Blackspot

Steve Forbes' Deadly Notion

Steve Forbes claims that capitalism will save us.

 

A dangerous idea is floating around the halls of megacorporations. It is seeping into the pages of popular magazines and the minds of sensible folk. If this idea continues to circulate freely, it could spell death for our already unwell natural environment. The deadly notion is that capitalism will save us from an economic collapse.

Steve Forbes clearly articulates this argument in his article "How Capitalism Will Save Us." Forbes argues that as long as people don’t try to hinder capitalists, everything will work out fine.

Underlying Forbes’ logic is nostalgia for a mythic past, one in which capitalism bestowed great gifts on the world. Forbes writes, “Between the early 1980s and 2007 we lived in an economic Golden Age. Never before have so many people advanced so far economically in so short a period of time as they have during the last 25 years.”

What Forbes doesn’t say is that this so-called Golden Age was dependent on the massive, systematic destruction of the natural environment. Capitalists took nature, mixed it with toxins and sold it as disposable garbage to consumers. All in the name of profit. Capitalists can only refer to the last 25 years as a “great time” by ignoring the destruction of the natural environment. We all know the alarming statistics: world biodiversity has declined by almost one third in the past 35 years; twenty-five percent of all mammals now face extinction.

What we are seeing now are capitalists’ desperate attempts to stay on top. As Naomi Klein explains, “today’s preferred method of reshaping the world in the interest of multinational corporations is to systematically exploit the state of fear and disorientation that accompanies moments of great shock and crisis.” The question is, do we have the courage to propose alternative ways to get out of this state of fear?

Micah M. White is a Contributing Editor at Adbusters Magazine and an independent activist. Micah is currently writing a book on the future of activism. He lives in Binghamton, NY with his wife and two cats. www.micahmwhite.com

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78 comments on the article “Steve Forbes' Deadly Notion”

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Anonymous

There certainly will be a select few who show the courage needed to propose ideas to change the system. However, those of us willing, will face the challenge of changing the way capitalism is taught in our schools. From an early age children are taught that the only successful economic system is capitalism, because all other systems have failed. The West is the moral compass for the world, and whatever we do is just, even if it is not. Just wait, capitalism will fail to a degree not seen since the Great Depression.

Anonymous

There certainly will be a select few who show the courage needed to propose ideas to change the system. However, those of us willing, will face the challenge of changing the way capitalism is taught in our schools. From an early age children are taught that the only successful economic system is capitalism, because all other systems have failed. The West is the moral compass for the world, and whatever we do is just, even if it is not. Just wait, capitalism will fail to a degree not seen since the Great Depression.

kaangeya

There is enough on this earth to fulfill everyone's needs, but even the earth is not enough to fulfill everyone's greed...Gandhi

kaangeya

There is enough on this earth to fulfill everyone's needs, but even the earth is not enough to fulfill everyone's greed...Gandhi

I am so wise

Heath and Potter nailed it in Nation of Rebels, when they showed how nothing Adbusters has done or is currently doing is subverting capitalism. Uncooling Nike? Reebok and Vans have been trying that for years.

I am so wise

Heath and Potter nailed it in Nation of Rebels, when they showed how nothing Adbusters has done or is currently doing is subverting capitalism. Uncooling Nike? Reebok and Vans have been trying that for years.

Anonymous in re...

On the contrary: Adbusters is doing the only thing that will ever truly change corporate capitalism: propagating contrasting ideas in a venue that reaches many people and supporting institutions that compete with "capitalist" (corporatist) companies, but with fundamentally different basic assumptions regarding the "Bottom line." ---- If you can't see the difference between Blackspot and Nike either your values are very, very simplistic or you live in an alternate reality. ---- First off, Blackspots are much better ecologically, socially, and animal-ly, that's right, they're so bad-ass I made up a word to describe them. ---- But most importantly: they drastically shift the primary operating principle from high executive salaries (the real "bottom line" in corporations today.) And they don't rely on over-the-top constant advertising. Nike on the other hand.... ---- While I'm not entirely familiar with the work you referenced, I can't image an argument that supports your absolute assertion that isn't ENTIRELY based upon misrepresentations, oversimplifications and VERY loose logic such as oversimplifying the left's opposition to capitalism in its present form and trite appeals to "hypocrisy" based upon pea-brained non-sequiturs like (imagine whiny voice:) "adbusters says they're anti-capitalist but they sell stuff!!!!" But I would be open-minded to your critique if you care to elaborate.

Anonymous in re...

On the contrary: Adbusters is doing the only thing that will ever truly change corporate capitalism: propagating contrasting ideas in a venue that reaches many people and supporting institutions that compete with "capitalist" (corporatist) companies, but with fundamentally different basic assumptions regarding the "Bottom line." ---- If you can't see the difference between Blackspot and Nike either your values are very, very simplistic or you live in an alternate reality. ---- First off, Blackspots are much better ecologically, socially, and animal-ly, that's right, they're so bad-ass I made up a word to describe them. ---- But most importantly: they drastically shift the primary operating principle from high executive salaries (the real "bottom line" in corporations today.) And they don't rely on over-the-top constant advertising. Nike on the other hand.... ---- While I'm not entirely familiar with the work you referenced, I can't image an argument that supports your absolute assertion that isn't ENTIRELY based upon misrepresentations, oversimplifications and VERY loose logic such as oversimplifying the left's opposition to capitalism in its present form and trite appeals to "hypocrisy" based upon pea-brained non-sequiturs like (imagine whiny voice:) "adbusters says they're anti-capitalist but they sell stuff!!!!" But I would be open-minded to your critique if you care to elaborate.

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