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Forum Post: Neo-Feudalism

Posted 3 months ago on Oct. 19, 2017, 10:09 a.m. EST by agkaiser (1976) from Fredericksburg, TX
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"The democratization of home ownership during the 20th century led middle-class voters to oppose property taxes – including taxes on commercial sites and natural resources. Tax policy in general has become pro-rentier and anti-labor – the regressive opposite of 19th-century liberalism as developed by “Ricardian socialists” such as John Stuart Mill and Henry George. Today’s economic individualism has lost the early class consciousness that sought to tax economic rent and socialize banking."

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/10/michael-hudson-socialism-land-banking-2017-compared-1917.html

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14 Comments


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[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22819) 2 months ago

"Capitalist economies are now privatizing and financializing their basic needs and infrastructure. Every activity is being forced into “the market,” at prices that need to cover not only the technological costs of production but also interest, ancillary financial fees and pension set-asides. The cost of living and doing business is further privatized as financial interests pry roads, health care, water, communications and other public utilities away from the public sector, while driving housing and commercial real estate deeply into debt."

"The basic neoliberal idea of prosperity is financial gain based on turning rent extraction into a flow of interest payments by buyers-on-credit. This policy favors financial engineering over industrial investment, reversing the Progressive Era’s industrial capitalism that Marx anticipated would be a transition stage leading to socialism. Russia adopted the West’s anti-socialist rollback toward neofeudalism."

"Russian officials failed to understand the State Theory of money that is the basis of Modern Monetary Theory: States can create their own money, giving it value by accepting it in payment of taxes."

"It is as if no Russian official had read Volumes II and III of Marx’s Capital (or Theories of Surplus Value) where he reviewed the laws of economic rent and interest-bearing debt."

From the Hudson article: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/10/michael-hudson-socialism-land-banking-2017-compared-1917.html
A truly great read!

And, today, "Industrial capitalism is succumbing to a predatory finance capitalism that is leaving Western economies debt-ridden.[5] The underlying causes were clear already a century ago: unchecked financial rentiers, absentee ownership and monopolies."

Bottom line: What appeared to be higher quality living standards in the West was in fact built on debt which is in fact, not truly a higher quality of life. The Russians bought into the neoliberal debtor quality of life. It backfired. It's backfired on of all us now, because it was never sustainable.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (1976) from Fredericksburg, TX 3 months ago

"the historical task of capitalism was to prepare the way for socializing the means of production by clearing away feudalism’s legacy: a hereditary landlord class, predatory banking, and the monopolies that financial interests had pried away from governments"

ibid

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (1976) from Fredericksburg, TX 3 months ago

Michael Hudson says it all.

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 3 months ago

''The Gods of Money – How America Was Hijacked'' .. by F. William Engdahl, in conversation with the ever excellent Bonnie Faulkner, of San Francisco's well recommended WKPFA "Guns and Butter" show:

Both these links are very important & Dr. Michael Hudson in conversation with BF - is an exceptional nine year old link from 2008 .. after the Wall Street Meltdown. I came across it via ICH then and then once again with OWS. It was great then and it's great now & so very prescient of what we face today.


From the excellent link in your O.P. above:

''Adversaries of socialism pronounced Marxist theory dead, as if the Soviet dissolution meant the end of Marxism. But today, less than three decades later, the leading Western economies are themselves succumbing to an overgrowth of debt and shrinking prosperity. Russia failed to recognize that just as its own economy was expiring, so was the West’s. Industrial capitalism is succumbing to a predatory finance capitalism that is leaving Western economies debt-ridden.[5] The underlying causes were clear already a century ago: unchecked financial rentiers, absentee ownership and monopolies.

''The post-Soviet collapse in the 1990s was not a failure of Marxism, but of the anti-socialist ideology that is plunging Western economies under domination by the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector’s symbiosis of the three forms of rent extraction: land and natural resource rent, monopoly rent, and interest (financial rent). This is precisely the fate from which 19th-century socialism, Marxism and even state capitalism sought to save the industrial economies.

''A silver lining to the Soviet “final” stage has been to free Marxist analysis from Russian Marxology. Its focus of Soviet Marxology was not an analysis of how the capitalist nations were becoming financialized neo-rentier economies, but was mainly propagandistic, ossifying into a stereotyped identity politics appealing to labor and oppressed minorities. Today’s revival of Marxist scholarship has begun to show how the U.S.-centered global economy is entering a period of chronic austerity, debt deflation, and polarization between creditors and debtors''

Conclusion

''Markets have not recovered for the products of American industry and labor since 2008. Industrial capitalism has been sacrificed to a form of finance capitalism that is looking more pre-capitalist (or simply oligarchic and neofeudal) with each passing year. The resulting polarization forces every economy – including China – to choose between saving its bankers and other creditors or freeing debtors and lowering the economy’s cost structure. Will the government enforce bank and bondholder claims, or will it give priority to the economy and its people? That is an eternal political question spanning pre-capitalist, capitalist and post-capitalist economies.

''Marx described the mathematics of compound interest expanding to absorb the entire economy as age-old, long predating industrial capitalism. He characterized the ancient mode of production as dominated by slavery and usury, and medieval banking as predatory. These financial dynamics exist in socialist economies just as they did in medieval and ancient economies. The way in which governments manage the dynamics of credit and debt thus are the dominant force in every era, and should receive the most pressing attention today as China shapes its socialist future.''

===============================================================================

In replying to you here - with my initial link and after reading your OP link, excerpted above ... I was so strongly reminded of Doctor Michael Hudson talking to Bonnie Faulkner back in 2008 that I sought out the link from WKPFA Guns & Butter & listened again. It goes very well with your link. Thanx. Solidarity.

Also - I just can't recommend reading your "Naked Capitalism" link and listening to my 2nd link enough. In fact my 1st link of F. William Engdahl & Bonnie Faulkner pales in comparison and can wait until later. Michael Hudson is as consistent & clear now as he was then but US Corp.MSM won't go near him.Sad.

fiat lux et radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 2 points by agkaiser (1976) from Fredericksburg, TX 2 months ago

yep, Michael Hudson is the man!

[-] 2 points by ImNotMe (1488) 2 weeks ago

"What Is MMT? Understanding Neo-Chartalism'' :

''One of the theoretical forerunners and bases of MMT is chartalism, an economic theory which argues that money is a creature of the state designed to direct economic activity. The theory has recently been popularized by David Graeber's book ''Debt: The First 5,000 Years'' - a wide-ranging work that touches upon issues ranging from gift economies, the linkage between quantification and violence, and the relationship between debt and conceptions of sin. In charting out the history of money, Graeber notes that, despite anthropological evidence to the contrary, economists have long clung to the myth of barter.

''However, money does not emerge from barter-based economic activities, but rather from the sovereign's desire to organize economic activity. The state issues currency and then imposes taxes. Because citizens are forced to use the state's currency to pay their taxes, they can trust that the currency will carry value in day-to-day economic activities. Governments with their own currency and a floating exchange rate (sovereign currency issuers like the United States) do not have to borrow from "bond vigilantes" to spend. They themselves first spend the money into existence and then collect it through taxation to enforce its usage. The state can spend unlimited amounts of money. It is only constrained by biophysical resources, and if the state spends beyond the availability of resources, the result is inflation, which can be mitigated by taxation.

''These simple facts carry radical policy implications.'' - from ...

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 2 months ago

It is fitting to remind ourselves here as to exactly how we all came to be here on this forum & as to why The Spirit of Occupy Wall Street, lives & still seeds the ideas & indignation that'll bring change one day!

multum in parvo ...

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 1 week ago

''The Future of Race in America'' ... by Michelle Alexander:

''The New Jim Crow'', by Michelle Alexander:

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22819) 2 months ago

"If you can create money out of thin air and everybody else is required to get that money, that U.S. dollar, then you have a power that's awesome."

"It is ironic. It's the U.S government's indebtedness because of the reserve currency status of the dollar that other countries are having to finance the U.S. military to attack them." "Yeah, that's exactly how it works out and only slowly are they beginning to realize this."

From your audio link. Truly insanity.

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 2 months ago

Ten years on from Lehman Brothers in USA and Northern Rock in UK - and the beginning of The Global Financial Crisis as well as a massive con and Disaster Capitalism - that's been perpetrated on The 99% by a <1%, in service to 0.01% Global Oligarchy ... this is one of the best uses of an hour to remind us of whyTF we're all in the present shit we are all in under Global Hyper-Financialized, Psycho-Crapitalism...

Viva Los Indignados!

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 3 weeks ago

''It’s no secret that the United States has a glaring—and growing—problem with inequality. The Great Recession made things worse, and the recent economic recovery remains uneven, and unevenly distributed. Families in the bottom 99 percent of households have recovered just 60 percent of their income losses from the economic slump, according to a recent analysis of tax data by University of California-Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez.

''Meanwhile, the superrich keep getting richer: The average family in the top 1 percent of earners makes 40 times more than the average family in the bottom 90 percent of households. Families in the top 0.01 percent—the 1 percent of the 1 percent—make, on average, a whopping 198 times more than those in the bottom 90 percent, according to Saez and fellow economist Thomas Piketty’s data.'' from your link ...

Thanx for your links and a word of warning - the ''CP'' link is somewhat upsetting. All the very best for Xmas & New Year to U & yours. The 99% Struggle against Economic Tyranny goes on. Solidarity bw.

verbum satis sapienti ...

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22819) 2 weeks ago

How Neoliberal Austerity Kills:

"There is decisive evidence that neoliberalism’s widening inequality tends to generate uncommon rates of physical and mental health disorders. (7) A Princeton study found that middle-aged non-Hispanic white Americans suffered a great increase in mortality between 1998 and 2013. (8) This was the first such case in American history. The increase is entirely concentrated among persons with a high school degree or less, a reliable criterion of poverty. Among whites with any college experience, mortality rates have declined during this period. And disease is not the issue. The predominant causes of death are suicide, chronic alcohol abuse and drug overdoses. Paul Krugman has noted that these statistics mirror “the collapse in Russian life expectancy after the fall of communism.” (9) The Princeton study labels these mortalities “deaths of despair.” It is noteworthy that among the population in question, wages have fallen by over 30 percent since 1969. (10) In a detailed study of the health effects of austerity, based on data from the Great Depression, Asian countries during the 1990s Asian Financial Crisis, and European countries suffering austerity policies after the 2008 crisis, researchers found that the more austerity was practiced in a country, the more people became ill and the more people died.

Homicide and murder are also strongly related to inequality. The World Bank reports that inequality predicts about half of the variance in murder rates between the U.S. and other countries and the FBI notes that of U.S. murders for which the precipitating reason is known over half stem from the agent’s sense that he had been “dissed.” (12) Persons shoot someone who has cut them off in traffic or beat them to a parking spot.

In connection with the high number of homicides associated with dissing, i.e. challenging a person’s sense of self-respect or personal worth, the psychologist and neuroscientist Martin Daly documents the intimate connection between inequality and loss of personal and social status. He shows that inequality predicts homicide rates “better than any other variable.” (13) In America, status is determined by how much a person has, and having is a matter of the standard of material living one enjoys, competitively conceived in terms of how one compares with others. And the admired standard is one’s level of material comfort, determined for the non-wealthy by a good job and the ability to support a family or the ability to enjoy a comfortable and independent standard of living as a single person. These makers of social status and self-respect are unavailable to those at the lower ends of the income hierarchy and the unemployed. Self-respect is one of men’s (and most homicides are male-on-male) most prized goods, and self-respect, as much as income and wealth, is unequally distributed. In a society where there are structurally determined winners and losers, if one is a loser one’s social reputation is all one has, all one can brandish, in order to maintain a sense of self-respect and personal worth. A diss is a blow to both social reputation and self-respect, and if one has nothing else, the threat looms disproportionately large.

While gang murders are not the majority of murders by the poor, they display in stripped-down form the way in which dissing translates to a social put-down and social denigration makes for personal humiliation and devaluation. The disser becomes a deadly rival. The research I cite in this essay shows that this syndrome is by no means limited to gang culture.

Most recently, David Ansell, a physician and social epidemiologist, has demonstrated in an exhaustive study that the acceleration of inequality between high and low socioeconomic groups over the past three decades has resulted in higher mortality rates for the poorest strata of the working class. He concludes that “[I]nequality triggers so many causes of premature death that we need to treat inequality as a disease and eradicate it, just as we seek to halt any epidemic.” (14) Capitalism, in its post-welfare-state form, kills."

From https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/22/how-inequality-kills/