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Catch the Bern – The Impossible becomes the Inevitable

Hope, one world where many worlds fit and where everyone has a place (Zapatistas), is the radical hope of system change and is not incremental or cosmetic change

Capitalism contains crisis as rain clouds contain rain (Jean Jaures in the 19th century). War and speculation are normalized in late stage financial capitalism. Contradictions like labor as only a cost and not also vital demand are faded away in a system where the richest 65 according to Oxfam have more wealth than 3 1/2 billion people.

Shareholder value capitalism worships profit and short-term constraints and makes long-term necessities and alternatives taboo. Labor becomes a cost factor, society moves into a modern feudal mode, communities are reduced to locations for capital, public education is seen as a prize of billions and respecting other civilizations is called pre-modern.

We squandered energy and assumed that nature was only a free good, external or sink instead of our partner and hope for future strength. Neoliberalism confused the goat with the gardener, ends and means, private and public, part and whole and real and imaginary. Those who make decisions and turn private risks into public risks must take responsibility and liability for their decisions.

Our thinking has to change and become more inclusive and post-material or we adopt the “Newspeak” of the ruling class.

See more at www.kickitover.org and www.onthecommons.org

Posted in Alternative Economics, Neoliberalism, trickle-down economics | Leave a comment

Energy for tomorrow, 15 pp

Energy for tomorrow, 15 pp

Markus Vogt
Energy for tomorrow
Perspectives of the transition to a post-fossil economy
This article has been published in the series “Church and Society”, as no. 387,
edited by the Catholic Centre of Social Sciences at Mönchengladbach (North-
Rhine-Westphalia)
Translated from German by Mrs. A. Elmendorff-Pfeifer, Düsseldorf

http://ordosocialis.de/pdf/M.Vogt/Energy%20for%20tomorrow.pdf

Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

New Ebook Anthology “Alternative Economics: Reversing Stagnation”

New 159-page ebook anthology “Alternative Economics: Reversing Stagnation” by Marc Batko, $2.99 from Barnes & Noble Nook ebooks:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alternative-economics-marc-batko/1123209914?ean=2940157719968#productInfoTabs

The time is right for alternative economics, reducing working hours, redefining state and market and re-envisioning work, security, health and strength. More and more work is done by fewer and fewer people. In Germany, the GDP rose 300% in 50 years with 20% fewer workers.

Mainstream neoliberal economics has no answer to exploding inequality and destruction of nature.

This anthology “Alternative Economics: Reversing Stagnation” includes 3 translator’s introductions, 3 poems from the translator, 12 articles by Tomas Konicz, and articles by Ulrike Herrmann, Helmut Martens, Franz Garnreiter, Sven Giegold, Karl Georg Zinn, Mohssen Massarat, Joachim Bischoff, Andreas Kolbe and Attac. New priorities, assumptions and policies are vital.

The financial sector should be shriveled and the public sector expanded. The myths of self-healing markets, efficient financial markets, nature as a free good, external and sink, infinite growth in a finite world, quantitative growth and the exact sciences eclipsing qualitative growth and the human sciences (history, literature, play, language, sociology, political science, philosophy) and private opulence next to public squalor (cf. John Kenneth Galbraith) must call us to rethinking – individually and collectively.

Alternative Austrian, Swiss, Polish and German economists can alert us to the bankruptcy of austerity policy and fiscal policy aiding capital at the expense of workers and the environment. The future economic policy must be regional and decentralized. A post-materialist economy is possible as we transition from excess to access and more to enough. Work, health, strength, security and happiness can be redefined. The rights of nature can be respected in a future of moderation, equality and freedom.

More and more is produced with fewer and fewer workers. Work and income have uncoupled as people cannot survive on their earnings from work and depend on credits and loans. Michael Schwendinger explains that reducing working hours can be a socio-economic investment giving workers more time sovereignty and better long-term health. Reducing working hours is a response to increased productivity and is the only way to assure everyone of the right to meaningful work

Posted in Alternative Economics, Environmental Economics, Financial Market Capitalism | 1 Comment

Why are the Lambs Silent? by Rainer Mausfeld

Why are the Lambs Silent? by Rainer Mausfeld, Jan 18, 2016

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/02/431754.shtml

Techniques – fragmentation and propaganda – make serious violations of moral norms by the ruling elites morally and cognitively invisible to the population. With many examples, professor Mausfeld gives insight in the actual management of our democracy and how people are kept in apathy and in the illusion of being informed.

“You already know enough. So do I. We don’t lack knowledge. What is missing is the courage to understand what we know and draw conclusions.”
Sven Lindquist (1992). Exterminate All the Brutes.

For Paul Lazarsfeld, the mass media is the “most respectable and efficient of social narcotics.” When citizens feel informed by the mass media, they are so overpowered by their feeling of being informed that “the addict is kept from recognizing his own malady,” Lazarsfeld diagnoses.

Controlling opinions is more important than purely emotional control because opinions are usually more stable than emotions. Therefore a special importance comes to techniques that can control opinions. No special knowledge of psychology is needed for these simple techniques. They are the standard methods of the mass media:

1. Declare facts to be opinions. Dealing with facts as though they are mere opinions is one of the most frightening aspects of totalitarian thought systems, Hannah Arendt explained.

2. Fragment the presentation of connected facts so the context is lost.

3. De-contextualize facts so they are removed from their real contexts and seem as isolated cases.

4. Re-contextualize facts, embed them in a new context with “positive” accompaniments so they lose their original context and the possible potential of moral indignation…

RELATED LINK

New Ebook Anthology “Alternative Economics: Reversing Stagnation,” 140 pp, translated by Marc Batko, Feb 28, 2016
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/604567

Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

Neoliberal Indoctrination by Rainer Mausfeld

Neoliberal Indoctrination
by Rainer Mausfeld, January 2016

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/02/431734.shtml

Neoliberalism tells the poor and weak that they are responsible for their misery. The true extent of social poverty barely reaches the public. A re-feudalization bomb rages and investors seek privatizing the public education system. People are atomized and obscured by psycho-techniques that make resistance against this inhuman system impossible.

Neoliberalism – after European colonialism – is the greatest redistribution project of history. Considerable indoctrination and disciplining efforts are necessary to accept and even join in this battle song against their actual experiences and against their own interests. In a democracy, it is important to conceal and make invisible the real goal of redistribution from bottom to top.

Neoliberalism causes one disaster after another worldwide and aims at producing consumers who only find a social identity as consumers in a socially atomized society.

Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

Ignoring the Limits

to read the articles by Sonja Fercher and Georg Feigt, click on

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/02/431720.shtml
This crisis is only another warning shot of the current economic system and could offer a unique window of opportunity to leave behind the neoliberal path of development taken since the end of the 1970s. The measures taken after the 2008 crisis have a symbolic nature and aren’t effective regulations of the financial markets. The root of the problem must be treated and this root is the economic model based on growth and exploitation of nature.

Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

Coup from Above by Wilhelm Neurohr

Coup from Above
TTIP and Democracy
by Wilhelm Neurohr, October 1, 2015

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/02/431701.shtml

Free trade agreements serve geo-political goals. They are the “weapons,” so to speak, in the global economic war. They produce a few winners and many losers. Critical persons see through this and rebel against “corporate rule” and against the dissolution of the primacy of politics by the primacy of the economy…

Unelected trade commissioners prepare a coup from above – in a secret mission with hundreds of lobby organizations and transnational corporations. Our elected politicians should not be involved as accomplices and henchmen. Mammoth corporations have more power than emperors and popes ever had. TTIP is the final struggle. If TTIP passes,the crucial battle is lost.

Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

New Ebook Anthology “Alternative Economics: Reversing Stagnation,” 135 pp

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/604567

This new ebook anthology will be available from Smashwords.com from Feb 22 for $3.99!

The anthology “Alternative Economics: Reversing Stagnation” includes 3 translator’s introductions, 3 poems from the translator, 12 articles by Tomas Konicz, and articles by Ulrike Herrmann, Helmut Martens, Franz Garnreiter, Sven Giegold, Karl Georg Zinn, Mohssen Massarat, Joachim Bischoff, Andreas Kolbe. Attac and the Rosa Luxemburg foundation. New priorities, assumptions and policies are vital. Less
The financial sector should be shriveled and the public sector expanded. The myths of self-healing markets, efficient financial markets, nature as a free good, external and sink, infinite growth in a finite world, quantitative growth and the exact sciences eclipsing qualitative growth and the human sciences (history, literature, play, language, sociology, political science, philosophy) and private opulence next to public squalor (cf. John Kenneth Galbraith) must call us to rethinking – individually and collectively.

Alternative Austrian, Swiss, Polish and German economists can alert us to the bankruptcy of austerity policy and fiscal policy aiding capital at the expense of workers and the environment. The future economic policy must be regional and decentralized. A post-materialist economy is possible as we transition from excess to access and more to enough. Work, health, strength, security and happiness can be redefined. The rights of nature can be respected in a future of moderation, equality and freedom.

More and more is produced with fewer and fewer workers. Work and income have uncoupled as people cannot survive on their earnings from work and depend on credits and loans. Reducing working hours is a response to increased productivity and is the only way to assure everyone of the right to meaningful work. Reducing working hours, as Michael Schwendinger explains, is a socio-economic investment that protects long-term health interests and gives people more time sovereignty

Here is an thumbnail outline of several alternative economists. Peter Ulrich is a Swiss economist. The economy must be embedded in society. Society must not be embedded in the economy. Ulrich Thielemann is a Swiss and German economist. Profit making is not profit maximizing. Studying economics today is like brainwashing. Tomasz Konicz is a Polish economist. The 30 year crisis is not an Obama crisis. Wages were stagnant for 35 years. Credit was expanded. Families worked 3 or 4 jobs. Health care, education and housing became unaffordable. The US became a black hole for the global economy.

Personal performance always depends on the work of past generations and state interventions. Americans fall to a new feudalism with the deserving and undeserving, fear-mongering and racism. Pragmatism or market religion often replaces vision, principle and courage. Confusing speculation and investment makes the next crisis inevitable. Wall Street banks spent $10 billion in campaign contribution and lobbying ensuring corruption, weak financial deregulation and shifting private losses to public taxpayers.

Available formats: epub mobi pdf lrf pdb txt html
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Translator’s Foreword

Translator’s Introduction

Three Poems for the New World

A. ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS: PLURALISM AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST

1. Ulrike Herrmann: The Crisis of Economists

2. Helmut Martens: Social Inequality Today

3. Attac: Learning Economic Democracy

Introduction

Causes of the Global Financial Crisis

The Neoclassical Crisis Narrative

The Keynesian Crisis Narrative

The Marxist Crisis Narrative

4. For the Renewal of Economics: Memorandum of Shocked Economists

B. ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS: SHRIVELING THE FINANCIAL SECTOR AND EXPANDING THE PUBLIC SECTOR

1. Tomasz Konacz: From Real Estate Speculation to Collapse of Global Deficit Economy

2. From the Debt Showdown into the Recession

3. The Crisis Explained

4. Democracy in Crisis: The Terror of Economy is a Danger to Democracy

5. The Extremist Society

6. In a Vicious Circle

7. Addicted to Liquidity Injections

8. Tea Party: Extremism of the Middle

9. Financial Market Inflammation

10. Ways Out of Capitalism

11. Everything Must Go!

12. The Great Liquidity Bubble

13. Joachim Bischoff: Finance-driven Capitalism

14. Joachim Bischoff: Alternatives to Stagnation and Depression

15. Karl Georg Zinn: The Catastrophe Has Already Begun

C. ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS: REJECTING MILITARISM AND NEOLIBERALISM

1. Mohssen Massarat: Less Growth and Less Work

2. Mohssen Massarat: The Military-Industrial Complex is the Greatest Threat for World Peace in our Time

3. Michael Schwendinger: Reduced Working Hours as a Socio-economic Investment

4. Franz Garnreiter: Criticism of Market Theory and Market Ideology

5. Andreas Kolbe: The Coded World

6. Sven Giegold: The Lobby for Tax Evaders

7. Ernst Wolff: Janet Yellen’s Storytime

8. Ulrich Duchrow: Ecological Justice Instead of Growth Economy for the Rich

9. Asbjorn Wahl: How Can We Join the Struggles Against Austerity and Climate Change?

APPENDIX: MYTHS OF THE ECONOMY

Authors Index

Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

Audio: What’s Wrong with TPP? 27 min

Audio: What’s Wrong with the TPP?
Scott Sinclair, Michael Geist and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Feb 1, 2016, 27 min

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/multimedia/altpolicy-episode-4

Canada has said it will sign on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new twelve-country international economic pact. But the corporate-driven TPP is about much more than “free trade”, and concerns are mounting. We go in-depth with four experts: Scott Sinclair, director of the CCPA’s Trade and Investment Research Project; Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce law at the University of Ottawa; Meghan Sali, digital rights specialist at OpenMedia; and Stuart Trew, editor of the CCPA Monitor.

OpenMedia: https://openmedia.org/en/ca
Michael Geist: http://michaelgeist.ca/

CCPA’s coverage of the TPP:

The TPP and Canada by Scott Sinclair and Stewart Trew
TPP Will Cost Canada 58,000 Jobs, Won’t Grow Economy by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood

Reviewing the TPP: Trudeau’s best-case scenario by Scott Sinclair and Stewart Trew

– See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/multimedia/altpolicy-episode-4#sthash.SNOTldX3.dpuf

Posted in TTIP - Free Trade agreement | Leave a comment

Capitalism’s growth problem by David F. Guccio

https://rwer.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/capitalisms-growth-problem/#more-22125
Contemporary capitalism has a big problem. And no one seems to be able to refute it.

The problem, as Robert J. Gordon sees it, is that economic growth is slowing down, it has been for decades, and there’s no prospect for a resumption of fast economic growth in the foreseeable future. After fifty (from 1920 to 1970) years of relatively fast growth, and a single decade (the 1950s) of spectacular growth, the prospects for continued growth seem to have dimmed after 1970.

In the century after the end of the Civil War, life in the United States changed beyond recognition. There was a revolution—an economic, rather than a political one—which freed people from an unremitting daily grind of manual labor and household drudgery and a life of darkness, isolation and early death. By the 1970s, many manual, outdoor jobs had been replaced by work in air-conditioned environments, housework was increasingly performed by machines, darkness was replaced by electric light, and isolation was replaced not only by travel, but also by color television, which brought the world into the living room. Most importantly, a newborn infant could expect to live not to the age of 45, but to 72. This economic revolution was unique—and unrepeatable, because so many of its achievements could happen only once. . .

Since 1970, economic growth has been dazzling and disappointing. This apparent paradox is resolved when we recognize that recent advances have mostly occurred in a narrow sphere of activity having to do with entertainment, communications and the collection and processing of information. For the rest of what humans care about—food, clothing, shelter, transportation, health and working conditions both inside and outside the home—progress has slowed since 1970, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

From what I have read, Gordon appears to privilege technical innovation over other factors (such as dispossessing non-capitalist producers and creating a large class of wage-laborers, concentrating them in factories and cities, and so on). He also seems to argue that the fruits of past economic growth were evenly distributed and that the drudgery of work itself has been eliminated.

Still, the idea that rapid economic growth took place during a relatively short period of time dispels one of the central myths of capitalism, much as the discovery that relative equality in the distribution of wealth and constant factor shares characterized an exceptional phase of capitalism…

We certainly don’t know what lies ahead. But, since the 1970s, we’ve witnessed growing inequality in the distribution of income and wealth, which resulted in and in turn was exacerbated by the most severe economic crisis since the 1930s. Capitalism’s legitimacy, based on “just deserts” and economic stability, was already being called into question. Decades of slow economic growth and the real possibility that that trend might continue for the foreseeable future mean that capitalism (not to mention those who spend their time celebrating capitalism’s successes and failing to imagine alternatives) has an even bigger problem.

Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment