Monday, April 30, 2007

Capitalism and its Discontents

Entertaining essay on the discursive impossibility of ever critiquing capitalism over at "Counterpunch." Definitely worth a read. Of course, we'd never say anything bad here about capitalism...Nah.

http://www.counterpunch.org/jensen04302007.html

"We know that capitalism is not just the most sensible way to organize an economy but is now the only possible way to organize an economy. We know that dissenters to this conventional wisdom can, and should, be ignored. There's no longer even any need to persecute such heretics; they are obviously irrelevant.

How do we know all this? Because we are told so, relentlessly -- typically by those who have the most to gain from such a claim, most notably those in the business world and their functionaries and apologists in the schools, universities, mass media, and mainstream politics. Capitalism is not a choice, but rather simply is, like a state of nature.

Maybe not like a state of nature, but the state of nature. To contest capitalism these days is like arguing against the air that we breathe. Arguing against capitalism, we're told, is simply crazy.We are told, over and over, that capitalism is not just the system we have, but the only system we can ever have. Yet for many, something nags at us about such a claim. Could this really be the only option? We're told we shouldn't even think about such things. But we can't help thinking -- is this really the "end of history," in the sense that big thinkers have used that phrase to signal the final victory of global capitalism? If this is the end of history in that sense, we wonder, can the actual end of the planet far behind?"

Sharon

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