs any more than they’re already doing?

    Are Chinese labor organizations calling for US support? If so, are these genuine rank&file supported unions, or CIA-launched attempts to destabilize?

    You can bet that anytime there is ANY unrest or manifestation of dissatisfaction anywhere in China, the CIA will be there, fishing in troubled waters.

    So in my humble opinion the best course for US labor and other activists is to stay out of other people’s business. Don’t become part of a CIA-sponsored destabilization campaign.

  9. shabnam said on August 26th, 2010 at 2:35pm #

    teafoe2

    The workers Union in the West are corrupt and are mainly are supporting the policy of the empire manipulating workers in the target countries. They are after Iran for ‘regime change’, but not Israel. Therefore, majority of the Unions, in my view, cannot be trusted. They are government front for the policy of the empire like ‘anti war’ organization, THE CAMPAIGN FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACY, CPD.

    Many of these ‘unions’ are supported by US government; therefore, they have pro Zionist and US policy.
    They are openly against Iran and pro Israel. Many of them are against Israel Boycott and usually are against, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. For example, look at the following :

    TUC should focus on Iran, not Israel

    The problem is that the decision the TUC took to support boycotts, sanctions and divestment targeting Israel was the wrong one. The energetic campaign to target the most democratic and lively trade union federation in the Middle East, the Israeli Histadrut, is a disappointing case of misplaced priorities. Iran, not Israel, should have been the focus of TUC attention this year.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/sep/17/tuc-back-boycott-israel-goods

    These Unions are disappointed with the boycott of Israel but never have done anything to stop the illegal sanctions on Iranian children, instead, they are manipulating and using Iranian workers for their own agenda mainly to destabilize the country for the color revolution to bring ‘regime change’.
    The TUC believes:
    Instead of throwing their support behind the embattled Iranian worker activists, the TUC and its affiliate unions decided it was time to attack the Israeli unions. The TUC declared itself furious with the Israeli unions for not having condemned the war in Gaza earlier this year. The resolution passed by the TUC calls for a “review” of the relationship between the two national trade union centres.

  10. shabnam said on August 26th, 2010 at 2:36pm #

    please read what Eric Lee from LabourStart says:

    The Left should be supporting Israel in this war
    No socialist group in Britain is saying what needs to be said today about the crisis in the Middle East. All the groups on the organised Left are busy denouncing Israel for its “aggression” against Gaza and Lebanon. Many are expressing their solidarity with the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples. None are saying that Israel needs and deserves the support of the Left.
    LabourStart that supports GREE stooges, financially supported by US government. The US government uses Eric Lee and the workers in the target country for destabilization and ‘Regime Change’, according to an Iranian who did research on Eric Lee and LabourStart.

    http://www.ericlee.info/2006/07/the_left_should_be_supporting.html

  11. shabnam said on August 26th, 2010 at 2:40pm #

    Addressing the Jewish Labor Committee, newly-elected President of the AFL-CIO, Richard L. Trumka, has spoken out clearly and forcefully in opposition to calls to boycott Israel. .Before 475 participants of the annual Human Rights Dinner of the JLC, held in New York City on October 27th, Trumka stated that “we’re proud to stand with the JLC to oppose boycotting Israel.” Trumka was elected President of the national AFL-CIO in September of this year.

    http://www.jewishlaborcommittee.org/

  12. Deadbeat said on August 26th, 2010 at 2:51pm #

    What happened over on the Left v. Right thread? It looks like the editors shut down that thread. I was “observing” T42 making some very solid points deconstructing observing and now they’re all gone :-(

    I guess the editors felt enough was said and didn’t want a repeat of Hammond :-).

  13. Deadbeat said on August 26th, 2010 at 3:08pm #

    The author writes …

    Western nations are rapidly losing their manufacturing sectors at a great cost; part of the problem is the dominance and influence of large retailers. We are becoming dependent on international corporations that have their goods made in foreign countries. The consequences have proven to be devastating: domestic jobs are lost to foreign workers often suffering from horrendous working conditions and poor pay; we have been purchasing toxic imported goods; quality control of our products is left to large corporations intimately tied with corrupt governments such as China.

    The problem with this premise is that it is an attempt to justify jobs under domestic Capitalism rather than understanding that Capitalism is a global system. Also it give credence to “jobs” which is a euphemism for having to be exploited to obtain money for survival. These “jobs” are not “our” jobs. These “jobs” are the property of Capitalists and if they choose to eliminate those “jobs” or move them out of the U.S. that is their “right” under Capitalism. Capitalist profits is the motivation for “jobs”.

    Also since the advent of automation and especially the PC, “jobs” have become more efficient and more productive. This means that Capitalists need FEWER jobs to yield huge gains in productivity. Which follows that Capitalists have less need and desire to “create jobs”. What this means for many workers is that the recent jobs losses are structural or put bluntly — jobs ain’t coming back.

    But the need for money remains in order to be able to survive in a Capitalist economy. But according the “rules” those who don’t have “jobs” are not “entitled” to money. So is making a demand for “jobs” the right demand? Or is it time to make bolder and broader demands?

    Those working conditions and the poor pay that the author speaks of were not gifts from Capitalists. They were won through struggles.

    The author begins his article with huge fallacies and clearly his arguments are derived from myths.

  14. Deadbeat said on August 26th, 2010 at 3:15pm #

    Shabnam writes …

    They are government front for the policy of the empire like ‘anti war’ organization, THE CAMPAIGN FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACY, CPD.

    Below is a list of CPD endorsers…

    Ervand Abrahamian, Bashir Abu-Manneh, Janet Afary, Michael Albert, Kevin B. Anderson, Stanley Aronowitz, Ed Asner, David Barsamian, Rosalyn Baxandall, Eileen Boris, Sam Bottone, Laura Boylan, MD, Richard J. Brown, MD, Leslie Cagan, Roane Carey, Tim Carpenter, Donna Cartwright, Noam Chomsky, Joshua Cohen, Margaret W. Crane, M. Phyllis Cunningham, Gail Daneker, Manuela Dobos, Ariel Dorfman, Martin Duberman, Lisa Duggan, Steve Early, Carolyn Eisenberg, Daniel Ellsberg, Mark Engler, Jodie Evans, Gertrude Ezorsky, Samuel Farber, Thomas M. Fasy, MD, John Feffer, Adam Finger, Barry Finger, David Friedman, Robert(Gabe) Gabrielsky, Barbara Garson, Jack Gerson, Joseph Gerson, Hadi Ghaemi, Jana Glivicka, Suzanne Gordon, John D. Gorman, Arun Gupta, Ernest Haberkern, Mina Hamilton, David Hartsough, Nader Hashemi , Howie Hawkins, Judith Hempfling, Bill Henning, Michael Hirsch, Adam Hochschild, Nancy Holmstrom, Doug Ireland, Marianne Jackson, Mark C. Johnson, PhD, Richard Kim, Naomi Klein, Dan La Botz, Nydia Leaf, Roger Leisner, Jesse Lemisch, Sue Leonard, Nelson Lichtenstein, Amy Littlefield, Martha Livingston, Marvin Mandell, Nasir A. Mansoor, Dave Marsh, Kevin Martin, Michael McCally, MD, PhD, Scott McLemee, David McReynolds, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Erika Munk, Mary Nolan, Mary E. O’Brien, MD, Derrick O’Keefe, David Oakford, Christopher Phelps, Charlotte Phillips, MD, Judith Podore Ward, Danny Postel, Betty Reid Mandell, Leonard Rodberg, Ruth Rosen, Peter Rothberg, Matthew Rothschild, John Sanbonmatsu, Jennifer Scarlott, Jay Schaffner, Bill Scheuer, Jason Schulman, Peter O. Schwartz, Stephen Shalom, Alix Kates Shulman, Alice Slater, Stephen Soldz, Cheryl Stevenson, David Swanson, Jan Tamas, Chris Toensing, Bernard Tuchman, David Vine, Lois Weiner, Steve Weissman, Suzi Weissman, Naomi Weisstein, Chris Wells, Cornel West, Reginald Wilson, Emira Woods, Kent Worcester and Julia Wrigley

  15. teafoe2 said on August 26th, 2010 at 3:33pm #

    Shabnam, re US “Organized Labor”, I agree with you 300pct. Being based in California, I don’t know enough about the UK scene to comment, but what you say makes perfect sense, accords with everything I’ve come across.

    A particularly noxious and insidious outfit here is the so-called “US Labor Against The War”, or USLAW. Jeff Blankfort could tell you a lot about them and their pro-Izzy track record.

  16. teafoe2 said on August 26th, 2010 at 5:15pm #

    Yes, DB, Kim decided to close that particular thread. I’m surprised because I’d always assumed his views closer to you, me, Jeff, Petras, Grant Smith et al than to those of the Chomsky-defenders and obscurantists spouting old Peoples World/The Militant cliches.

    But it’s my fault: I made the mistake first thing this morning of typing an email to Kim requesting that he delete “Observings” pornographic language. I left it on my email page, even though I shortly reconsidered my impulse. But later I inadvertently hit the send button, and Kim did the rest.

    I did just now send him an email requesting restoration of both “observings” offensive language and my responses. The whole thing is now in the hands of Coeditor Kim.

    BTW, the offensive remark is still visible, where I quoted it in my response posted prior to accidentally sending the ill-considered request to Kim.

    I don’t know, Kim feels that we focus too much on Zionism. That people in general tend to tune us out because we keep harping on the same theme. Which may be true, since Zionist mythology is so all pervasive in psuedo-”Left” circles, among peaceniks and eco-niks.

    How are we supposed to combat pro-zionist views, if we can’t talk about it?

    I guess Kim objects to my use of multiple emails to defend against the nonsense point by point, but as I remember he or Sunil also cautioned me about posting “interminable comments”. Also my keyboard has a habit of erasing comments I’ve spent some time typing into these “comment” boxes, so I’ve found it a good SOP from my POV to send them before I lose them.

    Which I will do right now:)

  17. Don Hawkins said on August 26th, 2010 at 5:38pm #

    Well we have been told and forces from certain groups didn’t like what they were told. When you read most of what is written on the net or hear it on TV the economy why and what to do it’s still the same system with a few changes. Oh what were we told and now see with our own eye’s well we human’s don’t get to enjoy mild climate anymore and it’s going to get ruff. Pakistan flooding is that a hundred year storm a 16,000 year flood or 2.1 million year event. Russia same and on and on and we were told a Herculean effort enormous effort will be needed and so far it’s the same system with a few minor changes. Now a reasonable mind would think so far certain groups have decided made a decision that going out in style so to speak is better than to try and or just lazy better to keep the status quo. You know hard work, working together, using reason, known knowledge and all that much to hard. I’m awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.” Well Beta a little secret you forgot Star dust people and who is that well you and Alpha and Gammas and Deltas and Epsilons we are all star dust people. Shocking isn’t it? It’s right there in the book of knowledge and I figured it out all by myself well sort of I did have some help. The hardest part for me in figuring this out was never listen to Beta’s well maybe a little but never turn your back on them.

  18. Deadbeat said on August 26th, 2010 at 8:28pm #

    T42 writes …

    I don’t know, Kim feels that we focus too much on Zionism. That people in general tend to tune us out because we keep harping on the same theme. Which may be true, since Zionist mythology is so all pervasive in psuedo-”Left” circles, among peaceniks and eco-niks.

    IMO the primary goal of the harbara is to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) and to indoctrinate readers. It’s an enormous psyop game. The more sophisticated approach is to use denial, dismissals, strawman arguments. When harbarats start feeling the heat they then resort to personal attacks.

    The beauty of the strategy is the irony that Chomsky lays it all out. It’s quite transparent and he’s very honest and open about “manufacturing consent”. In other words they don’t have to operate in “secret”. It’s all out in the open. It is just that they are masterful propagandists. They prime reason for their “mastery” is due to the fact that the MSM is not only Zionist-controlled but so far to the right it opens enough space for it to be attacked from a “faux-Left”.

    Now the angle of attack on DV by the hasbarats is to sow FUD using the “Johnny-One-Note” smear or “appeal to popularity” fallacy as you pointed out to “observing”. This is primarily, like with the situation with the Mosque in NYC illustrates the EXTENT of the indoctrination by the “Left”. What “observing” was hoping to achieve was to that appeal build by decades of indoctrination to find agreements (notice Hue Longer wasn’t too far behind) around a strawman by making the claim that the world issues are more “complex” and therefore no one thread can explain it all. But the question is “is it really all that ‘complex’”?

    One of the key aspect of Liberalism that I’ve noticed is how Liberals break issue apart; break them into component and construct silos to limit the boundary of discussion. Whenever anyone wants to deal with issues in a RADICAL manner which obviously gets to the root of the issues and simplifies it then Liberal rush in with with the “off-topic” retorts. The real raison-d’etre of Liberals is to maintain and perpetuate “elitism”. Their jobs is to limit and reduce participation. Creating FUD is all part of the plan.

    Why does it take an “intellectual” to explain the world? It’s not because they are “intelligent”. IMO more often they are deceptive. The world is not that complicated especially when you get to its ROOTS. Zionism/Capitalism are those roots in today’s world. And it is clear that there are forces who desire, goals, and job it is to maintain that level of ignorance and will go to great rhetorical length to keep it that way.

    It’s taken me 40 years to understand the world. It took my participation in the 2003 anti-war movement to see where the true threat to social justice movements emanate. I was an avid follower to the “Left” for years and believed them to be adherent of the principles of justice, peace, equality, and human dignity. They claimed to be against racism and Capitalism when all along they’ve been the beneficiaries of both.

    If I’m accused of being a “johnny-one-note” or a “drumbeat” as well as a “deadbeat” it is because my analysis ring true. The opposition can continue to try to fool others but if I’ve come around to see the truth about the “Left” then guess what — I’m not the only one. There are many more everyday that are starting to see the “Left” as the “provocateurs” and poseurs.

    One thing is for certain you couldn’t have a conversation exposing Zionism especially exposing American Jewish Zionism and its corruption of the Left like this 5 to 10 to even 20 years ago. Times HAVE most definitely changed.

  19. hayate said on August 27th, 2010 at 1:12am #

    Well the best way to move the conversation beyond zionism is to remove zionist influence to where it no longer matters, no?

    We’re not there yet.

    Not by a long shot.

  20. Deadbeat said on August 27th, 2010 at 2:47am #

    Damn right hayate!

  21. Don Hawkins said on August 27th, 2010 at 3:44am #

    The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor — not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. Einstein

    Legally established rules and those who control money faithful. I saw a few on the tube today in Jackson Hole, Wyoming central bankers and they seemed tired. Well unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor can have that effect knowing full well in old twenty ten Capitalism is cooked. The ones I saw were siting in directors chairs and off in the distance mountains and the wind blowing through the trees and behind them people looking over the edge of the railing, a structure made of rails and upright members that is used as a guard or barrier or for support, on cell phones looking down pointing at something. I wonder will any of there thoughts or decisions change the mountains probably not how about the wind in the short term no in the long term yes. We will probably hear today no major changes to policy until 2014 seems like a favorite year for something. Hurry hurry get those electrons moving and what’s for dinner with the glasses half full am sure while the talk centering around unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor. Damn right

  22. Deadbeat said on August 27th, 2010 at 3:54am #

    Don Hawkins writes …

    The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil.

    Don,

    Bozh made this same error several months ago and I offered a correction. Capitalism is extremely hierarchical not anarchical. To refer to Capitalism as an “economic anarchy” is erroneous. In fact economic anarchy would be quite welcomed.

  23. Don Hawkins said on August 27th, 2010 at 4:26am #

    Humm interesting thought DB and tomorrow is only a day away. Read between the lines DB; tomorrow in DC Beck will be on stage at the Lincoln Memorial no signs would not be proper for the message they are trying to spread. People are coming from far and wide in buses and Palin will be there and what she will say improv am sure I mean not every word chosen for maximum impact by a staff of highly trained PR people with degrees ranging from psychology to the latest in illusion of knowledge. Then again just keep it down home and speaking of home maybe someone will bring a sign I know civil disobedience that reads, Earth is burning/melting wise ones, you know hold it up after someone say’s dig baby dig. It will be a conservative message in the age of nut’s where the mad are sane.

  24. mary said on August 27th, 2010 at 4:39am #

    Glenn Beck is not Martin Luther King Jr.
    http://glennbeckisnotmartinlutherkingjr.com/

    “On August 28th, I will stand with Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a just, diverse and equal society. I do not stand with Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and their attempt to destroy and distort King’s vision.”

  25. bozh said on August 27th, 2010 at 8:01am #

    Maybe our masters on DV would not delete posts which would assert that theft of land in US, Israel, india, russia, et al is legal in these respective lands and evil empires.
    Imo, anyone who uses the the false to fact symbol such as Zionism, should be given ten lashes across the ass.
    We don’t call theft of land “idealism”. We don’t call a spade an “instrument”. So why call theft of land an ism, when stealing land is quite descriptive and factual.
    Why call robbing americans of their money “bailouts”? tnx

  26. Cameron said on August 27th, 2010 at 9:05am #

    Deadbeat, as you know Don is quoting what Einstein wrote in 1949 against capitalism and for socialism. I’m not certain what exactly Einstein meant by “economic anarchy” but I always interpreted it as referring to the anarchy of production inherent in capitalist mode of production. Each capitalist produces commodity without the knowledge of production plans by competing capitalists which results in overproduction and subsequently underproduction, the so called business cycles.

  27. Don Hawkins said on August 27th, 2010 at 9:57am #

    A state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority and to me the key words thoughts is not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. He might just say Einstein if he saw today the system, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? The third question we should know more soon. A fund for off shore drilling safety is it. Silly human’s.

  28. Don Hawkins said on August 27th, 2010 at 10:32am #

    Let’s combine the words of another with Einstein. Can’t do that why not faithful compliance with legally established rules human’s.

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only and all done with faithful compliance with legally established rules?

    Charles Dickens/Einstein

    I know make a sign and go to the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow do it in the color gold, “Am Made Of Star Dust”, I’d do it just to see what people might say probably what the hell is that suppose to mean no signs. Of course if we were in an sanatorium I mean auditorium and Stephen Hawking was talking and said that very thing being a know fact no problem. Yes no signs tomorrow as”The Medium is the Message” and what a message it has become.

  29. teafoe2 said on August 27th, 2010 at 10:35am #

    Economic anarchy was a feature of Capitalism when Marx was writing Das Kapital, and was still largely predominant at the time Einstein noted it.

    But the process of Concentration and Centralization of Capital has progressed far far beyond the situation on Aug 8 1945 or on V-Jay day. Today’s zionized Imperial Capitalism is, as Deadbeat correctly notes, overwhelmingly hierarchical, run top down.

    Floyd Hunter in his classic Community Power Structure described how power worked and still works in the context of a single urban polity. The same principle has now been globalized: if you want to do anything on a large scale, you need permission from the CPMJO.

  30. Cameron said on August 27th, 2010 at 11:26am #

    What’s different today compared to when Marx wrote Capital is the extent of government intervention. This fact does not mean that the nature of capitalism has changed. The intervention can only tweak the course temporarily, for example, artificially keeping mortgage interests at extremely low levels via purchasing $1.3 trillion worth of junk MBS the US government is trying to entice consumers to buy homes hence prevent house prices from further fall. Actions like this work temporarily but as we’ve seen in the long run they fail (law of value prevails) at a big cost. The cost is growing at an astonishing rate. That is, the deficit used to grow in increments of millions then billions and now trillions. This is one of the reasons that this depression will dwarf the previous depression. Let the government spend and intervene as Keynesians applaud.
    Marx himself developed the concept of concentration and centralization but never implied that it negates the anarchy of production. Competition is at the heart of capitalism as Marx has repeatedly pointed out. Take competition away then it’s not capitalism anymore. Competition is the driving force behind anarchy in production which appears as business cycles among other phenomenon. Business cycles are still pretty much part of every capitalist economy (current global crisis is an economic depression not a typical business cycle). Without competition laws of capitalist mode of production such as the tendency of rate of profit to fall no longer apply. If a single law is broken then it’s not capitalism.

  31. teafoe2 said on August 27th, 2010 at 12:17pm #

    Sorry but I have to reject most of this analysis. I do credit the commenter with considerable background, so I find it a reasonable view which can reasonably be discussed.

    To begin with, when you say “government intervention”, should one assume you mean both actions of the Treasury Dept and actions by the Fed?

    The picture of the capitalist system offered above reminded me of a criticism levelled at the late Louis Althusser, in which it was claimed that his “scientific” reading of Das Kapital produced a model which resembled an orrery.

    Capitalism is not an automatic mechanism which obeys laws fixed for all time ala Newtonian physics.

    The role of inter-firm competition has been reduced to a secondary factor in stage of development wherein profitability is arbitrarily distributed with the stroke of a pen, as in the recent “bailouts” and the DOD budget.

    So at this stage, accumulation of money capital is dependent on accumulation of state power. Formerly it was the other way around, but times have changed.

    Capitalist competition has been “aufgehobenized”:))))

  32. Don Hawkins said on August 27th, 2010 at 12:28pm #

    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. Sagan

    Maybe a central banker will bring that up at the meeting in Jackson Hole. Maybe when congress get’s back from holiday it might be considered the business round table, the chamber of commerce, the Executive branch, the CIA, NSA, well for the moment DV is it. I know a sign that reads Earth is burning/melting make a stand, security security, I have right’s freedom of speech, as they put you in a black square truck and the last thing you hear is someone singing, Born in the u.s.a., I was born in the u.s.a. Then a man in black inside the square black truck asks you, what’s your name son, and me or you would say, If advanced spacefaring aliens exploit resources like humans we’d better hope they don’t find us anytime soon; who said that. Then of course the man in black would say to the driver of the truck, change of plans Saint Elizabeths Hospital. Back at the rally at the Lincoln Memorial not a sign was seen and on stage were the sane still singing Born in the u.s.a then someone yelled drill baby drill no new tax’s the crowd goes nut’s as me or you go to Saint Elizabeths Hospital. Just kidding

  33. PatrickSMcNally said on August 27th, 2010 at 1:49pm #

    > Without competition laws of capitalist mode of production such as the tendency of rate of profit to fall no longer apply.

    I’ll have to disagree with that much. While I agree that there is still an element of anarchy in production under modern capitalism, your statement would seem to suggest that if only all businesses of whatever type could merge together into one mega-corporation then profits would become sustainable. Profits are undermined as efficiency of production increases at a faster pace than the available jobs on the market. When efficiency of production rises this can lead to a growth in profits by allowing a business to produce the same items with less labor costs and then sell them for a similar price so that revenue remains stable while costs drop. But if every business does this then those consumers who happen also to be workers will lose their jobs and no longer be able to act as purchasers. The only way around that is if the job market is already growing fast enough to give the same workers new jobs elsewhere. Eventually production reaches a point where such new jobs are no longer being created fast enough to compensate. That problem is not resolved by simply having one mega-corporation which owns everything. It’s a problem inherent to the profit system.

  34. bozh said on August 27th, 2010 at 2:03pm #

    Deadbeat,
    No, i did not make a mistake in evaluating the word “anarchy’ as lawlessnes. In folk usage, that’s what anarchy means. Even dictionary says that anarchy is also lawlessness.
    But you did not read my explanation. Or red, but decided not acknowledge my response.
    Besides that, anarchists, such as chomsky, appear asocialistic-inegalitarian. I am not.
    I am for the old and tried eonial mix [pre-priestly rule] of individualism and collectivism.
    That was the mix that enabled us to survive and in peace, harmony, mutual respect, security.
    All of it by now utterly destroyed in so many lands which abandonded the golden rule: remember u belong to a collection of people; you look after it and it would look after you.
    Now we have several collections of people and not one as we used to have. And, of course, the top collection being strongly socialistic; also holdng all econo-military-governmental power.
    And is it any wonder that there is wars, bailouts [robbery], exploitation? And wait, worst is yet to come. tnx

  35. Cameron said on August 27th, 2010 at 2:43pm #

    >your statement would seem to suggest that if only all businesses of whatever type could merge together into one mega-corporation then profits would become sustainable
    If by all businesses merged you mean there is only one mega-corporation in the whole economy then again it’s not a capitalist system. IMO this can never happen in a generalized commodity production system. Therefore I can’t agree or disagree as to whether profit would become sustainable because that system, if possible, is governed by different laws which I don’t know anything about.
    In fact I don’t even subscribe to the concept of monopoly capitalism as the highest/final stage. Monopoly, if capital can get there at all, is a very short lived phase. It’ll be crushed as other capitals flow into that sector seeking the high rate of profit. From what I have observed only governments can enforce monopoly because they have the guns.

  36. PatrickSMcNally said on August 27th, 2010 at 3:17pm #

    > From what I have observed only governments can enforce monopoly because they have the guns.

    That’s true as far as it goes, but you can surely anticipate the response. Insofar as the government represents the bourgeoisie, the ability of government to enforce monopoly will correlate to the degree of class unity among the bourgeoisie. In practice, I agree that class unity does not exist at any one time in perfect form and the pattern of government reflects this. But even if all perfect class unity could be attained through a single mega-corporate monopoly, the decline in the rate of profit would remain a problem.

  37. Cameron said on August 28th, 2010 at 11:07am #

    Mechanization is the dominant form of increasing the production of surplus value. If there is no competition then capitalists are not compelled to lower prices. Why should they? They’d pocket the additional surplus value whenever they adopt a new form of mechanization. This actually has the opposite effect. In other words, lack of competition would result in the rise of rate of profit not the fall.
    Isn’t it the goal of every capital to destroy the competition and become a monopoly? Certainly! That’s because then prices can be fixed regardless of value. Value would not regulate price in that scenario. Labor theory of value is then rendered useless.
    “Even a cursory examination of competition shows, furthermore, that under certain circumstances, when the greater capitalist wishes to make room for himself on the market, and to crowd out the smaller ones, as happens in times of crises, he makes practical use of this, i.e., he deliberately lowers his rate of profit in order to drive the smaller ones to the wall.”. Capital III Part III Chapter 13.

  38. teafoe2 said on August 28th, 2010 at 11:37am #

    “If there is no competition then capitalists are not compelled to lower prices.”

    If a single capitalist had managed to totally monopolize a market, but sales were so slow that said capitalist had difficulty disposing of inventory, would not the capitalist be compelled to lower prices in order to realize at least part of her investment?

  39. Don Hawkins said on August 28th, 2010 at 12:57pm #

    I’ve been in a funny mood the last few day’s but feel better now. Just watched the big rally in DC Beck on c-span and right out of the old play book. They had a permit for 300,000 people heck that’s no rally maybe two million to start and the talk out of the old play book I think not. My fellow Americans people of Earth we all now face a problem never before seen by human’s, here’s were someone on the drums goes for it, we all need to start working together from all countries as the Earth is burning and melting, again drums and maybe a saxophone, our amazing intelligence seems to have outstripped our instinct for survival. We plunder the earth hoping that accumulating material surplus will make up for the profound, unfathomable thing that we have lost that friends was said by Arundhati Roy one smart human, drums,saxophone, trumpet, am going to now tell you some forbidden knowledge governments today, talk of “cap-and-trade-with-offsets”, a system rigged by big banks and fossil fuel interests. Cap-and-trade invites corruption. Worse, it is ineffectual, assuring continued fossil fuel addiction to the last drop and environmental catastrophe or the end of the human race as we know it as a start, drums,saxophone, trumpet, base guitar, there is a solution not for all our problems but a start we will work on the others the solution therefore requirers a rising fee on oil, gas and coal – a carbon fee collected from fossil fuel companies at the domestic mine or port of entry. All funds collected will be distributed to the public on a per capita basis to allow lifestyle adjustments and spur clean energy innovations. As the fee increased, fossil fuels will be phased out, replaced by carbon-free energy and efficiency. Farming practices Worldwide will begin to change and those that needed help will get help. Will we all live happily ever after no but it will be a start and America will begin to lose weight a good thing, drums,saxophone, trumpet, base guitar, harmonica, so far what you have been told well it is what it isn’t in other words pure 100% bullshit, drums,saxophone, trumpet, base guitar, harmonica, clarinet, They do this so you don’t hear don’t see and the people who do this have a heart made of straw and a brain made of stone while at the same time there head way up there ass, drums,saxophone, trumpet, base guitar, harmonica, clarinet, organ, ok time for a song hit it let us sing;

    Oh the games people play now
    Ev’ry night and ev’ry day now
    Never meaning what they say, yeah
    Never saying what they mean.

    People walking up to you
    Singing glory hallelujah
    Then thy try to sock it to you, oh
    In the name of the Lord

    HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES THE GROUP CALLED CONSERVEITIVES ?

  40. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 1:43pm #

    hayate said on August 26th, 2010 at 10:26am #

    “Much of this article is based upon propaganda “factoids” the zionist controlled, western corporate media feeds people.”

    But aren’t you a Zionist hayate (aka Joshua Friend)? It seems to me I’ve seen you on the Zionist blogs and you were preaching about how best to infiltrate progressive blogs like DV. The idea is to attach everyone as a Zionist and then…proceed to remove any discussion.

    teafoe2 I don’t know how you define pornography, but I really thought you were above censorship. So, who’s with you? And who’s a against you? This sounds more and more like Fox News. Amazing.

  41. hayate said on August 29th, 2010 at 2:06pm #

    DV

    The following post is nothing but a wind-up using personal attacks and slander. That particular poster does nothing else on this site. It’s whole mo is site disruption. The person tries to bring this site down to the level of the comments at yahoo articles. Is this what you really want?

    #

    Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 1:43pm #

    hayate said on August 26th, 2010 at 10:26am #

    “Much of this article is based upon propaganda “factoids” the zionist controlled, western corporate media feeds people.”

    But aren’t you a Zionist hayate (aka Joshua Friend)? It seems to me I’ve seen you on the Zionist blogs and you were preaching about how best to infiltrate progressive blogs like DV. The idea is to attach everyone as a Zionist and then…proceed to remove any discussion.

    teafoe2 I don’t know how you define pornography, but I really thought you were above censorship. So, who’s with you? And who’s a against you? This sounds more and more like Fox News. Amazing.

  42. hayate said on August 29th, 2010 at 2:27pm #

    BTW, this “max shields” troll used the same mo to disrupt the Monthly Review site under the name “steve”, among several others names.

  43. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 3:32pm #

    Has anyone asked hayate who’s only been here a short while exactly who’s calling who a troll?

    I’ve been here for at least 3 years, always used my name and no other Mr./Ms Hayate.

  44. Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 3:39pm #

    hayate said on the Malcolm X tread: “deadbeat & teafoe2
    Nice deconstruction of the critter’s hasbara.”

    This his/her comment after a rather civil “discussion” with teafoe2. He’s done this repeatedly to commenters on DV over the past several months who are not willing to succumb to his ideological whims.

  45. teafoe2 said on September 24th, 2010 at 2:10pm #

    Attn Shabnam: you will like this historical essay, which for me was very educational:
    “BP: The Unfinished Crimes and Plunder of Anglo-American Imperialism”
    By Frederic Clairmont

    URL of this article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21112

    BTW, do you know anything about Xstian Zionist Evangelical traveling preachers in South Ukraine in 1850s? Which is way before Hovevei Zion?

  46. 3bancan said on September 24th, 2010 at 3:44pm #

    Max Shields said on August 29th, 2010 at 1:43pm #
    “But aren’t you a Zionist hayate (aka Joshua Friend)?”
    I find it amusing how Max – who like his buddies Mark Richie, Ellen Lau, Jeremy R. Hammond, David Green et alia uses a perfect zionazi speak – calls every antizionist “a Zionist” and “Joshua Friend”.
    PS: I think Max should write an entry titled “Joshua Friend” in Wikipedia, so that every one of us who he calls “Joshua Friend” could find out what he understands under this (so familiar to him) name…