Matt Taibbi concluded that the 2008 Wall Street bailout had “built a banking system that discriminates against community banks, makes Too Big to Fail banks even Too Bigger to Failier, increases risk, discourages sound business lending and punishes savings by making it even easier and more profitable to chase high-yield investments than to compete for small depositors.” In this post-crash environment, the largest financial institutions gained more of a hegemonic grip than ever, with the five biggest banks having come to own almost half the industry by 2015.
Covid-19 has brought about the era of biopolitics, an era that will continue for the foreseeable future. This is because the virus is far from being defeated; a resurgence of it is likely to happen this fall, and the neoliberal world’s refusal to sacrifice business for public health is sure to perpetuate the pandemic for as long as neoliberalism exists. Biopolitics is also here to stay because we’ve reached a point in the climate crisis where global weather patterns are much more compatible with viruses than they used to be. More viruses are going to appear in the coming years with increasing ferocity, which will necessitate an irreversible series of changes to how society functions.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on May 30, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to John Ralston Saul, author and president emeritus of Pen International, about how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weakness of American society, and accelerated the decline of the American Empire.
The presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed the reputation of the Democratic Party from the party of the Southern slaveholders to that of “friend of the working people”—a reputation that the Democratic Party, undeservedly, continues to enjoy.
At a certain point in an age of absurdity the normalization of madness becomes so common that it is almost indiscernible to most in the thick of it. Indeed, late capitalism, the stage which is undoubtedly preceding complete barbarism, has produced an endless stream of absurdities which not only insult the senses of those who possess a conscience and a modicum of critical thinking skills, but can also deliver a fatal injury as we are seeing unfold in real time with tepid or reckless responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the global coronavirus public health and economic crisis of 2020 approaches the international workers’ day May 1st, let us consider 23 ways in which it is a crisis of and by capital and its class rule profits system:
“Well also within the working-class, Marx talked about you have the lumpenproletariat and what the lumpenproletariat is, is people that are part of the working class but they’re never really allowed to be part of the working class. Their income comes from criminal activities mostly. They’re barely employed, they’re barely surviving, they’re desperately poor and they’re just completely locked out.” — Caleb Maupin
The United States and the other core imperialist countries haven’t had socialist revolutions because the masses within them have been kept complacent. They’ve directly or indirectly benefited from the exploitation of colonized peoples, enjoying relative economic advantages despite their being subordinate to the capitalist class. Even as inequality has increased in the last generation or so, this has let the system keep them from taking action. They’ve been told that they need to be loyal to their country, that they can get ahead if they try, that capitalism gives them a better lifestyle than socialism would.
The Laura Flanders Show on Apr 26, 2016
Author and professor Peter Linebaugh discusses his new book, The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day. Later in the show filmmaker Avi Lewis discusses worker-owned factories in Argentina, and Laura focuses on the intersectional feminism of 19th Century Anarchist Lucy Parsons.
Since the United States became the main world power in the 1940s, opening corporations up to the countries the U.S. empire would come to exploit in the following decades, working class people in America have filled a role more disposable than had previously been the case. Labor could be easily extracted by U.S. corporations from the Third World, because capitalism was now centered around the largest empire in world history. But now the economic order is changing, and the U.S. capitalist class is needing to adapt.
“The Democratic Party know they’re safe with Biden. Look, it’s the fact, it’s all of these programs of austerity, the evisceration of our constitutional rights and civil liberties, the right to privacy, the complete control of the legislative process by corporate lobbyists and corporate money. The massive amounts of money it takes to run which comes from the oligarchs which is only a form of legalized bribery.” — Chris Hedges