Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Where Form 8815 Reform

Instructions and Help about Where Form 8815 Reform

I'm here today with dr. Fred block research professor of sociology at University of california-davis to talk about his new book capitalism the future of an illusion thanks for joining us Fred my pleasure so why did you write this book well I I wrote this book because I had this kind of realization that a lot of people on the left and on the center you know when they saw something they didn't like about the way in which our system economic system would work would say well what do you expect that's capitalism and you know many of them would kind of go on and make various arguments as to why this was inherent in the nature of a capitalist system and at a certain point I realized that rather than opening up the possibility for reforms changes things you know a contemporary version of the New Deal that it was that saying that was in fact reinforcing the Wrights concept of capitalism which is that it is an unchanging and unchangeable system that every time you try to reform it even in the kind of most minimal kind of way say by raising taxes on the rich or on corporations you are having a tremendous cost in terms of lost efficiency lost productivity and and so forth so I then kind of process that through my own personal experience and that I talk in that in the book that in 1965 SDS students for a Democratic Society had its first march on Washington against the Vietnam War and the president of SDS at that time gave Paul Potter gave a famous speech where he said we must name the system that caused the us to fight in Vietnam we must name the system that produces racism and segregation and the exclusion of African American people and he went on the naming the system was the motif of the speech but he never actually uttered the word capitalism those of us who were young knew leftist at the time knew exactly that he meant capitalism but in 1965 the word was so much associated with Soviet and Chinese communist propaganda that it wasn't a polite term to use the defenders would talk about the free enterprise system you know whereas the term capitalism always had or it had this don't cloud left you know left sectarian connotation so I started to think how much had changed between 1965 and the present where everybody on every step of the political continuum describes the economy we have as a capitalist system and that led me to the idea that basically what had happened was that a term that had historically belonged to the left had been created by the left had been stolen by the right and since I'm in the in the 1970s very self-consciously and that their theft of the term and redefining it had put the left liberals anybody who wanted to reform the system in a position of weakness because they were now able to say that everything every kind of little reform that you want to push you know even if it you know is placing limits on prices of prescription drugs that will interfere with fundamental logic of the capitalist system and make us all worse off so there's got to be a whole lot of hidden terrain behind the transition from demonization to mythologized into a god that the market system became what things are missing in my mind are the concept of a market system and how it does in the realm of distributions or environmental protection there or stability of the financial system or what have you so to me market systems can be good or bad and still be market system it's sort of like a bad hammer or a good hammer in your tool set how did how did it take on a life that was more almost like sacralized right so that's that I mean that the argument that I'm making in the book is that markets are our social institutions they're constructive and they're constructed in different ways and they can be constructed so that there's a race to the bottom and they can be constructed so there's a race to the top that that competitors are encouraged to do things better and more efficiently and serve the customers better but what lies behind the sack realization that you're talking about is a kind of naturalization of markets seeing them not as being constructed through a set of rules and institutions and regulations and any human intervention is soiled I in its getting in the way of God's will absolutely and so the the the invisible hand the divine hand of the market is assuring that good things happen without any political intervention whatsoever so so this is kind of you know I was taught that Marx had stood Hegel on his on his head I'm in formulating his his system and so what right-wing theorists and an Irving Kristol than the Oh conservative writer was a main figure in this and he was one of those neoconservatives who hadn't he migrated from a lift yeah he had been one of the famous Trotskyists in the alcove at at City College and you know he knew his Marx back and forth word cuz you know they disputed Marx for four years and so when he migrated to to the right he he wrote a book in in nineteen seventy eight that he called two chairs for capitalism and what he was doing was quite deliberately standing marks on his head and essentially taking the Marxist notion of a capitalist system and using it as as a conservative argument as to why you had to leave it along the economy had to be autonomous you had to let people free to obey the signals of the market and any interference with that was going to cost you