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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Monopoly capital

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...monopoly capitalists don’t strive to increase their accumulation to the maximum extent possible. Instead, large portions of the surplus they are able to appropriate from their workers and otherwise capture with their monopoly pricing power is used to acquire other portions of capital (through mergers and acquisitions), to engage in lobbying and funding its desired political candidates, to pay dividends to stockholders, and to pay enormous incomes to corporate executives and other members of the “professional-managerial” class who produce some of the conditions of existence of monopoly capital.
It is the middle class who mostly benefit from employment by the ruling capitalist class to maintain the latter's system. Much of capitalist profits go to propagate their propaganda in media, education, and even entertainment, and to sponsor elections and candidates so that the American people are fooled into believing that they live under a legitimate type of democratic governance.