Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

53 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. sunshine,

    I await your next message board post with interest.

    I don’t think China is interested in creating a world empire as the West understands that concept. China is interested in a (large) secure homeland and in drawing resources and tribute from the rest of the world. Tribute without occupation is their essential strategy outside their slowly but steadily expanding homeland.The homeland is expanded by incremental expansions consolidated over long periods of time, not by swift expeditionary conquest. It’s a very different strategy to that of Western Imperialism and much better suited to a fully settled world.

  2. Below is another link in relation to the paradigm view of capitalism as a magical or religious set of beliefs. I post this as an atheist.

    “Eugene McCarraher’s “The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity.”

    “In mistaking the laws of capital accumulation for fundamental laws of the world, we mistake something temporary and mutable for something eternal and unchanging, and set up for ourselves the impossible task of conforming our lives to these “objective” laws, rather than realizing that we can and should re-shape these temporary laws and institutions in the image of the basic and unchanging needs of human beings.” – Danial Walden

    “Economists bring glad tidings that the GDP continues to rise, which is supposed to reassure us that despite widespread poverty, crushing debt, and children caged on our border, the talismanic power of rising numbers will somehow see us through.” – Danial Walden

    To me it seems clear that capitalism is, among many other things, a modern religion. That does not exhaust all that it is of course. But capitalism has a strong religio-ideological hold on most modern minds. Among adherents, the issue of whether the “religio” or the “ideo” predominates depends on the level of intellectualism. Most adherents simply believe in capitalism. A few can enunciate the deeper theories of economics and of, capitalist or mixed, market economies. Those few who can enunciate the deeper theories often disagree on both essentialsand details. There is no settled, irrefutable theory precisely because there are no empirical tests for it. Yet most still believe in capitalism. The belief in its efficacy arises in the minds of many by other than logical argument or theoretical demonstration. Most would cite empirical demonstration as the clincher but where modern unfettered capitalism is unleashed, most recently as neoliberalism, it rapidly destroys both social and environmental systems now that it has the “mass” to do so. A pun on “mass” is intended. The raw mass of humans, affluence and technology, as in I = P × A × T impacts on the environment. (The expression equates human impact on the environment (I) to the product of three factors: population (P), affluence (A) and technology (T). – Wikipedia. The religious “mass” of capitalism is its “liturgy of numbers” (denominated in the nominal numéraire measuring the social-fictive dimension of “value”.

    The coming global collapse of environment and (capitalist) civilization will comprehensively refute the rituals, sacraments and promises of capitalism. Only the system’s self-destruction will change minds. Logical arguments fail against blind faith reasoners. Empirical proofs as demonstrations from nature will change (some) old minds and certainly school new young minds in the coming new reality.

  3. To complete the above post, I strongly agree with this passage.

    “… the central depravity of capitalism is that it represents a perversion of human nature, a rupture between how we ought to be and how we are forced to behave. We are social creatures who flourish in community with other people, and yet capitalism has made physical and emotional suffering into a precondition for living in any kind of community at all. It has alternately promised an idyllic automated Eden free of labor or a futuristic utopia of unimaginable abundance, but always delivers instead a Pandæmonium, an infernal city of strife in which the nature that draws us together pits us against one another.” – Daniel Walden.

    Certainly, we see those infernal cities of strife across the USA right now in its apotheosis of unfettered capitalism under the rule of a billionaire with tendencies to sociopathy and neo-fascism. The Postal Service is being gutted to prevent delivery of postal ballots which would enable a genuinely free election in a time of COVID-19 pandemic. Imagine that, sabotaging democracy, social well-being and the nation’s internal peace and security for personal power! Such is the end towards which unfettered capitalism tends.

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