3:03 Feb 6th, 2012 | 88 notes
For the time being, in the US our corporate and governmental system backed surprisingly by the Supreme Court has become a plutocracy, designed to prolong, protect and intensify the wealth and influence of those who already have the wealth and influence. What the Occupy movement indicates is that a growing number of people have begun to recognize this in spite of the efficiency of capital’s propaganda machines. Forty years of no pay increase in the US after inflation for the average hour worked should, after all, have that effect. The propaganda is good but not that good.

People now see it is a system for the rich only,” Jeremy Grantham, Financial Times

(Source: bostonreview)

10:40 Jan 20th, 2012 | 28 notes
The businessman is only tolerable so long as his gains can be held to bear some relation to what, roughly and in some sense, his activities have contributed to society.

John Maynard Keynes

10:37 Nov 24th, 2011 | 1 note

"the only thing that can eventually pull us out of the malaise is capitalism…with a conscience, where trust and good faith become more prominent in doing business. And that can only come from within communities, within social circles, within families, and within the individual."

(via @reformedbroker)

10:04 Nov 20th, 2011 | 8 notes
Seriously? The thing that has gone wrong in western societies is that, in contradiction to the most fundamental of capitalist principles, power and privilege have become significantly easier to keep than they are to acquire. So winners end up winning not because they are best but because they won in the past. Smith warned against this, but we seem to have forgotten.

atimoshenko, FT commenter

9:30 Nov 9th, 2011 | 5 notes
While markets are ways of exchanging goods through the medium of money - historically, ways for those with a surplus of grain to acquire candles and vice versa… - capitalism is first and foremost the art of using money to get more money… Normally, the easiest way to do this is by establishing some kind of formal or de facto monopoly. For this reason, capitalists, whether merchant princes, financiers, or industrialists, invariably try to ally themselves with political authorities to limit the freedom of the market, so as to make it easier for them to do so.

David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years

4:51 Nov 5th, 2011 | 46 notes
The corporation is the result of two innovations: the creation of centralized currency, and the creation of the chartered monopoly. In the late 1300s the upper classes — the aristocrats, the people who had been feudal lords — were becoming less wealthy relative to real people. As the merchant class and people in towns were producing and doing, the relative wealth of the aristocracy was going down, and this was a problem; the aristocrats wanted to continue the system that had been working for them for the last 500 years wherein they didn’t have to “do” anything to be rich. So they hit upon the idea of passively investing in other people’s industries.

Douglas Rushkoff

(via curiositycounts)

4:13 Sep 19th, 2011 | 16 notes

"Protesters complaining about the unchecked power of the financial industry staged noisy demonstrations that slowed pedestrian traffic on Wall Street for a third day on Monday, vowing to continue 'for as long as it takes' to achieve vague demands."