Browsing Posts tagged democracy

Alex Knight, a writer, teacher and social activist based in Philadelphia, recently asked me to republish the first two parts of an interview he did with Michael Carriere regarding his construct of what he calls The End of Capitalism. While it is not my desire to re-publish other works of original content by writers other than myself, I made an exception in this case as Alex Knight’s writings on the subject are not only articulate, concise and well-constructed, they are also of grave concern to me (and hopefully everyone) as the Imperialist and exploitative system of Capitalism/Corporatism has been plundering the natural and human resources of the earth for far too long. Mr. Knight’s words are needed more than ever right now, and so is our call to action to stand up to the moneyed interests that control our democratic process and alienate us from our own interests and each other. I re-published the first part of Alex’s interview on my other site, The Pigeon Post, which you can find here. So here is part two (a) of Alex Knight on The End of Capitalism:

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The following exchange between Michael Carriere and Alex Knight occurred via email, July 2010. Alex Knight was questioned about the End of Capitalism Theory, which states that the global capitalist system is breaking down due to ecological and social limits to growth and that a paradigm shift toward a non-capitalist future is underway. This is the second part of a four-part interview.

Part 2A. Capitalism and Ecological Limits

MC: Capitalism has faced many moments of crisis over time. Is there something different about the present crisis? What makes the end of capitalism a possibility now?

AK: This is such an important question, and it’s vital to think and talk about the crisis in this way, with a view toward history. It’s not immediately obvious why this crisis began and why, two years later, it’s not getting better. Making sense of this is challenging. Especially since knowledge of economics has become so enclosed within academic and professional channels where it’s off-limits to the majority of the population. Even progressive intellectuals, who aim to translate and explain the crisis to regular folks, too often fall into the trap of accepting elite explanations as the starting point and then injecting their politics around the edges. This is why there is such an abundance of essays and videos analyzing “credit default swaps”, “collateralized debt obligations,” etc., as if this crisis is about nothing more than greedy speculators overstepping their bounds. continue reading…

What is Lady Liberty to do? Stuck in the middle of two parties that represent the same corporate interests while giving her platitudes about our rights and our liberties. No wonder she is covering her face.

When Alexis de Tocqueville published Democracy in America in 1835, little did he know how the quintessential concept of American Democracy — with all of the good and all of the bad — would shape the course of global events for the next 175 years. But de Tocqueville did however, predict that Democracy can quite easily turn into despotism under the guise of liberty and freedom.

Alexis de Tocqueville had quite a quaint and romantic notion — though wholly realistic — of the potential of the Democracy he saw in America for the greater good of the human condition, though he framed it within the greater context of historical notions of freedom and liberty, determining that American Democracy does not have a patent on freedom, but rather was one of many systems of rule where freedom prospered.

Freedom has appeared in the world at different times and under various forms; it has not been exclusively bound to any social condition, and it is not confined to democracies. Freedom cannot, therefore, form the distinguishing characteristic of democratic ages. The peculiar and preponderant fact that marks those ages as its own is the equality of condition; the ruling passion of men in those periods is the love of this equality. Do not ask what singular charm the men of democratic ages find in being equal, or what special reasons they may have for clinging so tenaciously to equality rather than to the other advantages that society holds out to them: equality is the distinguishing characteristic of the age they live in; that of itself is enough to explain that they prefer it to all the rest…

Democratic nations are at all times fond of equality, but there are certain epochs at which the passion they entertain for it swells to the height of fury. This occurs at the moment when the old social system, long menaced, is overthrown after a severe internal struggle, and the barriers of rank are at length thrown down. At such times men pounce upon equality as their booty, and they cling to it as to some precious treasure which they fear to lose. [1] continue reading…

If the title seems inflammatory, it is not because I am trying to be divisive or radical for the sake of “shock and awe.” I am truly of the belief — a belief developed and honed through rational observation of American Democracy — that the only losers of today’s primaries, donkeys and elephants alike, will be our democratic process. The only winner will be the system of the powerful and wealthy who use the representatives we vote into office to propagate and maintain their stranglehold on policies and legislation designed to benefit their moneyed interests at our expense.

I genuinely and honestly ask all members and supporters of the Democratic Party, without intended derision: please tell me what democrats as a whole have done the past 20 years to further the interests of the people, the one’s who vote them into office, over the interests of global imperialism which includes the banking, military, prison, insurance, pharmaceutical, agricultural, manufacturing, media and telecommunications industries?

Please do not offer rhetoric and lip service as examples of furthering the people’s interests. That’s all the Democrats offer: “we will change this; we will change that; we will stand up to so and so.” I am not out to bash Democrats, as I truly believe most members of the party actually are good, intelligent people who actually care about other human beings. But the historical realities of the past 20 years overwhelmingly show a party that gives lip service to progressive causes, yet does nothing other than maintain the same corporate fascism that Reagan and Bush Sr. and Jr. maintained. continue reading…

Originally written on April 26, 2010

I consider myself to be a part of the left. No, my views and the views of others in this camp are not “radical” or “extreme” as the corporate mainstream media would lead one to believe. My views are those of an individual who has extensively studied political-economy, history and sociology. I take a rational posture when it comes to legitimate critique and analysis of modern imperialism and the role that our two-party “democracy” plays in allowing, perpetuating and exacerbating the continued hegemony of powerful corporate interests who intend to hoard the world’s resources at the expense of everyone else.

It is quite easy to point out the hypocrisy in Republican rhetoric. They claim to stand for smaller, limited and fiscally-responsible government, yet have done nothing but expand the scope of government and increase spending and debt while lowering taxes on the wealthiest citizens claiming higher taxes would lead to a stagnating economy–well, the economy has been stagnant despite the tax cuts. Republicans spout about “Christian” values and “moral righteousness,” yet they so often live lives of greed and adultery while perpetuating war throughout the world. I’m not a biblical scholar by any means, but I believe these actions would be considered antithetical to the teachings of Christ. continue reading…

Originally written on April 23, 2010

I feel that I am a citizen of the American dream and that the revolutionary struggle of which I am a part is a struggle against the American nightmare. Eldridge Cleaver

When Eldridge Cleaver spoke those words, the belief was that he, and all of black America, were indeed in a revolutionary struggle against the tyranny of the white ruling class. Some forty-odd years later, the tyranny still exists, yet the revolutionary fervor of; not only Black America, but of everyone–white, Black, Hispanic–is non-existent. There is most certainly anti-establishment fervor on the rise, but this movement–such as the tea party–is one of the white lower and middle-class alienated by a current administration headed by a black man. This white middle-class uproar is spearheaded, dictated and manipulated by the very forces that are alienating not just these white protesters, but every single person who lacks a voice. In essence: a corporate-sponsored revolution devised to further the divide between white and black, rich and poor: the haves and have nots. continue reading…

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