Fall is upon us, which means the NC annual fundraiser will be starting soon!
Readers contribute generously to this site in many ways, via sending links, antidotes, giving insights, information, and well crafted prose in our comments section, and last but not least, sending money. I hate to be forward about it, but an effort like this does entail the use of that crass commodity. If you believe in Naked Capitalism’s distinctive combination of serious analysis, prescient calls, and no-holds-barred commentary, we hope you’ll show your support via a contribution, either a one-time donation or a subscription.
We also hope you’ll tell us what you like, and where we need to do better, so that we can direct our efforts to things that you consider important. We are going to be debuting some new site features next week, to show you the way past contributions are allowing us to keep improving the stie.
Naked Capitalism requires an
insane ongoing commitment of effort, not just by me but by other important contributors, the most important being Lambert. And it’s become more challenging to keep coverage timely and relevant as the effects of the global financial crisis keep fanning out into the political realm. It isn’t just that ordinary citizens have and continue to suffer while the financiers and the uber wealthy are prospering. It’s that the crisis amounted to the greatest transfer of wealth in history, and such an open display of successful looting has not gone unnoticed among our elites.
Most Americans do not realize that they are on the losing end of a 40-year war against them. On August 23, 1971, former Nixon Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell circulated what came to be known as the Powell memo. It set forth a detailed program for reshaping American institutions and values to favor the interests of corporations over those of ordinary citizens. The success of this initiative has been so complete that it has not only rolled back many of the bulwarks created by the New Deal and the Great Society, but it is also in the process of pauperizing ordinary workers in order to increase record business profits even further. The fact that the campaign has also produced rampant political dysfunction, curtailed civil liberties and helped cement an out-of-control surveillance state is of perilous little concern to powerful elites as long as their plutocratic land-grab continues.
One of the perverse accomplishments of this campaign has been to place all major branches of government in thrall to the capitalist classes rather than the popular will. Both major parties are in broad agreement on policies that are hostile to the public, such as deficit reduction when unemployment is still high, preserving a higher education system that turns increasing numbers of young people into compliant debt slaves, “reforming” as in cutting Social Security and Medicare while preserving a bloated military, and damaging local water supplies via fracking. A “law and economics” movement and aggressive targeting of elected court positions has produced an increasingly pro-business judiciary that has issued rulings that our forefathers would consider absurd, such as treating corporations as having Constitutional rights. Regulators are at best ideologically captured and at worst responsive to what amount to bribes via the “revolving door” of trading on their contacts and knowledge once they leave government service. And a lapdog media for the most part plays the role of Dr. Pangloss, celebrating this march towards neofeudalism as inevitable, even virtuous, and relegating critics to the fringes…
The time has come for ordinary people to demand to be heard. We are hardly alone in calling for radical change; the recent weeks alone have seen robust debate about the need for revolution. Not surprisingly, pundits and spokesmen of the Vichy Left have worked hard to stuff that impulse back into a box. But the irony is that these “revolutionary” views aren’t even radical. They enjoy considerable, often majority, popular support. They just happen to be inconvenient for our incompetent elites and looting plutocrats.
Thus we are not trying to found a political movement as much as galvanize and focus popular views that the policy elites have marginalized and describe concrete solutions.
And here is why we need your help in carrying that effort forward. As Matt Stoller wrote in 2011:
The truth is, you can get lies for free. Wall Street is only too happy to buy advertising, to make sure you hear from their well-credentialed experts. If you are not paying for your media, though, then they are. And you aren’t the customer, you are the product being sold. While this arrangement works, what it means is that you’ll get lies for free. And this is a very expensive proposition. So I hope that you’ll consider, if you haven’t already, putting some dollars towards the Naked Capitalism fundraiser. If you can’t afford much, give only a few bucks. If you can afford more, give more. If you can afford to give a lot, give a lot. It will pay for itself, I guarantee you. This isn’t just giving, it’s a statement that you are want a different debate, a different society, and a different culture. It’s about saying you are tired of the lies you are being fed for free, and are willing to put your valuable resources into reshaping how information in our society flows. It will help policy-makers understand that if they make good decisions, they have allies, and if they don’t, they have enemies.
So, to help keep the blog that never sleeps after the banks that never sleep, please participate when we go live on our fundraiser next week!