Peking University, School of Marxist Studies
May 5-6, 2018
Volumes II and III of Marx’s Capital describe how debt grows exponentially, burdening the economy with carrying charges. This overhead is subjecting today’s Western finance-capitalist economies to austerity, shrinking living standards and capital investment while increasing their cost of living and doing business. That is the main reason why they are losing their export markets and becoming de-industrialized.
Trump’s infrastructure privatization plan is a hat trick that optimistically turns $200 billion into $1.5 trillion, is designed to eliminate the public sector and to bankrupt cities and states, says economist Michael Hudson.
Have you noticed that it’s no longer PC Dixon of Dock Green who mediates the relationship between the state and its citizens as he goes about his beat in your neighbourhood? Instead, it’s a Kevlar-armoured, video-monitored, taser-equipped, drone-surveilled, spit-masked supplied soldier, straight out of Star Wars, who now staggers along under the weight of an industrialized capitalism, visibly physically disconnected from the citizens they monitor by their bullet-proof uniforms, that more resemble a rack of tools in your local hardware store than the Bobby on the beat.
Few Americans know about our nation’s system of immigrant detention centers. Each year, the U.S. government locks up roughly 440,000 immigrants in over 200 immigrant prisons. Companies like the CCA and Geo Group, got started in the 1980s, and have since made over $12 billion in profits, largely from immigrant detention.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Diane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush and author of Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the growth of the charter school industry.
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses restoring America’s justice system with legal scholar Edgar Cahn. Cahn is a law professor, former counsel and speechwriter to Robert F. Kennedy, and co-founder of the Antioch School of Law which placed emphasis on serving the poor and trained prospective lawyers in social activism. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil examines the collapse of our legal system.
Imperialism, explains renowned economist Jayati Ghosh – whether explicit or implicit – is about the struggle to control economic territory such as markets, workers & labor, natural resources and new kinds of markets that are developed.
Here is a debate held at Wesleyan University in 2005 between Christopher Hitchens and me. Hitchens went to his grave as a supporter of the Bush/Cheney venture. He supported Bush in 2004. His turn to the right (from weak leftish/center) won him the attention of all the mass media, especially Fox and the like, and lecture invitations at fat fees. Others of us were less enthralled about his anti-Islam warrior politics.
May 15th-19th has been designated “National Infrastructure Week” by the US Chambers of Commerce, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and over 150 affiliates. Their message: “It’s time to rebuild.” Ever since ASCE began issuing its “National Infrastructure Report Card” in 1998, the nation has gotten a dismal grade of D or D+. In the meantime, the estimated cost of fixing its infrastructure has gone up from $1.3 trillion to $4.6 trillion.