The Great American Novel

RothColonel Chichikov relates how his experiences with American capitalism provided Stalin with this classic witticism:

From each according to his stupidity, to each according to his greed.

I have to admit that when I read this passage in Philip Roth’s The Great American Novel, I was confused: although the witticism is attributed to Stalin, it seemed to fit the current Republican Party much better than pre-war Communism in the USSR.

In fact, the more I read Roth’s novel, the more it illuminated the current political situation in the United States. How do you gain power, power to control the population? Lies, character assassinations, spreading fear, promoting myths, creating enemies, developing hatred and fear.

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The End of Capitalism Has Begun

CapitalismEveryone should read Paul Mason’s article in The Guardian titled, The End of Capitalism Has begun. It’s full of ideas and observations, many of which are intuitive but others came as a complete surprise. It’s long but well worth reading to the end.

The premise is, of course, that Capitalism is unsustainable and is in fact already being taken over by a new and more logical model which the author calls Post-Capitalism. The key element of Post-Capitalism is the explosion in the accessibility of information in the age of computers and the internet. One observation Mason makes is that information does not fit into the tradition business model of Capitalism. To put it succinctly: What do you charge for information? The traditional model would charge based on the scarcity of the product—the more rare it is, the more it costs—but information is everywhere and can easily be accessed. As the information grows, if you follow the traditional pricing method, the product will get cheaper and cheaper until the business can no longer support itself and goes under. Capitalism is eating it’s young.

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Wrapped In a Flag and Carrying a Cross

MossoliniHere’s a really interesting website to poke around in … give it a peek. It’s called Rational Revolution so keep an open mind. What I found most interesting was the almost spot on discussion of Twentieth Century Fascism and the right-wing (Conservative/Republican) factions in the United States today. How can we not refer to the right-wing conservative Republicans as Fascists?

Here’s a few words from the website.

Fascism Part I: Understanding Fascism and anti-Semitism

by image – October 23, 2003

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Capitalism Is Over

capitalismI have been reading a lot on the internet, catching up with the holidays where I tended to veg-out under the covers. This article in Salon originally appeared in the TomDispatch written by Rebecca Solnit. The article makes a strong point for what I will conclude is a reactionary capitalistic oligarchy having gone too far in the pursuit of vast profits at the expense of the health of this planet and the whole concept of truth and empathy, opting instead for lying, corruption, and strong-arm tactics to subdue the country and have it bow to their wishes.

Rebecca Solmit assesses our poisonous fossil fuel dependency — and why we’re on the verge of a paradigm shift. I think there’s an old adage in history: if you go too far, someone will invent a guillotine (or something to that effect).

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