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Subjects Archives: Capitalism

New Element Discovered: Capitalisium

  A public university sociology department has recently announced the discovery of the most toxic element yet known to social science.  This new element has been named Capitalisium (Cp).  Capitalisium is a very volatile, dynamic, and toxic element, containing 1 positron, 1 neutron, and 1 huge electron along with boards of electrons, various vice electrons, […]

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Profit without End: Capitalism Is Just Getting Started

Debates concerning the “Socialism of the 21st Century” are experiencing an upswing at the moment.  However, this century will initially be rather one of capitalism than socialism.  Not because there is once more an economic recovery.  Prosperity and crisis alternate constantly in capitalism, but behind this up-and-down process are tendencies towards an extension and further […]

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Total Capitalism

  I recently received a circular from the Local Authority of the district in London where I live, which addressed me as a “customer.”  I should really be inured by now to neoliberalism’s relentless penetration of the “life world,” but it took me aback all the same.  I don’t buy anything from my local council; […]

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Capital and Nature: An Interview with Paul Burkett

1.  The year 2007 marks the 140th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Marx’s Capital.  In your perspective, what is the main contribution of that major work to the understanding of contemporary capitalism? Marx’s Capital establishes three essential contradictions of capitalism which grow in intensity as the system develops historically.  These contradictions […]

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Rick Wolff

Capitalism’s Three Oscillations and the US Today

Throughout its history and across its geography, capitalism has swung back and forth between private and state forms.  The former reduces while the latter enlarges the state’s intervention in the economy.  The economic events that precipitate swings (in both directions) have been various mixes of recession and widening inequality.  Political oscillations have paralleled the economic. […]

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Capital and Empire: An Interview with John Bellamy Foster

Q.  2007 is the 140th anniversary of the publication of Volume One of Marx’s Capital.  In your opinion, what is its main contribution to understanding contemporary capitalism? Marx’s object in Capital was to explain capital as a social relation in the fullest dialectical sense and in the process to describe its law(s) of motion.  I […]

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Rick Wolff

Globalization Risks and Costs

Critics have exposed how globalization’s benefits have been unequally distributed around the world.  Many of the world’s poorer regions have become poorer still in relation to the regions that gained.  And within regions, it turns out that globalization often worsens wealth and income inequalities.  However, critics admit and defenders boast that at least for some […]

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Class Struggle and Socialist Revolution in the Philippines: Understanding the Crisis of U.S. Hegemony, Arroyo State Terrorism, and Neoliberal Globalization

  Prodded by Amnesty International (AI), the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Asian Human Rights Commission, Reporters Without Borders, and other international organizations, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently cobbled a group to look into the allegations of massive human rights violations — over 729 victims of extrajudicial killings, and 180 involuntary “disappearances,” by the latest count — during her […]

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Michael Dawson

“Our” Real Addiction: Capitalist Waste in Transportation

“America is addicted to oil.”  Thus spake George W. Bush in his 2006 “State of the Union” speech. At first hearing, this sounds like a remarkable breakthrough in public discourse.  A sitting U.S. President admitting that the nation’s relationship to petroleum is one of addiction?  Sounds like a major advance in honesty, doesn’t it?  And, […]

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Change in Top Federal Tax Rates on Wealth and Work since 1980

US Pensions: Capitalist Disaster

The US pension systems for workers are now widespread disasters.  Many corporations and many cities and states lack the money to pay all the benefits they have promised and legally owe to present and future retirees.  Estimates of the shortfall range around $450 billion in the private sector plus at least another $300 billion in […]

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Capitalists & Conquerors

Fearless Speech in Fearful Times: An Essay Review of Capitalists and Conquerors, Teaching against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism, and Teaching Peter McLaren

  Capitalists and Conquerors: A Critical Pedagogy against Empire by Peter McLaren (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) Teaching against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism: A Critical Pedagogy by Peter McLaren and Ramin Farahmandpur (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) Teaching Peter McLaren: Paths of Dissent, by Marc Pruyn and Luis M. Huerta-Charles (New […]

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Rick Wolff

Personal Debts and US Capitalism

There is no precedent in US — or any other — history for the level of personal debt now carried by the American people. Consider the raw numbers. In 1974, Federal Reserve data show that US mortgage plus other consumer debt totaled $627 billion. By 1994, the total debt had risen to $4,206 billion, and […]

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Spinning Wheels of Globalization!

  The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, in such quantity as he might see fit, and reasonably expect their early delivery upon his doorstep; he could at the same moment and by the same means adventure his wealth in the […]

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Europe, Capitalism, and Socialism

In the Spring of 2005, workers’ votes in France and the Netherlands made the difference in defeating the draft European constitution and ending socialist party control of the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. In the few weeks after those momentous events, most politicians and reporters offered one basic explanation. It tells us much more about the […]

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Global Capitalism in Danger

Global capitalism is in danger. Leading lights of global finance capital are sending out warning signals with growing urgency and desperation. Alan Greenspan is puzzled, referring to the decline of long-term interest rates at a time of rising short-term interest rates as a “conundrum.” To solve the conundrum, Martin Wolf of the Financial Times argues, […]

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