By Stewart Jeffries, The Guardian:
Capitalism is in crisis across the globe – but what on earth is the alternative? Well, what about the musings of a certain 19th-century German philosopher? Yes, Karl Marx is going mainstream – and goodness knows where it will end.
Class conflict once seemed so straightforward. Marx and Engels wrote in the second best-selling book of all time, The Communist Manifesto: "What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable." (The best-selling book of all time, incidentally, is the Bible – it only feels like it's 50 Shades of Grey.)
Today, 164 years after Marx and Engels wrote about grave-diggers, the truth is almost the exact opposite. The proletariat, far from burying capitalism, are keeping it on life support. Overworked, underpaid workers ostensibly liberated by the largest socialist revolution in history (China's) are driven to the brink of suicide to keep those in the west playing with their iPads. Chinese money bankrolls an otherwise bankrupt America. (image: A public sector worker striking in east London last year. Photograph: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/Rex Features)
The irony is scarcely wasted on leading Marxist thinkers. "The domination of capitalism globally depends today on the existence of a Chinese Communist party that gives de-localised capitalist enterprises cheap labour to lower prices and deprive workers of the rights of self-organisation," says Jacques Rancière, the French marxist thinker and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII. "Happily, it is possible to hope for a world less absurd and more just than today's." (Image: Protestors at the Conservative conference last year. Photograph: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA / Rex Features)
That hope, perhaps, explains another improbable truth of our economically catastrophic times – the revival in interest in Marx and Marxist thought. Sales of Das Kapital, Marx's masterpiece of political economy, have soared ever since 2008, as have those of The Communist Manifesto and the Grundrisse (or, to give it its English title, Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy). Their sales rose as British workers bailed out the banks to keep the degraded system going and the snouts of the rich firmly in their troughs while the rest of us struggle in debt, job insecurity or worse. There's even a Chinese theatre director called He Nian who capitalised on Das Kapital's renaissance to create an all-singing, all-dancing musical.
And in perhaps the most lovely reversal of the luxuriantly bearded revolutionary theorist's fortunes, Karl Marx was recently chosen from a list of 10 contenders to appear on a new issue of MasterCard by customers of German bank Sparkasse in Chemnitz. In communist East Germany from 1953 to 1990, Chemnitz was known as Karl Marx Stadt. Clearly, more than two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the former East Germany hasn't airbrushed its Marxist past. In 2008, Reuters reports, a survey of east Germans found 52% believed the free-market economy was "unsuitable" and 43% said they wanted socialism back. Karl Marx may be dead and buried in Highgate cemetery, but he's alive and well among credit-hungry Germans. Would Marx have appreciated the irony of his image being deployed on a card to get Germans deeper in debt? You'd think. (continue reading at The Guardian UK, hat tip Marcus Wilder)
Read the entire article and comments, then leave your thoughts here in the comment section. Personally I think Barack Obama and his administration would be thrilled if there was a greater turn toward Marxism, Communism, Socialism, whatever conglomeration of those ideals they could get here in the US and abroad. But I believe that the only true way to a free society is Capitalism, free and unadulterated Capitalism. That is truly under attack, being chipped away at every turn.
Privately owned businesses no longer have the right to run their business as they choose, the government burdens them with regulations upon regulations. Business is also under attack by private individuals with agendas.
Today in the news we have a lawsuit against a restaurant by an atheist:
John Wolff, an atheist in Manheim Township, Pennsylvania, has filed a complaint against Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen for offering a 10 percent discount to diners who bring in a church bulletin on Sunday
Wolff told the Intelligencer Journal that he filed the complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission because the restaurant discriminated against him for not attending church services.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which is helping Wolff with his complaint, claims that discounts based on religion are illegal under the federal Civil Rights Act: “As a place of ‘public accommodation,’ it is illegal for restaurants, grocery stores or other businesses to discriminate, or show favoritism, on the basis of religion." (continue at SodaHead)
Businesses offer "specials" every day, sometimes to seniors, or children. In the South, the Bible Belt, getting a discount on Sunday for a church bulletin has gone on forever. Businesses want to bring in more customers, an if giving a discount here and there does that, it should be their right to do so.
The local churches said anyone can come in, pick up a bulletin, take it to the restaurant and get the discount. They don't have to stay for the worship service. Just one more instance of burdens being placed on small businesses just trying to stay afloat in a terrible economy maintained by the current administration. What has Obama done since he became President? Here is a list.