The Hypocrisies of Capitalism
Newsweek’s cover declares, “We are All Socialists Now.” Some people have a different take on it. Paul Krugman, commenting on the bailout of banks and the giant insurance company AIG, says it’s a classic example of what he calls “lemon socialism,” that is, taxpayers bear the cost if things go wrong, but stockholders and executives get the benefits if things go right. Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner, is describing our economic system as it really is, not the fantasy tale spun for mass consumption by Alan Greenspan and his disciples. One salient aspect of the economic collapse is the focus on rotten apples like Bernard Madoff and Robert Allen Stanford. They are easy pickings. We can all be virtuous in denouncing them as cheats and swindlers. But what escapes scrutiny and discussion is the barrel itself. And that is the capitalist system.
Michael Parenti is one of this country’s foremost independent political analysts. Cornel West calls him, “a towering prophetic voice.” He has taught at major colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. He is the author of numerous books including the classic Democracy for the Few, Power and the Powerless, The Face of Imperialism, and The Assassination of Julius Caesar.