Tag Archives: capitalism

DSA/D&S Movie Night

Democratic Socialists of America, Boston and the Dollars and Sense Collective present: 

The Wealth of Nations: A New Gospel

Date:   January 12, 2017
Place:  Encuentro 5, 9A Hamilton Place, Boston, MA 02108-4701 (Near Park St. T)
Time:  7 PM

Discussant:  Autumn Beaudoin of Dollars and Sense

Disconnecting Adam Smith the economist from Adam Smith the moral philosopher has led to tragic distortions that have profoundly shaped our global economic system, as well as a complete misrepresentation of what Smith meant by a “free market.”  

“The Wealth of Nations: A New Gospel”, part of documentary series on capitalism,  shows how a



misinterpretation of Adam Smith has led to distortions that have tragically shaped our global economic system.  The underpinnings of contemporary capitalism lie in an ideology born in the 19th century; one which privileges greed over other equally deep-seated human drives.   Smith did not favor a completely unregulated free market – in fact, he thought it would be disastrous.

The film features interviews with Noam Chomsky, economist Ha-Joon Chang, and Smith biographer Nicholas Phillipson, as well as archival footage of free market ideologues such as Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman.

Autumn Beaudoin believes that educating individuals about their personal finances is the first step in creating awareness around the ways in which the current capitalist financial industry is exploitative of the individual. In their role on the Dollars and Sense collective, Autumn directly engages in creating awareness of the necessity to change our current political and economic systems of oppression.

Film courtesy of Icarus Films.

The Hub Public Bank – An Alternative Democratic Economic Vision (March 13 Activist Mtg)

Grinning Piggy Bank

Why Bank With Pigs?

The City of Boston has $1.2 billion on deposit with the nefarious Bank of America, US Trust (a subsidiary of  Bank of America) and Citizens Bank, a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland.  Why should  “too big to fail banks”  who brought about the economic collapse of 2008  continue to be depositories for our public money?  There is an alternative  –  depositing our public money in a public bank owned by the people of Boston. 

The Speaker
  DSA member Nancy Goldner will introduce the concept of a public bank as a transformative pathway toward a more democratic, accountable  and community oriented use of our public money. She is also a member of the Pubic Bank Working Group whose mission it is to establish the Hub Public Bank.

Meeting times (March 13, 2014):
7:00 to 8:00 pm Business meeting (Exec. Brd mtg – members welcome)
8:00 to 9:00 pm Activist meeting (with presentation – open to the public)

Encuentro 5/TecsChange
9B Hamilton Place, Ste 2A, Boston MA 02108 (MAP)
Park St T Stop – Hamilton place is the alley with the Orpheum Theatre at the end of it – one block toward Govt. Ctr beyond Winter St.
2nd buzzer from the bottom

The Root of All Evil

Reblogged from Persistent Wondering originally posted 5/13/12 The root of capitalism is the principle that the possession of property entitles you to a claim on the fruits of someone else’s labor. There is no moral justification for this. It is on a par with “might makes right” or “the Devil take the hindmost.” Capitalism is thus corrupt at its very core, whatever social benefits it might be deemed to have in any specific time and place. The logic of capitalism only makes sense if there is an unequal distribution of wealth. If everybody had equal wealth, there would be no sense in property employing labor; rather, we would tend to evolve a system where men and women collectively used their property and their labor in order to socially produce things (since social production is more efficient than individual production). Equal distribution of wealth would tend toward a cooperative society, rather than a capitalistic one. So capitalism arises only in an unequal society; its essential logic guarantees that. The logic of the working-out of capitalism increases the initial inequality. If you have only a small amount of property, it is very difficult to make it grow. Generally, only your constant labor can keep it from shrinking. If you have a large amount of property, however, it is very difficult to PREVENT it from growing. The process of being paid for the use of your property returns the borrowed property plus a dividend, over and over again. The more property you possess, the larger the dividend. If the amount of property you possess is very large, it becomes virtually impossible to spend the dividend. Even if your wealth is a bit smaller, only a modest amount of self-restraint is necessary for savings. So the wealth of rich people grows and grows. Yes, it is possible for a wealthy person to “go bust” because of bad investments. But it doesn’t happen very often. And even a wealthy person who, with great fanfare, has “gone bust”, generally has more residual wealth than a person who wasn’t rich to begin with. Squalor turns out to be relative. Capitalism is inherently incompatible with democracy, because capitalism concentrates concentrations wealth, and wealth is inevitably power. There is no way to decouple the relationship of wealth and power. Regulatory tinkering, such as campaign finance rules, can only act as an impediment, an inconvenience to the wealthy when they act to assert their money-power. Capitalist countries, then, even with republican governmental forms, tend to devolve into de facto oligarchies. This process can be resisted only by constant vigilance, to limit accumulation of wealth, to restrain the free political exercise of wealth, to balance people power against money power (unions and voter empowerment campaigns). This vigilance is a lot of work. When we have won some improvements, “we the people” tend to slack off. The capitalists never do. The differential rewards for them – the incentives – are just too immediate and great. Thus, when times got somewhat better in the postwar period – at least in Europe, the U.S. and Canada – the people became complacent, and in the mid-1970s the capitalists, with their neoliberal/Reaganite/Thatcherite agenda, counter attacked. And so, here we are today, with economic inequality and poverty at record levels, with a stagnant economy, but with many capitalists declaring “recovery” despite the fact that so many remain unemployed, many, many more underemployed, and almost all of us economically insecure. So it turns out that not money, but private capital is the root of all evil, arising only in conditions of inequality, sustaining and promoting inequality, and undermining democracy. Ultimately, if we want secure and just economies, we need to decouple property and income, by recognizing that all capital is socially constructed, and must be socially owned.