A critique of Capital (1): The problem with economics

by Sanjay Perera
In the introductory lines of a textbook on economics are these words: “Are Marxists correct in arguing that only vast expenditure on arms saves the capitalist countries from a return of mass unemployment? Or have we now learned…how to avoid forever such devastating situations? Why, then, in the late 1970s, did unemployment in Britain, the United States and several other countries reach the highest levels ever attained since the Great Depression of the 1930s?” Continue reading A critique of Capital (1): The problem with economics

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Marching in Chicago: Resisting neoliberal savagery

by Henry A. Giroux Across the globe, predatory capitalism spreads its gospel of power, greed, commodification, gentrification, and inequality.  Through the combined forces of a market driven ideology, policy, and mode of governance, the apostles of free-market capitalism are doing their best to dismantle historically guaranteed social provisions provided by the welfare state, define the accumulation of capital as the only obligation of democracy, increase the role of corporate money in politics, wage an assault on unions, expand the military-security state, increase inequalities in wealth and income, foster  the erosion of civil liberties, and undercut public faith in the defining … Continue reading Marching in Chicago: Resisting neoliberal savagery

Advocacy philanthropy and the leveraged buy-out of public schools — Part 2

by Danny Weil [Note: This piece concludes the two-part essay. For Part 1, please see: Link] Ted Forstmann and private advocacy philanthropy as a social movement When there is an obvious financial pay-off for those promoting public policy changes through ‘advocacy philanthropy’, it behooves citizens to critically examine those advocates, their agendas and the implications of their claims. Sadly, this is not the case in America today nor was it at the time the leverage buy-out of public schools was being driven by those who posed as charitable individuals but whose real agenda was and is the incessant accumulation of … Continue reading Advocacy philanthropy and the leveraged buy-out of public schools — Part 2

Lockdown, USA: The Boston marathon manhunt

by Henry A. Giroux A tragedy of errors: nobody knows any more who is who. The smoke of the explosions forms part of the much larger curtain of smoke that prevents all of us from seeing clearly. From revenge to revenge, terrorism obliges us to walk to our graves. I saw a photo, recently published, of graffiti on a wall in NYC: ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’. — Eduardo Galeano[1] The American public rightfully expressed a collective sigh of relief and a demonstration of prodigious gratitude towards law enforcement authorities when the unprecedented manhunt for … Continue reading Lockdown, USA: The Boston marathon manhunt

Advocacy philanthropy and the leveraged buy-out of public schools — Part 1

by Danny Weil In a newly released book entitled The Gates Foundation and the Future of US  Public Schools, author Kenneth Saltman argues that the entry into educational reform policies within the last decade by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other, what he calls “venture philanthropists”, is part of a broader ideological and economic trend.  More specifically, Saltman argues that this development is one connected to neo-liberalism and the shift from a capitalist industrial economy to a service oriented economy. Saltman continues by correctly identifying that this modification represents a shift from the public governance of education to … Continue reading Advocacy philanthropy and the leveraged buy-out of public schools — Part 1

Beyond the postmodern “moment”: Utopianism, aestheticism, and the avant-garde

by P.J. Laska The first item of interest for any inquest concerning the status of postmodernism will surely be the fact of continuing post-mortem activity of the sort Dostoevsky described in his grotesque tale “Bobok :”  “Prodolzhayetsya  zhizn’ kak by po inertsii”  [The (conscious) life of (the recently deceased) continues as if by inertia]—a phenomenon D. H. Lawrence commented on later in his Studies in Classic American Literature: “Post mortem effects. Ghosts. A certain ghoulish insistency.”  A contemporary example of this phenomenon was voiced recently by Paul Krugman:  “America’s political landscape is infested with many zombie ideas—beliefs about policy that … Continue reading Beyond the postmodern “moment”: Utopianism, aestheticism, and the avant-garde

Taking notes 22: The need for a debt strike

by Richard H. Robbins The disclosure of critical flaws in a study used by economists to justify austerity budgets in Europe and the United States once again puts a focus on the role of debt in our economy. The study, Growth in the Time of Debt, by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, purported to show that when national debt approaches ninety percent of GDP, economic growth will slow. A new paper, by Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin claims that the process that Reinhart and Rogoff used to select their growth data was skewed to support their conclusion and … Continue reading Taking notes 22: The need for a debt strike