Tag Archives: Karl Marx

Romney: Wrong Man For the Job


This Sunday on ABC’s  This Week, George Will said the following about Romney:

WILL: I think they do both. But they probably, on balance, immunize him more. It’s been 70 years, George, since Joseph Schumpeter, a famous Austrian economist then at Harvard, put into our vocabulary the phrase “creative destruction.” American people are clear that capitalism destroys jobs on occasion.

Actually Mr. Will, Karl Marx first used the term to describe the cannibalistic nature of capitalism.  Then, your Austrian friends white washed the term to describe a rebirth.  I am not an economist, but unlike the Federal Reserve governors, I saw the economic collapse coming.   Where George WIll and Romney see creative destruction making room for new companies, I see that society is left with the people and the things destroyed.  Same with the American people, they know that jobs will be lost, but they need and want some kind of help from the nation when that destruction takes place.  In fact, sometimes, if not often times, the Romney style “creative destruction” did not take place because of some up coming new idea, it happened because there was money to be made in simple “destruction”.  The creative element was not part of the Romney equation.

Romney, the “creative destructor”  moved to find another body to destroy.  The destruction, the unemployed and the empty factories then became a social responsibility.   Picking off the carcasses of dying companies, or even viable companies, simply to nourish  portfolios from the transaction of the kill has negative outcomes that are never considered in the cost of the Romney style transaction.  The negative social outcomes are then left  to the individuals and the communities that were effected to manage.  Will and Romney tell us that wait, the public funds, like a Canadian Teachers Union Retirement fund benefited.  Well if they did, that was just as bad and they should have had policies to not invest in such transactions.  There are socially responsible policies that do not rely on such outcomes.

Romney claims that this expertise, the “creative destruction” niche, gives him the expertise to manage the economy.  Well, if you consider that the economy has been savaged and is on the brink of more catastrophe, why, would we hand it off to an expert in “creative destruction”?   There are other capitalists, such as venture capitalists, who invested and financed new companies and new ideas.  Romney was not a “work out genius”, nor did he have a keen eye for new ideas that would take economic sectors out of the “creative destruction” phase.    Now he claims that he has the skills, the knowledge and the credibility to fix the “creative destruction” remnants.

Romney, was good at what he did.  In fact at Bain he was very good at “creative destruction”.  As far as I can tell, these are not the skills we need to serve the nation and the people.  Capitalism may be fueled on “creative destruction”, but nations are not.  Nations are populated and serve all the people, not just the segments that are growing and or have potential.  Nations have to serve the people who were creatively destroyed because frankly, the markets never look back.   Romney has never served or cared for the communities or the people he “creatively destroyed”.   Wrong man for the wrong job.

Is America going to be his last project in his “creative destructor” career?  Creative destruction has negative outcomes and consequences.  Romney never paid attention only to the outcomes that served him and his company.  Let me put it kindly, or in the language he would understand:   ” Mr.  Romney, you are the wrong fit for the position of President of the United States”.

 

The picture is from my garden.  The leaves fall, I gather them .  They go into the tomato cages.  By summer I will have some mulch for the new plants.  Creative destruction at work in the garden and in nature.  Not the same idea in Bain style capitalism.  

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Wisdom on You-Tube: Erich Fromm


With time we lose  memory of some of our  wisest thinkers in modern times.   We crowd our minds with the topical thinkers, the momentary flash points and discard some voices that foretold many of the catastrophes that have befallen us.   Erich Fromm is one of the lost voices that we should spend some time to revive.

I had vague memories of reading Fromm when I was an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley, but I could not remember why he resonated with me.   Thanks to You-Tube, where one can find interviews with many of the mid century thinkers, I was able to find an interview with Erich Fromm.

Listening to his interview, I remembered why my undergraduate education still matters.  Why I still have this resistance to the world view of studying humanity under the microscope and the modern penchant for over specialized analysis even in the humanities and social sciences.

There is a constant din of studies released by public relations departments of universities.  Studies that announce some scientific and unquestionable knowledge gained about human beings.  Typically, this study is then is exploited by those who want the study to give gravitas to their world view.  This specialization, has marginalized many of our great minds into methodological obscurity and has left the marginal thinkers to dominate the narrative of social analysis.

You ask how could someone like Beck gain so much traction?  Well, he appears to be a wise man who gathers knowledge and transmits wisdom.  Humans have a desire for wisdom.   While our great minds are hidden away in Universities, the simpleton, is using the air waves to spew an ersatz wisdom.

As one of my professors at the time, Ansley Coales a classics professor said about the social sciences:

Social Scientists take a strand from the human tapestry, put it under the microscope, and try to tell us, without ever having seen the tapestry, what the image depicted on the tapestry is.  An impossibility.

Social Scientists, via the media departments of their Universities, offer us a buffet of studies that show not even a thread, but a micro chip  of the tapestry.  A micro chip that is then sent around the world, this chip  floats around as a stand alone fact that can be used to substantiate a world view.  How many times have I screamed at the radio, article, or blog when the author uses the study as a manipulation.

Erich Fromm,  a social psychologist, in this interview and his writings speaks about society in a holistic and a humanistic way.  In this interview, you will see how he looks at the entire tapestry and gives us multiple layers.  You get the sense of the complexity of human nature, society and our future.

An observer of humanity who applies the wisdom of humanity, to tell us his interpretation of the image on the tapestry, all the while looking at the entire tapestry.   He wrote his whole life on different ideas, different aspects.  You may not agree with his interpretation, of course I mention him because I agree with his interpretation.

I feel ill served by the social scientist who throws out a study from the  laboratory, spends his/her time tinkering with statistics and methodology and spends no time on context and true wisdom.  Of course we need the studies, but they have come to dominate how we look at the world.  In their place, the shallow thinkers of the media, have interjected themselves as the voices of wisdom and telling of the human narrative.

Fromm uses  knowledge and reason, to weave together a world view.  Considering that his interview was almost sixty years ago, I would have to argue that many of alarms he sounded, based on observation, proved to be true.  We have abdicated the human desire for wisdom to the simpletons and snake oil salesmen who pander the narrative of our oppressors.  Our great minds are isolated from the rest of us devoted to an obscure specialization that can only serve what Fromm said, the desire to “have”, have knowledge, and ill serve our destiny to be.

Finally, this was television, discussing freedom and the survival of a free society.  They brought on for a one on one, in depth interview, not shouting fest, a socialist, critical of American society.  I wonder if Erich Fromm would ever make it on American television now a days.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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NB:  I have this particular distaste for the practice of networking, or what I call selling yourself on the block for gain.  A commonly accepted practice that is encouraged in universities and by all the experts.  A sycophanting practice that has been elevated to a virtue and an art form.

Part one at 5:25 minutes, a paraphrase of what he says,

our main way of relating ourselves to others…we exchange our personality package for something….selling our smile…the symbol pushers…those who manipulate men and symbols have to sell their personality.  What the market is willing to pay for his personality


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