Joe Bageant: The Bastards Never Die

31 July, 2009 — Joe Bageant

A short history of why we eat oil, can’t smoke pot, and why assault weapons are so expensive in our hour of need

(With running commentary by THE SCREAMING MAN)

Well, for starters, the above title is a damned lie, since this little screed is not a history. It’s just rumination on the tilting point at which Americans started the slide into the deepest sort of cultivated consumer consciousness — which is to say our corporate managed engorgement and swinedom at the service of the rich.

Very rich families and corporatists, to whom, as in earlier articles, we shall refer to as ‘the bastards,’ have always been with us. Even Tom Jefferson thought periodic revolution against wealth and authority was desirable to keep these bastards in check. Which implies that he figured they would inevitably get us by the throat down on the floor from time to time.

Continue reading

Keynes with a neo-liberal twist? By William Bowles

10 November 2008

dollars“Just imagine saying, “production for use leads to stagnation; production for death leads to exchange value and profits.” Now don’t jump on me! Wait, I have to go into capital expansion and its being “the breath of capitalism” and, as yet, no forseeable future opportunities for capital reproduction to the magnitude needed for its expansion.”

The above excerpt from a short note from my compadre Patricia in the am triggered a thought about how the state, at least in the UK and in much of the EU, has reacted to the latest, and undoubtedly the worst crisis capital has yet faced. For unlike earlier crises, especially those of the 1970s which presaged the so-called neo-liberal revolution, the nature of Britain’s working class has undergone a profound transformation (along with other ‘advanced’ economies). And, at the risk of repeating myself, or anyway repeating the quote I’ve used before, I think it speaks reams about the real fear the ruling political class feels about the current situation.

Continue reading

Global Cashastrophe By William Bowles

17 September 2007

Question: How many classical economists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Answer: As many as it takes to screw up an economy

Never mind global warming, I’ve realised that it’s better to own nothing than owe everything.

Apparently those who have (had) their cash in Northern Rock (around £2 billion at the last count), believe it’s better to keep what they own (or more likely owe) in a paper bag under the bed than to entrust it to a gang of financial ‘whizzkids’.

Continue reading