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Friday, December 19 2014 @ 06:11 AM CST

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Capitalism Unchained: The Six-Step Process to Wipe Out the Poor Half of the US

Capitalism

One of the themes of the superb writing of Henry Giroux is that more and more Americans are becoming "disposable," recognized as either commodities or criminals by the more fortunate members of society. There seems to be a method to the madness of winner-take-all capitalism. The following steps, whether due to greed or indifference or disdain, are the means by which America's wealth-takers dispose of the people they don't need.

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Jimmy John's Makes Low-Wage Workers Sign 'Oppressive' Noncompete Agreements

Capitalism

A Jimmy John's employment agreement provided to The Huffington Post includes a "non-competition" clause that's surprising in its breadth. Noncompete agreements are typically reserved for managers or employees who could clearly exploit a business's inside information by jumping to a competitor. But at Jimmy John's, the agreement apparently applies to low-wage sandwich makers and delivery drivers, too.

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Mobilizing for Justice in the Anthropocene

Capitalism

In the interviews you hold with Chomsky and Hardt in Grabbing Backboth thinkers point out the irony whereby the so-called “socialist” governments that have been elected throughout much of Latin America in recent years—Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Uruguay, for example—notoriously have in fact been engaged in a significant intensification of the extractivist trends which their neoliberal precedecessors oversaw. This developmentalism has inexorably brought these “Pink Tide” governments into conflict with indigenous peoples, and it certainly has not been auspicious for nature, however much posturing Rafael Correa and Evo Morales like to advance in terms of the “rights of nature.”

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A closer look at the Feds' crackdown on two KC-based predatory lenders

Capitalism

Both lawsuits charge that the companies deceived consumers about the cost of their loans. Instead of assessing a one-time finance fee for the loans (often $90 on a $300 loan — already an extraordinary rate), both defendants, the agencies say, made repeated withdrawals of $90 every two weeks from borrowers' bank accounts, without ever reducing the principal.

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David Graeber Vs. Venture Capitalist, Peter Thiel

Capitalism

The conversation hinged on one question: What's wrong with America and what does technology have to do with it? It pitted Graeber's anarchist beliefs that unnecessary corporatized bureaucracies within government, research-science facilities, and higher-education institutions have stalled innovation for the past 40 years or so against Thiel's libertarian beliefs that, well, it's all so messed up that the only way to effect change is to step outside the system and do it yourself.

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Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse: Buffett Acquires the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

Capitalism

The United States of America is not a democracy, but an oligarchy – with the rich controlling government decisions and the average American having practically zero influence over public policies. Some call it a capitalist dictatorship, where “capital” does the dictating. Here’s a good example of the oligarchy controlling the puppets. During the last four years, Americans have been coerced into focusing on a single, symbolic campaign to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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Chevron Sounds Alarm Against East Bay “Anarchism”

Capitalism

One of the great things about living near Chevron’s big East Bay refinery—yes, the one that caught fire and exploded two years ago—is its system of early warnings about new disasters about to befall Richmond, CA. In our post-Citizens United era, the nation’s second largest oil producer is now free to spend $1.6 million (or more, if necessary) on direct mail and phone alerts, designed to keep 30,000 likely voters fully informed about threats to their city.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Pandora’s Box of Corporate Power

Capitalism

The story of Pandora’s Box (which was really a jar) -- much like the Biblical tale of “forbidden fruit” -- is meant as a warning that once the evils of the world are released, it’s virtually impossible for them to be recalled. Sticking with the Greek mythology vibe, I guess you could say Adam Weissman has been playing the role of Cassandra in the struggle to inform others about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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Peak Capitalism?

Capitalism

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s recently released long-term predictions for the global economy through 2060 (Paul Mason, “The best of capitalism is over for rich countries – and for the poor ones it will be over by 2060,” The Guardian, July 7), economic growth will stagnate to something like two-thirds its present level and economic inequality will increase. But growth will continue at a higher level in the developing countries until mid-century, because there are still significant gains to be achieved through the diffusion of the West’s existing technological advantages to the rest of the world. Still, the price for even this level of economic growth — obviously, from the perspective of the neoliberal wonks at OECD — will be growing inequality.

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From the Fall of Saigon to the Fall of Lehman

In a blurry black and white photograph from Italy in the 1960s, a worker rides a Vespa past a factory wall on which is scrawled operaist graffiti "Il Vietnam è in fabbrica" - Vietnam is in the factory. Today it would be more likely to find "The factory is in Vietnam" on the walls of the long-closed factory. Yet these two moments are not unconnected. So how did we get from the fall of Saigon to the fall of Lehman brothers, from Nixon to Obama? The answer from much of the Left seems to be "financialization", understood not as a materialist process, but as fulfillment of the Communist Manifesto's apocalyptic vision that "all that is solid melts into air."

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