Please Disrupt Capitalism! and The Return of Hope by Andreya Schneider-Dorr and Horst Eberlein http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2019/05/437450.shtml
The old quotation from Gramsci describes our plight: “The old dies and the new cannot come into the world. It is the time of the monster.”
The Good News is that the time of no alternatives is over. The Bad News is that the wrong alternatives are discussed. How can we be heroes of the new story-line? A social security net does not suddenly become worthless. We become heroes of the story-line through enlightenment and data protection.
30% off on the eBook “Alternative Economics: Reversing Stagnation” with the coupon LY56W until May 31
Marc Batko is willing and able to ask the tough questions that are sorely needing answers, but unfortunately do not get asked enough. What kind of society do we really want to live in? How can we transition from ”excess to access and from more to enough”? What steps do we need to take to deconstruct and revitalize our failed economic system?
Here, Batko not only shows that it is possible, but also precisely how it can be done. Presented as an assortment of essays by various European alternative economists, each article discusses a particularly troubling aspect of our current crisis in reflective detail. The European explanations of how we came to be in such a predicament are both refreshing and eye-opening, as it is made clear that American neoliberalism and mainstream market-radical economic theory is to blame. As the author points out, the economy has such a powerful influence on our day-to-day lives, and yet so few of us really understand its true nature and how it works. There is a huge disparity in the knowledge of the general public and the amount of ”expert” knowledge that mainstream economists are willing to make accessible.
What is rational in micro-economics (e.g. being competitive) can be irrational in macro-economics (e.g. countries beset with mass unemployment). Neoliberal myths and fairy-tales like efficient financial markets, “finance drives the real economy,” the market is self-healing, growth can be infinite, nature is only a free good, external or sink and speculation is positive, have led to 1% owning as much as 99%. The financial sector should be shriveled and the public sector expanded. These are lessons from the 2008 financial meltdown.
The state can become indebted for future and present generations since it isn’t a business or a Swabian housewife. As crisis is represented by the same Chinese letter as opportunity, investments leading to a more human future can be positive. Don’t be caught by the Trumpian inversion of consciousness where sharing and cooperation are decried as weaknesses!
Radical change and alternative economics are imperative when cynicism replaces trust and scapegoating and fear-mongering on the federal level replace domestic and foreign policy!
The mainstream parties have imploded because they serve the trickle-down profiteers and the corporate media subverts the will of the majority. A Sanders/Warren or Sanders/Colbert ticket would turn away from profit-extremism. The state should serve the public interest and not be an errand boy of the banks (Bill Moyers) coddling private or special interests.
more at www.academia.edu, www.openculture.com, www.therealnews.com, www.onthecommons.org, and www.steadystate.org
Freedom of the Press is Dead Worldwide When Unpleasant Journalists Can Be Simply Redefined as a “Hostile Secret Service“
by Mathias Broeckers, 4/16/2019 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2019/04/437420.shtml
CIA Director Pompeo claims Wikileaks is a “hostile secret service” and Julian Assange is not a journalist. Wikileaks embodies what a free press should do as the fourth branch – control power. Democracy cannot function without watchdogs. Watchdogs and whistle-blowers must be under special protection.
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.
Swiss, Austrian, Polish, and German critical economists could help us find a future-friendly economics. Reducing working hours could be discovered as a socio-economic investment. Trickle-down economics has no answer to exploding inequality and precarious work. Another world is possible and another economics is necessary! Celebrate your independence! Happy reading and happy research!
“There is a beautiful fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen where the devil builds a mirror that distorts everything beautiful and good into nothing. The most glorious countrysides appear like boiled spinach, the best persons are repulsive or without torsos.. This mirror cancels the creation itself. I asked myself whether or not Andersen meant instrumental reason.”
Don’t blame immigrants for escaping desperate situations.
Make the connection between:
Immigrants from Honduras & the US-sponsored Coup in 2009
The US roots of MS-13 & immigrants from El Salvador
Immigrants from Mexico & NAFTA’s disastrous impact on the Mexican economy
by Ernst Wolff, 10/1/2017 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2019/04/437397.shtml
Corporations are subsidized with trillions. In their “competition,” small and medium-size businesses are the fools. The lobby-politicians only give the trillions to big corporations.
Corporations depend on subsidies. In the last decades, a complex subsidy jungle exists in nearly all states through which private corporations are continuously promoted with tax funds. This subsidy net has become a kind of heart-lung machine, “socialism for the rich” or “new feudalism.”
Thomas Piketty, the economist and author of the 700-page “Capital in the 21st century, describes neoliberalism as an “inequality machine” and urges a Wealth Tax to avert plutocracy. Life in the 21st century resembles life in the “Roaring 90s” when the top 1% had more than 90%. Neoliberal myths include: (1) The market is self-healing and creates living-wage jobs, (2) CEOs are job creators and workers are cost-factors, (3) Finance drives the real economy, (4) the state is the problem, not the solution, (5) financial markets tend to equilibrium, (6) high profits lead to greater investment and more jobs. and (7) sharing and redistribution discourage achievement. In reality, all personal and social achievement is based on state investment in schools, hospitals, libraries, roads, water safety, food quality, and airwaves. Market distortions include: (1) Tax havens, (2) Micro-second betting, (3) Stock buybacks and (4) Insider trading. Corporations and the super-rich shift their profits to miniature states like Lichtenstein and the Cayman Islands and states and communities suffer revenue shortfalls. When does progressive economic theory replace myths and fairy-tales?
The human right of housing is subverted by the right of speculation. When speculation is unbridled, sharks are protected against the sardinsardines. This article by the Swiss emeritus professor Arnold Kunzli is translated from the German in Neue Wege.
Housing as a Human Right
By Arnold Kunzli
[Arnold Kunzli’s lecture “Housing as a Human Right” presented at the
1990 Bern peace week and broadcast later by radio DRS is translated by
Marc Batko from the German in the Swiss Neue Wege 84, June 1990. The
text shows that a right to housing also includes a right to land but
that these two rights cannot be realized within existing property
structures. Only a distribution of land ownership in a discretionary
property of communes and a revenue property of individuals enables the
human right to land and housing to be guaranteed to all people. As in
his latest book “Rescue Freedom from its Protectors!”, Professor Kunzli
(Zurich) reveals in this lecture how little capitalism and human rights
are compatible with one another.]
The Idea of Human Rights
The idea of human rights, as we understand it today, was conceived
during that secular movement of emancipation called the age of the
Enlightenment. It implies that certain innate, inalienable basic rights
come to the person, to every person without exception, owing only to
the fact that he or she was born as a person, independent of sex, age,
intelligence, race and membership to a class, religion and nation,
independent even from time and space. These rights have a pre-political
or supra-political character and are valid absolutely and universally.
Standing above the positive law, they cannot be balanced, decreed or
abolished and form the substance of what is called human dignity.
– In the formulation of the 1776 American Declaration of
Independence composed by Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be
self-evident that all persons are created equal endowed by their Creator
with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness.”
Decisions affecting social development are in the hands of private investors and state policy depends on their actions. The increasingly unequal income- and wealth distribution is the result of a strategic governmental policy that reacted to a capitalist crisis.
The social consensus made possible the relative stability of liberal democracy up to the 1970s. In the meantime, this has reversed. Looking to the future opens up uncertainty and anxiety and not hope anymore.