Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Standard Reference Work For The Occupy Movement

The corruption of every government generally begins with that of its principles.
Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, Book VII, Chapter 1

Every long lasting social movement has it's standard reference work.  Christians have the Bible, the Jews have the Talmud, you get the idea. Revolutions have their documents. If any of you out there thinks that the Occupy Movement that sprung up was just a one off fling of social angst,  the Oracle of Ottawa would implore you to re-evaluate your conclusions. Sure as spring time, the Occupy Movement will be up and at it again.

Somewhere in upstate New York at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, the guide book of the Occupy Movement has already been written. I mean, who knew?  Not only has the book been written but it is in its fifth edition! The author, Richard H. Robbins is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in of all things anthropology. The title is: Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism. It is published by Prentice Hall, and is available in paper edition.

The Oracle of Ottawa happened to stumble upon the latest edition and jumped on it immediately! It starts with the origins of money and the historical roots of the never ending growth economy, its history through time to the present day and most importantly the various side effects of the ever growing economy. Very nicely printed and illustrated, it held the Oracle of Ottawa in a total grip for the whole time that I spent reading it from cover to cover. It is ironic that it takes an anthropology prof to write one of the best books on economics that the Oracle of Ottawa has read in quite a long time.

You will smile sardonically at the ending chapters when the author refers to the "one per cent" and the "ninety-nine per cent". And when you finish reading it you will clearly understand the whole mess of capitalism as it is now deployed, and you will understand that a compound growth economics cannot go on forever against our initial endowment, the planet Earth. You will realize that we are like the old 19th century industrial baron who has depleted his last raw material and is now just realizing that the whole game is up, and is slowly living on his remaining capital hoping that it won't run out before his debtors realize what is exactly going on....

Occupy will be back in full force again soon....

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