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What is behind the economic crisis (Part 1)

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Ross Wolfe has posed four questions on his blog on the nature of economic crisis that I found very interesting. I want to offer my thought on them. Today I will address the first two questions.

1. Do we live in a crisis today? If so, what sort of crisis — political? economic? social?

If several simultaneously, how do these crises interrelate?

In other words, what effect does the present global economic downturn have on prospects for politicization? If it results in political radicalization, does it tend toward the Right or toward the Left?

Oppositely, does the absence of a viable leftist alternative today change the character of the social or economic crisis?

What sort of social consequences has the economic crisis generated, in terms of classes? Why the discourse (ideology) of “the disappearing middle class”? At a political level, has this social upheaval led to anything in the way of a renewed “class consciousness”? Is class still even important?

Read more…

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Categories: Off Blog

Reply to HettGutt_MRMarxist on my previous post, “Clueless”

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The redittor, HettGutt_MRMarxist, took exception with my argument in my last post on Bernanke’s monetarist theory of deflation. Since the writer raised several important points critiquing my argument, I thought it important  to reproduce comments here in their full form, along with my responses.

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Review: Marx’s Economics for Anarchists, by Wayne Price

November 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Wayne Price

Wayne Price’s “Marx’s Economics for Anarchists” makes the fatal error of treating Marx’s Capital as a description of how the economy works. This mistake Price makes is on the order of treating Einstein’s Theory as a description of how H-Bombs work. I suppose, in some limited fashion, Marx does give something approaching a description of “how capitalism works.” But, this was neither his project, nor even the most significant aspect of his life works. Even from the point of view of an anarchist like Price and his audience, what Marx explains in Capital of economic interest is insignificant.

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Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

October 2, 2011 6 comments

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on september 29, 2011


As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

Categories: Off Blog, Uncategorized

Voices from Occupy Wall Street posted to Gonzo Times

October 2, 2011 2 comments

I am posting a series of interviews I did last weekend at the Occupy Wall Street event in New York City. I want to present these interviews to folks not because I think the folks I interviewed have profound insight into this event, but because I think they are authentic voices of the event itself.

I went down to New York City with a desire to see the action for myself, unfiltered — to understand, based on the opinions of the participants themselves, just what they were trying to accomplish with their action. My questions were simple and direct: Why are you here? What do you do? Why did you choose to protest on Wall Street and not in Washington? How do you think Wall Street effects it control over American politics? How did you get to the point where you decided to take action? Who are the influential voices in political development, e.g., who do you read?

I had hoped to understand both the strengths and limitations of the event without inserting myself into the discussion. Therefore, I had no agenda, no goal beyond listening, no opinion on the topics the participant spoke to. I think the result can be very enlightening both for similar events now planned or in progress in various cities around the country.

You find the interviews here

“None of us know what triggered this attack”: How President Obama revised history

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment

President Obama speaking at the memorial service for the victims of the outrage in Tucson, Arizona. Having lulled us all by detailing the accomplishments and lives of the victims, he then proceeds to erase from our memory, and from history itself, two years of deliberate effort by the Party of Washington and the Party of Wall Street to whip their respective supporters into a frenzy of hatred and vitriol for purely partisan purposes, and as a means of exploiting the divisions of society to rule over society:

For the truth is none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped these shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man’s mind. Yes, we have to examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of such violence in the future. (Applause.) But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other. (Applause.) That we cannot do. (Applause.) That we cannot do. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.

Richard Wolff: Unemployment I: The Cost of Economic Crisis (Video)

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Richard Wolff gives his take on the pressing problem of unemployment.

Unfortunately, he could have phoned this lazy lecture in and stayed at home. Despite being a Marxist, he adds nothing to our understanding of the problem in any fashion. He even goes so far to identify exactly the wrong problem: which he identifies as a lack of jobs; when it clearly is not a jobs problem but the overworking of one portion of the population even as the other can find no work.

The result is a painful, predictable, and uncomfortably embarrassing performance. Brace yourself.

Vodpod videos no longer available.