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"I'm a Capitalist," Says Warren…But Why?

Simple answer: Her big Capitalist donors won’t let her spit on Capitalism.

Another related question: Why is she running against Bernie Sanders who started “Our Revolution” in 2016 which is a movement that helped AOC and others while taking up most of his social democrat policies?

The answer: Elizabeth Warren is a Capitalist hell bent on destroying “Our Revolution” by splitting the progressive vote based on gender identity politics to help elect Joe Biden. I suspect she will be the Vice President pick for Joe Biden. Warren’s behavior during her campaign is to pretend to copy Bernie’s positions as much as possible.

However before she decided to run you can see her actions in the Senate were very much like a Capitalist. She was chosen to head a TARP committee by Obama and the Senate. Those duties involved ensuring all the TARP funds went to TBTF banksters without complaint. She then designed the CFPB as part of the private Federal Reserve bank owned by those same TBTF banks, again without complaint. Now the CFPB is well regarded as toothless and other government financial oversight agencies lost regulatory power as a result. Common Dreams revealed that Citibank primarily chose Obama’s entire cabinet… who by extension picked Warren:

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There are a lot of misrepresentation and myths about Mondragon, dogspaddle. Too many to post here since I have already placed a lengthy message.

All Mondragon has accomplished has been to transform itself into profitable capitalist enterprises, operating in a similar way to other capitalist firms. Any impartial inquiry into the development of the Mondragon model clearly demonstrates this fact and they freely admit it. We are private companies that work in the same market as everybody else. We are exposed to the same conditions as our competitors.” explained a one-time Mondragón human-resources chief.

Just like any other business it has developed a two-tier work-force, it out-sources and off-shores subsidiaries. A study of Mondragon subsidiaries in China comparing coop-owned factories with foreign-owned capitalist firms found that pay was low, hours long, and conditions harsh. Just like their capitalist competitors, Mondragon coops invested in China to manufacture labor-intensive goods cheaply and to be near emerging markets – a strategy coop members accepted when they voted to pursue an international strategy. I could go and on but don’t just take my word.

Noam Chomsky said "Take the most advanced case: Mondragon. It’s worker owned, it’s not worker managed, although the management does come from the workforce often, but it’s in a market system and they still exploit workers in South America, and they do things that are harmful to the society as a whole and they have no choice. If you’re in a system where you must make profit in order to survive. You are compelled to ignore negative externalities, effects on others.”

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That is quite true, but it is NOT the way Mondragon started out, proving once again that power, including the power conferred by large numbers, is corrupting. John Ruskin got a lot of it right in the 1860s–to his own downfall–in Unto This Last and Munera Pulvis, both short but pithy collectoins of essays.

Yes, Capitalism is “a system of theft and must be abolished.”

So why are we not calling it more precisely what it is: KLEPTOCRACY!

It steals the wits of the capitalist first.

The witless capitalist then purchases the votes of public officials, reducing them to witless puppets.

The witless puppets then steal the public tax dollars and let the capitalists hire lawyer lobbyists to write the legislation funnelling those tax dollars to the highest bidders among the capitalist hired lobbyists.

The witless puppets then hire professional liars to tell them how to cover-up their puppetries with flowery rhetoric about all the great things they have done. The unhinged one is only a tad more unhinged than each and every one of the elected members of the bipartisan majority that remains “the Washington consensus” - from Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer to Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn and my Senators and Congressmember and most likely yours. Ditto in the state capitals.

The nation ever less slowly unhinges itself.

Like Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and GWB who all had better things to do than be patriotic enough to serve in Vietnam or any other of their favorite games: war, more than 90% of US “citizens” have better things to do than be a patriotic citizen right now when the nation is losing the war being waged upon it by KLEPTOCRATS & their elected & appointed official puppets.

Where’d you put that remote?

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Perhaps she is a day-dreamer who actually believes she can save capitalism from the very most degenerate for capitalism has ever entered: kleptocracy. Note that she often is comfortable voting for funnelling public money into kleptocratic accounts: every vote for DOD is a vote for kleptocracy. Every vote for DHS is a vote for kleptocracy. Every vote for DOC is a vote for kleptocracy. Every vote for HUD is a vote for kleptocracy.

Yes, most of her voters are likely (as are Joe Biden’s, though his voters could care less how absurdly kleptocratic capital is or how radically it debases the entire planet and all living things here about) investors who dream of becoming stupefyingly wealthy - like Joe Biden & Nancy Pelosi.

Yes, one could go on. Uncle Sam is effectively >65% owned & controlled casino for the kleptocrats.

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If you insist upon looking at the way Mondragon started out, economagic, then look at its origins where you have to take into consideration that it was a project of a conservative Catholic Church and it had the umbrella of a fascist anti-worker Franco regime and its protectionist economic policies. So tell me what were their motives of it. I suggest it was always about controlling workers rather than their liberation and what coul be better than fostering their self-exploitation - i see no degeneration, economagic

I do seem a bit negative on cooperatives but ever since the beginning of industrialisation and the birth of the labour movement, workers have tried to escape from their condition as wage earners by setting up production or consumer cooperatives. Some of them viewed cooperatives as an aim in and of itself, others considered it a means of self-defence against management repression ( closures, lay-offs…). Sometimes, cooperatives have been interesting places for social experimentation. But, in most cases, their evolution has been negative going no further than seeking to change the form of management of the modern enterprise.

Where I take issue is with Wolff or Gar Alperovitz or any other person claiming they are a path way towards socialism. A Marxist economist I believe to be more relevant that Wolff, Andrew Kliman, said:
“ …It seems that most people want to see another world, but think it can come about, if at all, by voting it in, or by workers becoming their own bosses…Despite the new priorities, new forms of organization, new forms of ownership, new laws, and the new name… it remains capitalist. It remains capitalist because the economic laws that govern capitalism continue to gover… And they continue to govern your society because new priorities, new forms of organization, new forms of ownership and so forth are not enough––by themselves––to overcome the economic laws of capitalism…[These well-intentioned changes] would merely be capitalism in a different form or they would be unviable and lead back to capitalism. And the reason why they wouldn’t work, Marx argued, is that these supposed alternatives to capitalism all try to get rid of capitalism without getting rid of its mode of production…Marx’s point is firstly, changes in political and legal forms, and changes in consciousness, are not themselves changes in the relations of production. Secondly, if only they are changed, not the relations of production, the changes will not succeed in changing the character of the society…”

Hello Alan,

If GM were the only company to be taken over by a workers’ co-op, then you might be right: competition from all the other capitalist companies, suppliers customers and competitors, would create chaos.
But if ALL companies, or at least all the big ones, were run by democratic workers’ co-ops, then each co-op would send representatives to councils of its particular industry and to more general councils. That is the theory of syndicalism, first enunciated by French workers at the start of the 20th century.
And if one company fails to sell its product, because of changing tastes, or because it is just inferior, it can and should go out of business. That’s fine with the workers there, because other co-ops will absorb those workers, and/or they will get fresh training.
That is what happens at Mondragon, which at 80,000 workers and scores of companies, is big enough to take care of people. They also have a co-op bank which can fund and help train NEW businesses.
Common ownership of all enterprise is a flawed myth which by now should be understood by all. In reality it means STATE control of the economy, and in case you haven’t noticed, governments are not composed of representative workers, but of politicians, bureaucrats, soldiers and police. And they do a lousy job of balancing an economy of hundreds of thousands of businesses, which is why the only substantial export of the Soviet Union, both before and after its dissolution, is oil. And why both China and Russia have succumbed to the rule of criminal billionaires. The best name for your overall “common ownership” is “state capitalism.” It’s not good for human rights OR for economic advance.
Independent but co-ordinated workers’ co-ops are far better for both. Lenin (and Trotsky) were counter-revolutionaries because they took over the factories with their democratic soviets. Trotsky’s bright idea was to also absorb the unions into the state.
Marx wouldn’t have liked it. He disapproved of the “state workshops” of 1848 Paris, but praised the workers’ co-ops of the 1871 Paris Commune. And don’t forget that his ultimate objective was “the withering away of the state.”
Worker control co-ops are the future of the human race, if we are to have a future.
PS. I like Frances Moore Lappé’s use of the term “economic democracy,” but “co-operative democracy” is even better. American socialists of the late 19th century agitated for the “co-operative commonwealth.”

Theoldgoat, Can I remind you of you of the Savings and Loans banking. When they were prevalent was the lot of the worker and consumer greatly different. I suggest not.

Can I refer you to the French socialist very long time ago describing the problems of consumer coops
https://www.marxists.org/archive/guesde/1910/dec/cooperatives.htm
“…Nearly all of them are obliged by the capitalist milieu, to go in for capitalism themselves, for instead of selling only to their members at the price of cost, they are more and more obliged to sell to outsiders for the sake of profits. The antagonism between seller and buyer, which it is the role of co-operation to abolish, is still in existence. I admit there are exceptions. But as a rule you are more and more compelled by a milieu based upon competition to look for means of existence and development outside the distribution of products; you are compelled to sell to the public; to realize profits, to go in for commerce; in a word, you thus become only a new sort of department store, constituted by small workingmen share-holders instead of department stores constituted by large bourgeois share-holders…”

If you want an update, look at the UK and the Coop stores and at its Coop banks…Then tell me how better off British workers are because of them. Let’s stop repeating the mistakes of the past and re-inventing the wheel. Time today for a new system of society, not a variant of the old one.

Marx very clearly said that workers’ co-ops were progressive, but that consumer co-ops were not.
Having seen both in Berkeley, CA, I can report that he was absolutely correct.

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Laurence, thanks for your measured reply.

I’ve responded elsewhere to Mondragon as a something not to be emulated so i’ll move on.

The first thing I have to say is the apolitical foundation of your assumption. Even Wolff depends on the State to be the motor of a general cooperative society. But exactly what is the State. He as a Marxist should know. It is the executive committee of the ruling class and the idea that it will act against business interests and not try to repress the competition to conventional business goes against logic
So a revolution is required to take control of the State to implement a generalized coop system as you suggest would work and if such is required
.
Why stop short and not have a full socialist revolution where private and sectional ownership - which syndicates and coops are - and the exchange economy is abolished

Socialism is not a centralised State-owned command economy on the lines of the former USSR but that is another debate and all those supposed 5-Year Plans were simply a series of adjustments and amendments and changes to a plan due to circumstances and events…just as we have when a corporation issues their future business plans.

Economic democracy (and industrial democracy) are terms from the heyday of the IWW and yes, I am all for the term cooperative commonwealth as a description of socialism. A cooperative commonwealth is our goal, coops though are not the means towards it. If we cannot have socialism in one country, then how can it be imagined that we can have socialism in one city much less one industry or even one factory.

Marx held two views, laurence…The first that cooperatives confirm the fact that the workers can manage production without capitalists but he also held they cannot out-compete capitalism

"If cooperative production is not to remain a sham and a mare; if it is to supersede the capitalist system; if the united co-operative societies are to regulate national production upon a common plan, thus taking it under their control, and putting an end to the constant anarchy and periodical convulsions which are the fatality of Capitalist production—what else, gentlemen, would it be but Communism, ‘possible’ Communism?”

“By deed, instead of by argument, they have shown that production on a large scale, and in accord with the behest of modern science, may be carried on without the existence of a class of masters employing a class of hands.”
And again Marx explains,
“Cooperative factories provide the proof that the capitalist has become just as superfluous as a functionary in production…”

But Marx was also a critic

“The co-operative factories run by workers themselves are, within the old form, the first examples of the emergence of a new form, even though they naturally reproduce in all cases, in their present organization, all the defects of the existing system, and must reproduce them.”

Marx rejected Lassalle’s belief that workers’ emancipation should be brought about by a system of state-aided producer cooperatives. Based on the Gotha programme, one means of solving social problems was to demand State aid to fund the establishment of producer cooperatives under the democratic control of the mass of the working people. Marx disagreed on this point by objecting:
‘that the workers’ desire to establish the conditions for cooperative production on a social scale, and first of all on a national scale, in their own country, only means that they are working to transform the present conditions of production, and it has nothing in common with the foundation of co-operative societies with state aid’

Otherwise—Marx argued— socialism would be established through State action—in stark contrast with the central idea that workers will only achieve emancipation through their own efforts. If workers were to require the support of the State for their revolutionary movement, they would thereby only reveal their ‘full consciousness that they neither rule nor are ripe for rule!’

Marx concludes that ‘as far as the present co-operative societies are concerned, they are of value only insofar as they are the independent creations of workers and not protege´s either of the governments or of the bourgeoisie’

Co–ops by themselves do not challenge the system and actually may divert energy away from doing so. Individual co–ops do not threaten the system, are likely to degenerate, and can absorb time and resources that could be used for other kinds of organizing. Marx also noted that a variety of establishment figures had become supporters of co–ops:

“It is perhaps for this very reason that plausible noblemen, philanthropic middle-class spouters, and even kept political economists have all at once turned nauseously complimentary to the very co-operative labor system they had vainly tried to nip in the bud by deriding it as the utopia of the dreamer, or stigmatizing it as the sacrilege of the socialist.”

Marx understood that the capitalist class would not stand idly by and allow themselves to pass into history. They had the power of the State behind them:

“To save the industrious masses, cooperative labour ought to be developed to national dimensions, and, consequently, to be fostered by national means. Yet the lords of the land and the lords of capital will always use their political privileges for the defence and perpetuation of their economic monopolies. So far from promoting, they will continue to lay every possible impediment in the way of the emancipation of labour…To conquer political power has, therefore, become the great duty of the working classes.”

We do have Rosa Luxemburg’s opinion also
As Luxemburg put it, “in capitalist economy exchanges dominate production. As a result of competition, the complete domination of the process of production by the interests of capital—that is, pitiless exploitation—becomes a condition for the survival of each enterprise.”

She continues:

“The domination of capital over the process of production expresses itself in the following ways. Labor is intensified. The workday is lengthened or shortened, according to the situation of the market. And, depending on the requirements of the market, labor is either employed or thrown back into the street. In other words, use is made of all methods that enable an enterprise to stand up against its competitors in the market.”

Some cooperatives find small niche markets in which to survive, but the majority will either be driven out of business or be forced to copy the practices used by other employers.

In Luxemburg’s words:

‘The workers forming a co-operative in the field of production are thus faced with the contradictory necessity of governing themselves with the utmost absolutism. They are obliged to take toward themselves the role of capitalist entrepreneur—a contradiction that accounts for the usual failure of production co-operatives which either become pure capitalist enterprises or, if the workers’ interests continue to predominate, end by dissolving.”

As I said, I have been overly critical of the potential of coops. I have been referred to the development of the communications network in some western states when the corporations said it was too costly to expand into the rural areas and consumers set up their own networks. Again an example of the initiative of the people

Oops, my apology. It’s against my religion to argue with a devout Marxist. Or a devout capitalist either.

Joe Stiglitz, on DemocracyNow! last week, was promoting what he referred to as “progressive capitalism”, and when asked by Amy Goodman what the difference was between that and Bernie’s democratic socialism, said there was no difference.

I watched that video. Not much difference between progressive capitalism and democratic socialism, but the former would probably suit the brainwashed American public better.

From reading all this I can only conclude that the biggest thing wrong with socialism is socialists. What a bunch of ignorant purists. You blab on and on about terms without once recognizing that it’s corporate capitalism that is destroying the world. CORPORATE, not capitalism, not regulated capitalism, not socialist capitalism, not mom and pop capitalism. Those don’t destroy the world. And neither does socialism btw. It’s communism that is too restrictive to work. We’ve had 80-90 years of experience to see the truth of both those statements. The governments do socialist things all the time–roads, fire departments, cops, and oh by the way, the fucking military. And oh by the way, my social security–thank you FDR and Monica Lewinski! So both systems can do good and they can both do harm. It’s when the populous looses control of the government that our economy is distorted into a tool for the rich, and that’s on us, not Warren, not Bernie. I watched as the Yuppies took over the zeitgeist in the 80’s and turned greed and conspicuous consumption into virtues, They loved Winky Bill and his homely wife and the corporate climb and they hated politics and unions and regulations and anyone who tried to take the pollution out of their urban assault vehicles. And boy were they popular! And we live with the consequences now of Yuppie stupidity. So how about now we work with ALL the ideas put forth to solve our problems and quit demonizing one of the smartest and most committed economists of our time. I want both Bernie’s and Liz’s ideas to be implemented and there’s no reason why that can’t happen.

You’ve given me something to mull over. Thanks.

A rather dismissive attitude to take, economagic. I’m disappointed that you failed to appreciate the point I made about the origins of Mondragon.

Ruskin was an important influence on the handicraft movement. So was William Morris. A committed socialist

jessejean, an important thing for me is never to go by what people say about themselves, nor regimes. They are unreliable sources.

The official name for North Korea is Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Shall I take it that because they call themselves democratic, you believe what exists there is what democracy really means.

Words are important and can’t be readily re-defined at will.

The Bank of America started out as a local bank for the Italian immigrant community. Walmart was in the beginning a mom and pop convenience store.

Today’s capitalism should not be seen as a mere aberration to the otherwise “efficiency” of the hidden hand of the market, by giving it qualifiers, corporate-, monopoly-, crony- . Some even say compassionate-capitalism or humane-capitalism as if by saying something makes it so.

Some even have coopted the anarchist term, “libertarianism”, to describe an ideal form of capitalism. The correct terminology to call them is “propertarians.” as in Ursula Le Guin’s Dispossessed.

Capitalism is an economic and social system in which the means of production are privately owned. The owning employing class appropriate the surplus product created by the workers. This appropriation leads to the accumulation of more capital, the amassing of wealth, further investment, and thus the expansion of capitalism. Commodities are produced for the purpose of generating profit and promoting accumulation. Brief but Marx wrote several volumes of political economy describing capitalism.

When cooperatives are criticized it is not an abstract theoretical debate. We have near-on three hundred years of empirical evidence to go by, we have in 2012 approximately one billion people in 96 countries who are members of at least one cooperative. The turnover of the largest three hundred cooperatives in the world reached $2.2 trillion and all this shows that they are fully integrated in the global system of commerce.

Where speculation exists is the claim of those “smartest most committed economists of our time” who are trying to square the circle by seeking a half-revolution for a re-division of the pie slices. There very many reasons why it won’t happen.

Wolff’s theory and goals under Worker’s Self-Directed Enterprises are doomed for eventual failure under Capitalism due to the inherent nature of Capitalism. Since the requirements under Capitalism is to continually grow in order to achieve ongoing profits, it must be constantly looking for ways to reduce expenses or gain market share to assure current and future profits since competitors will also be looking to gain market share to improve their position (sales and profit) in the market place. This process is literally a race to the bottom where the product and/or service becomes priced so low that the only survivors, on a mass scale, are the oligopolies and monopolies.

For the employees, this translates to stagnant pay, low wages and an insecure job. Employees will always be at the forefront when employers need to reduce expenses because the cost of a workforce is not a fixed expense. Reducing the workforce – or the wages and benefits of the workforce – is the easiest expense to control and manipulate.

This is why cooperatives under Capitalism is a joke … and a sick and cruel joke at that! The whole idea of “employee ownership” being a “benefit” to the employees is a tale of lies. Additionally, if the employees were true owners, they would have all the rights of true ownership that includes management of all functions of the enterprise and control of the distribution of their produced products or services … which they don’t.

True employee ownership under a Socialist society means something entirely different. The employees will:

  • Own the means (buildings, raw stock, equipment, finished goods, etc.) of producing the products and services.
  • Manage (make all decisions, allocate human resources, order and allocate raw materials, etc.) the entire production of the products and services.
  • Distribute the products and services based on the self-defined needs of the people instead of focusing on generating a profit.

Here is a key component of a Socialist society that very few want to talk about. This is what will make a true (Marxist) Socialist Society work. In order to accomplish the purpose of a Socialist society, the system must be moneyless and wageless with all people having free access to the products and services needed based on their own self-defined needs of each individual and family.

“Genuine equality means not treating everyone the same, but attending equally to everyone’s different needs.”

Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right

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She is not a fraud-----and yes as I have pointed out in another post she is a true Roosevelt----she believes in fixing capitalism. And she is great at pointing out the theft from the one per cent. How do you ever have a discussion when you call someone a fraud. The great failure of the media is that there could be a real discussion about differing views but we get name calling and dirt thrown up so no one knows what the real discussion is. Right now people on the left should be fighting for healthcare-----take profit out of healthcare----this would be a major blow to the evil side of capitalism. And yes we all need to call out the militarism and demand that these candidates answer questions on foreign policy.

It’s interesting how the media put Warren and Sanders together----when Warren might be a more enlightened Joe Biden-----Warren called out Biden for his support of the credit card companies—and a lot of “reporters” were confused about this. I think Warren will be the compromise candidate-----but at the same time I must say Bernie looks strong.

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