Sep 25, 2008

a System in flux: trying to get our brains wrapped around the crisis in capitalism

central ideas growing from this "threewayfight" discussion board is that the System - capitalism and the administrative States - represent dynamic sets of entities in a constant flux of shaping and reshaping themselves. beyond the Systems own internal dialectic this motion and how the System manifests itself weighs heavily on the trajectory - the politics and focus - of the opposition movements. anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, fascism, popular reactionary movements, radical expressions of liberation, all are impacted by the System and vice versa. simple, right?

at times we can have a developed and fairly sophisticated praxis, at other moments our understanding is still waiting outside the door fumbling for the keys.

for several of us that contribute to threewayfight - or those who use the sites information to help draw out and develop ideas - the economic aspect of the System is paid little attention. seemingly strange considering that a total critique of these societies demands us having a grasp on how the capitalist society we are looking to uproot and overturn actually functions. but i said seemingly because we acknowledge a lack of full knowledge. its from here that we are trying to talk about and understand what is happening.

the housing crisis, the bailouts or liquidation of financial institutions, and now the $700B bailout of the market, is forcing a new discussion that many of us have only just thought over in rudimentary terms. the Democrats want us to see their party as the saviors of the common people. some Republicans are "outraged" by the Bush/Paulson bailout plan because it has government tinkering with the economy. by and large the boss class - both parties - would like for us to keep sleepwalking as they construct our futures; a future that every economist is saying is completely uncertain.

we are going to try to point "our side" in the direction of news, analysis, and overviews that deal with this future.

we cant afford to sleepwalk through the nightmares the masters create.

1) Capitalism in Crisis? by D. Hamerquist

"There is no evidence of capitalist complacency in the current situation – but there is a good possibility that many left radicals will relax and snooze their way through it. I recommend that those who see the current situation as just “capitalists just being capitalist” make sure they understand the concept and the function of “leverage” and then google - ‘collateralized debt obligation’ and ‘credit default swap’. This should provide some recovery therapy for business as usual disorders on the left."

2) Paul Bowman writes for the Workers Solidarity Movement, Fiancial Weapons of Mass Destruction

"as a system of social relations, capitalism is also a system with internal mechanics. Those mechanics evolve in response to the historical development of struggles over exploitation, but what new directions the new mechanics make possible in terms of capitalist strategies, in turn, shape the new struggles of today and tomorrow."

3) Kevin Phillips interviewed on the Bill Moyers Journal

"KEVIN PHILLIPS: Well, just to give you an example of how many there are… I sometimes use the description 'seven sharks.' There are seven sharks in the tank with the economy… Now, whenever you get this sort of package in one decade, you got a big one. And when Greenspan says it's a once a century, I think it's another variation but on a par with the Thirties.”

4) Michael Hudson writes for Counterpunch, The Paulson-Bernake bank Bailout Plan: Will the Cure be worse than the Crisis?

"The question to be asked is just how much will the economy’s debt overhead grow, and what will it cost debtors (a.k.a. “taxpayers”)? And how will the economy look when the dust settles?"

5) from the Maoist Kasama site, Overview of the Financial Crisis.