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, May 11, 2012

What Americans can Learn from Eurocrisis

Click here to access 13:37m video interview with Michael Hudson on the Real News Network.

The interview begins with a discussion of the results in the recent European elections, then moves to the political scene in the US, and finally a general discussion of the extreme difficulty of effecting change within Western countries. Hudson explains how all the left parties, regardless of names suggesting real alternatives such as various "socialist" parties use, are caught up in the same dynamics of a political process controlled by the One Percent. Hence, none of the parties allowed to participate in elections can ever offer any true alternative policies.

Michael Hudson is about as far left as the ruling One Percent class will tolerate--actually barely tolerate. Although he is allowed to keep teaching at the U. of Missouri and is hired by various foreign government agencies as a consultant, he is never provided an opportunity to appear in any mainstream media programs. 

As a political liberal who wants to preserve the capitalist system, he sees the current reign of the financiers as the bad guys who interfere with the operations of the capitalist system while corrupting the political process. He doesn't see that the evolution of capitalism, a system that appropriates socially produced wealth for private "owners", from wealth extracted by industry into wealth extracted by obscure debt instruments--financial capitalism--as anything other than an aberration of capitalism which could easily be solved by returning to an earlier model of a regulated industrial capitalism. 

Capitalism has reached the final stage of wealth accumulation which is now in the hands of financiers who have nothing more to offer ordinary people than more debt, austerity, endless wars, and a climate of fear. Meanwhile, they pretend to be concerned about "greening" the economy as they continue to pillage the ecosystem. If we of the 99 Percent allow them to have their way, this will all result initially in a nightmarish fascist dystopia, and eventually in the destruction of conditions that can support human life.

Capitalism at any stage has always meant misery for the vast majority of people. The system of capitalism cannot return to an earlier stage no more than can an individual who has turned out to be a criminal return to earlier age when he was such a cute little boy.