Saturday, December 24, 2011

Parsing the 99%

Matt Taibbi argues that "[w]hat makes people furious" with the oligarchs "is that they have stopped being citizens." This is true.

But what motivates the petty-minded woe-is-us claptrap of the oligarchs? Neoliberalism,. In the course of   the neoliberals' long march through the institutions included and includes the notion that the oligarchs ought not be citizens of any state and that their, and really the only real, allegiance is to the market. This claim has been amplified by dimwits and useful idiots until it is now sacredly true. When, for example, Kevin Drum, a moderate neoliberal,writes of how the current economic collapse "radicalized" him, his response is a list of tepid moderate neoliberal responses that will do nothing to make the systemic changes necessary if we are going to created a just society.

When Dean Baker writes a book sternly taking liberals and progressives to task for their failure to take the system seriously and, consequently, blames them for allowing the oligarchs to seize control, he engages in the same kind of tepid reformism that is going to get us exactly nowhere in the short or long run.

Paul Krugman cites a Joe Nocera column in which the latter exposes hard core neoliberal lies about the economic wreck wrought by the neoliberal consensus. Krugman gives himself and Nocera props for being brave truth tellers in these dark times. True as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. Keynesism papers over the structural inequality built into market capitalism.

Why, one wonders, is it that exactly at that moment when reality exposes the fundamental idiocy of "market" capitalism that everyone on the "left" responds with reform ideas that range from lukewarm to ice cold?  It is a case of 1848 all over again. The centrists won't make common cause with radicals because? No idea.

What is to be done? If I had a vote it would be for market socialism.


  1. I think some things,like healthcare and national defense, should not be done for profit, and I dont think neoliberals understand anything that doesn't have a dollar value

  2. Exactly, sociopaths the lot of them. society doesn't exist so people can make a buck off of one another and it's degrading to all involved to say it does.