Sunday, February 24, 2013



OMNI US CAPITALISM NEWSLETTER #11, February 24, 2013.    Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice  (#1 Jan. 30, 2011; #2 August 24, 2011; #3 October 2, 2011; #4 Oct. 29, 2011; #5 Jan. 29, 2012; #6 April 7, 2012; #7 June 8, 2012; #8 July 14, 2012; #9 Nov. 12, 2012; #10 Dec. 27, 2012).


Danes claim truly about their country where “few have too much and fewer still too little.”   There are many capitalisms, and the US has chose to make a land where too many have too much, and too many have too little.


My blog:  The War Department and Peace Heroes 




See Class, Corporations, Economics, Greed, Inequality, Information Control, Lobbying, Marx, Military Industrial Complex, Monopoly, Occupy, Regulation, Socialism, Working Class, and related newsletters.


Nos. 7 & 8 at end


Contents #9 Nov. 12, 2012

Hedrick Smith, Who Stole the American Dream?

To Schneiderman:  Prosecute or Resign

Taibbi, Why Government Doesn’t Fight Wall Street

Barofsky, Bailout on TARP

Nader: Where Were the Whistleblowers?

Freeland, Plutocrats

Reich, Book on US Capitalism

Reich, Interviewed About US Capitalism

Survey:  Confidence in Capitalism Declines

Wolf:  Global Financial Fraud

Looking Back at Capitalist Greed, PBS:  Remember the Triangle Fire


Contents #10

Ha-Joon Chang, About Capitalism

Gibney Video: Park Avenue, 1% of 1%:

Hacker and Pierson: Winner-Take-All Politics

Bybee, War on Wages

Foster and McChesney, Monopoly-Finance Capital

Pollin, Full Employment

Wenz, Progressive Taxation

Mondiot, Unregulated Capitalism and Climate Change

Williams, Socialism


Contents #11

Taibbi, Lies about Bailout

Ad Busters on US Capitalism

Ad Busters on Canadian Capitalism

Moyers  Co. Programs

Richard Wolff’s Books

Jim Wallis, Serving the Common Good


Here is the link to all OMNI topical newsletters:   Many of these newsletters expose the liabilities of US capitalism (unregulated corporations, large gap between rich and poor, deceptive advertising, endemic boom and bust, and so on).




Matt Taibbi | Secret and Lies of the Bailout 
Wall Street wives. (illustration: Victor Juhasz)
Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, RSN, January 5, 2013 
Taibbi writes: "Not only did the bailout prevent another Great Depression, we've been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul - right? Wrong." 



Can America Go "'Forward' on Climate"?

By Adbusters   16 February 13

 The Biggest Climate campaign in History eclipses the elephant in the room.

he Sierra Club, Bill Mckibben's fight-climate-change crew, 130 other organizations, plus thousands of Americans from all walks are meeting at Noon on Sunday, February 17 in Washington, D.C. to make "Forward on Climate" the largest climate rally in history.

Their first goal is to convince Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline once and for all, for it could unlock vast amounts of additional carbon the planet simply cannot afford to burn. But his final decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will only be a test of whether he's truly serious about walking his talk. The Forward on Climate Rally will put unparalleled pressure on Obama to act on his word, and in an unprecedented way. It is their hope that he will do all in his power to face, and combat, global warming.

But before America can move "Forward" on climate issues - they must "face" the facts. Ignorance and denial abound in individuals and institutions across the country (there are, alas, institutions like Heartland dedicated to perpetuating skepticism and denial about climate change). A 2007 Harris poll found that 71% of Americans believe that continued burning of fossil fuels would cause the climate to change. By 2009 this figure dropped to 51%, and fell again in 2011 to just 44%. According to Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, this is "among the largest shifts over a short period of time seen in recent public opinion history."

Meanwhile, record droughts, food scarcity, floods, severe super-storms, billions in damage, lives lost, and the hottest year on record in the United States have all come to pass in 2012. The amount of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere has increased by 40 percent in a century, due to our perpetual burning of coal, oil, and natural gas. NASA's James Hansen explains that business as usual - such as burning the tar sands bitumen - will guarantee "game over for the climate."

But America could be a major leader in a worldwide clean energy revolution, that is, if Obama chooses the people, the land, and the future of the planet, over corporate interest. This clean energy revolution could transform the nation, cut carbon pollution drastically, and resist or even reverse the inertia of impending climate disaster. Forward On Climate states, "we need President Obama to commit to that fight with all the ambition and determination he can bring." But why do they put so must faith in Obama's character and power? How are they so easily assuaged by his soaring rhetoric?

The president spoke somberly about climate change for half an hour this Tuesday during his State of the Union speech, earning him brownie points with some, but the eloquence of his promises have never been something to be contested. Despite his rhetoric, and avowal to address global warming and not betray future generations, he fails to face the elephant in the room. With less than five percent of the world's population, it is the USA that consumes a quarter of the world's fossil fuels. Where is his "mea culpa" moment? Instead, Obama shows no recognition of America's five-planet lifestyle ... no recognition that a small slice of the Earth's population consumes a lions share, and wrecks the rest.

And yet on an even deeper level, Obama's invocation of the need for "sustainable energy sources" suggests that he believes fossil fuels themselves are to blame. And perhaps he's not at fault. This is what most people believe. But what about the root of our climatic, environmental problem: the exploitative economic paradigm we operate, the political stagnation that goes with that, the social inequalities we are forced to endure, the cult of hyper-consumption that defines American culture - it is this systemic destructiveness that endorses ravenous fossil fuel use in the first place.

Until Obama, and the activists putting pressure on him, stop confounding the symptoms with the disease, there will be a stark limit to how effective, enduring and powerful a revolutionary movement can be.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: larry Hicks <>


[I say US capitalism, since there are varieties of capitalism, US vs. Norway, for example.   This Ad Busters essay reminds us to say US/Canadian, or North American. There’s an upside to this dark reality:  More and more people are recognizing what Noam Chomsky and a few others were explaining 50 years ago, that the US was a military-industrial-congressional-mainstream media complex.  –Dick]

This is why nothing sticks to Harper

Thanks to a hyperactive press, the energy baron agenda continues unabated. It’s a dangerous endgame indeed. You’ve heard the buzzwords involved – Enbridge, tar sands, Keystone XL – but maybe only as a jumble, a sick constellation no news official connects the dots to. And such is the consequence of a “watchdog” news industry with no teeth. We’re forced to connect the dots ourselves.

Meanwhile, the State facilitates the madness of capital as the west coast hangs in the balance. Again, the mainstream news cycle misses the gravity of what’s really in store for North America, the continent, the planet. The reality we face is that, in the name of progress, profit logic, and “job creation,” massive projects predicated on fossil fuels will proceed, including the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline to Kitimat BC – and the Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline to the Burrard Inlet. From here, nearly a tanker a day will transport Alberta’s crude oil to Asia, increasing the odds for oil spills off the coast. Already etched on the public consciousness are “Exxon-Valdez” and “Deepwater Horizon” (which exploded on Earth Day for god’s sake). Thanks to coverage after the fact, images of petroleum-slick sea life can still be recalled. How soon until the next catastrophe? We need coverage now. We need awareness of the evils of enterprise.

Corporate collusion equals dying ecosystem. There’s no way around it. Economists can muster all the apologias they want, but such is reality. Now we’re at a tipping point for environmental health. But the direness, the desperation needed to explain the situation is lamentably not found in the paper.

If you question whether the conditions are desperate, go to where the rubber meets the road, in Kitimat, say, or northern Alberta – where machines the size of McMansions gut the earth for sludge, blast it with superheated water, and send it west as a ware for China. As an added irony, tanker traffic must traverse the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in order to reach foreign markets. Ships transporting fossil fuel are forced to sail through trash – if it weren’t so deplorable, it’d almost be funny. But such is the Alice in Wonderland world wrought by capitalism.

Where is the analysis of this? The urgency? It’s relatively stunted within public discourse. Harper remains largely unscathed by the media, and he relies on tricks and alternative communications to reach supporters. The 24-hour news cycle does some of the work for him. In a general ethos of collective forgetfulness, the cycle moves quickly from one story to the next, leaving environmental atrocities to slip through the cracks. Moreover, Harper capitalizes off of local news outlets, which are sycophantic and more willing to toe his line without checking the facts. Through these machinations he is able to spin the stories regarding tankers, pipelines, energy company excess, and for that matter, Afghan detainees and threats to Net Neutrality too.

Standing up to the massive energy enterprise are Defend Our Coast, the Dogwood Initiative, ForestEthics, and West Coast Environmental Law – all orgs that represent the best line of defense against ecocide, against Boreal Forest shredding and Canada’s global warming impact. The key to fighting back is using Harper’s own trick to reach conscientious supporters through other channels, such as social media and email. The stakes are high, and the work is ahead of us, but so far protests have had impact. Harper’s already had to back away from some statements regarding tanker traffic and pipelines. But the environment can’t afford for us to rest on these laurels alone.

It's up to us all to keep the pressure on the State even when the media won’t.

Dugan Nichols is a Ph.D. student interested in cultural theory, race, neo-Marxism, and the way capitalism makes the upside-down world we live in seem natural – or the only way things can be. He's from Milwaukee, WI but currently lives in Vancouver, B.C for school, and all along skateboarding has been a part of his identity (even though the culture has a major consumerist ethos).

-- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Protect Clean Air, Clean Water, Clean Food




In this and in his earlier PBS programs (NOW, Bill Moyers’ Journal), Moyers has interviewed many knowledgeable people about the vagaries and corruptions of  US capitalism.   For example:

Feb. 16, 2012, Bruce Bartlett and Yves Smith on the economy.  Asked what they would do about the "fiscal cliff," both recommended diving, that it would be better for  people (enormous cut in military budget, for example).

 Discussion of revolving door in Congress, a mechanism of corporate power (Liz Fowler as a notorious example), and Obama's broken promises about constraining it.


, 2013    



Full Show: Who’s Widening America’s Digital Divide?

February 8, 2013 | 

Internet scholar Susan Crawford explains how media conglomerates put profit ahead of the public interest, and author Nick Turse shares what we never knew about the Vietnam War (wars symptomatic of US capitalism, some 50 US  invasions and interventions since 1945--Dick).




Professor Richard D. Wolff

·      The Economic Crisis


·      Class Analysis


·      Economic Theory


·      Marxism


·      Economic Democracy


·      Economy and Psychology


Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism

Link to Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism

A new historical vista is opening before us in this time of change, Wolff writes in this compelling new manifesto for a democratic alternative based on workers directing their own workplaces.

Publisher: Haymarket Books

Publication Date May 2012

List Price $17.00

Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism

Link to Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism

Today's economic crisis is capitalism's worst since the Great Depression. Millions have lost their jobs, homes and healthcare while those who work watch their pensions, benefits and job security decline. As more and more are impacted by the crisis, the system continues to make the very wealthy even richer. In eye-opening interviews with prominent economist Richard Wolff, David Barsamian probes the root causes of the current economic crisis, its unjust social consequences and what can and should be done to turn things around.


While others blame corrupt bankers and unregulated speculators or the government or even the poor who borrowed, the authors show that the causes of the crisis run much deeper.

ReviewsMore information

Contending Economic Theories: neoclassical, keynesian, and marxian

Link to Contending Economic Theories: neoclassical, keynesian, and marxian

Contending Economic Theories offers a unique comparative treatment of the three main theories in eco- nomics as it is taught today: neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian. Each is developed and discussed in its own chapter, yet also differentiated from and compared to the other two theories. The authors identify each theory’s starting point, its goals and foci, and its internal logic.

ReviewsMore information

ReviewsMore information

State Capitalism, Contentious Politics and Large-Scale Social Change

Link to State Capitalism, Contentious Politics and Large-Scale Social Change

Vincent Kelly Pollard (Editor)

State capitalism is back. It never went away. This book looks at the role of state capitalism in major European and Asian societies. It confronts neo-liberal pieties about the role of markets and private property in capitalist development and radical accounts which see the state as the antithesis of capitalism. State capitalism is a normal form of capitalist development. Its extremes may vary but it has been, and remains, central to an understanding of modern capitalism. This is especially the case in the so called Communist and Communist worlds of Russia and China, and for alternative economies like that of India and the Philippines, which are the focus of this timely and challenging book.

ReviewsMore information

Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It

Link to Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It

Capitalism Hits the Fan chronicles one economist’s growing alarm and insights as he watched, from 2005 onwards, the economic crisis build, burst, and then dominate world events. The argument here differs sharply from most other explanations offered by politicians, media commentators, and other academics. Step by step, Professor Wolff shows that deep economic structures—the relationship of wages to profits, of workers to boards of directors, and of debts to income—account for the crisis. The great change in the US economy since the 1970s, as employers stopped the historic rise in US workers’ real wages, set in motion the events that eventually broke the world economy.

ReviewsMore information

Class Struggle on the Homefront

Link to Class Struggle on the Homefront

Home Front examines the gendered exploitation of labor in the household from a postmodern Marxian perspective. The authors of this volume use the anti-foundationalist Marxian economic theories first formulated by Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff to explore power, domination, and exploitation in the modern household.

More information

Rethinking Marxism

Link to Rethinking Marxism

This festschrift volume honors the works of Harry Magdoff and Paul Sweezy. An introductory essay by the editors examines the evolution of their contributions to Marxian theory and analysis. A bibliography provides the most complete listing of their work to the point of publication. Internationally renowned Marxist scholars (including Ernest Mandel, Charles Bettelheim, Immanuel Wallerstein and many others) contributed original essays in fitting tribute to the importance of the honorees' works.

More information

Bringing It All Back Home

Link to Bringing It All Back Home

Bringing It All Back Home uses the intimate arena of the household as the novel setting for a groundbreaking study of the relationships between class, gender and power today. The authors - and the feminist scholars who offered responses to their critique - integrate the rich traditions of Marxism and feminism, and more recent developments in Marxian theory and Lacanian psychoanalysis, to theorise a new approach to the contemporary crisis of the family. They offer an innovative reading of the relationship between class and gender, in which the household itself can be seen as the site of conflict and of profound transformation. In the process, they suggest a new range of possibilities for thinking about and understanding the complexity of human existence.

More information

Class and Its Others

Link to Class and Its Others

While references to gender, race and class are everywhere in social theory, class has not received the kind of theoretical and empirical attention accorded to gender and race. A welcome and much-needed corrective, this book offers a novel theoretical approach to class and an active practice of class analysis.

The authors offer new and compelling ways to look at class through examinations of such topics as sex work, the experiences of African American women as domestic laborers, and blue- and white-collar workers. Their work acknowledges that individuals may participate in various class relations at one moment or over time and that class identities are multiple and changing, interacting with other aspects of identity in contingent and unpredictable ways.


A new book from Jim Wallis!

Sojourners []

ActionsTo: James R. Bennett Tuesday, March 05, 2013 8:56 AM



Dear Dick,

April 2013 magazine cover"My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side.”—Abraham Lincoln

Jim Wallis’ newest book, On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good, examines the deepest problems this world faces. What we need is a commitment to an ancient idea whose time has urgently come: the common good.

How do we work together, even with people we don’t agree with? How do we treat each other, especially the poorest and most vulnerable? How do we take care of not just ourselves, but also one another?

On God’s Side will be released on April 1, but you can read an exclusive excerpt in the April issue of Sojourners magazine!

To be inspired to make a spiritual and practical commitment to the common good, order your subscription to Sojourners magazine. If you order today, you’ll receive our very best price!

No comments:

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)