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Subjects Archives: Capitalism

Capitalism’s Beverage & the Obesity Epidemic

The Los Angeles Times reports that Disneyland is retooling its boats-on-water rides because of the raging obesity epidemic in the United States, “to deal with the delicate problem of bottoming-out boats.” People are simply getting too fat for the existing rides, including the now satirically named “It’s a Small World”: “Forty-one years after the whimsical […]

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Globalization, 2: US Autoworkers, 0

The recent UAW ratification of the Chrysler contract that contains many of the same provisions that were adopted in the labor agreement signed with GM last month is another major blow to the jobs and welfare of US autoworkers.  Globalization, the Big Three’s grand strategy of pitting the workers of North America against one another […]

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Financial Capital: Crises Are Part of the Game

Everything went well during the summer of 2007.  The economy was in an upswing and stock-market prices rose even faster.  Then the end of the housing boom in the United States triggered an international financial crisis.  Up to now it has been contained by heavy central-bank intervention; but the euphoria is gone.  The world of […]

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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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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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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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“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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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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