End of the year or end of the world (as we know it)? By William Bowles

23 December 2008

think-aheadBefore all the Xmas BS gets in the way, an end-of-year essay of sorts is in order, especially so given the bumpy ride capitalism has bestowed on us this past twelve months. And the portents for 2009 look to be even worse as capitalism, desperate to shed over-valued assets, descends into the abyss.

Look at it this way: after the Crash of ‘29 and the launch of the New Deal, it took some six years to engineer the outbreak of WWII, the surefire way of literally burning up surplus capital in awesome quantities.

And if history has any lessons for us, some equivalent global conflagration is now in order. However, is this possible under these new circumstances and over what timescale can such a capitalist catastrophe be engineered?

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The Obama Dilemma: A Mission Impossible? By William Bowles

28 November 2008

mission-obama“The bourgeoisie [are] out of answers, and with the increasing costs of production and transportation driven by the price of oil, with the price of oil driving the bourgeoisie into greater capital expenditures to increase the rate of surplus value; with oil undermining growth in the mass and rate of value added– manufacturing, hidden beneath all the noise and clamor of Wall Street, of all the investment bankers at all the trading desks slapping themselves on the back with each new deal– manufacturing had all ready rung the closing bell.

“Those who didn’t hear it, couldn’t hear it. They were too smart. They were too stupid.

“The only answer left for capitalism…is the destruction of assets.” — ‘Pimp My Assets Part 3’, The Wolf Report.

So desperate are we for real change that Obama’s election promises became a veritable mantra for millions of people, especially the young, black and poor. Understandably, there is more than a little wishful thinking involved here given the disastrous decade we’ve been through. And after all the guy is young, apparently gifted and black, what more could anyone ask for?

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