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July 29, 2015
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Lessons in Disaster

Lessons in Disaster

By Gordon M. Goldstein
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Tag: Capitalism


International Monetary Fund Warns of Bad Outlook for the Eurozone

The international financial organization has warned of economic trouble ahead for the eurozone as worry over Greece lingers, unemployment remains high and the banking sector struggles to shake off the residue of the financial crisis.

Posted on Jul 27, 2015 READ MORE



Welcome to the Post-Capitalist Era

Could it be that while we were caught up in crisis after crisis, we somehow missed the end of capitalism as we know it?

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 READ MORE



Employment in the ‘Gig Economy’ Is Precarious and Fraught With Anxiety

Even before the founding of the transportation company Uber in 2009, “the United States economy was rapidly becoming an Uber economy writ large, with tens of millions of Americans involved in some form of freelancing, contracting, temping or outsourcing,” reports The New York Times.

Posted on Jul 13, 2015 READ MORE



In Paraguay, Pope Francis Continues Historic Critique of Global Capitalism

“The Argentine pope seemed to be asking for a social revolution,” wrote The New York Times on Friday as Pope Francis’ Latin American tour, featuring “left-leaning critiques” of “the inequalities of capitalism” and of “a ‘new colonialism’ rooted in an inequitable economic order,” approached its end.

Posted on Jul 12, 2015 READ MORE



Why the Greek Victory Inspires Us

While Greece is not the first country to defy the IMF’s prescriptions, it is uniquely poised to underscore, once and for all, capitalism’s incompatibility with democracy.

Posted on Jul 9, 2015 READ MORE



Are We Heading for Another Stock Market Crash?

“The signs are ominous,” writes financial journalist Suzanne McGee. Ultimately, we “will need to get accustomed to higher market volatility, of the kind that we saw yesterday.”

Posted on Jul 9, 2015 READ MORE



The Greek Crisis Marks ‘the Beginning of the Collapse of Capitalism’

Missing from the mainstream debate over the Greek economic crisis is “the damaging role that the endless quest for economic growth plays,” writes journalist Jennifer Hinton at The Guardian.

Posted on Jul 8, 2015 READ MORE



A Revolutionary Pope Calls for Rethinking the Outdated Criteria That Rule the World

Pope Francis’ revolutionary encyclical addresses not just climate change but the banking crisis. Interestingly, the solution to that crisis may have been modeled in the Middle Ages by Franciscan monks following the saint from whom the pope took his name.

Posted on Jul 5, 2015 READ MORE



Puerto Rico Is Emptying of People as Its Economy Disintegrates

As Puerto Rico begins to ration water, close schools and lose its health care system under the weight of a $73 billion debt, tens of thousands of its inhabitants are fleeing to the United States, where prospects of finding a better life are dim.

Posted on Jul 3, 2015 READ MORE



America’s Slave Empire

The only way brutality and economic exploitation in prisons can be halted is by attacking the system of neoslavery that defines our prison system. Alabama prisoners are leading a call for work stoppages in an effort to break the U.S. system of mass incarceration.

Posted on Jun 21, 2015 READ MORE



Pope Francis Issues Major Call to Rescue a Planet in Crisis

In a close reading of the first papal encyclical focused exclusively on the global ecological crisis, The New York Times finds the head of the Catholic Church calling on leaders and people from all cultures to act to protect the world’s ecosystems and the disadvantaged from predatory and shortsighted political and economic systems.

Posted on Jun 18, 2015 READ MORE



FCC Wants to Fine AT&T $100 Million for Throttling Data Speeds

So much for “unlimited” data. The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday announced that it plans to order AT&T to pay $100 million for some sneaky business the telecom giant engaged in with regard to its supposedly unfettered data plans.

Posted on Jun 17, 2015 READ MORE



‘Fast Track’ Would Hand the Money Monopoly to Private Banks—Permanently

If successful, the rush to “fast track” a trio of controversial trade deals would nip attempts to implement public banking and other monetary reforms in the bud.

Posted on Jun 13, 2015 READ MORE



Why Organic Farmers Are Angry With Whole Foods

The chain’s latest move is another strike against its holier-than-thou image.

Posted on Jun 12, 2015 READ MORE



What We Know (and Don’t Know) About This Year’s Bilderberg Meeting

What could possibly be sinister about leaders of the world’s most powerful companies and countries meeting in closed sessions on an Austrian mountaintop to discuss global strategy?

Posted on Jun 11, 2015 READ MORE



Flipping the Script: Rethinking Working-Class Resistance

I came alive as a youth when I realized that what the ruling class called my deficits were actually my strengths: a sense of solidarity, compassion, a merging of the mind and the body, a willingness to learn and take risks, embracing passion, connecting knowledge to power, being attentive to the injuries of others and embracing a sense of social justice.

Posted on Jun 11, 2015 READ MORE



Cartier Boss Says Thought of the Poor Rising Up Keeps Him ‘Awake at Night’

The multibillionaire owner of the luxury jewelry company admitted to a group of his peers that he fears the poor will rise up and bring down the rich.

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 READ MORE



A Magical Mystery Tour of American Austerity Politics

Numerous cities and school districts in Michigan are now run by single, state-appointed technocrats. This arrangement not only strips residents of their local voting rights but also gives appointees of the state’s austerity-promoting governor the power to do just about anything, including dissolve the cities themselves, all in the name of “fiscal responsibility.”

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: Meet the Spanish Occupy Activist Who Became Mayor of Barcelona

Longtime anti-eviction activist Ada Colau recently became the first female mayor of Barcelona, Spain. She has vowed to fine banks, stop evictions, expand public housing, improve wages, force utility companies to lower their prices and slash the mayoral salary. She tells “Democracy Now!” about her victory and her plans for her city and her country.

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 READ MORE



Karl Marx Was Right

The economist and philosopher foresaw that capitalism had built within it the seeds of its own destruction, that the greed of a tiny elite would eventually bring down the system. The final stages that he predicted are visible all around us now.

Posted on May 31, 2015 READ MORE



The Worst of All Possible Worlds: Why Global Society Is Becoming the Un-Sweden

We might all be eating off of IKEA tableware, listening to Spotify and reading the latest “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” knockoff, but we are not living in a giant Sweden. Forget about the “new industrial state.” Our world is converging in a far more dystopian way.

Posted on May 27, 2015 READ MORE



Our Mania for Hope Is a Curse

Our corporate masters know that our obsession with hope—the irrational belief we are headed toward some glorious future—causes us to ignore reality and remain disempowered. And this is why they peddle the myth of inevitable progress across the cultural and political spectrum.

Posted on May 24, 2015 READ MORE



An Exclusive Excerpt From ‘Trade Is War’

In his new book, subtitled “The West’s War Against the World,” international trade expert Yash Tandon challenges the notion that free trade helps countries develop. Instead, he finds, it often fosters poverty and violence.

Posted on May 22, 2015 READ MORE



If Trade Is War, It’s Time We Fought Back

For decades we have heard that free trade would result in prosperity for all. But in fact, the rich have gotten richer, the poor poorer, and the planet has been thrown into peril.

Posted on May 21, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: Chris Hedges: ‘A Look at What It Takes to Rebel’

At The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, N.Y., Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges spoke about how his new book, “Wages of Rebellion,” differs from his previous works.

Posted on May 20, 2015 READ MORE



AUDIO: ‘The Amazon Is Not for Sale’: a Poem About the Destruction of the Environment for Profit

L.E. Goldstein’s lyrical lines fill the imagination with the beauty of an area that is quickly becoming one of the many casualties of a world overrun with capitalist greed and corruption.

Posted on May 13, 2015 READ MORE


AUDIO: What Does Chris Hedges Really Want From Us? (Updated)

In advance of the May 12 release of Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges’ new book, “Wages of Rebellion,” Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer asks Hedges what he’s really asking people to do when he urges them to revolt. Update: Transcript added.

Posted on May 9, 2015 READ MORE


John Oliver: Trendy Clothes Are So Cheap We Don’t Care About the Exploited People Who Make Them

“Fast-fashion” retailers H&M, Zara and Forever 21 have exploited desperately impoverished people around the world to make trendy clothing “cheaper than ever, and cheap clothing is trendier than ever,” says John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.”

Posted on Apr 27, 2015 READ MORE



Truthdigger of the Week: Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price

This American capitalist is doing the almost unheard-of: slashing his own pay and giving his employees raises big enough to allow them and their families to enjoy life.

Posted on Apr 25, 2015 READ MORE



Anti-Sovereignty Trans-Pacific Partnership Passes House Committee

An agreement that would free companies engaged in international trade from rules intended to protect labor, environmental and other interests cleared a key committee in the U.S. Congress.

Posted on Apr 24, 2015 READ MORE



If Privatizing Education Aggravates Inequality, Why Does the World Bank Support It?

Fifteen years after the international community committed itself to bringing primary education to every boy and girl, 58 million children still lack access to schools, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 READ MORE



Domestic Terrorism, Youth and the Politics of Disposability

A new kind of infantilism now shapes daily life as adults gleefully take on the role of unthinking children and children are taught to be adults, stripped of their innocence and subject to a range of disciplinary pressures designed to cripple their ability to be imaginative.

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 READ MORE



Hundreds Perish in What May Be the Mediterranean’s ‘Deadliest Migrant Disaster’

“Authorities described a grisly scene of bodies floating and submerging in the warm waters” of the Mediterranean, where “hundreds of people were feared dead Sunday after a ship crowded with migrants capsized and sank.”

Posted on Apr 20, 2015 READ MORE



The Continuing Depopulation of Detroit

The city that was the arsenal of the 20th century may also provide the blueprint for a more precarious era: 100,000 of its residents are on what many call an eviction “conveyor belt.”

Posted on Apr 20, 2015 READ MORE


‘I’m Tired All the Time’: What Minimum Wage Feels Like

Sabrina Johnson and Edith Figueroa are among tens of thousands of fast-food workers who have mobilized under the banner of the “Fight for $15” to demand better wages and the right to form a union.

Posted on Apr 15, 2015 READ MORE



How America’s Theme Parks Kill Our Souls

Why so few smiles at a family-oriented theme park? Maybe because deep down, many attendees realize they’re being taken for another kind of ride.

Posted on Apr 10, 2015 READ MORE



British M.D.: Privatization Compromises the Quality of Health Care

A year spent working as a doctor in India taught Hannah Fox “how a publicly funded healthcare system creates an optimal environment for ethical decision-making,” especially in end-of-life care.

Posted on Apr 9, 2015 READ MORE



How America Became an Oligarchy

At the core of the doctrine that all people have “certain inalienable rights” is the right to vote. But the collective will of American voters no longer prevails. And private banking is largely to blame.

Posted on Apr 8, 2015 READ MORE



Which Is Better for Innovation: Capitalism or Democratic Socialism?

“At the heart” of capitalism, philosopher Tony Smith writes, “we find neither bold entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, nor established firms.”

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 READ MORE



Terrorism, Violence, and the Culture of Madness

So-called free market policies, values, and practices with their emphasis on the privatization of public wealth, the elimination of social protections, and the deregulation of economic activity now shape practically every commanding political and economic institution in the United States.

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 READ MORE



No One Is Free Until All Are Free

The fight to end male violence against women is crucial to the struggles of wider liberation. We cannot stand up for some of the oppressed and ignore others who are oppressed.

Posted on Mar 29, 2015 READ MORE



California Water Wars: Another Form of Asset Stripping?

The battle over California’s limited water supply is pitting the people against the new “water barons”—Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Monsanto and their ilk—who are buying up water all over the world at an unprecedented pace.

Posted on Mar 27, 2015 READ MORE



Journalism as Subversion

The journalist P. Sainath has worked for more than 20 years to amplify the voices and lives of the rural poor of India as corporate-controlled media have attempted to erase them from history. (Pictured, an Indian farmer in his damaged field.)

Posted on Mar 22, 2015 READ MORE



The Most Dangerous Woman in America

Kshama Sawant, the socialist on the Seattle City Council, is up for re-election, and the Establishment is determined to defeat her and the ideas she champions before they spread.

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 READ MORE


Part-Time Workers in Japan Are Living in Internet Cafes

A short film takes us into the lives of former Japanese “salarymen” and others who, because they lost work, have taken refuge in the cramped, bleak cubicles that honeycomb their society’s Internet cafes.

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 READ MORE



Organizers Fail to Ban Chris Hedges From Speaking at Vancouver Conference

In response to his Truthdig column of March 8 on capitalism, the sex industry and the political left, organizers of an upcoming conference on exploitation and activism in Canada tried to remove the writer as keynote speaker.

Posted on Mar 14, 2015 READ MORE



The Real Story Behind the Oil Price Collapse

With demand stagnant and excess production the story of the moment, the very strategy that once generated record-breaking profits for the oil industry has suddenly become hopelessly dysfunctional.

Posted on Mar 13, 2015 READ MORE



Greece Can’t Do It Alone: Austerity Victims of the World, Unite!

For the anti-austerity struggle in Greece and elsewhere to become effective and sustainable, it must be raised from the national level to the international level.

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 READ MORE



Tariq Ali: The Time Is Right for a Palace Revolution

One of our most trenchant critics of corporate capitalism deplores the rise of an “extreme center” that has seized control of the political process and wages endless war while doing the bidding of global corporations. Our only hope, he says, is revolt.

Posted on Mar 1, 2015 READ MORE



Survey: More Than 60% of Germans Believe Capitalism, Democracy Are Mutually Exclusive

It’s been 25 years and change since the Berlin Wall came down, but as it turns out, many Germans now aren’t so big on the whole capitalism thing.

Posted on Feb 24, 2015 READ MORE


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