We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Rerun: “Toothless Fed”

by Yves Smith from Naked Capitalism. 

This reprinted post from this website illustrates how vexed liberals are to understand the system and to defend it. IMO, they simply don't understand, or unwilling to face the facts, that the fundamental driving forces of capitalism--individual acquisition of wealth, ownership rights over wealth produced by working people, etc--result in behaviors characterized by greed, manipulation, and gaming the system so that it becomes what it is today--economic ruin with islands of wealthy people amidst seas of poor people. Thus the people running this system are perfectly "reasonable", although sociopathic.
Geithner seems like a reasonable guy. And that is what ought to trouble us. He seems to have drunk the Kook Aid by which reasonable people believe it is important to continue to demonstrate reasonableness by assuming that others with great power are also reasonable. Yet, as we’ve seen in the political sphere, that is a fatal assumption. And, I believe we’ll see the same thing in the financial sphere. The folks in charge are not reasonable. They are after profits and wealth for themselves. And, while self-interest has a long storied past as a powerful motive force for the good when it is kept in check by reason, even Adam Smith noted that the assumption that reason would keep it in check was foolish.

It's the economic system, stupid!