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, June 27, 2018
How Long Can The Federal Reserve Stave Off the Inevitable?
Roberts, like so many unrepentant capitalists, insists that regulated capitalism can work, but, as he often argues, the fight must be against unregulated capitalism which has been infected and corrupted by, neoliberalism, the new form of capitalism of the 21st century. According to Roberts and others, the new version of capitalism has replaced the good old-fashioned nationalist, regulated capitalism which he presided over in his career.
I wish he could tell that to all the workers throughout the 20th century of "regulated" capitalism (regulated by and for capitalists) like the workers that Upton Sinclair described in his books like The Jungle, The Brass Check, and King Coal (1917) or the workers that John Steinbeck wrote about in the 1930s such as Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row, East of Eden, etc. No, Roberts must be referring to the immediate post WWII years when American corporations shared more of the loot with their workers because American industries were unscathed by the war and were able, with the backing of a powerful military, to thoroughly dominate the post WWII scene. Funny how things turned out.
However, he does have a good understanding, although rather superficial, as to what happened to his very weak "regulated" capitalism. It's just that his recollection of regulated capitalism is largely a myth. The capitalist system has always been used by a self-serving capitalist class at the expense and suffering of workers. Its just that over the succeeding decades the system inevitably, via the concentration of wealth and power, morphed into a monster that threatens not only the well-being of the overwhelming majority of workers but our planet's habitat that supports human life as well.