Fwd: It's a Battlefield Out There

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Thu Dec 10 10:34:54 PST 1998

Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

>yes, i will track down Ross' comments--I think they are in Donna's office
>who seems to have forgotten about her debts to LBO and has not been reading
>along for some time. My other point is that no matter how much life is
>commodified and relations individualized, neo classical economics still
>cannot be a realistic description of capitalist reality

No, I agree. But the attitude of the neoclassicals is that if reality is at odds with theory, so much the worse for reality. Homo economicus may not occur in nature, but capitalist society does its best to create such beasts, and the "neoliberals" want to accelerate the process. Just to pick one mundane exapmle, there's the privatization of Social Security. Public pension systems are solidaristic in both conception and influence - they're based on a deal across generations, and, given their mildly redistributive nature, even across class or sub-class barriers. To the capitalist practitioner, both the "social" and the "security" parts are offensive: anything that keeps us from being insecure atoms is to be destroyed!


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