Broad Oak: your emotional support animal

Friday, September 26, 2008

A crisis of democracy, not of capitalism

One of the features of the present crisis is that it is not so much financial as political. Vast bailouts of greedy and destructive banks lead Americans to ask, who is running the country, and for whose benefit? Mish and others are turning from financial commentators to pro-democracy activists.

Shall "Government of the people, by the people and for the people" perish from the earth? The lazy, defeatist cynics of the UK fail to understand how Lincoln's words still burn brightly in many Americans' hearts. It's why they are so quick to attack their politicians as liars and shysters, wheras we merely expect them to be that anyway. Their idealism shames us.

7 comments:

dearieme said...

This blog keeps crashing my browser.

SACKERSON said...

Sorry, maybe it's the Outbrain stuff I addfed - the rating & suggestions widget. I may remove it.

hatfield girl said...

There may have been a tendency to think of capitalism as a monolithic system. There has been such a tendency to think this of the Soviet economic system when actually it transformed and responded reasonably effectively for quite a long time.

At the moment social market capitalism is probably being quite successful in continental Europe, and hyper-liberal capitalism is having a really bad time outside. Democracy tends to go with market capitalism. So yes, democracy is getting a battering but it isn't just due to a particular capitalist form collapse. It's due to having a democratic tendency to dump failing rulers who don't want to go. It's entirely political (unless you're of a Marxist persuasion and believe in sub-structures generating super-structure etc., of course.)

Credit where it's due. For lots of Americans democracy does shine brightly and is worth personal and social sacrifice. That's what's particularly dispiriting about the bahaviour of the wider Labour movement and its members.

SACKERSON said...

Thank you, HG, nice to see another who will give the Americans their due.

dearieme said...

Here's another thing to the Yanks' credit. Their bunch of economists who've written to their government are broadly right. Remember the 364 duds who wrote rubbish to Thatcher?

SACKERSON said...

Hazily, DM. Are they the same crowd who said California's economy would collapse if Proposition 13 was passed?

dearieme said...

Dunno. What I remember most clearly was laughing at the obvious attempt to recruit one economist for every day of the year, and failing.

PS site still jittery.