Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Calling Doctor Keynes

O.K., we can piss and moan all we want about how both political parties are in corporate America's hip-pocket and they are. And we can stomp up and down, thump our chests and yell we're not going to vote or we're going to vote Green, libertarian or socialist.

And it won't do a bit of good.

Why? Because for the last sixty years or so the "free market" school of economic thought has been in the ascendancy and it doesn't look as if it is about to be totally discredited at any time in the immediate future. Oh, sure we've just had this "great recession," but the coordinator class fucks who got hurt by it the least are already seeing an up-tick in their stock portfolios so no biggie. Right? Newsweek magazine says "we're back" so it must be true.

And the Investor class bastards who were the root cause of the "great recession of 2008" are reaping even greater financial rewards than their coordinator class employees, life is good again.

So what if a bunch of unwashed, Jesus-loving working class schnooks are unemployed? Keeps the cost of labor down. And through years of clever and not-so-subtle propaganda the dumb fucks of the laboring middle classes are at each other's throats and in the mood to burn down Washington, D.C. Life is great for the Investor class and its coordinator class lapdogs. They are after all modern America's philosopher-kings.

And as all good philosopher-kings they have concocted a noble lie that a "free market" economy is something akin to a force of nature. To the four forces that hold the universe together, gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces, add the "free market." As I interpret this noble lie, the "free market" economy works independent of human control much like gravity say. Its effects can be observed and quantified but human intervention to change the course and behavior of the "free market" are doomed to failure. The best way for mere humans to interact with the "free market" is to let it work its magic with as little human intervention as possible.

At least that's what these fuckers tell us. They know its bullshit. They know that the economy does not work like a gigantic farmers' market. They know that their profits go up when competition--that catch phrase of the capitalist catechism which if we groundlings chant it enough will produce low, low prices-- is stifled.

And it has come to pass, as blowback from the Cold War, that our university schools of business are now mere seminars for the ordination of priests to the "free market." Look at recent US Treasury Secretaries from the current Tim Geithner and Bush's Hank "Wall Street Bailout" Paulson to Nixon-Fords' William Simon whose quotation, "There is only one social system that reflects the sovereignty of the individual: the free-market, or capitalist, system[,]" could have come from the pen of Ayn Rand.

America's middle classes are just fucked until we can demystify and demythologize the "free market" and its high priesthood.

Unfortunately the any ideas of an alternative to the "free market" from the ideologically pure left comes down from a gaggle of tenured university fine arts and language professors, trust fund babies, the true leisure class of the Investor class, and a semi-repentant Reagan-era Assistant-Treasury Secretary, himself the architect of "Reagan-omics!" For the most part it is warmed over sophomore year "Radical Students Brigade" Marxism, sans dictatorship of the proletariat.

The tea bagger far right is even more dismal as it is stupid in calling for even fewer federal regulations over corporate power then is already the case.

Look, I have no problem with capitalism if it is kept small and manageable. Nor do I have any problem with aspects of socialist economic principals operating in industries and services which effect the lives of the vast majority of the public, i.e. the electric grid, medicine, education, basic transportation and communications. What I do have a problem with is the "free market" ruling our lives as if it were religion. Economies are neither forces of nature or divinely inspired. They are the most human of inventions after religion itself.

We need to steer a middle course between the Scylla of the marshmallow-Marxism of the ideologically pure left and the wild "free market" Charybdis of the Randian tea bagger right.

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