Sunday, November 21, 2010

Modern Day Marxism


[Marx] offered lots of insights into how society works, and he was an extremely good analyst of the current events of the day. I think he would take it for granted that elites are basically Marxist - they believe in class analysis, they believe in class struggle, and in a really business-run society like the United States, the business elites are deeply committed to class struggle and are engaged in it all the time. And they understand. They're instinctive Marxists; they don't have to read it.

Warren Buffett:

“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

What on earth could he mean?


Americans have the highest income inequality in the rich world and over the past 20–30 years Americans have also experienced the greatest increase in income inequality among rich nations. The more detailed the data we can use to observe this change, the more skewed the change appears to be... the majority of large gains are indeed at the top of the distribution.

Neoliberalism, all that b-s about privatization, deregulation, economic reform etc etc has in fact been nothing but a plot to reestablish high and growing income inequality. Congratulations, well done. You've succeeded. Can we have a revolution now?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christopher Hitchens Catches his Death of Cancer

I'm not some kind of droog kicking drunks in the street. One's opponents should be sober at least and preferably in good health also. But it's hard to avoid this remarkable statement from Hitchens:

I'm glad we're not having an inquest now, as we would be, into why we allowed a Rwanda or a Congo to develop on the Gulf, an imploding Iraq right in front of our eyes, a vortex of violence and meltdown, a whole society beggared and fractured and traumatised, waiting to fall to pieces.

But that is exactly what happened in Iraq, as a direct result of the illegal and criminal invasion which you, the traitor Hitchens, aggressively supported. Surely you, Hitchens, cannot be unaware of this fact?


One of the bitter aspects of that is, well, I put in 60 years at the coalface, I worked very hard. In the last few years I've got a fair amount of recognition for it. In my opinion, actually, rather more than I deserve. Certainly more than I expected. And I could have looked forward to a few years of, shall we say, cruising speed, you know, just, as it were, relishing that, enjoying it.

Hitchens sold his soul to the devil to get his reward of money, fame, success and recognition. Instead, he got terminal cancer.

Truly pitiful.

Hitchens decided to switch his support to the US Empire over the criminal, baseless, counterproductive, disastrous, genocidal Iraq war.

It's like someone who decides to support Soviet Russia, not during the 1917 Revolution or the 1941 Great Patriotic war, but during the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia or the 1979 Afghanistan invasion.

You would have thought even the slowest of them would know better by then.

God didn't strike Hitchens down with cancer over his atheism or imperialism, he did to to give us a bitter, ironic laugh at this World-Historical clown figure.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Randall Wray on USS Titanic QEII


Maintaining the dollar's international appeal also requires imposition of the rule of law in the US. Currently, the fraud perpetrated by the biggest banks is far worse than anything the Russian kleptocrats and mafia combined could possibly imagine. The US is in the grips of the worst scandals in world history, with the financial sector no longer constrained by anything that would be recognizable as lawful practice. And that is the biggest threat to the dollar as international reserve currency. Unless the top banks are closed, with their management jailed, there really is no hope for the US dollar or for its economy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

21st Century Jubilee

Steve Keen:

We should write the debt off, bankrupt the banks, nationalize the financial system, and start all over again.

We need a twenty-first century jubilee.

[We’re going into] a never-ending depression unless we repudiate the debt, which never should have been extended in the first place.

If we keep the parasitic banking sector alive, the economy dies. We have to kill the parasites and give a chance to the real economy to thrive once more and stop the financial [crooks] doing what they did this time around ever again.

Chifley was right. We need to nationalize the banks. But the time to do it is when they become bankrupt in a depression, not twenty years later when they have recovered their strength. The coming financial crash in Australia is an historic opportunity to achieve this.

The provision of finance and credit in the economy is an essential public utility - it cannot be left to the inherently corrupt and inefficient private sector based on some delusional cargo-cult ideology of "the free market always lands the goods".

The issue becomes clearer by the day and maybe will come to a head. The Giant Vampire Squid of the financial sector (like some monster out of the imagination of Clark Ashton Smith) needs to be ripped off the head and neck of the real economy where it has been feasting and poisoning, and stamped repeatedly into the ground until it is completely lifeless.

But Steve Keen does not say what Michael Hudson does: that rents and surpluses also need to be nationalized or socialized because those are the income streams that become pledged to banks as interest in the financialized economy. Without doing that, we will be on the treadmill again to another crisis 18 years down the track. This is a far more radical and permanent solution than what Keen proposes, which looks almost mild in comparison in spite of its shocking directness.