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”

Displaying 21 - 30 of 78

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Anonymous

I have to say after reading this post thread and each of your comments, that you - more than any other factor in what has been discussed in your back and forth with the other commenter, ARE the Problem. And this goes for your brain-washed brethren as well. You are simply a true believer, you have completely bought into the corporate narrative, hook, line, and sinker and can't think outside of it, not to save your life, literally. The mental weakness and pure thinking laziness that it takes to just accept a line of thought as it is handed to you by the "establishment", rather than open your eyes and dare to think about all the destruction your cop out way of thinking does, is just disgusting. Not only are people like you destroying our world and yourselves because you are too lazy to think outside of the ideas you've been given, but you do your best to blame and undermine those of us trying to undo your destructive ways. Not only do you take no responsibility for being a non-thinking follower blissfully consuming towards the destruction of yourself and the rest of us because that's what you've been taught you're "suppose to" do - but the effort you lack in questioning the ideas someone else put in your head, you devote to standing in the way of those who are doing the extra work of counteracting your consumerism while also picking up your social responsibility slack. And when I reference "you" I don't just mean you personally but all the other willfully ignorant people who buy into the corporatist way of doing things, just because it's easy, readily available culturally, and doesn't require any thinking or questioning. The fact that you would continue to argue a wrong position over so many posts just to try to sound right and give one lame regurgitation of corporatist dogma after another, shows the mental shallowness needed to be a consuming follower. No, corporations do not do the right thing because consumers make them, there is no market justice that fixes institutions who exist simply to exploit, and stop with your wishful thinking that "we" have the control that we don't - your entire presentation goes to show why humanity will fail in the end if it does, the lack of courage to admit that people who do wrong and get away with it will continue to do it because that's just the evil destructive nature of a person who has no internal moral compass, your whistling by the graveyard not withstanding. Rather than face this, you and other cowards like you, simply throw up the tired "free markets fix everything, they always have and always will, period end" - you and your ilk are the social dead weight the rest of us will have to carry as we fight back the elitists who are systematizing both our and your destruction to cater to their Machiavellian ego trip before they die in the same process. We will be trying to save your ass as well as our own and the livable state of the planet, over your objections, false dichotomies, and crying about your need to consume and why can't we just leave you alone to be another tape worm in a world dying to rid itself of parasites that can't live off of a sustainable proportion of resources. People like you really burn me up, I don't mind the people honest enough to be openly destructive and happily so, but you "you're just not doing corporatism right" folks are the worst. You want to pull pure assumptions out of thin air that corporatism is all good and righteous if only done "right" and imply that having unaccountable people running a mock just because they want to and can is so absurd you can't even mention that in your discussion. Moreover, all the onus is on those fighting to have a sustainable and socially just way of life - while you empty headed followers and your Machiavellian high priests are completely without responsibility as you present it. If you aren't helping, just shut up and get out of the way. You don't want to put forth the effort to question the corporatist system you are stuck in, but want to argue on behalf of it with nothing more than assertions based on wishful thinking, in the same lazy fashion you bought into corporatism in the first place. Since that's your effort level, then you have no reasonable expectation that your baseless opinions should be taken seriously. Unless you are going to do serious research into your assertions and present facts rather than repeated dogma, don't waste people's time with contrarian nonsense for it's own sake. You can start with how many people go hungry and die everyday in our wealthy society because food/water, shelter, and health care is purposely denied them. The elitists on top have to make their buck, so we can't have all this without paying those who bar access to it their coveted buck. Those who don't have that to give are left to die, as you and your brethren happily acquire things you don't need, making up rationale, such as you presented here, to excuse it all and keep it going. The fact that you do this makes you a culprit in this process. Have the courage to question your assumptions that gloss over this murderous system, you'll find that your rationale doesn't hold water and you can choose a honest path then. As of now, you're sitting on the fence pointing to false assumptions as your excuse to not choose a side. You either support the evil exploitation of masses of people on behalf of the luxurious lifestyle of a few elite or you fight for a sustainable, egalitarian society - you're trying to avoid that clear choice by falsely saying there's some way of making exploitation into a sustainable, egalitarian society if only those of us concerned about that were smart, resourceful, or whatever enough to do it, while you and the rest of the faction who isn't concerned about this are blameless for this circumstance while we get our act together. The fact that you are so irresponsible and mentally lazy to present this while also putting forth the effort to present this argument to obstruct those of us who are trying to correct this circumstance - is in my mind the core of the problem. The elitists can continue on because of masses of people like you, who make no effort to question your assumptions and make every effort to obstruct alternative approaches to the elitist's established ways.

Anonymous

I have to say after reading this post thread and each of your comments, that you - more than any other factor in what has been discussed in your back and forth with the other commenter, ARE the Problem. And this goes for your brain-washed brethren as well. You are simply a true believer, you have completely bought into the corporate narrative, hook, line, and sinker and can't think outside of it, not to save your life, literally. The mental weakness and pure thinking laziness that it takes to just accept a line of thought as it is handed to you by the "establishment", rather than open your eyes and dare to think about all the destruction your cop out way of thinking does, is just disgusting. Not only are people like you destroying our world and yourselves because you are too lazy to think outside of the ideas you've been given, but you do your best to blame and undermine those of us trying to undo your destructive ways. Not only do you take no responsibility for being a non-thinking follower blissfully consuming towards the destruction of yourself and the rest of us because that's what you've been taught you're "suppose to" do - but the effort you lack in questioning the ideas someone else put in your head, you devote to standing in the way of those who are doing the extra work of counteracting your consumerism while also picking up your social responsibility slack. And when I reference "you" I don't just mean you personally but all the other willfully ignorant people who buy into the corporatist way of doing things, just because it's easy, readily available culturally, and doesn't require any thinking or questioning. The fact that you would continue to argue a wrong position over so many posts just to try to sound right and give one lame regurgitation of corporatist dogma after another, shows the mental shallowness needed to be a consuming follower. No, corporations do not do the right thing because consumers make them, there is no market justice that fixes institutions who exist simply to exploit, and stop with your wishful thinking that "we" have the control that we don't - your entire presentation goes to show why humanity will fail in the end if it does, the lack of courage to admit that people who do wrong and get away with it will continue to do it because that's just the evil destructive nature of a person who has no internal moral compass, your whistling by the graveyard not withstanding. Rather than face this, you and other cowards like you, simply throw up the tired "free markets fix everything, they always have and always will, period end" - you and your ilk are the social dead weight the rest of us will have to carry as we fight back the elitists who are systematizing both our and your destruction to cater to their Machiavellian ego trip before they die in the same process. We will be trying to save your ass as well as our own and the livable state of the planet, over your objections, false dichotomies, and crying about your need to consume and why can't we just leave you alone to be another tape worm in a world dying to rid itself of parasites that can't live off of a sustainable proportion of resources. People like you really burn me up, I don't mind the people honest enough to be openly destructive and happily so, but you "you're just not doing corporatism right" folks are the worst. You want to pull pure assumptions out of thin air that corporatism is all good and righteous if only done "right" and imply that having unaccountable people running a mock just because they want to and can is so absurd you can't even mention that in your discussion. Moreover, all the onus is on those fighting to have a sustainable and socially just way of life - while you empty headed followers and your Machiavellian high priests are completely without responsibility as you present it. If you aren't helping, just shut up and get out of the way. You don't want to put forth the effort to question the corporatist system you are stuck in, but want to argue on behalf of it with nothing more than assertions based on wishful thinking, in the same lazy fashion you bought into corporatism in the first place. Since that's your effort level, then you have no reasonable expectation that your baseless opinions should be taken seriously. Unless you are going to do serious research into your assertions and present facts rather than repeated dogma, don't waste people's time with contrarian nonsense for it's own sake. You can start with how many people go hungry and die everyday in our wealthy society because food/water, shelter, and health care is purposely denied them. The elitists on top have to make their buck, so we can't have all this without paying those who bar access to it their coveted buck. Those who don't have that to give are left to die, as you and your brethren happily acquire things you don't need, making up rationale, such as you presented here, to excuse it all and keep it going. The fact that you do this makes you a culprit in this process. Have the courage to question your assumptions that gloss over this murderous system, you'll find that your rationale doesn't hold water and you can choose a honest path then. As of now, you're sitting on the fence pointing to false assumptions as your excuse to not choose a side. You either support the evil exploitation of masses of people on behalf of the luxurious lifestyle of a few elite or you fight for a sustainable, egalitarian society - you're trying to avoid that clear choice by falsely saying there's some way of making exploitation into a sustainable, egalitarian society if only those of us concerned about that were smart, resourceful, or whatever enough to do it, while you and the rest of the faction who isn't concerned about this are blameless for this circumstance while we get our act together. The fact that you are so irresponsible and mentally lazy to present this while also putting forth the effort to present this argument to obstruct those of us who are trying to correct this circumstance - is in my mind the core of the problem. The elitists can continue on because of masses of people like you, who make no effort to question your assumptions and make every effort to obstruct alternative approaches to the elitist's established ways.

I am so wise

"No, corporations do not do the right thing because consumers make them, there is no market justice that fixes institutions who exist simply to exploit, and stop with your wishful thinking that “we” have the control that we don’t". It's called a boycott. It worked in the civil rights movement, the UFCW unionization drive with Chavez, and numerous other times throughout history. The reverse, a buycott, so it speak, also works. Buy from companies who make organic food and guess what happens? All the companies start doing it. Companies exist to make money and will do what it takes to continue doing so. Tragically, your historical ignorance and the ranking of your post will only serve to continue the attitudes that demobilize the public because it falsely alleges “we” the customer does not have the control. It also supports the laziness of others who know there are problems but cannot be bothered to act. They can just cite your nonsense and continue on watching TV or consume without regard rather than deal with issues or admitting they're not helping fix things. As for the rest of your post, actually learn some history before going off on a rant like that. It just makes you look foolish and gives you the appearance of being a moron has completely bought into the anti-business bashing narrative, hook, line, and sinker and can’t think outside of it, not to save his/her life, literally. The mental weakness and pure thinking laziness presence here forces them to just accept a line of thought as it is handed to them by the “establishment”, rather than opening their eyes and dare to think about all the destruction your cop out way of thinking does, is just disgusting. Not only are people like you undermining effective activism that helps our world and yourselves, you do it because you are too lazy to think outside of the ideas you’ve been given, but you do your best to blame and undermine those of us trying to undo your destructive ways. See, your name calling is without meaning to given how easily it can be thrown at anyone who disagrees with anyone else. Do try to be original next time and refrain from spouting jargon.

I am so wise

"No, corporations do not do the right thing because consumers make them, there is no market justice that fixes institutions who exist simply to exploit, and stop with your wishful thinking that “we” have the control that we don’t". It's called a boycott. It worked in the civil rights movement, the UFCW unionization drive with Chavez, and numerous other times throughout history. The reverse, a buycott, so it speak, also works. Buy from companies who make organic food and guess what happens? All the companies start doing it. Companies exist to make money and will do what it takes to continue doing so. Tragically, your historical ignorance and the ranking of your post will only serve to continue the attitudes that demobilize the public because it falsely alleges “we” the customer does not have the control. It also supports the laziness of others who know there are problems but cannot be bothered to act. They can just cite your nonsense and continue on watching TV or consume without regard rather than deal with issues or admitting they're not helping fix things. As for the rest of your post, actually learn some history before going off on a rant like that. It just makes you look foolish and gives you the appearance of being a moron has completely bought into the anti-business bashing narrative, hook, line, and sinker and can’t think outside of it, not to save his/her life, literally. The mental weakness and pure thinking laziness presence here forces them to just accept a line of thought as it is handed to them by the “establishment”, rather than opening their eyes and dare to think about all the destruction your cop out way of thinking does, is just disgusting. Not only are people like you undermining effective activism that helps our world and yourselves, you do it because you are too lazy to think outside of the ideas you’ve been given, but you do your best to blame and undermine those of us trying to undo your destructive ways. See, your name calling is without meaning to given how easily it can be thrown at anyone who disagrees with anyone else. Do try to be original next time and refrain from spouting jargon.

Anonymous

Hi, I am so wise - i wrote a small piece a few posts back - I would like to know your thots on Wall Street. I contend that the problem with hypercapitalism (and this should be no surprise) is the enourmous power that a group of institutions have (fueled by the greediest of individuals) gained in a relatively short period of time (call it since the early 80's) - specifically lax legislation, lack of regulation and method of compensation. A Siginificant reform of Wall Street will create a cascading effect in the rest of 'corporate' (america) in many ways - environmentally, socially, and economically I want to see if you respond, before going into detail - I would be interested to read your point of view.

Anonymous

Hi, I am so wise - i wrote a small piece a few posts back - I would like to know your thots on Wall Street. I contend that the problem with hypercapitalism (and this should be no surprise) is the enourmous power that a group of institutions have (fueled by the greediest of individuals) gained in a relatively short period of time (call it since the early 80's) - specifically lax legislation, lack of regulation and method of compensation. A Siginificant reform of Wall Street will create a cascading effect in the rest of 'corporate' (america) in many ways - environmentally, socially, and economically I want to see if you respond, before going into detail - I would be interested to read your point of view.

Anonymous

I currently work in the center of the Financial Markets - the hub of greed and hypercapitalism as we know it…for about 4 years now. I made this decision in order to collect enough ‘ends’ to launch a venture that can compete with the ‘profit’ driven Music industry labels, that I believe have ruined Humanities’ most precious art form. This mission (which is in the works), has recently taken a back seat (for now) to my core belief that some of our Brightest young minds are being duped/herded into a world that knows only greed. My background is as typcical as any other finance douche that u see walking down wall street. However, what most do not realize, is that there are many like me - many that have the tools, skills and passion (and $) to overturn the current model, that is so obvoiusly destroying our society. I believe this group (call it the late bloomers - those who are waking up to the lies we have been fed by our parents generation) are willing and ready to mobilize - we just need a push - and I want to be one of those that provides that push. IN my opinion, this group is vital to implementing the changes we need, and can do so from the inside (though I am leaving imminently)- who know the inner workings of our greed filled institutions. Make no mistake, the attitudes are changing from the inside - some of the most senior playeres on wall street are looking in the mirror and questioning their contribution to society. The time is now - these ‘hail mary’s’ thrown by Forbes and those like him are being recognized as the facades they are. Can someone please provide me with some feedback as to the best places/sites/blogs/organizations that are specifically geared to young ‘professionals’ (whatever the fk that means) looking to implement positive change, primarilly to our sick model of capitalism. tx reply

Anonymous

I currently work in the center of the Financial Markets - the hub of greed and hypercapitalism as we know it…for about 4 years now. I made this decision in order to collect enough ‘ends’ to launch a venture that can compete with the ‘profit’ driven Music industry labels, that I believe have ruined Humanities’ most precious art form. This mission (which is in the works), has recently taken a back seat (for now) to my core belief that some of our Brightest young minds are being duped/herded into a world that knows only greed. My background is as typcical as any other finance douche that u see walking down wall street. However, what most do not realize, is that there are many like me - many that have the tools, skills and passion (and $) to overturn the current model, that is so obvoiusly destroying our society. I believe this group (call it the late bloomers - those who are waking up to the lies we have been fed by our parents generation) are willing and ready to mobilize - we just need a push - and I want to be one of those that provides that push. IN my opinion, this group is vital to implementing the changes we need, and can do so from the inside (though I am leaving imminently)- who know the inner workings of our greed filled institutions. Make no mistake, the attitudes are changing from the inside - some of the most senior playeres on wall street are looking in the mirror and questioning their contribution to society. The time is now - these ‘hail mary’s’ thrown by Forbes and those like him are being recognized as the facades they are. Can someone please provide me with some feedback as to the best places/sites/blogs/organizations that are specifically geared to young ‘professionals’ (whatever the fk that means) looking to implement positive change, primarilly to our sick model of capitalism. tx reply

Anonymous

Capitalism will not only fail,it will tear up the carpet as it leaves. Too late, too late, too late. The generosity of life has ben lost on humanity; he has a grand aversion to death and this is the thing that blinds him, drives him on, running running from the dark one. Oh, deary me. Man is too greedy to die. That's the problem. We have so little grace.

Anonymous

Capitalism will not only fail,it will tear up the carpet as it leaves. Too late, too late, too late. The generosity of life has ben lost on humanity; he has a grand aversion to death and this is the thing that blinds him, drives him on, running running from the dark one. Oh, deary me. Man is too greedy to die. That's the problem. We have so little grace.

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