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Author Topic: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?  (Read 133683 times)

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1150 on: February 12, 2020, 11:55:52 PM »
[Warning: Satire] Cohen at McSweeney's: America must not become socialist

"America will no longer be the land of the free that all of us wealthy white people know and love."

"A socialist government could use its power to spy on its citizens, listening to their phone conversations, reading their email, even watching them through their laptop cameras. In America, our intelligence agencies can only do those things if they lie to Congress about it first. "

"A socialist government would merely invade your privacy, forgoing all that juicy profit! "

"private industry is far better at infringing upon your rights than the government."

"In socialist Venezuela, there is a question about who the rightful president is — is it the man the people elected, or is the puppet our government is desperately trying to install? Who can tell? It’s total chaos"

"in America, we know exactly who our president is — it’s the man who was just declared innocent in a sham trial with no witness and a jury predisposed toward acquittal. No confusion, no instability — the president is the rapist reality TV show host. "

"it’s our freedoms that make America great ... we are the freest country in history, and we have armies all over the world losing wars every day to defend those freedoms. The freedom for your landlord to charge you whatever they want. The freedom to pay back your exorbitant student loans over however many decades you decide. The freedom to walk into a grocery store and select one of the hundred different brands of cereal made by one of two global conglomerates ... it’s that last freedom, the right to participate in our democracy, that’s the most important. In America, we believe that anyone with money can participate in our corrupt political process. "

"America is not, and never will be, a socialist country. We will become Nazis before we ever allow that."

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/america-must-not-become-socialist-lest-we-abandon-what-makes-our-country-awful

sidd

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1151 on: February 29, 2020, 02:26:50 AM »
Appel at boston review: the power of debt

"can we use the massively unequal indebtedness that typifies this moment in racial capitalism in the United States to build power? And if so, how do we use that power to build the alternative financial systems and relationships we need?"

"what would happen if we saw the staggering $14.15 trillion in household debt today as a source of collective leverage ...  if you’re part of a collective that owes $14.15 trillion, you all own the banks"

"The very existence of proposed legislation that would abolish student debt and wipe out large swaths of medical debt, offering college and healthcare as public goods, is a tremendous victory. "

"The point of debtors’ unions, after all, is not merely debt cancellation or even robust public goods handed to us by state power: it is to build collective power—people power."

" debt’s ubiq­uity presents the opportunity to transform indebtedness from an issue of individual isolation and shame to a platform for collective action. Debt mobilized collectively as leverage through debt strikes or debtors’ unions could force the financial system to recognize people, in addition to banks, as systemically important and too big to fail. "

"The 2008 crisis was triggered by rising default rates on U.S. subprime mortgages. Small and unintentionally coordinated acts of nonpayment destabilized the entire global financial system. What if that nonpayment had been intentional and coordinated? "

" we might say that some debt­ors—banks and bondholders in particular—were bailed out, while others—mortgage holders—were not ... The banks have a powerful collective advocacy operation: lobbyists and a revolving door of regulators and cabinet members who move between the upper echelons of banks and govern­ment. Debtors have no such collective representation."

"The potential of debtors’ unions, in other words, is not merely to refuse and renegotiate illegitimate debts. The broader potential is to build power—with collective debt refusal as leverage—in the age of finance capitalism."

"we must continue to imagine and organize for the day after victory."

https://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/hannah-appel-debtors-world-unite

sidd

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1152 on: February 29, 2020, 02:29:35 AM »
Church wipes out 46 million USD of medical debt:

"Crossroads Church partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a medical debt relief nonprofit, to wipe out debts for people in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. "

"The church wiped out debt for 41,233 households in Ohio for a total of $42.8 million, 2,974 Kentucky households abolishing $1.9 million in debt, 503 Tennessee households for $1.5 million, and 136 Indiana homes for $200,000"

"For every $100 donated to RIP Medical Debt, $10,000 in medical debt is wiped out, according to the New York-based organization."

https://www.fox4news.com/news/cincinnati-church-wipes-out-46-5-million-in-medical-debt-for-45000-families

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1153 on: February 29, 2020, 07:15:53 AM »
^^
Beautiful! That is great great news for many many desperate poor people.

Imagine their relieve and joy when they get the news...
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

kassy

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1154 on: March 17, 2020, 01:42:10 PM »
Guess it fits here as well...

Lets call it a bit off background...

Climate change: The rich are to blame, international study finds

The rich are primarily to blame for the global climate crisis, a study by the University of Leeds of 86 countries claims.

The wealthiest tenth of people consume about 20 times more energy overall than the bottom ten, wherever they live.

The gulf is greatest in transport, where the top tenth gobble 187 times more fuel than the poorest tenth, the research says.

That’s because people on the lowest incomes can rarely afford to drive.

The researchers found that the richer people became, the more energy they typically use. And it was replicated across all countries.

...

The researchers combined European Union and World Bank data to calculate how different income groups spend their money. They say it’s the first study of its kind.

It found that in transport the richest tenth of consumers use more than half the energy. This reflects previous research showing that 15% of UK travellers take 70% of all flights.

The ultra-rich fly by far furthest, while 57% of the UK population does not fly abroad at all.

...

Rich Brits

The research also examined the relative energy consumption of one nation against another.

It shows that a fifth of UK citizens are in the top 5% of global energy consumers, along with 40% of German citizens, and Luxembourg’s entire population.

Only 2% of Chinese people are in the top global 5% of users, and just 0.02% of people in India.

Even the poorest fifth of Britons consumes over five times as much energy per person as the bottom billion in India.

...


But Professor Kevin Anderson, from the Tyndall Centre in Manchester, who was not involved in the study, told BBC News: “This study tells relatively wealthy people like us what we don’t want to hear.

“The climate issue is framed by us high emitters – the politicians, business people, journalists, academics. When we say there’s no appetite for higher taxes on flying, we mean WE don’t want to fly less

“The same is true about our cars and the size our homes. We have convinced ourselves that our lives are normal, yet the numbers tell a very different story
,” he said.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51906530
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

sidd

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Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« Reply #1155 on: March 30, 2020, 10:49:38 PM »
Vrettos interviews Hudson:

"Marx was the last great classical economist."

"today, the role of the landlords played in the 19th century of stifling industrial capitalism is being played by the banks and the rest of the financial sector. Right now the collectors of land rent, which was the main focus of the labor theory of value to isolate what was unnecessary, is being paid to the banks as mortgage interest."

"This industrial capitalist economy is wrapped in a financial sector composed of debt and property claims. These are external to the economy. They slow it and ultimately cause a crash."

"the word “gospel” was the “good news.” That good news was that there was going to be a debt cancellation. "

" the Ten Commandments were very largely about debt; that “one shall not covet the neighbor’s wife,” that means you don’t make a loan to the guy so he has to pledge his wife as a debt slave "

" “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” meant that a creditor couldn’t swear that so-and-so owes you money if he didn’t. All of this had to do with fact that the great destabilizing factor in society in the first millennium BC was debt beyond the ability to be paid, leading to bondage of the debtor, and ultimately forfeiture of land to wealthy creditors eager to grab it and do as Isaiah accused, join plot to plot and house to house until there were no more people left in the land."

"What early modern scholars could not believe, until our Harvard group began to compile the economic history of antiquity, that canceling such debts actually was what maintained stability. "

" Jesus went back to the temple in his hometown to give a sermon, and unrolled the scroll of Isaiah to readd the passage about the Year of the Lord – meaning the Jubilee Year – and said, that he had come to proclaim this year ... a lot of families got very angry and chased Jesus out of town. They didn’t like his message. The Pharisees in particular got upset, and complained to the Roman that Jesus wanted to be King. Well, the reason they said was that they knew that Rome hated kingship. Roman tradition as written by Livy and by Dionysius and Halicarnassus described Servius as cancelling the debts, and most other kings of trying to keep the oligarchy in its place. Rome grew by making itself a haven for immigrants, whom they attracted precisely by keeping the oligarchy in its place."

" the oligarchs took over and throughout the rest of Roman history down to the empire, the great fear was that somebody would do what the kings did: cancel the debts and redistribute the land to the poor. Julius Caesar was killed for “seeking kingship,” meaning that the Senate worried that he was going to cancel the debts after decades of civil warfare over this issue and the assassination of Catiline and other advocates of debt cancellation."

"what made the West “Western” was that it was the first society not to cancel the debts. It was to prevent this that oligarchies opposed a central authority. "

" if you want to conquer a town, the way to take it over is to promise to cancel the debts. The population will come over to your side. And conversely, he said, if you’re defending a town, cancel the debts and they’ll support you against the attacker. So that was one of the reasons that debts tended to be canceled by one group or another ... Here you have the imposition of a military force – really NATO – to enforce debt collection, not only from individuals but on debt entire countries. The job of the World Bank and IMF is to impose such heavy debt service on countries, and indeed to impose it in dollars, that countries have to earn these dollars to pay their debts. They can’t simply print the money to pay these debts like America can do. They have to obtain dollars by steadily lowering the price of their labor. "

"The World Bank is effectively part of the Defense Department. Their heads are usually former Secretaries of Defense, from John J McCloy, the first president, to McNamara and subsequent heads. What the United States discovered is that you don’t need to go to war to control other countries. If you can have them accept the assumption that all debts should be paid, they will voluntarily submit to austerity, which is class warfare against their own labor force."

"you can’t have a pro-financial free market – free of government regulation and its own public infrastructure and credit system – unless you’re prepared to assassinate everyone who wants a strong government. When they went to Chile and supported Pinochet, U.S. officials provided a list of who had to be killed – land reformers, labor leaders, socialists, and especially economics professors. They closed down every Economics Department in the country, except for the one at Catholic University, the right wing economics department teaching Chicago School neoliberalism. So, you have to be totalitarian in order to impose a free market pro-financial style – which, under today’s circumstances, means pro-US."

"You have the history of Western civilization now being taught almost everywhere as if what created civilization was the rule of contracts, not canceling the debts. So, you’ve created an inside-out view of history. "

"That’s what most U.S. arms are for: not really to use. You’re never again going to get Americans to be drafted and go into the army to actually, use them. These arms are not for fighting; they’re for making profits ...You don’t actually use the arms. You just pay to produce them and throw them away. It’s like what Keynes talked about, building pyramids in order to create domestic purchasing power ... Countries that don’t have Pentagon capitalism, like Russia or China, are able to produce weaponry that outshines America. Even broke Iran, can make missiles that apparently get right through the U.S. defenses in Syria and Iraq "

"Krugman serves in effect as a bank lobbyist – not only here, but in Iceland and other countries. To me, the current economic squeeze is that Obama didn’t let the banks collapse ...He kept their bad, outrageously priced loans on the books and evicted 10 million families. He called them “the mob with pitchforks,” and Hillary called them “deplorables.” That shows you where the Democratic Party is at, and why it was so easy for Donald Trump to make a left wing  run around the Democratic Party. That is how right wing Obama was. His legacy was Donald Trump  "

"The reason he’s [Krugman's] so well-popularized by the pro-financial class is precisely because he doesn’t understand money. "

"There was no question who the “lesser evil” was. It was Donald Trump."

"The good thing about writing down the debts is that you wipe out the savings on the other side of the balance sheet. Some 90 percent of the debts in America are owed to the wealthiest 10 Percent. So the problem is not only the debt; it’s all these savings of the One Percent! The world is awash in their wealth. If you don’t wipe out their financial claims – which are the basis of their wealth – they’re going to take you over and become the new financial Lords, just like the feudal landlords. The banks are the equivalent of the Norman invasion. and the conquering landlords that reduce the economy to a peonage!"

"So America, which people used to think was the most progressive capitalist country, suddenly becoming the most neo-feudal economy."

"today’s religion has become a handmaiden of wealth and privilege, and of “personal responsibility” to make people pay for education, health care, access to housing and other basic things that should be a public right."

"Today they’ve separated religion, as if only spiritual and has nothing to do with the economic organization of society. Religion used to be all about the economic organization of society. So, you’ve had a decontextualization of religion, taking away from analyzing society to justify the status quo by teaching that if things are the way they are, it’s because God wants it this way. That’s saying that God wants the wealthy and privileged to exploit you"

" it’s clear that the Democratic Party will be torn apart, and this means the end of it if he’s [Sanders'] not the nominee."

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/03/radical-imagination-imagining-how-the-world-of-finance-really-works.html

A good analysis of the 2008 crash by Bezemer[2009]:

https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/15892/1/MPRA_paper_15892.pdf

Hudsons version of the road to serfdom from 2006 telling of doom to come:

https://michael-hudson.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/RoadToSerfdom.pdf

sidd