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Precisamos de evoluir economicamente

por beatriz j a, em 02.08.17


Capitalism's excesses belong in the dustbin of history. What's next is up to us (martin kirk)


Citing a study by Harvard University that showed that 51% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 no longer support capitalism, Hill asked if the Democratic party would contemplate moving farther left and offering something distinctly different to dominant rightwing economics? Pelosi, visibly taken aback, said: “I thank you for your question,” she said, “but I’m sorry to say we’re capitalists, and that’s just the way it is.”

The footage went viral on both sides of the Atlantic. It was powerful because of the clear contrast: Trevor Hill is no hardened leftwinger. He’s just your average millennial – bright, well-informed, curious about the world and eager to imagine a better one. By contrast, Pelosi, a figurehead of establishment politics, seemed unable to even engage with the notion that capitalism itself might be the problem.


a partir do minuto 15.00


It’s not only young voters who feel this way. A YouGov poll in 2015 found that 64% of Britons believe that capitalism is unfair, that it makes inequality worse. Even in the US it’s as high as 55%, while in Germany a solid 77% are sceptical of capitalism. Meanwhile, a full three-quarters of people in major capitalist economies believe that big businesses are basically corrupt.


Why do people feel this way? Probably not because they want to travel back in time and live in the USSR. For millennials especially, the binaries of capitalism v socialism, or capitalism v communism, are hollow and old-fashioned. Far more likely is that people are realizing – either consciously or at some gut level – that there’s something fundamentally flawed about a system that has as its single goal turning natural and human resources into capital, and do so more and more each year, regardless of the costs to human well-being and to the environment.


(...) Global GDP has grown 630% since 1980, and in that same time inequality, poverty and hunger have also risen.


(...)  A\as the American Airlines CEO, Doug Parker, found earlier this year when he tried to raise workers’ salaries and was immediately slapped down by Wall Street. Even in a highly profitable industry – which the airlines are, despite many warnings – it is seen as unacceptable to spread the wealth. Profits are seen as the natural property of the investor class. 


It certainly doesn’t have to be this way, and we don’t need to look backwards to socialism, or any other historical system, as an prebaked alternative. Instead, we need to evolve. The human capacity for innovation and fresh thinking is boundless; why would anyone want to denigrate that capacity by believing that capitalism is the final system we can come up with?


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publicado às 17:12

O lado negro do sistema capitalista

por beatriz j a, em 31.07.17



Trabalhadores da Autoeuropa rejeitaram pré-acordo negociado com a administração

"Receio que nos trabalhadores que votaram pelo `não" ao pré-acordo não tenham percebido que pode estar em causa, pelo menos, uma parte da produção do novo veículo T-Roc na Autoeuropa", acrescentou o coordenador da CT, que se escusou a explicar até que ponto a recusa do pré-acordo poderá comprometer o futuro da fábrica de Palmela.

Em comunicação enviada sexta-feira aos funcionários da Autoeuropa, o responsável pelos Recursos Humanos e Produção da Volkswagen, Jürgen Haase, lembrava que a Volkswagen tinha investido muito dinheiro para produzir o novo veículo T-Roc na fábrica de Palmela, advertindo também que os níveis de produção previstos exigiam novos horários, de três turnos, e trabalho aos sábados.


A Volkswagen, essa empresa fraudulenta que criou um banco porque já não sabia o que fazer a tanto dinheiro, em vez de contratar mais funcionários -o único argumento que têm as empresas que justifique a obscenidade dos lucros- para fazer o trabalho, quer pôr os que tem a trabalhar seis dias por semana e lança ameaças de que, se não o fizerem, podem ir todos parar ao desemprego. Foi assim que no século XIX surgiram, o Marx, os anarquistas que matavam a realeza e todo o século XX soviético: para lutar contra esta loucura de se pôr o lucro, sem nenhum travão, a encabeçar a lista dos Direitos Humanos. Well, here we go again...


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publicado às 04:52

Wilden Kapitalismus

por beatriz j a, em 18.03.15




Os frutos das Finanças por Marius van Dokkum



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publicado às 19:28




Há uma revolução a acontecer na Síria de que não se fala


É uma revolução anarquista que tem como pilares centrais os direitos das mulheres e a ecologia. Perto da fronteira entre a Turquia e o norte do Iraque há uma área, sobretudo curda, na região de Rojava, onde se está a experimentar um tipo de organização social muito diferente do Médio Oriente e também do Ocidente onde se mistura o libertarianismo e uma espécie de anarquismo soft. Estão a lutar contrar o ISIS ao mesmo tempo que mantêm uma organização social livre dos constrangimentos e consequências do capitalismo 'testosterónico' que se espalhou pelo planeta.




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publicado às 12:38

Piadas kapitalistas

por beatriz j a, em 31.01.15






Numa terra da ex-Alemanha de Leste que já se chamou Karl-Marx-Stadt, o banco Sparkasse Chemnitz fez um inquérito aos seus clientes para escolherem a imagem a aparecer nos seus cartões de crédito. E a vencedora foi... Karl Marx 😃



In response to this selection, Planet Money has encouraged readers to post a tagline for the card on Twitter, using the hashtag #marxcard. Here are a few of our favorites so far:


. There are Some Things Money Can’t Buy. Especially If You Abolish All Private Property.

. From each according to their ability, to each according to his need. For everything else, there’s #Marxcard.

. The Marx Card – Because Credit is the Opiate of the Masses.

. The Karl Marx MasterCard – When You’re Short of Kapital


Got your own to suggest? cc: us on Twitter: @openculture



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publicado às 08:10



 imagem de





Christensen's Disruptive Innovation after the Lepore Critique ...



What's up is pervasive anger at the corporate and political classes that have used the theory of disruptive innovation to justify an endless procession of company downsizings and closings over the past thirty years (photo credit: Bill Bamberger).  People are also angry at the belief of many advocates that resistance is futile and resisters are losers.  Prof. Lepore spoke for this sense of exclusion when she wrote that in order to avoid actual debate, "disrupters ridicule doubters by charging them with fogyism."  Innovation, she wrote, has become "the idea of progress jammed into a criticism-proof jack-in-the-box."


The stakes of this debate about innovation are high.   Corporate America, health care, manufacturing, and the contemporary university have all tied their reputations to their delivery of innovation. Innovation comes with lots of turmoil, unilateral management decision making, and interference with how people do their jobs.  The critiques of the Lepore article didn't justify disruption as innovation so much as they affirmed that there is a lot of disruption:  responses from DigitopolyVox, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal tried to refight the debate to a draw.   In an interview, Prof. Christensen countered some of her examples while describing her piece as a "criminal act of dishonesty--at Harvard of all places!" (He also seemed to invite her over to talk innovation theory.)

I don't want to try to referee the debate through the examples in Prof. Lepore's piece, (Jill Lepore: What the Theory of “Disruptive Innovation” Gets ...) but to provide a better socio-cultural context for it, in the hope that the debate will continue.  The main point I will make here is that we can't overcome disruptive innovation unless we realize that it isn't a theory of innovation but a theory of governance.


Muito, muito bom.



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publicado às 20:46




Disappearing Acts


> George Scialabba


Economics is full of wonderful concepts. One of my favorites is “effective demand.” Like a magic wand, it can make billions of people disappear.


Suppose a farm can produce 100 pounds of food and there are 100 very hungry people who’d like to eat it but have no money. You might think that there’s a demand for 100 pounds of food. Silly you! There’s a need for the food, of course. But this is civilization: you can’t demand something just because you need it. If food costs a dollar a pound and each person has ten cents, then there’s ten dollars of effective demand. If each person has 25 cents, there’s $25 of effective demand. In that case, any sensible farmer-capitalist would produce only 10 or 25 pounds of food. Supply has to equal demand, and demand equals need plus money.


But what about those 100 people and their needs? Well, they exist, I suppose, in some world or other, but not in the market economy. In the market economy, if you’re not a cost or a revenue source, you don’t exist. Some of those people may have once lived on the land now owned by the farmer-capitalist and have been been physically expelled. Others may have been expelled from their jobs by factory-capitalists, often at the behest of finance-capitalists. In any case, all of them have been expelled from the Promised Land of the Market and condemned to wander in the outer darkness, invisible.


According to Columbia University sociologist Saskia Sassen in her new book Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press, 286 pages, $29.95), the above is not a just-so story. There has been a shift in the logic of global capitalism. Until the 1980s, the fundamental dynamic was inclusion: bringing ever more people and resources into the economy and society, for example, by incorporating subsistence producers and self-governing communities into market relations and citizenship. For the last several decades, the logic has been one of exclusion: excluding vast numbers from their livelihoods, their land, or their homes; excluding vast areas of land and ocean from the biosphere; and excluding vast quantities of resources (above all, water) from the global commons.


(...) Saskia Sassen in her new book Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press



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publicado às 20:06

Is surging inequality endemic to capitalism?

por beatriz j a, em 25.03.14




Is surging inequality endemic to capitalism? by John Cassidy



“Capital in the Twenty-first Century,” a sweeping account of rising inequality by the French economist Thomas Piketty.



In the United States, the very idea of a new wealth tax looks like a nonstarter politically, as would the notion of raising the top rate of income tax to eighty per cent. That’s not a knock on Piketty, though. The proper role of public intellectuals is to question accepted dogmas, conceive of new methods of analysis, and expand the terms of public debate. “Capital in the Twenty-first Century” does all these things. As with any such grand prognostication, some of it may not withstand the test of time. But Piketty has written a book that nobody interested in a defining issue of our era can afford to ignore. 



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publicado às 13:31




A história de como o capitalismo abandonou a classe média

Nos EUA, as 400 pessoas mais ricas têm tanto como 150 milhões de pobres, avisa Robert Reich. O documentário Desigualdade para Todos apresentado no festival de Sundance dá-lhe voz. E ele diz que um mundo diferente é possível.


No trailer, Reich aparece a explicar que uma forma fácil de medirmos as desigualdades é através da comparação entre o salário do trabalhador americano médio e o de um americano num dos lugares de topo. Um gráfico animado começa a comparação em 1978, ano em que um trabalhador médio recebia cerca de 48 mil dólares, enquanto alguém que fizesse parte do 1% no topo receberia algo como 393 mil dólares.


O gráfico avança depois rapidamente para o ano de 2010: o trabalhador médio ganha menos do que ganhava em 1978 (33 mil dólares), enquanto o do topo ganha 1101 mil dólares. No final Reich repete: “Pensem nisto, hoje 400 pessoas têm tanta riqueza como 150 milhões, metade da população americana”. E mais: os seis herdeiros da cadeia de distribuição Walmart possuem uma fortuna maior do que a do conjunto de 33 milhões das famílias americanas mais pobres.

Carole Cadwallard, jornalista do Observer, diz que Inequality for All foi um sucesso inesperado em Sundance, ao defender a tese de que o capitalismo norte-americano abandonou a classe média, tornando os mais ricos super-ricos. A força do documentário está em grande parte na figura de Reich – aliás, o filme, dirigido por Jacob Kornbluth, segue as aulas do economista na Universidade da Califórnia em Berkeley, em 2012. E Reich não é um economista desconhecido. Hoje com 66 anos, foi secretário de Estado do Trabalho na Administração de Bill Clinton entre 1992 e 1996.

O que o filme de Kornbluth conta, explica Cadwallard, é a história de como a classe média foi ficando cada vez mais privada do bolo económico. Uma situação que não é benéfica para ninguém, sublinha Reich. Dado que 70% da economia depende do poder de compra desta classe média, se esta não puder comprar, a economia não pode crescer. É a mesma mensagem que outros economistas têm repetido, mas Reich fá-lo de uma forma particularmente clara, e, segundo a jornalista do Observer, divertida.

Os americanos não têm vivido acima das suas posses”, defende, num dos posts do seu blogue. “O problema é que as posses deles não têm acompanhado o crescimento da economia”. O filme apresenta também essa realidade através de casos concretos, e muitos dos espectadores em Sundance confessaram ter chorado ao ouvir alguns dos testemunhos.

Reich considera que um dos momentos decisivos para explicar a actual situação foi o desinvestimento feito na educação na década de 70. A partir daí, diz o economista, as oportunidades para as classes mais baixas reduziram-se, e a força de trabalho americana começou a perder terreno.

Trágico é que, o que os americanos fizeram que os pôs nesta situação é o que estamos a começar a fazer por cá... nomeadamente na educação: desinvestir e tornar a educação um privilégio de quem tem dinheiro.

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publicado às 19:03

Contou-me agora o taxista

por beatriz j a, em 14.01.13





Por ordem da presidente da câmara aqui do burgo -que é comunista e toda pela defesa dos pobres, oprimidos e desfavorecidos- agora paga-se 3 euros para entrar no cemitério de Aljezur com o carro... ora, o cemitério fica a quilómetros de Setúbal e para ir lá só mesmo de autocarro ou de carro, sendo que muitos dos velhotes que lá vão quase todos os dias já só lá vão porque alguém os leva de carro e ajuda com as coisas. Este taxista, que vai com a mãe todas as semanas ao cemitério, está revoltado por ter que pagar 3 euros para lá entrar.

Onde já se viu ter que pagar para entrar no cemitério... uma ideia capitalisto-comunista sadina...


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publicado às 21:56

great bites

por beatriz j a, em 18.12.12





If culture is purely entertainment, nothing is of importance. If it's a matter of amusement, an impostor can undoubtedly amuse me more than a profoundly authentic person. But if culture signifies more than this, then it's worrying. And I believe that culture does signify much more, not only because of the pleasure we can get from reading a great work of literature, or seeing a great opera, or listening to a beautiful symphony, or seeing an exquisite ballet, but because the type of sensibility, the type of imagination, the types of appetite and desire that high culture, great art, produce in individual human beings gives them strength and equips them to live better. It enables them to be much more aware of the problems in which they are immersed, to be more lucid with regard to what is right and what is wrong with the world they live in. The sensibility formed by art formed enables them to defend themselves better and to enjoy life more – or at least to suffer less.


I'm not against capitalism, I'm in favour of it; it's enabled an extraordinary advance for humanity. It's brought us higher standards of living, a type of scientific development that permits us to live infinitely better than our forbears. Nevertheless, the great theorists have always said that capitalism is a cold-blooded system, one that creates wealth but also selfishness. This has to be offset by an extremely rich spiritual life. Many theorists of capitalism thought that this spiritual path was religion; others, who were not religious, thought it was culture. If we don't want to reach the point towards which contemporary society is moving – a spiritual void in which all those negative aspects of industrial society, all the dehumanization it brings with it, are becoming more apparent by the day – I firmly believe that the best way of counteracting that egoism, that solitude, that terrible competition which reaches extremes of dehumanization, is an extremely rich cultural life, in the loftiest sense of the word "culture".


High culture is inseparable from freedom. High culture has always been critical, has always been a result of non-conformism and a source of non-conformity. One cannot read Kafka, Tolstoy or Flaubert and not be convinced that the world is ill-conceived, that compared to things that are so lovely, so perfect, so elegant, where everything is elegant – the ugly and the bad are also elegant and lovely – the real world is so mediocre. This creates in us a tremendous feeling of non-conformity, of resistance and the rejection of actual reality. That is the main source of progress and of freedom, not only in the material realm but in the realm of human rights and democratic institutions. The defence of high culture is linked to that great preoccupation with freedom and with democracy.


I'm in complete agreement. Modern industrial society, market society, the society of advanced countries has improved the living conditions of individual human beings enormously. But in no way has it brought the happiness that people seek as their ultimate destiny. What is lacking is precisely what goes by the name of a "rich spiritual life". Religion provides this for a section of society – the section that feels its material existence is rounded off via faith – but there remains a broad sector that religion doesn't touch, to which it says nothing, and it's there that culture must play a fundamental role.

Education, I agree, must be one of the main instruments through which modern society can gradually fill this spiritual vacuum. But if there's anything that's in crisis in modern society, it's precisely education. There's not a single country in the world whose education system doesn't reflect a deep crisis, for the simple reason that we don't know what's the best and most workable system, the system that creates on the one hand the technicians and professionals society needs, and on the other fills the gaps this modern society has in the spiritual realm. Education is in crisis because it's incapable of finding a formula that might bring those two objectives together. It's there that we have to work if we want a modern society capable of satisfying the material needs of men and women as well as filling the spiritual vacuum. Education is absolutely fundamental, but along with education the family and the individual are also fundamental, and all this requires there to be a certain consensus when it comes to developing programmes that have to govern the life of our schools, our institutes and our universities. Extraordinary confusion exists about this, but if there existed at least an awareness that it's in education that we have to be creative and functional, I think we would already have taken a huge step forward. In any case, although on the surface our discrepancies may be many, I think Gilles and I agree on the fact that it's necessary to read Proust, Joyce and Rimbaud; that what Kant, what Popper or what Nietzsche thought are valuable things in this day and age and can help us design those education programmes on which the society of the future relies, if it is to become less violent and less unhappy than today's.

Mario Vargas Llosa

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publicado às 19:48



The ‘Merit-Based Society’ NYT


The rise of meritocratic competition as the preeminent means of social stratification in America has been hailed as a welcome advance because it replaced a society dominated by an upper class dependent on inherited wealth and status. The transition to meritocracy has, however, had unintended consequences. In the business sector, particularly, other less benign qualities emerge as essential to meritocratic success: aggressiveness, ruthlessness, dominance-seeking, victimizing behavior, acquisitiveness and the disciplined pursuit of self-interest.


Over the past two decades, newly minted corporate titans have used political power to minimize taxation on their principal sources of income, winning preferential rates on capital gains and dividends — and have nearly eliminated taxation on the intergenerational transfer of wealth, brilliantly exploiting the term “death tax."


One industry in particular — the financial sector — has used its power to gain an enormous advantage at public expense persuading the government to dismantle much of the federal regulatory structure.


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publicado às 18:38

o rosto do capitalismo

por beatriz j a, em 02.07.12





Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States

by Michael Lind by Harper

Pages: 64-65



"In 1823, Warren Delano II sailed to Canton and within seven years rose to be a senior partner in the Boston-based firm of Russell and Com­pany. Having made his fortune, Delano retired in 1851 to Newburgh, New York. He wrote: 'I do not pretend to justify the prosecution of the opium trade from a moral and philosophical point of view, but as a mer­chant I insist that it is a fair, honorable, and legitimate trade. I considered it right to follow the example of England, the East India Company, and the merchants to whom I had always been accustomed to look up to-the Perkins, the Peabodys, the Russells, and the Lowes.' Delano's daughter Sara married James Roosevelt and gave birth to his grandson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


"In the Opium Wars of 1839-1842 and 1856-1860, the British, with as­sistance from the French, invaded China in response to the government's attempts to stamp out the foreign opium trade. Britain and other Western powers imposed 'unequal treaties' that gave them commercial privileges on the Chinese. In 1844, the Treaty of Wang Hiya guaranteed Americans the same terms that were extorted by the British. Following the example of Britain, the United States imposed trade treaties on Japan beginning on July 8, 1853, when Commodore Matthew Perry's fleet steamed into Tokyo Bay.


"From that point until the Chinese Revolution of 1911, China was a shattered state, riven by warlords and drenched with blood in the cata­strophic Taiping Rebellion of 1850-1864. The historian John K. Fairbank called the opium trade in which American merchants took part 'the most long continued and systematic international crime of modern times.' " 


É por isto que capitalismo não pode ser deixado a governar-se a si mesmo sem regulação e, muito menos, a governar os povos: é que, na sua forma mais dura (a mais pura...?), é incompatível com a moral humana. E o que é o homem sem código moral? Uma besta, sem mais.


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publicado às 08:46

a rendição ao capitalismo selvagem

por beatriz j a, em 03.10.11




MIKE DAISEY está chocado. Descobriu que os IPhones da Apple são fabricados na China. Esteve nas fábricas e ficou chocado ao ver as condições desumanas em que os trabalhadores operam, mais de 10  horas por dia, alguns com 12 anos de idade. Agora deixou de comprar produtos da Apple mas, como ele diz, isso não basta pois terá de comprar de outra marca que terá, muito provavelmente, os mesmos procedimentos: fazer produtos que se tornem rapidamente obsoletos de modo a obrigar-nos a comprá-los, sob pena de não conseguirmos funcionar e, ter trabalhadores a operar em condições miseráveis para lucrar o máximo possível.

Os mercadso, os mercados, a concorrência, as mais valias e o camandro....tudo palavras de embuste para despir os trabalhadores de direitos que custaram vidas e mais de um século a conseguir: o direito a um horário de trabalho justo, o direito ao descanso, à dignidade, às férias, o direito à infância.


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publicado às 17:31



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