Is Capitalism Consuming Humanism?

1 06 2010

Cock of the snook to COD for this truthout from Chris Hedges:

It does not mean we have to agree with Karl Marx, who advocated violence and whose worship of the state as a utopian mechanism led to another form of enslavement of the working class, but we have to speak in the vocabulary Marx employed. We have to grasp, as Marx did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good.

They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill and lie to make money. They throw poor families out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars to make profits, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, loot the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women.

They worship only money and power. And, as Marx knew, unfettered capitalism is a revolutionary force that consumes greater and greater numbers of human lives until it finally consumes itself.

The nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico is the perfect metaphor for the corporate state.

See also Blackwater, Google and Whales, Oh My!:

. . .they hurt us over and over and over, incapable of stopping themselves, of caring or even comprehending why we do. Because they are NOT HUMAN!

And we keep letting them! Not funny. So maybe just call it the punch, instead of punchline.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

23 responses

1 06 2010
Audrey

This is what contemporary Marxists keep trying to say, but Amerikkkans have blinders on when it comes to anything not pushed from the loins of capitalism.

2 06 2010
JJ

I keep thinking if we could just keep thinking . . .

2 06 2010
COD

I find it odd that conservatives spend so much time worrying about govt power and so little time worrying about corporate power. Corporations can do plenty of damage too.

2 06 2010
JJ

No kidding, she said as the wind changed and that damage began blowing toward Florida’s sugar-white beaches. . .

2 06 2010
sam

Shorpy.com bills itself as the hundred year old photo blog, and I’ve seen some really cool pictures come through my reader because of them. Many pictures stand out as they are glimpses into a time before people understood the need for government to intervene into what was essentially a purely capitalist market.

The pictures, though I’m not linking directly, you can find them easily, that I am thinking of, and there are many, show young boys and girls outside their places of employment. You often see dirty, soot covered boys, none of them older than my own eleven year old son, striking poses outside the mines in which they spend more time than our kids spend in school (or would if we sent our kids to school.) They are pictures of little girls and boys outside the mills where they lie about their age to get a job working with dangerous machines in horrid conditions.

That’s the idea that pure capitalism gives me, that we all work, that we may never earn what we’re worth, that we might die young and in dept to the company store, dead from a disease we got because of the work.

Sure, capitalism isn’t all bad, and to some extent we all deserve the chance to earn what we’re willing to work for, but at whose expense are we willing to grow rich? On how many backs is it okay to stomp to reach for the next rung? And that’s pure and unbridled capitalism, that those most willing to reach up at the expense of those they push down will always come out on top.

Or maybe I’m just being melodramatic. Either way, I lied. Here’s a link. Make sure to read the comments. http://www.shorpy.com/node/8261

2 06 2010
sam

oop! “dept” in third to last paragraph should read “debt.”

2 06 2010
Nance Confer

Dip ’em in oil and get today’s workers scooping up BP’s mess. With the same regard for their welfare.

2 06 2010
JJ

Has anyone been watching “America the Story of Us” on the History Channel, maybe along with their kids? Young Son is liking it. I saw the Triangle Shirt Factory tragedy (out of sequence so he hasn’t gotten to it yet) and it reminded me how far “we” somehow haven’t come for humanity, with all these resources and smarts

2 06 2010
Crimson Wife

You know, this argument would be a whole lot more convincing if it came from a working-class individual rather than a graduate of ritzy Loomis Chafee prep school, Colgate, and Harvard who has taught at Columbia, NYU, and Princeton, and is currently a senior fellow at a Manhattan think tank. Typical “limousine liberal” biting the hand that has fed him….

2 06 2010
Crimson Wife

P.S. My 7 3/4 year old wants to know why my avatar is an evil triangle, LOL!

2 06 2010
COD

I get the list of grievances from Breck every week after the history show. He has been amused at what they choose to emphasize and what they choose to ignore.

2 06 2010
JJ

LMAO!

2 06 2010
JJ

CW, would a limosine conservative be more appealing? Or do you mean he shouldn’t be an intellectual either way?

2 06 2010
Crimson Wife

What I object to is Hedges’ hypocrisy. He complains about government-run education being “gutted” when he himself attended a ritzy prep school and I’d be willing to bet that he sent his 3 kids to one as well. He complains about “the college-educated, liberal elite” and lauds the working class when he’s a member of the former group rather than the latter. You want me to take these kinds of complaints seriously? Let me hear them from somebody’s who’s actually *EXPERIENCED* being poor. Somebody like Barbara Ehrenreich, whose father was a miner and who was married to a warehouse employee. I can understand why she would find socialism appealing. Somebody like Hedges just comes off as yet another overprivileged ingrate.

2 06 2010
JJ

Sorry, that just doesn’t track for me. I find criticism of (for example) Saddleback Church from Lynn to carry more weight because she was part of it. If Hedges was/is part of what he criticizes, that should give him more reason to know what he’s talking about. Being poor working-class wouldn’t give him insight into intellectuals! (Or even capitalists)

3 06 2010
Nance Confer

I am a proud liberal, CW, but no limousine in sight. 🙂

3 06 2010
Nance Confer

I have been unsettled by the Story of Us take on things,too, COD. It’s the Story As Told by Bank of America.

3 06 2010
JJ

Really! We were watching on tivo so skipping commercials but the first one we saw (BoA of course) was so much part of the narrative that we watched two minutes of it getting increasingly disturbed until we finally realized it was embedded advertising. OTOH, maybe it will help some kid in Texas realize Lucre made America, not God . . .

3 06 2010
COD

A couple of Breck’s complaints. They discussed the Batttle of Saratoga w/out mentioning Benedict Arnold. Without Arnold’s leadership the British may have overrun the Continentals, and we never get France on our side, etc.

Also, Breck’s opinion of the WWII coverage was that BoA seems to think we won the war and saved Europe all by ourselves.

3 06 2010
JJ

Oh, Breck reminds me of this history professor’s schooling of Glenn Beck:

I’d like to give him some historical examples from the periods with which I am more acquainted. For example, I’d point out to him that during World War Two the United States was fighting against Germany, which was led by a fascist monster, Adolf Hitler, who Beck loves to bring up. But then I would also point out that the United States was in an alliance at the time with the Soviet Union, which was led by a communist monster, Josef Stalin.

(And the Russians certainly did their fair share in defeating Nazi Germany.) The U.S. was fighting for “freedom” in an alliance with a nation that was totalitarian.

Now, I would only bring that example up to illustrate to Dr. Glenn that the real historical record is far more complex and nuanced than he projects to his viewers, i.e. his “students.”

I’d also point out to Beck and his Republican friends that there are such things as empirical historical facts that are not “spun” or manipulated by historians

7 06 2010
JJ

This little bit of usurious but as-yet legal crime against humanity belongs here too:

Turning Poverty into a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

The book’s first chapter appears at the bottom of the story transcript. Check it out and shiver along with me. If you are religious you will believe us damned for this and rightly so. If not, you’ll likely feel the need to do something about it yourself.

7 06 2010
Lynn

Did you see Rachel Maddow’s show(s) on “payday lending”?
http://tinyurl.com/22jvrrk

4 01 2011
Continuing Class Conversation: American Dream or Nightmare? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] exceptionalism will save us from being left behind, floundering for our lives in the wake of their ever-accelerating planet-ocracy. The Atlantic Home January/February […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: