Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:26 AM
matmar (593 posts)
Our economic system - is it Capitalism or Financialism?
Last edited Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:28 AM - Edit history (1)
Capitalism used to build things with a profit. Financialism looks for profit no matter the cost.
7 replies, 814 views
Our economic system - is it Capitalism or Financialism? (Original post)
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Response to Risen Demon (Reply #1)
Tue Jun 19, 2012, 12:35 PM
freshwest (37,140 posts)
4. Upton Sinclair said: 'Fascim is capitalism plus murder.'
I'd read this as a statement made about the murders of people trying to save the rain forests in Brazil. It was direct about the demand for profits over people and other things considered inanimate units on the botton line. My search didn't give me the article I wanted and that writer's story, but I obtained this:
There were corporations as far back as the 18th century, and beyond. In the United States, corporations were public bodies. Basically, they were associations. A bunch of people could get together and say we want to build a bridge over this river, and could get a state charter which allowed them to do that, precisely that and nothing more. The corporation had no rights of individual persons. The model for the corporation back at the time of the framing of the Constitution was a municipality. Through the 19th century, that began to change.
In the United States, around the turn of the century, through radical judicial activism, the courts changed crucially the concept of the corporation. They simply redefined them so as to grant not only privileges to property owners, but also to what legal historians call 'collectivist legal entities'.
Corporations, in other words, were granted early in this century the rights of persons, in fact, immortal persons, and persons of immense power. And they were freed from the need to restrict themselves to the grants of state charters.
That's a very big change. It's essentially establishing major private tyrannies, which are furthermore unaccountable, because they're protected by First Amendment rights, freedom from search and seizure and so on, so you can't figure out what they're doing.
After the Second World War, it was well understood in the business world that they were going to have to have state coordination, subsidy, and a kind of socialization of costs and risks. The only question was how to do that. The method that was hit upon pretty quickly was the 'Pentagon system' (including the DOE, AEC, NASA). These publicly-subsidized systems have been the core of the dynamic sectors of the American economy ever since - (much the same is true of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, etc., relying on different public sources).
It's a form of tyranny. But, that's the whole point of corporatization - to try to remove the public from making decisions over their own fate, to limit the public arena, to control opinion, to make sure that the fundamental decisions that determine how the world is going to be run - which includes production, commerce, distribution, thought, social policy, foreign policy, everything - are not in the hands of the public, but rather in the hands of highly concentrated private power. In effect, tyranny unaccountable to the public.
In a formal democratic system, the dictator is replaced by the corporation, functioning through the "free market." So-called structural adjustment programs and austerity of neoliberal policies have this unfortunate collateral damage, of people dying. If you want to call it murder, I couldn't argue much with it. ~Peter
Norm Chomsky said it briefly, but I thought that was good:
The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.
~ Noam Chomsky
I"m sure you've read the FDR and other definitions, but I'm putting these here for those who haven't seen them We've been treated to years of propaganda to get our eyes off the rough facts of what we're captured inside of now:
The ﬁrst truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Message from the President of the United States Transmitting Recommendations Relative to the Strengthening and Enforcement of Anti-trust Laws.
In a 1995 essay "Eternal Fascism", the Italian writer and academic Umberto Eco attempts to list general properties of fascist ideology. He claims that it is not possible to organise these into a coherent system, but that "it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it". He uses the term "Ur-fascism" as a generic description of different historical forms of fascism.
The features of fascism he lists are as follows:
"The Cult of Tradition", combining cultural syncretism with a rejection of modernism (often disguised as a rejection of capitalism).
"The Cult of Action for Action's Sake", which dictates that action is of value in itself, and should be taken without intellectual reﬂection. This, says Eco, is connected with anti-intellectualism and irrationalism, and often manifests in attacks on modern culture and science.
"Disagreement is Treason" - fascism devalues intellectual discourse and critical reasoning as barriers to action.
"Fear of Difference", which fascism seeks to exploit and exacerbate, often in the form of racism or an appeal against foreigners and immigrants.
"Appeal to a Frustrated Middle Class", fearing economic pressure from the demands and aspirations of lower social groups.
"Obsession With a plot" and the hyping-up of an enemy threat. This often involves an appeal to xenophobia or the identiﬁcation of an internal security threat. He cites Pat Robertson's book The New World Order as a prominent example of a plot obsession.
"Paciﬁsm is Trafﬁcking With the Enemy" because "Life is Permanent Warfare" - there must always be an enemy to ﬁght.
"Contempt for the Weak" - although a fascist society is elitist, everybody in the society is educated to become a hero.
"Selective Populism" - the People have a common will, which is not delegated but interpreted by a leader. This may involve doubt being cast upon a democratic institution, because "it no longer represents the Voice of the People".
"Newspeak" - fascism employs and promotes an impoverished vocabulary in order to limit critical reasoning.
I can't provide a working link to those last two things, as the originals have been scrubbed. But they describe what we've been treated to most of our lives from the conservatives. And if it was possilbe to have a discussion with them, one might sway them out of it. But it's not likely. because now when I google, I get search results about liberal fascism, the New Deal was fascism, etc. Our knowledge base is being destroyed.
But Corporatism is still there:
Response to matmar (Original post)
Tue Jun 19, 2012, 12:24 PM
HopeHoops (47,675 posts)
3. An oligarchy and/or plutocracy from that perspective. Fascist at the state level.
The sands of time were eroded by the river of constant change - Genesis
Response to matmar (Original post)
Tue Jun 19, 2012, 12:38 PM
Starry Messenger (22,970 posts)
5. Capitalism is entirely about profits.
The expansion of finance capitalism is the next stage when the home markets have gotten too bloated and you've skimmed the marks too much. Which you can do with impunity because you run the state for your benefit.
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Response to matmar (Original post)
Tue Jun 19, 2012, 12:43 PM
JHB (18,882 posts)
7. It's a mixed economy. Right now we have a rotten mix.
Weighted heavily towards concentrating wealth, after a continuing campaign to remove mechanisms to break up those concentrations.
Have you noticed how the same people who characterize our economic policies during the Cold War as "socialism" seem intent on dismantling the economic system that defeated Communism and sending us back to the economic system that spawned it?