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

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Coercive Power of Capitalism

Click here to access article by Yves Smith from her blog Naked Capitalism. (Note: There are numerous minor errors sprinkled throughout, but one must make allowances for bloggers (like myself) who write in haste on a daily basis. For example, "concommitent" must be a French word for concomitant.)

She describes what several other political observers have expressed: there is currently a buildup of social pressures that could result in some explosive social consequences. I think she's right, although she doesn't articulate it: we are headed either for a revolution or a full-fledged police state.
...you can see the obvious tension: the capitalist classes in America, to increase their riches further, have been squeezing workers harder by not hiring as they did in the past. We’ve never had a “recovery” in the post-WWII era with so little of GDP growth going to labor (meaning both hiring and wage increases). In the past, the average was over 60% and the lowest was 55%. I haven’t seen a recent update, but the last figures I saw was that the level for this “recovery” was under 30%. Yet simultaneously, theres’s a full-bore effort on to gut the remaining safety nets. If this isn’t a prescription for social and political instability, I don’t know what is.
She provides a very stimulating essay about the more hidden coercive powers of capitalists. There is much food for thought here, and she leaves us with a "conundrum".