Saturday, April 2, 2016

Dear Secretary Clinton

An Open Letter to Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton.

The fundamentalism of conservative politics rests on false assumptions.  For example, the utopian self-regulated market economy.  A free market has never existed and cannot actually ever exist.

When you question Conservative assumptions, based on their lack of capacity to understand how markets and governments work together, then we begin to see how little they understand.

Market Fundamentalism of conservatives threatens Americans lives more than any terrorist.  New Orleans after Katrina and Flint are only two of hundreds of examples.  The Malheur Occupation here in Oregon had all the elements of market fundamentalism assumptions behind the rhetoric of those arrested.

Your staff will find excellent logic and pragmatic words to craft PR messages in this book:
Fred Block, Margaret R. Somers, The Power of Market Fundamentalism:  Karl Polanyi's Critique, Harvard University Press (2014)

The key assumption Conservatives make, that Polanyi claimed was false, is that land, labor and money are commodities.  Polanyi called them fictitious commodities.  Markets prey on land, labor and money unless government regulates their behavior.

“Driven by this free market ideology, conservative politicians have engaged in a decades-long campaign to reverse the reforms originally introduced in the 1930s by Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and extended in the 1960s by Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs.”

“…we use the label “market fundamentalism” because the term conveys the quasi-religious certainty expressed by contemporary advocates of market self-regulation.”

“Polanyi’s argument… challenged the ascendant precept that freedom and individual rights depended exclusively on an economy driven by a system of self-regulating markets and severely diminished government spending on social and economic provisioning and protection.”

  1. “First, while markets are necessary, they are also fundamentally threatening to human freedom and the collective good.”
  2. “Our second theme is that the free market celebrated by economists and political libertarians has never—and cannot ever—actually exist.”
  3. “Our third theme is that the seductive persistence of free market ideology is rooted in its promise to reduce the role of politics in civic and social life.”