Anticapitalist meetup 7/25 situation

goinsouth tried to post an anticapitalist meetup over at Kos today, and someone or something was monkeying with the HTML.

goinsouth tried to have a conversation about this article by Immanuel Wallerstein.  Here were the questions that were intended to accompany the piece:

And two procedural questions:

1) Move the time to 6 PM Sunday for next week?

2) Who will lead?

And three discussion questions:

1) Do you buy Wallerstein’s argument about capitalism being in crisis?

2) In which of Wallerstein’s four groups would you place yourself and why?

3) Where are the battlegrounds on which this contest is being fought.

So that’s the state of the anticapitalist meetup over at Kos.  It was a great success last week when I ran the discussion — now it’s in chaos because something’s wrong with the system over there.  War on Error complained to me about it, too, so I know it’s not just me or goinsouth.


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  1. It’s nice to read that Wallerstein has reasons for believing in a terminal crisis of capitalism, although it’s hard to see how the crisis of capitalism is articulated as a terminal crisis in the passage you selected.  Capitalism has gone through crises before — the downturn of 1929-1932 is probably the most famous one — and survived out the other end.  What is to say it won’t survive the current financial crisis?

    Now, MY reasons for thinking it won’t survive are based upon ecosystems factors — the world-society and the working class have simply been “maxed out” by the capitalist system, and so there’s simply no frontier left into which the capitalist system can expand — and problems of power.  The other end of it is that capital has simply gotten so wealthy and powerful that its demand for profits can neither be stopped, nor satisfied, and so capital itself is likely to destroy the capitalist system and institute some sort of kleptocratic global governance.

    • Edger on July 26, 2010 at 00:54

    now over there, Cass. Goinsouth’s diary is displaying normally as far as I can see…

  2. I concur with him on the issue of crisis, on economic cyclic decline of the west  and the decline of the Old Left.  This is what I have been calling “the 21st Century Social Crisis” in comments here and to a lesser extent at Orange.  The 20th Century Synthesis, that of capital retaining overall system control and definition, while providing for varying degrees of social democratic welfare state spending and liberal business regulation, is washed away or being washed away, almost everywhere.  

    The two factors cited above, the growth of the capitalist economy and the rise of the Old Left, were the two forces that collided in the early to mid 20th century, creating in their impact that 20th Century Synthesis.  Now both of those basic social forces are gone, the 20th Century Synthesis is not only smashed but irretrievable with the social forces which created it gone.

    Where I disagree with Wallerstein is that I don’t see any decline of US/Corporate global hegemony, I see it strengthened, if only by the subtraction of the Soviet Union.  It needs to take more “collegial” forms now, in the G-8 or G-20, but does eanything ever emerge from those meetings that are not on the US agenda?  Does anything the US opposes ever move forward in any meaningful way?

    At the same time, the raw powers of both state and corporation grow more unchecked.  The do not provide checks on one another, rather they enable one another.  Combine this increasing empowerment of the dominant social institutions on the one hand, with the chaos resulting form the end of the Synthesis, declining standards of living, and social disorganization of the working classes, and the main outlines of the 21st Century Social Crisis start to become clear.  Hegemony becomes ever more aggressive in its ever more desperate efforts to milk sufficient profit out of an era of economic decline.  In a state of total political and economic disintegration, the working classes bereft of the institutions of the Old Left have no means of imposing any conditions, even any minimal standards, on the hegemony of the Corporate State.

    It is in this conundrum of failing power in dialectical contact with powerlessness that we see the insurrectional and quasi-insurrectional type movements we’ve seen in places as disparate as Argentina, Iceland and Greece all around the fringes of the empire.  What operates in one decade on the fringes of Empire frequently operates in the next in the metropolis.

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