[OPE] austerity and imperial overstretch

From: howard engelskirchen <he31@verizon.net>
Date: Mon May 16 2011 - 11:10:00 EDT

My understanding is that policies of austerity in Europe in the Weimar years importantly prepared the way for fascism. Calls for austerity in the U.S. today seem pretty plainly shaped by demands required by imperial overstretch. How significant is that factor in relation to other global economic factors that drive austerity policies?


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Paula
  To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
  Sent: Friday, May 13, 2011 6:39 PM
  Subject: Re: [OPE] capitalism as an unnatural system

  Howard wrote:
  “Yes, capitalism is unnatural, but your author argues this by invoking a reactionary appeal...”

  I agree, but he’s not “my” author, apparently he’s a libertarian philosopher; I just found it interesting to hear this kind of thing from the right, and I wonder if there’ll be other similar arguments as the recession continues – we could then respond with the kind of comments you made in your email.

  Jerry wrote:
  “I hope we can agree then that propositions that capitalism is natural and eternal are ideological constructions...”

  Only in the trivial sense that all ideas and ideologies (including yours and mine) are created by human beings. But this doesn’t help us understand any particular ideological propositions. What are they created out of? What is the basis for the notion that capitalism is natural? Likewise, what is the basis for the notion of free competition? If you genuinely try to answer this, I think you will see that the basis is not ideological, but is material, social, and historical.



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