r we fcuk-ed?

Jeremy Horne, Ph.D.
Alamogordo, NM

"President Obama and the Democrats failed to seize the moment...". They didn't? Why am I not surprised? There are two major issues to ponder, here.

First is the very viability of the U.S. corporatist system, itself. Remember that Italian Fascism was a response to a collapsing capitalism; it was a "pragmatic" system that, even with a basic philosophy, was an experiment. Mussolini, himself, wrote that fascists must watch the "Roosevelt experiment" closely. A coherent argument can be made that what F.D.R. did, as necessary as it was, also was an fascist experiment, albeit with an American twist. Robert Gibbs hops about attempting to reach for the butterflies of employment and financial stability, but we should look at how rotten to the core is the corporatist platform on which he stands. U.S. corporatism no longer is sustainable, as it has exported its productive base in the form of outsourcing and has allowed parasitic wealth ("investments", speculation, "derivatives", and the like) to become the foundation of the value of negotiable instruments (including money). As the velocity of capital slows down, no productive engine can start up to generate wealth based on labor power. The house of cards now is collapsing, and a massive public works program, while critically necessary, will not save corporatism in the long run. We have to search for a political economic alternative that is more steady state, cooperatively based, and not dependent just on upon production. As a start, we need to return to the labor theory of value.

Second, people in the U.S. seem to be in a tunnel when it comes to political parties. In logic, we call it "false dilemma", a fallacy as old as the hills. You only can do A or do B. Both parties can look for solutions only within their narrow corporatist ideological (system of ideas not subject to question) framework. Of course, neither party can be expected to break out of the mold, offering nationalization of major industries and banks, socialization of medicine, massive public works projects even larger than those vetted by FDR, or major support for labor organizations and workers' democracy. Systems that remain viable are the ones that can adapt, and this one is not doing well; it is constricted by an ideology of corporatism just as severely as was the former U.S.S.R constricted with its version of communism. Until people start thinking critically and philosophically, at the same time getting educated, we will continue to rattle down the road that other degenerating empires have taken.

Colesville, MD

The housing-financial crisis started in 2007 and is ongoing and the real reason has always been lack of investment outlets due to relative overproduction and overcapacity of utilization of means of production. Overproduction is due to lack of effective demand that was the result of stagnated wage levels for the past four decades. Stagnated wage levels created economic stagnation. In addition, the stagnated real economy discouraged investment in real or production economic sector and diverted funds or profits to the non-real or fictitious economy, namely the sector of monopoly finance capital, which manipulates money but does not produce real value for the economy, as we know it. Finance capitalists can mutually redistribute money capitals by changing hands among themselves. In this way, they do not hire workers to produce commodity, so they do not help workers create any value for the society. Unemployment keeps rising with no effective means to reverse the trend.

Because the finance capitalists pass over the labor power or the value creator, their “investment” is not constrained by lack of investment outlets in real economy. The monopoly finance capital makes a lot more money than the real sector. Their profits transferred from the production sector have skyrocketed and weighed in an ever-larger proportion of the G.D.P.

Money capital in the cash form rises to $1.8 trillion in the first quarter of 2010 for the production sector and that for the finance sector may be comparable if not larger. The unduly large combined amount of idled cash waiting for borrowers to take actions lowers down the interest rate. Savers suffer a great deal whereas borrowers including speculators on capital markets gain handsomely. The Federal Reserve has become an Automatic Transaction Machine for the finance capital, which can borrow at almost zero interest rate and turn around making an obscene fortune effortlessly. Under such a thriving way of making easy money, who is going to be interested in hiring workers for production given uncertain return for investment?

President Obama and the Democrats failed to seize the moment on the economy almost two years ago because of the formation of the axis of Geithner-Summers-Bernanke who represent Wall Street interests and care for the most part the perverse interests of monopoly finance capital. This evil axis, while issuing a license to steal to the finance capital, the country is paying the price for Obama, Democrats and Republican’s spinelessness.

The country is in a state of decline because the monopoly finance capital has usurped the power of the nation-state and governments.

Once the monopoly finance capital has grown to such a big size that their influences have been as large as to enable private nations inside a public nation-state, no regulation and reform will change their business-as- usual nature based on willful and instinctive capital accumulation that do great harm to society. The leopard cannot change his spots, no matter how daring one tries.

There are many reasons why we have to transform the monopoly economy into a public-owned people’s economy. The most important two of them are:
1. Modern-day industries such as petroleum do not serve the society as before; they actually serve the monopoly finance capital for most of their purposes. Industrial capital becomes subservient to the finance capital. Since the monopoly finance capital is the sole owner of the government and of the nation-state, the consumption market of people loses their control power of the economy out to the finance monopoly.
2. Capital and environmental calamity rescue and ecological sustainability are mutually antagonistic. Development of monopoly capitalism means unsustainable growth and any sustainable green energy development policy will be impossible under the for-private-profit system unless people concede major portion of their real income to the monopoly capital.
The current system is an obstacle to the progresses of the society and barrier to the production force. Its political design is so woefully out-of-date that reform alone is of no use to societal survival, because the economic infrastructure or the for-private-profit social relation of production is hopeless anathematic to the needs of people and nature.

We need a direct democratic system replacing the current inept faux democratic system to fight now seemingly unbeatable foe of nationalization.

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