Re-lighting the political lamp, let’s commence with a crucial year in U.S. political history… by linking to a video that’s gone viral nationwide, “Capitalism Hits the Fan” by Professor Richard Wolff.
Now, from the title I expected something tinged a little pink. What I found instead was completely fascinating – and not really “leftist” at all. In fact, Professor Wolff passionately defends the general notion of capitalism. That is, a competitively creative marketplace that encourages entrepreneurial start-ups and innovation. A market that would please Adam Smith and continue the productive cornucopia that made all progress possible.
One of Wolff’s charts is incredible. It shows that real U.S. worker wages rose from 1945 till the 1970s in steady pace along with increasing worker productivity. Only then, in the 1970s, the rise in middle class wages stopped, despite accelerating increases in worker productivity and corporate profits.
How could such a de-coupling have taken place? Wolff shows this is not about “left vs-right.” It’s about capitalism shifting from a traditional American model to one that far more closely resembles patterns described by… Karl Marx. Wolff is very good at explaining causes. Like a wise economist, he eschews predictions and prescriptions.
I’m less mature. So hence, I deem the solution to be political. Moreover you can play a large role. Start by sharing this video. America’s salt-of-the-earth types know, deep down, that they’ve been betrayed. So far, they’ve been talked into blaming one group – civil servants – for absolutely everything. Well… also scientists, teachers, doctors, journalists… in fact, every bunch of “smartypants.”
But keep shining light. In time, some will realize that other power centers have been doing the most screwing… and benefiting. That awakening is what Murdoch fears, far more than British subpoenas.
=== The Ideal Bumper Sticker for 2012 ===
This is the year when author Robert Heinlein forecast that the U.S. would tumble into a vicious theocracy led by a fundamentalist, rabble-rousing preacher. Which leads us to this year’s tastiest piece of rebel propaganda that you could possibly put on the bumper of your car. SCUDDER IN 2012!
But for many, it will be a WikiPedia moment. When they get home, look up the name, and read about Heinlein’s dark future scenario, some will go “Oh, I see what that bumper sticker meant!”
Whether they nod in agreement or glower in fury, you’ll have made them read and think… and maybe even go pick up a little Heinlein!
Not bad for a simple bumper sticker.
For 2012 and Beyond: Predict the future ofcomputing. Enter your best guess about what we can expect in the years and decades to come.
No doubt we’ll be hearing enough dire, apocalyptic visions during 2012. Check out this lovely little epiphany…an optimistic (super!) look at the next forty years, written by someone who hasn’t had the joyful spirit of ambition snuffed by grouches of right and left. Marc Millis offers a vision of humanity exploring and expanding into the solar system and beyond…