Against the Corporate State
By Richard Girard
"Predatory capitalism created a complex industrial system and an advanced technology; it permitted a considerable extension of democratic practice and fostered certain liberal values, but within limits that are now being pressed and must be overcome. It is not a fit system for the mid-twentieth century."
Noam Chomsky (b. 1928), U.S. linguist, political analyst. "Language and Freedom," lecture, delivered Jan. 1970, at Loyola University, Chicago (published in For Reasons of State, 1973).
"The decadent international but individualistic capitalism in the hands of which we found ourselves after the war is not a success. It is not intelligent. It is not beautiful. It is not just. It is not virtuous. And it doesn't deliver the goods."
John Maynard Keynes (18831946), British economist. National Self-Sufficiency, section 3 (1933; reproduced in Collected Works, volume 9, 1982).
"Capitalists are no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting himself up by his own bootstraps."
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (18701924), Russian revolutionary leader. Letters from Afar, chapter 4 (1917).
In the last ten years we have seen many of the worst practices inherent in capitalism come to pass. The total lack of consideration for the human element in economic decisions; the precedence of the short term bottom line over the long term survival and well-being of the economic system; the corruption of our political and social systems by the economic.
I have had conservatives argue with me that these faults are solely the responsibility of the individuals involved, and not the system itself. But I must disagree with them: It is the nature of the system, which places things ahead of people, and places a premium upon those who can exploit their fellow humans and their suffering without qualm, that has made the worst depredations possible.