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

Adbusters 111 Cover

On Newsstands December 3

At last we’re in Winter. It’s the year 2047. A worn scrapbook from the future arrives in your lap. It offers a stunning global vision, a warning to the next generations, a repository of practical wisdom, and an invaluable roadmap which you need to navigate the dark times, and the opportunities, which lie ahead.

Subscribe to Adbusters Magazine

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

Displaying 61 - 70 of 78

Page 7 of 8

geekboddy

It would be nice to see some positive comments on how we can improve the situation, rather than people continually shouting each other down. Whether or not adbusters is a brand or an anti-brand or a capitolist-model entity or not, it provides this very forum designed for free-thinking individuals to come up with creative solutions. I feel that is wasted if all we do is argue with each other over semantics. I would be pleased to hear something as I'm having a really hard time coming up with answers myself.

geekboddy

It would be nice to see some positive comments on how we can improve the situation, rather than people continually shouting each other down. Whether or not adbusters is a brand or an anti-brand or a capitolist-model entity or not, it provides this very forum designed for free-thinking individuals to come up with creative solutions. I feel that is wasted if all we do is argue with each other over semantics. I would be pleased to hear something as I'm having a really hard time coming up with answers myself.

Anonymous

I wasn't criticizing Adbusters. I was criticizing Forbes. The linked article is full of sputtering, unconvincing praise for the bailout alongside sputtering, unconvincing praise for market freedom.

Anonymous

I wasn't criticizing Adbusters. I was criticizing Forbes. The linked article is full of sputtering, unconvincing praise for the bailout alongside sputtering, unconvincing praise for market freedom.

Not Wise - Just...

"I am so Wise." What kind of a name is that?! First of all, you have one main good point which is that you propose to reform capitalism rather than absolutely trashing it. Capitalism can spur technological and scientific achievement as well as allow for a sense of "value". We are questioning capitalism because of what it is predicated on: crisis, short-sighted decisions, and creative destruction (see Carl Polanyi). I mean, just look at history: right when its about to blow, we regulate it slightly and allow it to continue. People are starting to question the foundations of capitalism as unsustainable if the government has to always save the day. So many theorists hate government involvement, but what they don't realize is that it always has been necessary in the past to allow capitalism to endure through its own catastrophes. Capitalism, especially free-market capitalism won't help at all, Forbes! Rather, the cash will be invested into key areas (not spread around to those mom and pop stores), many will lose their jobs at the snap of fingers, the environment will be polluted more than ever...I mean, free market capitalism happens in Free Trade Zones in developing countries and its horrible. Last, capitalism not a PURE free flowing system that provides for us. Rather, it is entrenched in power relations and involves interests and manipulations. Some people think we need to all rise up and manipulate capitalism in our collective interests and reform capitalism - others say start fresh.

Not Wise - Just...

"I am so Wise." What kind of a name is that?! First of all, you have one main good point which is that you propose to reform capitalism rather than absolutely trashing it. Capitalism can spur technological and scientific achievement as well as allow for a sense of "value". We are questioning capitalism because of what it is predicated on: crisis, short-sighted decisions, and creative destruction (see Carl Polanyi). I mean, just look at history: right when its about to blow, we regulate it slightly and allow it to continue. People are starting to question the foundations of capitalism as unsustainable if the government has to always save the day. So many theorists hate government involvement, but what they don't realize is that it always has been necessary in the past to allow capitalism to endure through its own catastrophes. Capitalism, especially free-market capitalism won't help at all, Forbes! Rather, the cash will be invested into key areas (not spread around to those mom and pop stores), many will lose their jobs at the snap of fingers, the environment will be polluted more than ever...I mean, free market capitalism happens in Free Trade Zones in developing countries and its horrible. Last, capitalism not a PURE free flowing system that provides for us. Rather, it is entrenched in power relations and involves interests and manipulations. Some people think we need to all rise up and manipulate capitalism in our collective interests and reform capitalism - others say start fresh.

Anonymous

Hey guys, don't even bother trying to argue with "I am so Wise" it's the biggest misnomer I've ever seen. I've argue with him on other articles, and he puts forth just as much bullshit about everything, even things he could NEVER conceive of. He likes to make it sound like he's an expert on all things, and treats these posts as research essays for some university professor like "if I quote some article, that MUST make it true!" without validating any of the points in said articles. While the rest of us are on here looking for meaningful discourse about the themes that Adbusters brings to the table, he is trolling the message boards trying to figure out who he can piss off the most, by saying the stupidest things possible. In regards to this consumption issue, let him consume himself into the ground. If enough of us work together to make a difference, hopefully we can offset his carbon footprint.

Anonymous

Hey guys, don't even bother trying to argue with "I am so Wise" it's the biggest misnomer I've ever seen. I've argue with him on other articles, and he puts forth just as much bullshit about everything, even things he could NEVER conceive of. He likes to make it sound like he's an expert on all things, and treats these posts as research essays for some university professor like "if I quote some article, that MUST make it true!" without validating any of the points in said articles. While the rest of us are on here looking for meaningful discourse about the themes that Adbusters brings to the table, he is trolling the message boards trying to figure out who he can piss off the most, by saying the stupidest things possible. In regards to this consumption issue, let him consume himself into the ground. If enough of us work together to make a difference, hopefully we can offset his carbon footprint.

I am so wise

"treats these posts as research essays for some university professor" God forbid, someone actually engage in some primary source research, engage the historiography, and actually know what they are talking about rather than spout off the party line without giving thought to its accuracy or validity. Such rank anti-intellectuals makes Baby Jesus cry. "“if I quote some article, that MUST make it true!”" Quoting and citing one's source is the most basic convention of scholarship. It's also a matter of basic politeness. It’s also a 4th grade level skill. “While the rest of us are on here looking for meaningful discourse about the themes that Adbusters brings to the table, he is trolling the message boards trying to figure out who he can piss off the most, by saying the stupidest things possible. This is a rank tactic shamelessly and ignorantly plagiarized straight from Rove’s playbook. It has the intellectual integrity of claiming critics of America hate America, but lacks the originality in usage that Rove brought to it. It’s basically admission of defeat without the decency of a concession speech. Frankly, I think Black Spot Sneakers, if stripped of their sanctimonious fans and promotion and bad supporting arguments, would be a fine addition to my wardrobe. Adbusters would do a great if it made kinder, gentler capitalism the norm.

I am so wise

"treats these posts as research essays for some university professor" God forbid, someone actually engage in some primary source research, engage the historiography, and actually know what they are talking about rather than spout off the party line without giving thought to its accuracy or validity. Such rank anti-intellectuals makes Baby Jesus cry. "“if I quote some article, that MUST make it true!”" Quoting and citing one's source is the most basic convention of scholarship. It's also a matter of basic politeness. It’s also a 4th grade level skill. “While the rest of us are on here looking for meaningful discourse about the themes that Adbusters brings to the table, he is trolling the message boards trying to figure out who he can piss off the most, by saying the stupidest things possible. This is a rank tactic shamelessly and ignorantly plagiarized straight from Rove’s playbook. It has the intellectual integrity of claiming critics of America hate America, but lacks the originality in usage that Rove brought to it. It’s basically admission of defeat without the decency of a concession speech. Frankly, I think Black Spot Sneakers, if stripped of their sanctimonious fans and promotion and bad supporting arguments, would be a fine addition to my wardrobe. Adbusters would do a great if it made kinder, gentler capitalism the norm.

Pages

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.