The Challenge to the World Economy Now in 69 Words (Michael Hudson)
by Michael Hudson May 15, 2022
“The decline of the West is not necessary nor historically inevitable. It is the result of choosing policies dictated by its rentier (rent extracting) interests. … The threat posed to society by rentiers is the great challenge of every nation today: Will the government restrict the dynamics of finance capitalism to prevent an oligarchy from dominating the state and enriching itself by imposing austerity on labor and industry” — 69 words
So far, the West has not risen to this challenge.”
“There are essentially two types of society:
- Mixed economies having public checks and balances, and
- Oligarchies which dismantle and privatize the state, take over its monetary and credit system, lands, housing and basic infrastructure, to enrich themselves while choking the productive economy, not helping it grow.”
Most importantly, Michael applies his macro analysis to explain how the world has arrived at this point of fracture, where a financialized and de-industrialized United States is facing off against the mixed-economies of China and Russia.
He emphasizes “There Are Alternatives” (TAA) to the neoliberal finance capitalism prevailing in the West. Our civilization is today at a fork in the road. One path leads to a neoliberal neo-feudalism, dominated by a rentier oligarchy ruling over the indebted many.
The alternative path is broadly mixed-economy industrial capitalism leading to healthy, fair socialism.
Hudson cuts to the big issues, ‘The role of government has been inverted away from one which was to protect society from the rentiers. Now the government protects and encourages rentiers’.
The Destiny of Civilization offers the alternatives to neoliberal finance capitalism, and the policies needed to restrain this underlying rentier dynamic. The Destiny of Civilization is a book of hope for humanity.
Reviews… last review:
“This book explains why the New Cold War’s U.S.-China conflict cannot simply be regarded as market competition between two industrial rivals.
“This is is a broader conflict between different political economic systems — not only between capitalism and socialism as such. The conflict is between the logic of a productive industrial economy and of a non-productive financialized rentier economy, increasingly dependent on foreign subsidy and exploitation as its own domestic economy shrivels.
“Professor Hudson endeavors to revive classical political economy in order to reverse the neoclassical counter-revolution. …
The book explains why the U.S. and other Western economies have lost their former momentum: A narrow rentier class has gained control and become the new central planner, using its power to drain income from increasingly indebted and high-cost labor and industry.
The American disease of de-industrialization has resulted from the costs of industrial production being inflated by the economic rents extracted by this class under the system of financialized-monopoly-capitalism now prevailing throughout the West.”
Prof. Wen Tiejun, Executive Dean, Institute of Rural Reconstruction of China, Southwest University, China.