Author Archives: oliverMiau

If We Are in the Death Spiral of Capitalism, Can We Start Using the "S" Word?

“It was also supposed to be a simple matter for the masses to take over or “seize” the physical infrastructure of industrial capitalism–the “means of production”–and start putting it to work for the common good. But much of the means of production has fled overseas–to China, for example, that bastion of authoritarian capitalism. When we look around our increasingly shuttered landscape and survey the ruins of finance capitalism, we see bank upon bank, realty and mortgage companies, title companies, insurance companies, credit-rating agencies and call centers, but not enough enterprises making anything we could actually use, like food or pharmaceuticals.”

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Only in America Could Misery Be Turned Into a Commodity / By Joe Bageant

“Psychological practice and its institutions benefit greatly from this. After all, they are in the alienation business. It is entirely in the profession’s best interests that it treats us as if our lives are lived in a vacuum, our loneliness and despair are entirely our own, as if there were no such thing as context, much less American society’s corrosive and toxic environment in which so many of us live out our lives.”

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The Upcoming Political Crisis in Washington / By David Gordian

“As always with the all-things-to-all-people Obama, it is possible to sift through his recent speeches and find words of comfort (to those who opt for saving the economy rather than Finance) even as the Fed, FDIC and Treasury keep pouring out trillions to Finance. Further, in areas as critical as civil liberties and Empire, Obama has managed to speak out of both sides of the mouth in a manner seldom if ever seen in history and – so far – to avoid the messes that usually come with that. “

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Dithering on the Edge of the Abyss / By Mike Whitney

“The good news is that Obama’s economics team understands the fundamental problem with the banks and knows what needs to be done to fix it. The bad news is that Bernanke, Summers and Geithner all have close ties to the big banks and refuse to do what’s necessary.”

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Civil Unrest in America? / By José Miguel Alonso Trabanco

“The bailout plan promoted by former US Secretary of the Treasury Henry “Hank” Paulson amounts to a sum of money that is superior to the Louisiana Purchase, the New Deal, the Marshall Plan, the Apollo Lunar Project, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Iraq and other large government expenditures – combined (!).”

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Hollywood's New Censors / By John Pilger

“During the cold war, Hollywood’s state propaganda was unabashed. The classic 1957 dance movie, Silk Stockings, was an anti-Soviet diatribe interrupted by the fabulous footwork of Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire. These days, there are two types of censorship. The first is censorship by introspective dross. Betraying its long tradition of producing gems, escapist Hollywood is consumed by the corporate formula: just make ’em long and asinine and hope the hype will pay off. “

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The Deep Politics of Hollywood

“The Cruise case points to the overlooked notion that the internal mechanisms of Hollywood are not determined entirely by audience desires, as one might expect, nor are they geared to respond solely to the decisions of studio creatives, or even those of the studio heads themselves. In 2000, The Hollywood Reporter released a top 100 list of the most powerful figures in the industry over the past 70 years. Rupert Murdoch, chief of News Corporation, which owns Twentieth Century Fox, was the most powerful living figure. With the exception of director Steven Spielberg (no. 3), no artists appeared in the top 10.”

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