awkwardly

Monday

Chomsky puts a fork in idea of Capitalism as an innovative and viable system. It's done.

'First, nothing remotely like capitalism exists....'

'So take the core of the fabled “new economy,” for example, what you and I are now using: computers and the internet. How were these developed? Answer, pretty much like most of science, the arts, crafts, etc. All produced in labs, often for decades, mostly within the dynamic state sector of the economy, with essentially no consumer choice or entrepreneurial initiative. Unless you count the “entrepreneurial initiative” of IBM executives who realized that they could use public resources, like the MIT Whirlwind and Harvard Mark series of computers in the 1950s and the work going on in the labs, to learn how to switch from punched cards to electronic-based computing, or their “entrepreneurial initiative” in relying on government procurement (that is, unwitting public subsidy) to develop more advanced computers in the 1960s, or the initiative of AT&T to rely 100% on government for procurement of high quality transistors ten years after they were invented (largely using government-produced technology, and within a great lab that AT&T, theoretically private, was able to maintain at public expense by charging monopoly prices, thanks to government protection), and so on. I happened to be in the electronics lab where a lot of this was going on at the time, but even the most casual acquaintance with the history of technology, hence the source of the modern economy, reveals that this is completely standard: people working very hard, all hours of the night, because they find their work fascinating and are passionately interested in finding out the answers to hard questions, just as artists labor often in penury to satisfy their inner creative needs, parents devote enormous efforts to “producing human capital” (in the familiar ugly terminology), etc. Most of human life, in fact, for anyone who has taken the trouble to observe or participate in the world.'

[Click here for more succinct skewering.]

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