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I'm surprised that Globalization and technology doesn't merit a mention in his thesis (or at least your summary of it).  Globalization seems to me to have been the ultimate delaying strategy for the crisis of capitalism - proving a source for cheap labour and materials when local resources ran short, and when inflation made them more expensive for capital to employ.

Globalization, for a time, allowed increased living standards in metropolitan/imperial countries so long as their workers kept moving up the food/knowledge chain and so the middle classes were kept happy - their superior qualifications enabled them to maintain or even increase their differentials with the manual labouring classes.

Now, of course, even "professional" jobs are being automated and undercut by cheaper labour from abroad and so the alliance between capital and the middle classes in metropolitan countries is breaking down.  The middle classes are being decimated, and all the gains are going to the top 1%.

The other factor, it seems to me, which delayed the crises is unprecedentedly rapid technological change, which enabled productivity increases to continue even as working hours reduced, and gave first mover advantage to the middle classes in metropolitan countries - an advantage which is now gradually being eroded.

Finally, I see no mention of "Corpocracy", the way in which globalization has enabled the rise of global conglomerates with far more power than most nation states, and which indeed can play off nation states against each other - fomenting wars to both weaken the nations states involved - and to force them to buy military and other hardware, and also encouraging a "race to the bottom" in terms of corporate taxation and regulation and reinforcing the power of corporates vs. democracies.

The Citizens United and other rulings by the SCOTUS has now formalised corpocracy by ascribing to corporates the rights of free speech and religious observance and reducing citizens to employees and supplicants.  What previously would have been seen as bribery, corruption and religious oppression is now legitimated as the divine right of corporates which over-rides those of citizenship.

What we see is not so much a "capital strike" as an overwhelming victory by capital in the class war, with democracy merely the cloak which adds a little respectability to the naked greed and exploitation of 99% of people and the planet.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 15th, 2014 at 01:46:40 PM EST
America is repeating the cycle of 'divine entitlement' exorcised in many countries by abolishing the monarchies.

Ordinary people gradually evolved monarchies through intelligence put into service to guile and brutish bullying, with the goal of monopolising power over the many into the hands of the few.

Through devotion to the god of money, a similar division of destinies is being applied. Those who have it are increasingly blessed by that fact, those who don't increasingly cursed.

It will have -and is having- the similar bloody results, as more and more people observe the social pact they were conditioned to accept along with their mother's milk smashed into fragments.

The only still-existent monarchies have succeeded in surviving by rendering themselves largely symbolic in power. If finance can reduce its influence in a similar way, then maybe it can survive too.

Right now it's running rampant over humanity's chance of a future at all.

European Tribune - Buying time : Where now for capitalism and democracy? [Part 1]

was to have considered capital as a resource, more or less biddable and accountable to democracy. Of course, as they should have known, capital is an actor,

This could stand some fleshing out... anyone volunteer?

It seems historically that Capital has always been an actor, one might surmise that the myths of religion and patriotism were invented to try and mask that fact, or at least dress it for public consumption.

With the efficacy of such quaint methods much reduced compared to before, Capital is showing its true face, namely a search for maximum efficiency of reproduction through social triage.

People, tempted and coddled by the images used to sell them on various ideologies in the past, now have all voids filled by the incessant bombarf-ment of skilled liars twisting all possible motivations into one monetary rope, to better string humanity up on a gibbet of profit.

The hologram is perfect in every respect save one, its abject inauthenticity with regard to human betterment. Reduced to gaudy admonishments to imitate the rich, the moral void at the heart of the process reveals itself to be content-free, visible in arms sales, global strife fomentation and the reaction to nonviolent protest, from Tahir Square to Ferguson.

Our leaders will not go down without a fight, and they have millions of well-trained goons to do their dirty work for the living it offers, the real price being the dehumanisation of those mercenaries, who will take much healing to forget their pain.

Until they get it, we can expect the pattern to continue...

Can social media such as ET produce new answers to old question about social justice, can we open-source new forms of self-government and the by sheer force of numbers invert the present tendency?

Other than a benign race of aliens landing to take our wartoys away, I can't see any hope on the horizon. The way out of hell is the same road we entered it by, and the name of that road is Technology, (whether infernal combustions, nuke plants and weapons, fracking, mega-dams, industrial Ag, you name it on one side, or the many wondrous gizmos that are improving communications and the ability to spread unitarily life-affirming memes on the other.)

If life is a race between extinction and knowledge, we are in the final sprint now, the two neck and neck.

Nice diary Eurogreen, thanks!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Aug 15th, 2014 at 07:55:45 PM EST
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