Saturday, January 9, 2016

Capitalism vs. Reality

Part 1: New World Notes #410, 29:10 (January 12)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #411, 28:09 (January 19)
Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Michael Parenti (2nd from left)

In this new talk, political scientist Michael Parenti refutes the claim that the "free enterprise" system (capitalism) promotes both democracy and prosperity.

Part 1 focuses on democracy. Through several historical examples--from ancient Greece to the Constitutional Convention to the present day--Parenti shows how the capitalists (and their predecessors) fought democracy every step of the way--and continue to do so. Rather, democracy emerged, in fits and starts, from the struggles of ordinary people to bring practical improvements to their lives.

Part 2 focuses more on prosperity. Drawing on the past 150 years of American history, Parenti refutes the myth that capitalism increases the general prosperity. In fact the system has brought regular recessions and depressions to ordinary citizens. Not "free enterprise" but a massive increase in government spending finally lifted America out of the depression of the 1920s and 1930s.

Parenti spoke at the University of Illinois at Springfield on October 16, 2015. Thanks to the university, and to Dale Lehman of WZRD-FM, Chicago, for the original recording.  I have lightly edited the original and done what I could to improve its audio quality.

The real origins of democracy, according to Parenti

No comments: