Can Obama Save Capitalism?

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Original article, and editorial, via Socialist Appeal (US):

The capitalist system may well be suffering the worst crisis in its history. According to George Soros, billionaire investor and frank analyst of the system he defends, the world financial system has in effect disintegrated and there is no possibility of a near-term resolution to the crisis. He believes that the turbulence is in fact worse than during the Great Depression and that the current crisis is equivalent to the collapse of the Soviet Union. As he recently told an audience at Columbia University: “[Capitalism] was placed on life support, and it’s still on life support. There’s no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom.”

This isn’t news. We all see it every day. Even with the stimulus bill and the bailouts, capitalism totters on (one might even think over) the brink. Why is this? In simple terms, capitalism needs to expand to succeed. Period. When expansion happens, the system seems to work fairly well (unless, as Ross Perot put it, you look under the hood). The problem is that expansions always stop. The problem with capitalism is that there’s no room in it’s theory as to what to do when the expansion stops. Hence, government intervention to save the capitalists.

Obama called it a “day of reckoning.” Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve chairman and top adviser to President Barack Obama, told the same audience: “I don’t remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world.”

Ah, globalization! Globalization, of course, was an effort to spread the tentacles of capitalism across the globe. And much like a hentai scene from somewhere like, it was spread through a great swath of the world. And now, when capitalism has failed, a great swath of the world suffers. Mind you, the rich and super rich have much more to fall back on than most of the people in the rest of the world, so capitalism’s failure has been lessened in effect for them.

The editorial goes on and lists a series of statistics about the economic collapse we are currently experiencing. Here’s what the unemployed are looking at right now in the US:

Those losing their jobs are finding it more difficult than ever to find employment. Todd Wilson, an Overland Park, Kansas computer salesman, put it this way: “Anybody who is looking for a job now is feeling an economic tsunami. It feels like all of a sudden, it has just fallen apart.” According to Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, there are four unemployed workers competing for every available job. “There are literally millions of workers unemployed with no hope of finding a new job. The queue is just too long.” And according to Mid-America Regional Council chief economist Frank Lenk, for every corporate job lost, an average of two other jobs will be lost.

Which brings us to the subject of the editorial:

And this is where Barack Obama enters the picture. The capitalist class, represented in government by the Democrats and Republicans, has also had its confidence shaken. They are unsure how best to proceed. Some argue that the market should be allowed to “adjust itself,” while others advocate Keynesian state intervention and a new “New Deal.” But while they may be divided on how best to get the economy moving again, they are unanimous in their defense of the capitalist system as a whole.

The capitalist class. That’s an interesting term, isn’t it? Not the rich or super rich, not the shop owners and entrepreneurs, but the capitalist class. The interesting thing is that most of us, due to propaganda and conditioning, long to be in that capitalist class. Why? Everybody wants to be rich, even though not everybody can. The golden ring is capitalism’s siren call. The American Dream is it’s mythological goal. And we in the US, for the most part, have bought into it.

Not once will you hear Obama, Bush, Biden, Cheney, the Clintons or the rest raise any doubts about the system itself. They are also well aware that the social consequences of the crisis could spiral out of their control. They have therefore chosen the best man they could find for the job: Barack Obama. He has in turn put together a galaxy of pro-capitalist and imperialist talent to assist him in carrying out his policies. The 44th president’s historic task is clear: to preserve the United States of America as we know it today. That is to say, his role is to defend the U.S. capitalist system in its epoch of imperialist decay.

Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  Do you think he only meant personal lives?  It’s likely he also meant the life of the state (if Plato is to be believed, Socrates died in part due to examining the life of the state, as well as individuals).  And so to keep the blinkers on about capitalism should tell us something about our political and economic classes.

Read the rest of the editorial.  You can see what lies ahead for us if we don’t take a hard look at our current economic model.  You may not agree with the conclusions, but I think the writer(s) hit the mark in their critique.  We are at a point where the economic direction of the country is being set (probably for the next half century or so).  The effects of that choice will be felt by at least parts of the next three generations or so (at least).  It’s up to us to make sure that our political and economic leaders choose wisely.

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  1. Trillions for the bankster frauds, less than one-tenth of that for the rest of the country.  Hmmmmmm….

  2. That was quick…and as a reward…

  3. … as presently constituted (NB) … what we can hope is that its fall can be moderated to the point that replacement institutions can be built as it crumbles so that fewer lives are destroyed in the collapse.

    (NB. If the phrase ‘capitalism’ means a broad enough generic academic definition of capitalism, which has so far been flexible enough to stretch over wandering traders putting out materials and collecting finished textile from cottage workers, the hellish mills of Dickens England, the Fordist Detroit car factory of the 1950’s and the globalised corporate capitalism of today … well, then it will be a matter of whether its convenient or inconvenient to call whatever we come up with next “capitalism”, since the term is proven rubbery enough to fit an extraordinarily broad range of different social institutions)


  4. Over the last couple of decades the GDP of the nation doubled.  Did your paycheck double?  Of course not.  The increase in income was kept by the “capitalist class”.  Then instead of sharing the increase with the workers who created it in increased wages, the capitalist class loaned the money back to you so you could make ends meet as your income stagnated and prices continued to rise.

    Why would you want to save this system?  Now is the time to choose another system.

  5. …How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too,” by James K. Galbraith, son of John Kenneth Galbraith, and also a Keynsian, is an excellent and clear read on this general subject.  

    Rather than Capitalism in general, however, he addresses himself to the failures of “conservative economic policy” which, Galbraith asserts, “leads to disaster.”  

    Probably, however, unfettered, unregulated, free market capitalism and conservative economic policy are synonymous.  But the adjectival qualifyers are important, as I think that regulated, controlled capitalism, which protects against the sociopathic (or pathological) greed of the Made-Offs blends into socialism and is possible.

    Just thinking!   And I do recommend Galbraith’s book.

  6. was not chosen to save capitalism but to kill it faster.

    Let me just point to “our” enemies list.  Venezuela,Iran,Russia or rather anybody who does not embrace the global world model.  Fat Cat Illminati Chief Henry Kissinger even came right out and said it.

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