[Marxism] C.E.O.s Should Fear a Recession. It Could Mean Revolution.

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Wed Aug 21 18:50:13 MDT 2019

Louis Proyect wrote

NY Times, Aug. 21, 2019
C.E.O.s Should Fear a Recession. It Could Mean Revolution.
By Farhad Manjoo

This is the extent of what NYT views as the limits of a "revolution": 
"the [Business] Roundtable’s empty statement could be read as an effort 
to stave off structural economic reform rather than accelerate 
it....their statement lacks any call for greater structural changes in 
the American economy — changes to how companies are taxed or regulated, 
or how executives are paid, or how they should be judged."

And the same day from Dahr Jamail comes this 

"Global capitalism demands we pretend all is well, while climate and 
political realities already reveal the end game we are living in. The 
U.S. government, along with many others in the western world, has 
lurched into overt authoritarianism, while climate chaos accelerates at 
a breakneck pace...Those of us who are lucky enough to be living 
somewhere in the world where there is enough food to eat, water to 
drink, and security for us and our loved ones, are living in a bubble... 
Fagre told me he didn’t expect there to be any more glaciers in Glacier 
National Park by 2030, and likely none anywhere in the lower 48 states 
by 2100...The pain of existing in this evaporating world intensifies 
against the backdrop of the rise of authoritarianism across much of the 
western world, the daily increasing wealth disparity between the 
grotesquely rich and the poverty-stricken, worsening racism, sexism, 
mass shootings, misogyny, xenophobia, and mounting pressure from the 
global refugee crisis...I find that remembering to find gratitude for 
even the smallest things helps: having clean water to drink, fresh air 
to breathe, food to eat when I am hungry, and my physical and mental 
health...He already knew of the climate crisis, yet asked me to fill in 
the details. Over the days of our time together in the backcountry, I 
walked him through my findings from the Great Barrier Reef, the Amazon 
and Alaskan glaciers. I told him of my time in Utqiagvik (formerly 
Barrow) Alaska studying the thawing permafrost and venting methane, and 
of the rising seas in South Florida, and how even the sturdy giant 
Sequoia trees are under threat. I told him how much of a privilege it 
was for me to get to go see these places, and how I used the opportunity 
to say goodbye to many of them, which I expect will likely be gone 
within my lifetime, and certainly within his."

Back to my immediate reality: Monday we saw our adopted 19-year old 
daughter back off to college. She has fallen seriously in performing to 
her potential. She had crashed and burned in her second semester, 
unknown to us, even though she has an ACT score in the 99th percentile 
and is a gifted autistic phenomenon, in my judgment. She has been placed 
on academic probation. She may lose all her scholarship, tuition and 
stipend benefits. She tells me that she has no motivation. She has 
talked of suicide. She has read everything about what's happening to the 
climate and in our authoritarian-bound Trump world. She declares herself 
a socialist, but she feels all hope is lost. Over the summer we have 
tried everything to help with her motivation. We have connected her with 
a hands-on adviser and a mentor at her school, having last year joined 
her with what disability help and psychological counseling is available 
to autistically challenged students - to little or no avail. I have 
talked with her about never giving up, fighting the power, asking if it 
isn't arrogant and senseless to say that you in your vaunted 19-year 
experience have the judgment to declare that all is lost. I sent her an 
e-mail the other day about her favorite (despite my explanations about 
quadrennial lesser-evil illusions in the Democratic Party, not excluding 
the Bernie, and my many friends who 11 years ago were misty-eyed, 
literally, over the coming of Obama) Elizabeth Warren declaring that she 
is "capitalist to my bones" and reportedly standing and applauding when 
Trump in his 2019 SOTU address challenged Congress to never allow 
socialism in the US. Sam came to me crying. She is a dear, sweet, 
well-liked and well-intentioned person with a lot of the kind of promise 
it takes.

I had described to her how in order to change anything at all, certainly 
capitalism, you had to thoroughly understand it, and I had recommended 
as the obvious starting point reading Marx's 3 volumes of Capital, that 
I knew of nowhere else that capitalism as an organic system was better 
described, She said, "I accept the challenge," and I had I thought 
convinced her to start, along with Harvey's Companion readers. She read 
through Harvey's comment on Marx's first chapter, said that honestly she 
was put to sleep by it, She would not read more. She is obviously one of 
countless middle class kids who have never held a job as a wage-laborer 
and whose view of the world is thereby limited, and shaped by all the 
negative forces that surround us. I don't know what else we can do. I 
don't know how to reach her. I had wanted to pull her out of her 
university and, on the assumption that she was not ready for prime time, 
put her in our local community college where she would have our support 
in getting her bearings. Unfortunately, I was overruled around here by 
closer relatives. I wonder what the suicide rate is and will become 
among them, let alone my god among the billions dispossessed and 
wandering and without basic sustenance, who are growing in numbers daily.

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