Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/29/seven-secrets-2020
As ALWAYS…Spot On
Somebody put this Guy in Charge
That’s right Yanis - ‘because things are the way they are’ - huge, wrenching change is in the works - in fact, is already upon us.
Good article. Indeed 2020 has been a revelatory year in both private and public spheres. While this list is a good frame, it sheds a bit of a black and white reasoning. For ex. governments exercised (some) power, but was it purely in the interest of the people? or was it more in the interest of the powerful few? If more of the latter, not much fundamentally changed in the use of government power then. Amazon would not have made the gains it did, had the government stepped in and provided emergency distribution logistics instead - in the case of US - with just a drop from the military budget.
Actually, I think WE THE PEOPLE will have to do that. Here in the US retired economics professor Richard Wolf is an excellent compliment to the gentleman I like to think of as the Leather Bound, cycle riding Long Ranger.
Yesterday’s 30 minutes:
Time to resume War Tax Resistance.
Quaker historian Paul Buckley discusses the history of Quaker war tax resistance since the founding of the Religious Society of Friends:
Time to pull out my War Resisters pin
“It is not hard to see that capitalists can do much better with less competition.”
So right you are, John D. Rockefeller once quipped that “completion is a sin.”
Prof. Varoufakis, I’ve read two or three of your books and you helped me learn a lot about geopolitical economics.
Enjoy Austin, I did my graduate studies there–great town, but the traffic is getting to be a bit much these days.
It’s always interesting to read Varoufakis.
In this case, I do not think that it is entirely accurate that the governments “grew teeth.” They acted in behest of the corporations.They could not act at the behest of each corporations because all corporations do not have identical interests, but that is usually the case, as it has been: were one to really imagine that money were value and corporations persons, then you might also consider the Western governments democracies. That leaves no particular conclusion to derive regarding the relative power of the two entities insofar as they are distinct.
What does emerge, I think, is that Varoufakis’ word technofeudalism is in reality a profoundly descriptive word for capitalism in general. There is no distinction to make here. In feudalism, the many paid obeisance to an oligarchic minority said to own the land. The land was overwhelmingly the major element of production–and not only the primary element of production, as it remains today. With the rise of technologically driven production and communications, the abstractions and semiotic shell games around money took on a sort of zombie-vampire artificial life, creating all sorts of earthly judgements to which they had no natural relevance, so that production has come to be based mostly on destruction, and distribution mostly on withholding and coercion.
This happened under feudalism as well, but has become amplified. The egalitarian impulses that generated the so-called Enlightenment and Age of Reason have been almost completely deferred by mechanized violence, organized disinformation, and the mythologies of a “free” market, an “equality before the law” without respect to economic equality, the “entrepreneur” as a benign and creative force, and an “American dream” that confused property with autonomy.
I like Varoufakis’ image of the water receding and revealing structures that had determined events. This has been increasingly the case as information exchange has left the traditional push media and moved online and has government, at least within the US, has become progressively more draconian and egregious with each succeeding administration over two generations.
We would be fools to fail to imagine that we will not soon see worse that we have. The rot does not embody the center of human relations, but it does embody the center of our concept of governance and of distribution.
Many countries fell victim to the Wall Street architects’ global hawking of subprime mortgages, with little to no recovery. Another scheme is always being cooked up.
It’s been an absolute eye-opener…
Thanks for your awareness and poignant perception, as ever, Yanis…
I also appreciated how the first lock-down seem to engender people to appreciate nature more and question what-should-be-‘normal’…
But we have to MOVE now -and Very Quickly, -and as a world, to radically sort this climate catastrophe that’s already in our midst! We know we can do it, but will we,(before it’s to late!?)