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

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Elite divisions?

Click here to access article by David Ruccio from Occasional Links & Commentary.

Ruccio, in addressing his fellow economists, describes the narrow limits within which "elites", also known as the US ruling capitalist class, as well as their subset of mainstream economists, discuss their policies. Because they are a ruling class, their organs of information, media, education, and even entertainment also reflect this kind of permissible discussion not only about economic issues, but about all issues that impinge upon their pursuits of wealth and power.
Mainstream economists use different theories and promote different policies within those narrow limits. What they exclude are theories and policies that fall outside those limits—and thus, in their view, don’t deserve a hearing.Their expertise ends when it comes to theories that focus on such things as the inherent instability of capitalism or the role of class in determining the value of goods and services and the distribution of income. And they exclude policies that either change the fundamental rules of capitalism or look beyond capitalism, to alternative ways of organizing economic and social life.