Category: CAPITALISM & SOCIALISM

Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class

CHRIS WRIGHT—How can society ever get to this point? Evidently only through upheavals so painful that it becomes clear there is no other option. Revolutionary change on such a scale happens only by means of unprecedented crisis, which is to say social discontent so extreme that half-measures are cast aside as pitifully inadequate. As long as a large middle class exists to serve as a bulwark of social stability and relatively conservative politics, the requisite crisis will not happen. Society has to polarize between a tiny minority of ultra-rich and a huge majority of unprotected, insecure, ecologically vulnerable, politically desperate people whose violent discontent propels the “revolution” forward.

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What’s Wrong with Sigmund Freud?

SUSAN ROSENTHAL—In the 1970s, the capitalist class launched an offensive to retake lost ground. The economic assault on workers’ organizations, wages, benefits, and conditions was accompanied by virulent victim-blaming. Sick people were blamed for making bad choices. Injured workers were blamed for not working safely. Welfare recipients were portrayed as lazy cheats. Affirmative action and the right to abortion came under attack.

As the balance of forces shifted in favour of the capitalist class, the deniers of child abuse grew more confident. In 1992, Pamela and Peter Freyd founded the False Memory Syndrome Foundation after their daughter (with the support of her grandmother and uncle) accused her father of childhood sexual assault.

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Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC

CHARLES PIERSON—If all else fails, the US can always use force to keep Americans out of the ICC’s grip. In his address to the Federalist Society, Bolton alluded to the American Service-Members’ Protection Act of 2002 (ASPA). Bolton even used the Act’s jocular nickname, the “Hague Invasion Act.” ASPA got that nickname because it empowers the president to use “all means necessary and appropriate,” including military force, to liberate Americans held by the ICC. Bolton would welcome the opportunity.

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Reform vs. Awakening (revisited)

ERIC SCHECHTER—As I’ve already mentioned, people aren’t basically greedy and selfish. But our current culture certainly trains those traits into us. They’re built into the so-called “American dream”: You keep your stuff in your house, I keep my stuff in my house, and we’re taught that we don’t need to care about each other. Shootings in schools and shopping malls have become commonplace.

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