If all the talk of economic “recovery” sound insane to the growing ranks of the unemployed and dispossessed, they're right. “The great investment banks are through, dead and gone, no longer willing or able to gather trillions in capital for any enterprise vaguely resembling national economic development.” All that's left is The Casino.
The Great Black Hole of Casino Capitalism
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“It now sucks all remaining and potential national wealth into its infinite darkness.”
Ruling circles in the United States have decreed that the Great Recession is over. These are the same circles that waited through half of 2008 to announce that the nation had been in recession since December of 2007. They now declare the worst is behind us even as unemployment climbs, smaller banks go under and a new wage of foreclosures looms. But there is not time in a 4-minute commentary to quibble about technical definitions of recession. In the larger scheme of things, such conversations are diversions that obscure what actually happened to the capitalist system over the past year. It has been broken beyond repair.
There is nothing left of finance capitalism but The Casino, which is only kept whirring along through the fiscal resources of The State. When the ruling circles, which of course includes the finance capital-infested Obama administration, announce that the economy is on the “road to recovery,” they are speaking of The Casino – Greater Wall Street and its speculations. But the once-dynamic heart of Wall Street, the great investment banks, are through, dead and gone, no longer willing or able to gather trillions in capital for any enterprise vaguely resembling national economic development. That stage of capitalism definitively ended in the Great Crash of last year. With the final collapse – decades in the making and historically inevitable – finance capital became irrevocably dependent on The State's capacity to subsidize its activities. It could not save itself, much less contribute to national economic reconstruction.
“With the final collapse, finance capital became irrevocably dependent on The State's capacity to subsidize its activities.”
Instead, The State – meaning, the people of the United States – have so far gone into hock for $23.7 trillion to bail out finance capital, 1.7 times the U.S. gross domestic product for 2008. The relationship between finance capital and U.S. society has devolved to pure parasitism. Such is the nature of post-2008 capitalism in America.
Greater Wall Street has become a Black Hole of its own creation. It now sucks all remaining and potential national wealth into its infinite darkness. Medicare and Social Security and every seizable public asset are pulled ever closer to its event horizon, to be lost in the Black Hole: The Casino. Meanwhile, the ever-expanding military acts as its own Black Hole, in order to safeguard the imperial domain on behalf of The Casino.
Strange phenomenon occur in the presence of economic Black Holes. Unemployment in Detroit nears 30 percent, while Wall Street experiences 12-month highs. State and local governments disintegrate, safety nets unravel, as the rich clink champagne glasses in celebration of their mega-trillion salvation, financed through the full faith and credit of the people. Like Atlantic City, New Jersey, all is despair and devastation – except on the boardwalk at The Casino.
Post-2008 America has a Black Hole in its soul. The political project could not be clearer: We've got to shut down The Casino, before it sucks up everything of value around us.
Oscar Grant was murdered by a transit cop on a Bay Area subway platform before hundreds of witnesses. To enable his killer to go free, he had to be murdered again and again in the media and the courts. This book, coming in January, tells the story of these multiple murders.
Teach For America Rap: A Scab is a Scab is a Scab
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Actor, rapper & human rights activist Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def graphically demonstrates a little of what Uncle Sam's untried, un-accused, unsentenced but permanently incarcerated prisoners at Guantanamo Bay & elsewhere undergo every day... not for the faint of heart. From the Guardian, where you can find much more real journalistic coverage of the NSA and more.
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Was the US and NATO's Libyan intervention a humanitarian campaign to protect Libyans against Muammar Gaddafi’s threats of mass violence and genocide, or was it a cynically “rehearsed military expedition” to force regime change and wield Western authority in the region? Far from being an action to save lives, NATO’s “indiscriminate” bombing of civilian targets and cities such as Sirte (Gaddafi’s birthplace) resulted in genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, and civil war..
The year that saw an African American run for the presidency as a viable contender also witnessed a truly remarkable silence. While millions of words written about the political ascent of one black man, there was virtually nothing about the descent of black leadership into well-nigh total ineffectiveness. Barack Obama’s personal itinerary was mapped in the minutest detail. The larger itinerary of African Americans was mostly ignored.