[-empyre-] On Currencies, Capitalism, and the Fed

davin heckman davinheckman at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 00:20:21 EST 2009


I am interested in keeping these conversations going, as
conversations, as my concerns are purely intellectual here.  I make no
secret of my disenchantment with capitalism, but I don't know that I
have a particular answer that I could realistically offer in its
place.  While I definitely see the appeal of various socialist
theories, I have also spent a fair amount of time reading about
libertarian and capitalist ideas...  and I don't know that I could
ever say they are absolutely wrong....  anymore than I can say that a
hammer or a screwdriver is wrong.  I only have questions about what
these particular social technologies are good for.  And I don't
believe they are good for everything.

But what is wrong with big government?

Of course, big government and the future debts of the United States
will impact my future income and the income of my children....  but if
I look at many states in South America, for instance, I see that
people NEED big government.  I spent a couple months in Honduras, and
that nation suffers from a very weak state, from businesses that can
step in and push them around, and as a result poverty is widespread
and devastating.

At its biggest levels, the transnational corporation functions as
governments do....  it writes laws and enforces its will with its
army.  And it gravitates to those places where governments are week,
so that it does not have to deal with human rights.  The only way that
a corporation can be forced to address the question of human rights is
either through the pressure of shareholders (indirect and unlikely),
through consumer boycotts (more likely, but still indirect), or
through law (direct, but only likely in strong states).  I mean, all
across the country we had these "tea parties," yesterday.  Which, on
its face, seems like a quite reasonable thing.  (Who isn't sickened by
the idea that government taxes people and then serves the rich?).  But
if you went to any of these events, it was very clear that the
organizers were just trying to seize legitimate frustration and then
convince those in attendance that Obama is the problem, rather than
the system itself.  It's incredibly sad that all these frustrated
people turned out to carry water for a handful of pro-business,
GOP-connected foundations.

I cannot deny the evil of ballooning budgets, particularly when they
are being used to finance war and further privilege.  (I would love to
see the government spend more money on schools, libraries,
infrastructure and socialized medicine).

Of course, US politics is highly dysfunctional, but this is because
big businesses realize that they cannot do business here unless they
take the electoral process seriously, and spend billions every year on
lobbying and propaganda.  In the past, big business used to have to
promise workers high-paying jobs in exchange for political influence,
and this does seem kind of sleazy.  But, on the other hand, the world
is filled with examples of countries with workers who don't even have
that bargaining power.

I agree, absolutely, that it does need to be fixed.  And I do blame
the U.S. government for many of the absurdities, but at the same time,
it doesn't mean that people could not get together and build a
government that is an effective defender of the rights of its

Take care!


More information about the empyre mailing list