Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Capitalism

Connecting the dots: Terror, Resistance, Extremism, Capitalism, Zionism….

The book of Robert Fisk “Afflictions of a Nation” and who covered the civil war of Lebanon for nine years, is a fantastic document for generations to come.,

Robert Fisk will be missed. He was one of the foreign reporters to be on the site of the massacres in the camps of  Sabra and Chatila in Beirut in 1982.

These camps had civilian Palestinians,downtrodden Lebanese… after the Palestinians fighters vacated to Tunisia and the USA promised the safety and security of the camps

Fisk witnessed the horrors and stench in the camps after 3 nights and 2 days of slaughter-hood and the mass grave that Israel army excavated in the Sport Stadium, pouring loads of chalk on layers after layers of dead bodies.

I wonder if those running and playing in the stadium realize they are exercising on thousands of dead bodies buried underneath them.

Although this civil war was very confusing, intricate, and complex Fisk kept covering the facts and events and interviewing people in distress.

From these documents, we can comprehend the genesis of many factions, events, and changes in political policies and strategies by States involved in the Lebanese civil war,  even though Fisk was overwhelmed and could not connect the dots at the time as a correspondent to The Times.

Fisk covered almost all war disasters, described the barbarity in minute details, in Lebanon and Ireland, and traveled under fire and confronted belligerent factions and road blocks.

Fisk last two years in Lebanon were plagued by frequent string of abductions of foreigners, especially US and French correspondents, media professionals, and other specialties.

Fisk tried his best to keep track of and search for the abducted companions…

Note: I posted several article on the Sabra and Chatila massacres. One of them is a thorough account of an Israeli Journalist/reporter, from A to Z

Anthropologists poking at Capitalism: With the 4-Field Manifesto? Part 2

Posted on March 1, 2012

Note: you may read the first part of this article https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/part-1-anthropologists-poking-at-capitalism-with-the-four-field-manifesto/

A short recapitulation of the first part. What kinds of fairy tales that capitalists dump on us?  

The premises of the market-capitalist religion are:

  1. Humans are naturally greedy-selfish.
  2. Capitalism harnesses greed and selfishness for productive dynamism.
  3. Capitalism successfully delivers the goods.
  4. Capitalism is invincible.

The second part is “on how Capitalism has not delivered the goods…”

Cultural Anthropology: Capitalism has not delivered the goods.

One reason anthropology knows more about capitalism than any other discipline is that anthropologists have not just studied capitalism from the inside: most anthropology was done with people subjected to capitalism, people who were often forced to provide the labor or coerced into furnishing the raw materials for capitalist dynamism.

For much of the world’s population, capitalism has already been a miserable failure.(Covid-19 pandemics has demonstrated this failure? Except for the mass media platforms?)

Of course indigenous response has varied:

1.  there have been those who have profited tremendously from capitalism;

2. people have ingeniously appropriated capitalist products and styles;

3. people have not just been pawns in the system but have actively influenced and altered that system; no one knows these facts better than anthropologists.Thomas Hylland Eriksen writes in a 2010 foreword to Eric Wolf’s Europe and the People Without History:

“Through the dual processes of integration and disintegration, wealth creation and poverty creation, empowerment and humiliation, global capitalism leaves contradictions in its wake. The story of contemporary globalization is not a straightforward saga of development and progress, Nor is it a simple tale of neo-colonialism and oppression.

It needs to be narrated from a local vantage point, and whatever their degrees of interconnectedness, localities are always unique blends of the old and the new, the endemic and the foreign, power and powerlessness”.

On balance, capitalism has at best been a mixed bag, at worst catastrophic.

And this fact applies not just on the edges of capitalism but at its heart. After some periods of relative stability and apparently fine-tuned management of the business cycle, we are back to lurching from crisis to crisis, in ways not seen since 1929 or the times of Marx and Engels. 

Trouillot wrote:

“Anthropologists are well placed to face these changes,

First by documenting them in ways that are consistent with our disciplinary history. The populations we traditionally study are often those most visibly affected by the ongoing polarization brought about by the new “spatiality” of the world economy. They descend directly from those who paid most heavily for the transformations of earlier times. . . .

We cannot abandon the four-fifths of humanity that the [ 1% ] see as increasingly useless to the world economy, not only because we built a discipline on the backs of their ancestors but also because the tradition of that discipline has long claimed that the fate of no human group can be irrelevant to humankind”.

The world needs cultural anthropology more than ever before.

We may disagree on the importance of Writing Culture–but we can agree that when much of the world’s population gets written off as irrelevant, then anthropological fieldwork has become even more necessary.

Back to Eriksen, who tells us Wolf’s “perspective is even more sorely needed than it was when Europe and the People Without History was written in the early 1980s”

Linguistic anthropology: Capitalism is not invincible

Capitalism is not just an economic system. What Trouillot terms the “geography of management” is accompanied by a “management of imagination” and a projection of “North Atlantic universals” through words like development, progress, and modernity:

“North Atlantic universals so defined are not merely descriptive or referential. They do not describe the world; they offer visions of the world. . . . They come to us loaded with aesthetic and stylistic sensibilities, religious and philosophical persuasions, cultural assumptions ranging from what it means to be a human being to the proper relationship between humans and the natural world, ideological choices ranging from the nature of the political to the possibilities of transformation. . . .

As a discipline, we have launched the most sustained critique of the specific proposals rooted in these universals within academe. Yet we have Not explored enough how much these universals set the terms of the debate and restricted the range of possible responses”.

It is here we most need the insights of a linguistic anthropology attuned to language and power, the condensed histories of words, and how words become harnessed to imagination.

Anna Tsing’s Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection contemplates a similar project, examining how the particular universals travel:

This brings to light a deep irony: Universalism is implicated in both imperial schemes to control the world and liberatory mobilizations for justice and empowerment. . . . Universals beckon to elite and excluded alike”

The world needs linguistic anthropology more than ever before. We may disagree on universal grammar or Sapir-Whorf, but we can agree that the imagination of capitalist invincibility is built on shaky and contested terms–terms that can also be used toward emancipatory ends.

Anthropology: Observe, describe, and propose

This account of contributions from each of anthropology’s major subfields is not meant to fragment and divide.

The world needs anthropology more than ever, for anthropologists to stand with anthropology as a whole. As Tim Ingold opens Being Alive: “I am an anthropologist: not a social or cultural anthropologist; not a biological or archaeological anthropologist; just an anthropologist” (So what is an anthropologist?)

Ingold’s comparison of anthropology with art and architecture is pertinent:

“The truth is that the propositions of art and architecture, to the extent that they carry force, must be grounded in a profound understanding of the lived world, and conversely that anthropological accounts of the manifold ways in which life is lived would be of no avail if they were not brought to bear on speculative inquiries into what the possibilities for human life might be.

Thus art, architecture and anthropology have in common that they observe, describe and propose.

There is a discipline waiting to be defined and named where those three fields meet, and if some readers would prefer to regard this book as a kind of manifesto for that discipline, then I shall not object”.

“After all, how could there have been a more perfect alignment of the stars than happened in 2008?

That year saw a wave election that left Democrats in control of both houses of congress, a Democratic president elected on a platform of “Change” coming to power at a moment of economic crisis so profound that radical measures of some sort were unavoidable, and at a time when popular rage against the nation’s financial elites was so intense that most Americans would have supported almost anything.

If it was not possible to enact any real progressive policies or legislation at such a moment, clearly, it would never be. Yet none were enacted. Instead Wall Street gained even greater control over the political process, and, since Republicans proved the only party willing to propose radical positions of any kind, the political center swung even further to the Right.

Clearly, if progressive change was Not possible through electoral means in 2008, it simply isn’t going to be possible at all. And that is exactly what very large numbers of Americans appear to have concluded”.

The article summerizes with the 10-recommandations:

1. That poverty and inequality–globally and regionally–be placed at the forefront of policy agendas.(Let kids have equal start in life, regardless of gender, race, financial comfort…)

2. Progressive income taxes and taxes on conspicuous consumption, with revenue devoted to a true national healthcare system: Medicare-for-All. (And free preventive health institutions)

3. Increasing inheritance taxes and other measures addressing wealth inequalities, with revenue devoted to prenatal care, infant nutrition and early childhood education. Particular attention to the ongoing racism manifest in infant-mortality disparities.

4. Abolition of off-shore tax havens, declaration of all income from investments, and full enforcement of capital-gains taxes, with revenue devoted to reparations.

5. Regulations on credit and banking so the financial industry becomes a boring sector dedicated to allocating investment, not a glamorous parade of outsized returns. Make banking boring again.

6. Investment in mass-transit and regional infrastructure to provide alternatives to individual automobiles.

7. An agricultural plan to phase out subsidies for mono-cropping, to encourage environmentally-sustainable farm management, and eliminate the tariffs harming the world’s poorest farmers.

8. A true jobs program to increase employment, with work targeted toward infrastructure improvement and environmentally-sensitive retrofitting. Consideration of measures such as reducing the work week in order to address contradictions of a high unemployment rate coupled to overwork by the employed.

9. Comprehensive immigration reform to bring rationality and humanity to a broken system.

10. Investment in education to create truly informed citizens. An educational system based on human holism, not just mono-dimensional economic efficiencies

Franz Boas in “An Anthropologist’s Credo, 1938)” wrote:

“In fact, my whole outlook upon social life is determined by the question: how can we recognize the shackles that tradition has laid upon us? For when we recognize them, we are also able to break them”.

Wallerstein wrote in The End of the World As We Know It: Social Science for the Twenty-First Century: “There is nothing to lose but our irrelevance. We can make the world less unjust; we can make it more beautiful; we can increase our cognition of it”

The life expectancy of irrelevance tends to be short.

More courageous and healthier is the acknowledgment of the many dead ends within the human disciplines brought about or brought to light by current global transformations, including the death of utopia.

Trouillot wrote:

“We might as well admit that all the human sciences may need more than a facelift; most will be deeply modified and others, in their current institutional shape, might disappear. As the world changes, so do disciplines

Note 1: Most excerpts were borrowed from the Findlay edition

How Slavery Led to Modern Capitalism?

Any direct connections between slavery and capitalism?

Posted on February 25, 2012

A slave being auctioned, 1861

A slave being auctioned, 1861. Source: Sketch by Thomas R. Davis, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

The story told about slavery is that it is almost always regional.  Wrong. It is an inherent US national story.

The story goes that slavery was a cruel institution of the southern States that would later secede from the Union. Slavery, in this telling, appears limited in scope, an unfortunate detour on the nation’s march to modernity, and certainly not the engine of American economic prosperity.  That’s a very funny story.

For example:

“New York City banker James Brown tallied his wealth of $1.5 million in 1842. Brown investments in the American South exceeded a quarter of his wealth, which was directly bound up in the ownership of slave plantations.  Brown was among the world’s most powerful dealers in raw cotton, and his family’s firm, Brown Brothers & Co., served as one of the most important sources of capital and foreign exchange to the U.S. economy.   Most of James’ time was devoted to managing slaves from the study of his Leonard Street brownstone in Lower Manhattan.

Nicholas Biddle’s United States Bank of Philadelphia funded banks in Mississippi to promote the expansion of plantation lands. Biddle recognized that slave-grown cotton was the only thing made in the U.S. that had the capacity to bring gold and silver into the vaults of the nation’s banks.

The same facts were recognized by the architects of New England‘s industrial revolution watched the price of cotton with rapt attention, for their textile mills would have been silent without the labor of slaves on distant plantations.

Consider the history of an antebellum Alabama dry-goods outfit called Lehman Brothers or a Rhode Island textile manufacturer that would become the antecedent firm of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.”

The story goes that the civil war was to abolishing slavery in the southern States.  That a lie and big smokescreen to reality.  

The northern modern capitalists, specially those born in the 1840’s and made their fortune building railways, telegraph, and media…wanted to keep controlling the southern gold goose: Cotton production transformed into gold by export, and worked by the black slaves.

The southern elite class of “nobility” wanted the gold to be kept in the south and not be controlled by the new northern capitalists class.

After the war, the north wanted gold to be the currency, and the south wanted the “Green-buck” paper currency as the national money because they had no gold anymore.

Gold or Green-buck, it didn’t matter to the north: the money presses were in the north anyway.  And slavery remained in the south, and was transferred in the north to making hats, shoes, hoes

The enterprises transformed slave-grown cotton into clothing; market other manufactured goods to plantation owner.  Or invest in securities tied to next year’s crop prices in places such as Liverpool and Le Havre….

America’s “take-off” in the 19th century wasn’t in spite of slavery; it was largely thanks to it.

And recent research in economic history goes further: It highlights the role that commodified human beings played in the emergence of modern capitalism itself.

Such revelations are hardly surprising in light of slavery’s role in spurring the nation’s economic development.

The U.S. won its independence from Britain just as it was becoming possible to imagine a liberal alternative to the mercantilist policies of the colonial era.

Those best situated to take advantage of these new opportunities — soon to be called “capitalists” — rarely started from scratch, but instead drew on wealth generated earlier in the robust Atlantic economy of slaves, sugar and tobacco.

Fathers who made their fortunes outfitting ships for distant voyages begat sons who built factories, chartered banks, incorporated canal and railroad enterprises, invested in government securities, and speculated in new financial instruments.

This recognizably modern capitalist economy was no less reliant on slavery than the mercantilist economy of the preceding century. Rather, it offered a wider range of opportunities to profit from the remote labor of slaves, especially as cotton emerged as the indispensable commodity of the age of industry.

This network linked Mississippi planters and Massachusetts manufacturers to the era’s great financial firms: the Barings, Browns and Rothschilds.

“A major financial crisis in 1837 revealed the interdependence of cotton planters, manufacturers and investors, and their collective dependence on the labor of slaves.

Leveraged cotton — pledged but not yet picked — led overseers to whip their slaves to pick more, and prodded auctioneers to liquidate slave families to cover the debts of the overextended.

The plantation didn’t just produce the commodities that fueled the broader economy, it also generated innovative business practices that would come to typify modern management.

As some of the most heavily capitalized enterprises in antebellum America, plantations offered early examples of time-motion studies and regimentation through clocks and bells.

Seeking ever-greater efficiencies in cotton picking, slaveholders reorganized their fields, regimented the workday, and implemented a system of vertical reporting that made overseers into managers answerable to those above for the labor of those below”.

Capitalists reworked the accounting methods: labor force was incorporated in human property depreciation in the bottom line as slaves aged, as well as new actuarial techniques to indemnify slaveholders from loss or damage to the men and women they owned.

Property rights in human beings also created a lengthy set of judicial opinions that would influence the broader sanctity of private property in U.S. law.

As scholars delve deeper into corporate archives and think more critically about coerced labor and capitalism, (perhaps informed by the current scale of human trafficking) the importance of slavery to American economic history will become inescapable.

Reparations lawsuits (since dismissed) generated evidence of slave insurance policies by Aetna and put Brown University and other elite educational institutions on notice that the slave-trade enterprises of their early benefactors were potential legal liabilities.

Recent State and municipal disclosure ordinances have forced firms such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wachovia Corp. to confront unsettling ancestors on their corporate family trees.

Note: Post inspired by the article of Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, historians at Harvard University and Brown University respectively.  They are  co-editing “Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development,”

To contact the writers of this post: Sven Beckert at beckert@fas.harvard.edu and Seth Rockman at Seth_Rockman@brown.edu.

Tidbits and comments. Part 404

La “verite'” est ce qui est assez coherent pour l’accepter avec un cas limite de de satisfaction.

Trump is not the first US president to express interest in purchasing Greenland. Harry Truman’s administration made an offer in 1946, after first considering trading Alaska for parts of the Arctic island. Before that, Andrew Johnson administration made a bid for Greenland.

$100 million: Amount the Truman administration offered to purchase Greenland. $500 billion: One estimate for how much it would cost to buy Greenland today.

n 1868, US secretary of state William Seward tasked Robert J. Walker, a former governor and US treasury secretary, with evaluating whether or not to buy Iceland and Greenland. Walker recommended both, “but especially the latter. The reasons are political and commercial.” The political reason was to outflank England and eventually make Canada part of the US; the commercial reasons were mineral wealth and fisheries.

Harry Truman floated the idea to better position the US against the Soviet Union, but America worked out political solutions with Denmark, including the creation of NATO, that obviated a purchase. In 1951, the US builds Thule Air Base on Greenland.

Mayhem in Israel: apartheid State of Israel is starting its downhill trend toward Chaos: Army commander begging settlers to carry arms to defend it. Sort like during colonial America, settlers should carry arms when out of their settlements

Why Bush Jr. had to claim “Mission Accomplished” in occupying Iraq on a aircraft carrier, wearing pilot outfit, when the mission had just started for “establishing a democratic state” in Iraq? All the previous statements about installing a democratic system in Iraq and eliminating weapons of mass destruction and… were packs of lies and throwing dust in the eyes of the US citizens and world community.

Apartheid: separate sets of laws to “citizens”, grouped on ethnic fictional fabrication.

Capitalism: separate set of privileges to classes of “citizens”, grouped on level of material slavery functions

When we talk of identity, we often think of groups such as black Muslim lesbians in wheelchairs. This is because identity only seems to become an issue when it is challenged or under threat.

Our classic Default Man is rarely under existential threat. Consequently, his identity remains not examined. It ambles along blithely, never having to stand up for its rights or to defend its homeland.

When talking about identity groups, the word “community” often crops up. The working class, gay people, black people or Muslims are always represented by a “community leader”.

The 20th century witnessed 140 armed conflicts, totaling more than 150 millions in casualties and at least 4 folds in severe injuries .  More than 20 conflicts produced over one million killed.  WWI generated about 9 million killed and WWII more than 60 millions.  Two dozen conflicts are still on going for decades and the toll is accumulating.

The state of the world: Russia is the largest land mass. China the most populous country. EU the largest economy union. USA the biggest bag of shit. Every US official thinks he is entitled overseas to threaten anyone of the US diktat.

The Deal of the Century is to maintain Israel existence as a State. The deal is to open the trade and maritime routes to Israel’s export from Morocco to Yemen, with insignificant transit fees. Egypt and Jordan are to be the main transit platforms.The Palestinians are to be the cheap workforce.  Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have already blocked this deal.

The English Channel is a boundary that mankind can’t stop pushing. Franky Zapata just crossed it on a hoverboard, but it’s also been crossed via hot air balloons, a hovercraft, an electric plane, a carbon-fiber wingsuit, a pedal-powered plane, and good old arms and legs. But the hardest way to cross might be by car, if Brexit throws the crucial economic link into chaos. This channel between France and England is one of the heaviest traffic for maritime commercial cargoes between the North Sea and the Atlantic

In many traditional gift economies, the trick is courting the elites. “This only work if you are a big enough company that the banks can tell themselves that you’ll one day give them a lucrative deal. If you’re not big and rich, you’ll have to pay for stuff.”

The gift economy is a tradition among social classes: The wealthier you are, the more expensive the gift should be. Actually, many are declining wedding invitations in order to save on the gift expenses.

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 164

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Hatred for Capitalism is basically theoretical. Hates were turned towards the other strangers, the “apostates”, the slaves, mother, father… 

So England is considering another referendum to join the EU: Could Not suffer being viewed as stupid as Trump.
Jack Bennett asked the homosexual Sami Davis Jr how much it costs him to be in that condition. He replied: “I’m one-eyed blind, Black and Jew. Is that handicapping enough?” I wonder why he decided to become a Jew. 
A month ago, Trump pronounced Jerusalem Capital of Israel. Since then 30 Palestinians were killed and thousands injured and hundreds administratively detained.
60,000 US psychiatrists declared Trump terribly mentally sick. Today, Trump’s private doctor said that this ailment is Not that dangerous.
“I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed, without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“We have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifices. Capitalism was built on the exploitation of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor, both black and white, both here and abroad”.- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Same fake narrative (as colported during the recapture of Aleppo) has now found its way to Idlib as the Syrian Army has been conducting an operation to clear the Nusra jihadist-held province of terrorists. Turkey and USA are Not happy with the quick progress of Syrian army.
Even Tellerson (US State Department) is siding with idiocy: He wants diplomatic as well as military presence in North Syria (against the wish of the Syrian government)
The responses generated in class to my query whether the students have any idea about this course prove that they have No knowledge whatsoever of Human Factors in engineering discipline, which is to design products and services with health, safety, and ease of use of consumers in mind.

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 119

Note 1: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains months-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

There is no such “Arab civilization”: it is the civilization of the people in the Middle-East (Syria, Iran, Egypt…) within the Islamic Empire. That the commanders of armies were selected from the “elite classes” in Mecca and Medina do Not constitute a civilization

Is it true the Maronite Patriarch is to visit Saudi Kingdom this Monday before they release from prison our Saad Hariri PM and return to Lebanon? The Lebanese have Not yet forgotten his treacherous visit to Israel.

Until Saudi Kingdom remove totally the blockade on Yemen, then Hezbollah of Lebanon will Not consider to tactically change its policies in Lebanon or Syria

The inner circle of Bashar Assad and of the Baath party before 2011, who punished the Syrian uprising for 3 years with constant air bombing of their villages and cities and forced millions to flee, should Not expect to be part of the political deal.

Two hubris mindsets: money-first mindset is being matched (attached) with the other mindset that says that any interference in the market is unnecessary and inefficient.

The demise of ISIS (Daesh) started when they applied their retrograde constraints, brutally and violently, on the civilized vast majority Sunnis in Syria and Iraq.

Lebanon President Aoun asked Maronite Patriarch to delay his visit to Saudi Kingdom until the clouds are cleared on the detention of Saad Hariri PM: Apparently, this treacherous Patriarch thinks he is above national entente

PaulaYacoubian fed Saad Hariri information in her questions that she guessed he had no access to them?

Black Water, US private security company, in charge of securing the prisons of Saudi princes?

The verdict of the greedy financial managers and analysts on this international financial crisis is: ” the culprit is a non-entity: It is human risk-taking nature, driven by greed for the enjoyment of the present moment.”

Capitalism is based on 4 foundations: Private property of means of production; free internal people movement and exchange (products, services…); open free market for commerce; and availability of a vast pool of people willing to work for salary.

Your worldview is a unique model that you tailored-made throughout your life, experiences, conditions, situations… in order to survive the thousands of daily problems, frustrations and barriers.

Lebanon President Aoun sent this message: We want our Saad Hariri PM back with All his family members. Saudi Kingdom still applies the tradition of keeping hostages, members of Key allied “leaders”

The frequent visits of Lebanon Saad Hariri PM to Saudi Kingdom were to visit his family members, kept hostages, when Kingdom was satisfied with his “performances”

As if Iraq and Iran needed a major earthquake (7.2) to taste the horrors of a wide range of calamities. Half a dozen major cities (over 500,000 each were affected). So far, 500 killed, 8,000 injured and 13,000 demolished properties. The same region of Karmanchah is still being hit by repetitive earthquakes of magnitude 5.

The Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon agreed Not to display the Cross in Saudi Kingdom. It would be lovely if all religious sects hide their stupid symbols under their tunic (3abayat)

What plagues us in human behaviors is that the one-directional minded people are the ones who frequently suggest flexibility of the mind. And they constitute the vast majority in the Silent Majority

You have these Lebanese who say: “Just show me a single event where Saudi Kingdom was Not good to Lebanon”. As if in the political history of Lebanon pseudo-State ever took a position that dissatisfied the the Saudi mind-set.

Saad Hariri fi mar7alat ta2ammol? ma ba3da raj3ati ila Loubnan? Moubaya3at Baha2?

Since when does Capitalism exist to maximize civilization?

Unbridled

There’s a school of thought that argues that markets are the solution to everything. That money is the best indication of value created.

That generating maximum value for shareholders is the only job. That the invisible hand of the market is the best scorekeeper and allocator. “How much money can you make?” is the dominant question.

And frequently, this money-first mindset is being matched with one that says that any interference in the market is unnecessary and inefficient.

That we shouldn’t have the FDA, that businesses should be free to discriminate on any axis , that a worker’s rights disappear at the door of the factory or the customer’s at the lunch counter–if you don’t like it, find a new job, a new business to patronize, the market will adjust.

Taken together, this financial ratchet creates a harsh daily reality. The race to the bottom kicks in, and even those that would ordinarily want to do more, contribute more and care more find themselves unable to compete, because the ratchet continues to turn.

The problem with a race to the bottom is that you might win. Worse, you could come in second.

There are no capitalist utopias.

No country and no market where unfettered capitalism creates the best possible outcome. Not one.

They suffer from smog, from a declining state of education and health, and most of all, from too little humanity. Every time that the powerful tool of capitalism makes things better it succeeds because it works within boundaries.

It’s worth noting that no unbridled horse has ever won an important race.

The best way for capitalism to do its job is for its proponents to insist on clear rules, fairly enforced.

To insist that organizations not only enjoy the benefits of what they create, but bear the costs as well.

To fight against cronyism and special interests, and on behalf of workers, of communities and education. That’s a ratchet that moves in the right direction.

Civilization doesn’t exist to maximize capitalism.

Capitalism exists to maximize civilization. (And failing because it confused optimum and sustainability with maximization?)

Any more scare-tactics arguments to support failed Capitalism?

Capitalism has always generated massive inequalities, but there were three majors political arguments to counterbalance that fact.

First, trickle-down economics, the idea that if the rich get richer, the poorest layer of society will do better. That’s no longer the case.

Second: capitalism brings stability. Again, no longer the case.

Third: it would accelerate the path of technological innovation. No longer the case. Except when the military contribute its big budget for specific innovation.

So, what’s left for the supporters of capitalism now that all practical arguments are gone?

They have no choice but to revert to purely moral arguments, that is the ideology of debt:
1. (“people who don’t pay their debt are bad”), And entire nations too, in the form of sovereign debt
2. the idea that if you’re not working harder than you would like in a job that you don’t particularly enjoy, then you are a bad person.”

The history of the economy in the USA was based on taking risk and if you go bankrupt, no blame, blemish or financial harassment would accrue to you or your family. You go back and start another business.

This is No longer the case, since financial multinationals is acquiring every business generating any surplus. Especially, overseas and developing States.

Pope Francis: How can we have peace if arms trade are that profitable?

What place Capitalism occupies in humanity?

Le Pape François a reçu Paris Match au Vatican.

Dans une interview exclusive accordée à l’hebdomadaire, le Saint-Père a déploré la place qu’occupe le capitalisme dans l’humanité.

Selon lui, “le capitalisme et le profit ne sont pas diaboliques si on ne les transforme pas en idoles.

Ils ne le sont pas s’ils restent des instruments”.

En revanche, nuance le Pape, “si l’argent et le profit à tout prix deviennent des fétiches qu’on adore, si l’avidité est à la base de notre système social et économique, alors nos sociétés courent à la ruine”.

Le Pape appelle les sociétés à se recentrer sur les valeurs essentielles de l’humanité et à faire abstraction de cette course au profit qui anime le monde.

L’humanité doit renoncer à idolâtrer l’argent et doit replacer au centre la personne humaine, sa dignité, le bien commun, le futur des générations qui peupleront la Terre après nous a-t-il déclaré.

Lors de son discours au siège de l’ONU en septembre dernier, le souverain pontife avait expliqué attendre qu’un accord soit trouvé sur la lutte contre le réchauffement climatique, au terme de la COP21. Dans les colonnes de Paris Match, le Pape espère que la conférence sur le climat “pourra contribuer à des choix concrets, partagés et visant, pour le bien commun, le long terme”.

Très engagé, le Saint-Père s’est également exprimé sur la situation en Syrie et n’a pas hésité à dénoncer l’hypocrisie de certains dirigeants.

N’oublions pas non plus l’hypocrisie de ces puissants de la Terre qui parlent de paix mais qui, en sous-main, vendent des armes” a-t-il déploré.

Note: No profit without Capitalism? Is profit synonymous to exploitation? Why we attach “profit” to all negative connotations? Can any investment be done without a level of profit from human labor? 

Can we let Capitalism Die and Move On?

By Joe Brewer / medium.com

Death can be very painful and confusing. This is true for economic systems just as it is for personal loved ones.

Moving on is just a hard thing to do.

It’s really tough to work through all the difficult feelings we have about loss. Will I see my grandmother again? What am I to do now that my father is gone? How does this change who I am as a person?

The same struggles we feel losing a family member are present — in their own way — as a society goes through the deep rifts of change when a paradigm comes to an end.

How will I find work now that there are no living-wage jobs? What should I study in school? Should I even go to college? Does it make sense to start a family in a world where global warming is changing everything?

Questions like these are painfully real. And every single one of us alive today has to find our own answers.

So let me ask:  will the 7.4 billion humans alive today be capable of letting capitalism die with dignity?

 I’ve been writing a lot lately about how the pain we feel is capitalism dying, that the mental disease of shame and humiliation is due to late-stage capitalism, how a healing process is needed, and the brokenness we feel in our own lives is what makes it possible to seed a better future.

What I haven’t written about  is the flip side of this massive upheaval. In order to create something new, we have to let go of a dying world order. And death is painful. It hurts a lot.

Many people aren’t ready to admit to themselves that the capitalist system we are living in has created mass povertyunprecedented wealth inequality, systemic corruption, and is damaging the ecological systems of the Earth so much that our civilization is in peril.

The drive for monetary profits — greed in its purest form — is literally killing us. So we have a choice to make. We either cling to the death and decay within ourselves and go down with the sinking ship.

Or we do the hard spiritual work of facing death with loving grace and let it go, freeing ourselves to begin the long process of building a new life for ourselves.

The harsh truth is that there is no turning back now. It’s too late to “get back to better days”, a pattern of denial that refuses to acknowledge that things have fundamentally changed.

While many people still cling to the past — as we can see in the current US election where many want to keep outsiders at bay, hold onto outdated ideals, and return to a prior time that only exists in their minds — it is essential for us all to wake up and look around.

Everything has changed. And it is only changing faster, with an intensity unlike anything that has come before. None of our ancestors lived on a planet at ecological capacity.

No one has seen the collapse of ocean fisheries, or watched global markets crash with spectacular consequences, as we are seeing today.

We are now in the crucible of change. Natural disasters strike urban centers that grew exponentially in the last hundred years. Our feet are stomped down on the accelerator as we race into the future whose past will not be an adequate guide.

Can we do it? I believe we can.

My optimism is hard-won. I have stood next to my dying mother and held her hand as the last quiver of life faded away. I have buried family and friends, standing over cold graves on frozen earth.

My heart has broken many times before and somehow in those dark trials I’ve found new resolve to carry on that I scarcely suspected might hide deep inside of me.

I suspect that many of you have felt this too. We have all experienced loss.

It is this part of our lives that can guide us forward. We can feel into the uncertainty and pain.

We can find ourselves in the most unexpected of places. And we can carry on.

When we do this, we might even discover that the future is better than the past.

That a world that doesn’t hoard money confused for wealth, a world that doesn’t see nature as a body to be raped and spoiled, a world that treats all human beings as worthy of dignity (not just those in our own tribe)… such a world is possible.

Yet it is not inevitable. It must be intentionally built brick by brick.

And that work of building a new world cannot properly begin until we let go of a dying past and move on.

Onward, fellow humans.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2021
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