Told Ya So

Just a few notes on the financial collapse (fuck "crisis": the dow is hovering around 8000 after only falling under 10,000 for the first time since 2004 last week.) Everyone, I think, ought to read and listen to the following:
  1. This blog post and its attendant quotes and links. The short version: even if you're gung-ho pro-capitalism, favoring the rich undermines the prosperity of a consumer society, because everyone who isn't in the top echelon is forced to borrow A LOT to maintain their lifestyle, which is in turn unsustainable in the long run. As we're seeing right now.
  2. The This American Life episode The Giant Pool of Money: a very concise and entertaining explanation of how the collapse happened.
  3. The This American Life episode Another Frightening Show about the Economy, an update on the collapse as of last week.
  4. A recent article by Francis Fukuyama, formerly one of the great visionaries of the neo-cons, who has been back-peddling ever since the Iraq War proved to be an utter disaster.
  5. Finally, a recent article by Immanuel Wallerstein, the great Marxist macro-economic history guy, with a very calm, measured account of the shift that all of this will probably bring about in global capitalism. He's old enough not to get too worked up, I think...
And it makes me think of my guy, André Gorz. Some of his last writing before he died was about precisely this phenomenon, a capitalism that was originally based on physical labor producing tangible products now being based mostly on information and speculation, things that fundamentally don't fit the system because you can never determine how much an idea is "really" worth, and hence you can't buy it and sell it in any kind of stable way...as we're seeing right now.

So, yeah, the lefties have the right to say "told ya so" now, but I don't think there's much call for schadenfreude, because we're all taking it on the chin as a result of the financial policies of Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and, especially, Bush 2.

(I admit, however, at least a little schadenfreude knowing that thousands of hedge-fund vampires are now broke and desperate...I'd love to see a little more 1929 action with assholes in suits jumping off of buildings on Wall St.)


Dolce Vita said...

Another up-side to all this meltdown (and associated I-told-you so's) is that your dissertation about Gorz will have the hiring committees drooling for more of your insightful analysis on this overlooked-but-oh-so-significant 20th century thinker. I can hear the phone ringing with job offers now!

kungfuramone said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence. :]