Ours is a period of profound social crisis: our social discourse and political “possibilities” rigidly limited by a narrow ideological hegemony, political system failures, continuous economic dislocation even in “boom” or “growth” years, an increasingly precarious worklife for an ever-growing proportion of the population, an increasingly damaged natural world, and an increasingly violent and fragmented social world. Concepts like class consciousness, social solidarity, and a sense of enduring community have largely disappeared, or, more accurately, been expunged from our social reality. This interconnected web of problems is what I’ve taken to calling the 21st Century Social Crisis. This crisis has its origin in the collapse of the 20th century’s once highly successful social compromise between the powers of capital and of the people, what I call the 20th Century Synthesis.
August 9, 2010 archive
Aug 09 2010
Aug 09 2010
With the near release of the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, both 100% electric driven automobiles, I thought that it would be appropriate to reflect on the history and technology of the automobile. Actually, the Volt also has an internal combustion engine on board, but that engine runs a generator, so both of these cars are exclusively driven by electric motors.
The engine to generator concept is not at all new, as practically all big Diesel locomotives are driven that way. There are significant advantages in using electric motors to propel vehicles, even if they are powered by on board generators. We shall get to that in future.
Aug 09 2010
copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
The day was Sunday, August 1, 2010. Former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan appeared on Meet the Press. When asked to discuss the Congressional debate on tax cuts, the man known to move markets, a person who leans to the “Right,” offered a decisive decree. In direct disagreement with Republican officials and the profitable corporations that fund countless political campaigns, Mister Greenspan declared, “Look, I’m very much in favor of tax cuts, but not with borrowed money. And the problem that we’ve gotten into in recent years is spending programs with borrowed money, tax cuts with borrowed money, and at the end of the day, that proves disastrous. And my view is I don’t think we can play subtle policy here on it.”
This statement was as a slap in the face to corporations, or more correctly to the tycoons who head these firms. Multi-millionaire media moguls might understand this best. These television and radio Executives experience firsthand that influence over an industry can translate into influence over an outcome. Cable News Network Chief Officers are among those who actively make use of this truth. Tax cuts expired? “Never;” say network Administrators and the newscasters such as Allan Chernoff, who do their bidding.