On regulating Capitalism

Marx’s predictions about the inevitable collapse of capitalism have been wrong so far because the system has worked reasonably well, thanks to the rules and redistributive programs established after the Great Depression.

The lesson is that the surest way to save capitalism is to regulate it in the public interest. The surest way to create socialists is for everyone to experience the economic consequences of counting only on the goodness in the hearts of Mr. Potter and Fabrice Tourre.

So, as a history nerd, I found the use of Marxist interpretation in an immediate context – what happened the day before – kind of riveting.

E.J. Dionne Jr., wow thats a pedantic mouthful to get out, delightfully delivers on one simple fact.

Americans aren’t really capitalists.  Americans do, in fact, agree with what Marx had to say about economics and history.  Case-and-point:

No leftist polemicist could come up with as damning a description of contemporary capitalism as the contents of an e-mail that Goldman’s Fabrice “Fabulous Fab” Tourre sent to his girlfriend.

“Well,” he wrote, “what if we created a ‘thing,’ which has no purpose, which is absolutely conceptual and highly theoretical and which nobody knows how to price?”

Perhaps Fab once read the Karl Marx who wrote: “The more abstract money is, the less natural its relationship to other commodities.”

Indeed, Herr Diktator Stalin von Gorbachev.  Or what about:

At one point during the hearings, Sen. Carl Levin played the Jimmy Stewart good-banker role from “It’s a Wonderful Life” by describing capitalism as it’s supposed to be. Levin noted that Wall Street “has been seen as an engine of growth, betting on America’s successes and not its failures.”

You mean, capitalism can be a source for good?  But, Jimmy Stewart was for banking regulation in that movie I never watch during Christmastime. Right?

Now that’s how you sell something to the American public.  Don’t confuse them by talking about how Karl Marx may be right.  This is the Washington Post.  Not the New York Times.

Source (Seriously, read the whole column, very decent work)


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