Thank god for Prof Richard Wolff
Anthropologist Debunks Bill Gates' BS Narrative That Free-Market Capitalism Has Solved Crisis of Global Poverty
Yes, it is a slow process, still in its infancy but potentially on the brink of a sudden expansion. Herman Daly, David Korten, and others, were thinking in those terms 25 or more years ago, and the institutional approach to economics has been around for a century and a half. It was on the rise in the middle of the 20th century when the classical mainstream, which is effectively fascist in the way its dogmas play out, instituted a counter-revolution. But it is very much on the rise today and deserves publicity and support.
Wolff is the grand old man of Marxian economics in the US. His remedies for the situation in which we find our world are for that reason narrowly constrained, but his analysis of events is impeccable.
I completely agree with you…and you have a more decisive way of putting the quandry we are all caught up in. They are extractivists, as our Naomi Klein has it…and they take from everything and everyone…but never do much work themselves.
That they leave to the world’s children who have been depossessed of anything but their labour. Marx wasn’t wrong about that part.
But it is amazing how effective their slogan building machines are: its only recently that I realized neoliberalism is actually just a rebranding of Italian style fascism. You know: that elite business class who know what’s best for everyone, and so should be given a free rein to run everything (into the ground)???
We were conned by the code word ‘liberal’…but then, so are a lot of good people in my country, who voted for change lite, a good looking personable young man, and a boundless optimism that doesn’t have to do much research.
How that Capitalists capture the Middle Class is a tragedy that needs more unpacking…but its hard. My friends who think they fit in that category, get so offended if I suggest they too are part of the beast devouring the ecosphere.
After all, they’re all good, well dressed, well meaning people. Busy just now, looking away from the travesty of American plans for Venezuela, and so, not answering my emails.
Be well…and let’s keep talking
We are at a time in history where we can see poverty at home and places like our Mexican neighbors. We should keep in mind the poverty created by bombardiers of the U.S., Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia and others.
The rich always end up in the same general place. Over lording, and in power. The fate of the poor can fluctuate greatly. We have many sustainable poor in the U.S. Non sustainable in other parts of the world. And refugee poor in search of something sustainable.
An annual guaranteed income could solve this poverty crisis.
Of course Bill Gates and Bono have to pat themselves on the back. It’s the best way to self-justify their poverty pimpin.’ As for Steven Pinker, he’s just stupid.
Rather blunt, but I find it hard to disagree.
Yes, and how many times have we heard this . . .
" Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
Yes, and how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.
The answer is blowing in the wind.
Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.
The answer is blowing in the wind.
‘near ruination’. Let’s be more specific. Where I live, thousands are homeless. I see disabled people in wheelchairs begging for food on a regular basis. We have had tent cities all over this city and region for years. The good churches are allowing van-dwellers to stay in their parking lots, the bad churches are putting up wrought iron fences and gates to keep out the poor. All the shelters are full. The numbers of absolutely desperate poor are dropping due to death by poverty. I think if anything counts as ‘ruination’, wouldn’t dying of poverty count? I don’t think Bill Gates is a liar, I think he’s using the convenient tool of denial, because in reality, they are committing genocide by poverty.
Of COURSE Bill Gates is not a liar. He believes every word of the nonsense he continually spouts. He is also a Class A ignoramus on just about any topic other than how to make money and keep competition at bay.
love this post … thank you
im no anthropologist but wasn’t it the case that before capitalism that most societys were organized on a communal basis?
OH MY GOD that word communal sounds almost like COMMUNISM
and from what i know (which isn’t much) their societies were much more egalitarian ??!!
We do ourselves and our world a disservice if we jump into an argument framed as capitalism is bad vs capitalism is good. Since we can find some examples documenting both sides of the issue, this fails to address the foundational problem. Polarized arguments often reach three strikes quickly.
What is completely clear is that capitalism, as it has been framed for many decades, has no intention of resolving the destructive social and planetary issues it creates. Capitalism could have taken a different turn if its limited ideology was firmly entrenched within a wider, more powerful, pervasive cultural ideology of social responsibility and morality. But it isn’t.
Of course, the critiques of capitalism are vast, documented and often accurate. But capitalism has arisen and flourished within a social ideology of minority power dominating historically through accumulated wealth. This wealth has created and grasped political, legal and monetary power, thereby rendering the majority subservient without recourse. Capitalism lacks the values to use this power for the benefit of all. ( in fact, it now ridicules such values in our extremist times)
If there was a social/political ideology that governed capitalism, ‘justice’ and monetary systems, that absolutely required/enforced their service to the majority, it would be possible for this different form of capitalism to perform as it should - in the just service of all people and the planet. Equality, healthcare, sustainability would become national projects soon approaching completion.
We are frozen within the deformed social structures of history. To change the course of history, the structures which enabled minority power to coerce must be thawed and reshaped. Lots on this to-do list, but it doesn’t require Einstein to identify many of the steps necessary to bring power to the people.
Strength and hope to all.
I used that video because it’s close to home but is a global issue. I wish I could wish Bill’s mouth out with Ivory or Lava soap.
It seems to me that you are missing critical distinctions among markets, capitalism, and industry. Markets have existed for as long as humans have, if not longer. My Merriam-Webster says the word “capitalism” dates only to 1877, so evidently a coinage by Marx or one of his contemporaries. The same source dates “capital” in the sense of producers’ goods only to 1639, early in the Industrial Revolution, which phrase dates only to 1848, the Year of Revolutions and the year of publication of The Communist Manifesto, Marx’s second published work.
My point is that there has never been a form of capitalism by that name that was not exactly what you describe, and well before it was called that it had indeed “arisen and flourished within a social ideology of minority power dominating historically through accumulated wealth [and] . . . created and grasped political, legal and monetary power . . . [lacking] the values to use this power for the benefit of all.”
In contrast, industry, in the sense of the Industrial Revolution, has provided a great many benefits to individuals and to humankind as a whole, but never without the rapacious destruction of capitalist ideology. While the original meaning of capital as producers’ goods was fairly narrow, economists of the mid-19th century altered its meaning through “capital accumulation theory” to the point where we find ourselves today, with the word generally used to mean simply money. Since -ism usually refers to a belief in or worship of something, I would suggest that “capitalism” is rightly named and vilified.
A significant part of the transition that is now at least being discussed in high places is the re-imagining of industry and decoupling it from the worship of money and from unlimited growth.
While you rightly point out the exploitation of many poor souls, the support of unjust regimes through foreign aid enriched a few that kept a boot on the necks of their fellow citizens.
Yes, the spread of free market forces surplants command economies to the benefit of all.