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Showing posts from April, 2010

" ALL REACTIONARIES ARE PAPER TIGERS"

"When Chiang Kai-shek started his offensive against us in 1946, many of our comrades and the people of the country were much concerned about whether we could win the war. I myself was concerned. But we were confident of one thing. At that time an American correspondent, Anna Louise Strong, came to Yenan. In an interview, I discussed many questions with her, including Chiang Kai-shek, Hitler, Japan, the United States and the atom bomb. I said all allegedly powerful reactionaries are merely paper tigers. The reason is that they are divorced from the people. Look! Wasn't Hitler a paper tiger? Wasn't he overthrown? I also said that the tsar of Russia was a paper tiger, as were the emperor of China and Japanese imperialism, and see, they were all overthrown. U.S. imperialism has not yet been overthrown and it has the atom bomb, but I believe it too is a paper tiger and will be overthrown. Chiang Kai-shek was very powerful, for he had a regular army of more than four million. W…

Notes on the 'Volker Rule' and the Financial Crisis of 2008.

The ‘Volker Rule’, proposed by the Obama administration early in 2010, has generated considerable controversy. The two main features of the ‘Volker Rule’ is: 1) a ban on proprietary trading and bank involvement in hedge funds and private equity funds for their own profit independent of their customers, and 2) the introduction of measures to bar the further consolidation of the financial system. Much depends upon the exact wording of the planed legalization, but the ultimate aim is to rectify issues of moral hazard and to mitigate the systemic treat to the financial system posed by reckless financial operations. In terms of moral hazard, the proposed reforms will attempt to demarcate between speculative financial operations and commercial banking operations which are insured by the public. Therefore, according to the Administration’s position, undue risk will not be insured by the public and the costs of which will remain with those who have generated it, thereby reducing moral hazard.…

Sketches of Historical Capitalism: From The Protestant Ethic to The Capital-Labour Relation.

Maurice Dobb’s commenced his “Studies in the Development of Capitalism” with the question of definition. He argued that quite apart from pedantry, questions of definition and definitional stances “ipso facto” implied the implementation of a “principle of classification” and therefore shape the scope of analysis(1).In reference to capitalism, he identified three major perspectives that applied counterpoised principles of classification and causal explanations of historical capitalism. The first popular approach outlined by Dobb, was that of Werner Sombart who attempted to ascertain the essence of capitalism through an appreciation of the “bourgeois spirit”(2). Max Weber followed a similar approach to the problem of capitalism with the proposed connection between Protestantism and the spirit of capitalism(3). The second position, linked capitalism to the separation of production and retail sale with the introduction of intermediaries. The third conception, and the position taken by Dob…