Friday, November 29, 2013

Comments Worth Reading: A Miracle

Two particularly cogent comments in response to a Boing Boing post about the Pope's recent condemnation of capitalism:

The real importance, I think, lies in this: Since the fall of Communism, there has been no ideological competition to the free market doctrine. I certainly don't miss the Soviet model at all, but it forced capitalism to behave and prove itself - by creating a wide shared prosperity to prop up its political legitimacy.

Now that this competition is gone, the - let's face it - ruling classes feel they can get away with anything. So on the one hand, this is a very smart political move on popes part - giving the church back its relevance by positioning it as the main ideological antagonist of the status quo. On the other hand - we really need somebody with a loud enough voice to do it. (by am80256)
This is not really about capitalism, which is hundreds of years old. It is about neoliberalism, which is 30 years old. It dates from the Reagan/Thatcher era. It has been imposed everywhere around the world via the IMF/World Bank as the condition of financial assistance. It is a kind of fundamentalist capitalism that has resulted in wages falling steadily for 30 years, while incomes at the very top rocketed. It's critical failure is the 2008 financial system collapsing, leaving us with permanently stagnating economies, with inequality between the super rich and everyone else accelerating. The failure of this system has been global. (Italy is in particularly bad shape.)

The competing idea of this kind of capitalism is not socialism or communism, it is The New Deal. It's the economist Keynes. It's America from the 40s to the 70s. It's the era of prosperity, the American Dream and the middle class; when corporations weren't people and paid their taxes. And it's the promise of all the other competing economic theories that have literally been suppressed for decades. It's the possibility of an economy that is based on the interests of people, rather than solely the interests of capital. (by bradbelltv)

1 comment:

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

A miracle indeed. Thus ends my comment. :)