November 12, 2003

It's STILL the Economy, Stupid! - -

The "Far Right's" nearly total capture of all three components of the Federal Government has illuminated glaringly its unified vision and plan for the future of the planet. The War in Iraq is really just a small piece of the whole. Even as I write, The Cheney Gang meets to decide how to abandon the venture so that it won't lose the '04 election. Believe me, it is just this sort of context in which Cheney, Rove, and the rest of 'em do their best work. The spin created will undoubtedly be centrifugal in nature.

The supreme spread of free-market capitalism is the Grand Prize. When a tool for this purpose (such as the Iraq occupation) outlives its usefulness, it is returned to the shop. In The Gang's eyes, the "Mission Accomplished" banner was right on: Saddam was in the way of USX oil profits, now he's in hiding; the oil has been seized; the tanking fortunes of several corporations have been restabilized with billions of "rebuilding" pass-through dollars; the federal deficit is sufficiently large to ensure that federal spending on just about everything will disappear; privatization and militarization proceed steadily; and the filthy rich just keep getting filthier.

Frankly, I think these folks are now in a position where it doesn't really matter who lives in the White House beginning in 2005. The Cheney Gang's goal is to make government irrelevant. Even if a Dumbopublican wins in '04, the tidal waves will still hit the beach relentlessly.

That is why a truly progressive force must gather. And that force must be as relentless as the forces of corporatism. There is much to be learned.

We will be singularly unsuccessful if we try to revive and refurbish (spin?) old ideas. Whether or not the formulae of communism, socialism, and other known alternatives to capitalism have been "discredited", they simply won't play in Peoria. Some smart folks, however, are making the argument that (a) capitalism is not a static economic system and (b) if it is not developed in a different direction, it will cause irreparable damage to society.

Michael Albert, writing in ZNet, is one of these people. In this piece, he discusses the concept of "Participatory Economics (Parecon)". I like it. Enjoy.

Be at peace.