J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 02-01-2018

Human Anxiety in Late-Stage Capitalism – Consortiumnews

Superficial explanations for today’s social anxiety and political discontent miss the underlying reality: the crisis of late-stage capitalism in its frantic death throes, explains poet Phil Rockstroh. Although the question was proffered, the reporters and editors responsible for the articles remain resolutely obtuse to the obvious: The bughouse crazy environment of late-stage capitalist culture evokes classic fight-or-flight responses attendant to episodes of severe anxiety and panic attacks. The word panic has its derivation in reference to Pan, the Greek god of wilderness and wildness, of the animal body encoded within human beings and its attendant animalistic imperatives. A caged animal, even if the unfortunate creature endures captivity, is not the entity nature conceived; the living being has been reduced to A Thing That Waits For Lunch. Human beings, animals that we are, respond in a similar fashion. Experiencing anxiety is among the ways our innate animal spirits react to the capitalist cage. To cite one such groupthink example: homelessness is natural to the human condition and is a communally acceptable situation. The situation is only one of the numerous obscenities inherent to state capitalism. How is it then, liberals fail to grasp the fact that the Trump presidency is not an aberration; rather, his ascension to power should be regarded as being among the high probability variables of late-stage capitalism and empire building? The psychopathic, tangerine-tinged clown Trump is the embodiment of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a development that is concomitant to over-expanded empires. The cultural milieu concomitant to capitalism is at the rotten root and noxious blossoming of the situation. When life is negotiated within a collective value system that devalues and deadens the individual’s inner life thus warps every human transaction, anomie descends, the worst among a people ascend to positions of power. Due to the reality that capitalism, on both an individual and collective basis, drives individuals into madness, all as the system destroys forest and field, ocean and sea and the soul-scape of all who live under its rapacious dominion, our plight comes down to this: We either struggle and strive, by and any and all means, to end the system – or it will end us.

Keywords: [“being”,”life”,”Trump”]
Source: https://consortiumnews.com/…/human-anxiety-in-late-stage-capitalism

L7 The Case Against Capitalism

Some additional considerations from a Marxist perspectiveYanis Varoufakis said in his article “How I became an erratic Marxist”If workers and employers ever succeed in commodifying labour fully, capitalism will perish. Then such expectation tends to undermine the intrinsic value of love and its importance in our non-material bond. So what Varoufakis may be alluding to is that one of the most important “non-material” contributions of labor is what we might call creativity: the ability to add value to some raw material, which is a pretty amazing quality of human behavior. In the same sense that we can’t quantify or commodify love or trust, we really can’t quantify or commodify that natural, unpredictable, inspirational creativity either. This isn’t entirely ignored in capitalism, where someone might pay millions for a Vermeer; there is an element of what Marx called “fetishism” involved here, to be sure, but there is also a very reasonable awe invoked by Vermeer’s profound and rare talent, and a consequent attempt to quantify what simply cannot be captured. Thus there is really no upper limit to such capture efforts, which is why such creations are effectively “priceless. ” Sometimes this valuation is tied mainly to scarcitybut that’s simply not the whole picture. So if all labor were completely commodified by employers and employees in the sense described, then the very qualities that add value to goods and services will be completely excised. Take love out of a marriage, and what do you have? Take trust out of a friendship, and what do you have? Take creativity out of the means of production, and what do you have? This could be what Varoufakis means when he says “capitalism will perish. ” That special human ingredient that fuels the capitalist enterprise and generates value will be extinguished through the commoditization of all laborso how could capitalism continue? Varoufakis could also just be alluding to the complete alienation of labor through its treatment as mechanized, tedious, robotically monotonous production by capitalistsanother important theme in Marx. Or he could be referring to Marx’s predictions about the consequences of monopolies and an increasingly centralized means of production, which in turn prod the steadily impoverished masses into open revolt.

Keywords: [“Varoufakis”,”value”,”capitalism”]
Source: http://level-7.org/Challenges/Capitalism


It’s called Faith and Fortune because faith provides the fuel that energizes these people as they strive to do business better. All of them have faith in the goodness of people and faith in the possibility of change. Most of all, they have faith that corporations, guided by strong values and a dedication to serving others, can become a powerful force for good in the world. Faith and Fortune argues that an exciting new model of conducting business is taking hold, not only in small, socially responsible companies but also inside well-known FORTUNE 500 companies like Herman Miller, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Timberland and UPS. Bit by bit, almost imperceptibly, this new model is replacing a century-old approach that was rooted in the industrial era. At once realistic and inspiring, Faith and Fortune profiles companies and people who represent the best of business and exemplify these new values. When Roone Arledge became president of ABC News in 1977, he took over a second-rate news organization that lacked the reputation, ratings and star power of its well-established competitors, CBS News and ABC News. Arledge, who had made his name as an innovative producer of sports, went on to develop bold new ways of delivering news with such programs as Nightline, 20/20, This Week and Prime Time Live, and to assemble a galaxy of stars: Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Sam Donaldson and David Brinkley. Published in 1994 by Little Brown, The House that Roone Built: The Inside Story of ABC News tells the dramatic story of Arledge’s rise and, eventually, his fall from power. It also explores the evolution of network news from a profession, in which producers and reports saw themselves as serving the public, into a business that played to the crowd. Since ABC introduced Monday Night Football to television in 1970, Monday nights in America have never been the same. Published in 1988 by William Morrow, Monday Night Mayhem: The Inside Story of ABC’s Monday Night Football tells the entertaining story of how ABC and the NFL together turned an otherwise ordinary football game into a national institution with a faithful following of millions. I wrote Monday Night Mayhem with my friend Bill Carter, who covers television for The New York Times.

Keywords: [“new”,”Faith”,”companies”]
Source: http://www.marcgunther.com/books

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