Four Horsemen (2012) – documentary

The general analysis in this film is sound and it is well worth watching if you aren’t familiar with the facts they present. Unfortunately, at the very end, they quote a couple of natural law and precious metal bugs who could probably be classified as libertarian. That really only takes up a minute or so of the film, so it is by no means a deal-breaker. Other than that, plenty of common sense recommendations at the end: debt forgiveness, workers owning the means of production, redistributing wealth, etc…The biggest problem of course is that the filmmakers conclude we can have a kinder gentler capitalism. Not possible. The logic of capital is the commodification of all things, exploitation for profit at any cost, consolidation of wealth and power. We’d be much better off with a kinder gentler socialism, but that would be a false choice. We don’t have to choose between the two. Humans invented capitalism and socialism, we can invent other ways to organize society. In fact many think capitalism is essentially over. So what’s next? Unless (or possibly even if) people organize politically for radical change (i.e., structural change at the root), all the facts and trends point to those in power instituting a kind of neo-feudalism with a strong helping of techno-fascism. This is not hyperbole or sci-fi. We are well on our way. It seems most people have accepted it in one way or another. That may be the biggest problem of all.

Capitalists want our blood – literally

“‘Is there no limit to what this Government will privatise?’: UK plasma supplier sold to US private equity firm Bain Capital

Sell-off puts blood supply at risk, warns Lord Owen”

Click to go to The Independent article

You can’t make this stuff up. This is at the nexus of almost all the nefarious forces in our universe. Privatization – or as the Brits say, “Privatisation,” has run amok. It is a a major part of the neo-liberal agenda. Now, if you could somehow add weapons to this story, you would go a long way toward encompassing every aspect of the closest thing we have to actually existing evil. You might be saying, “yes, that would truly be unbelievable.”

Well, with just one degree of separation (not even one degree or any real separation actually) we can connect drugs, weapons, terror, murder, gangsters, death squads and – well, the list is long. Exhibit A:

Mitt Romney Started Bain Capital With Money From Families Tied To Death Squads

Trouble in Paradise – Slavoj Žižek on the global protest

LRB“Global capitalism is a complex process which affects different countries in different ways. What unites the protests, for all their multifariousness, is that they are all reactions against different facets of capitalist globalisation. The general tendency of today’s global capitalism is towards further expansion of the market, creeping enclosure of public space, reduction of public services (healthcare, education, culture), and increasingly authoritarian political power. It is in this context that Greeks are protesting against the rule of international financial capital and their own corrupt and inefficient state, which is less and less able to provide basic social services. It is in this context too that Turks are protesting against the commercialisation of public space and against religious authoritarianism; that Egyptians are protesting against a regime supported by the Western powers; that Iranians are protesting against corruption and religious fundamentalism, and so on. None of these protests can be reduced to a single issue. They all deal with a specific combination of at least two issues, one economic (from corruption to inefficiency to capitalism itself), the other politico-ideological (from the demand for democracy to the demand that conventional multi-party democracy be overthrown). The same holds for the Occupy movement. Beneath the profusion of (often confused) statements, the movement had two basic features: first, discontent with capitalism as a system, not just with its particular local corruptions; second, an awareness that the institutionalised form of representative multi-party democracy is not equipped to fight capitalist excess, i.e. democracy has to be reinvented.”

Click anywhere in the text or on the picture to read the whole London Review of Books article.

A Brazilian Autumn?

When you see a similar dynamic happening in Turkey where things seem totally different, you have to look for the commonalities. Two things are immediately apparent: Elite rule with little regard for the majority of society and an extremely weak left. Most of the world now shares those commonalities…
Click this to go to the Jacobin article.