400+ Sourced quotes
Our enemy really isn't capitalism, it's cynicism. That's one the things I learned from Woody (Guthrie)... Not to be cynical... That cynicism... It destroys you, it rots you away from the inside. So that sense of optimism and humanity... which 20 years ago I would have called socialism but now I'll call compassion... You know, that idea is still out there and alive and if you can plug into that and encourage that it makes it all worth while.
For the corporation executives, the military metaphysic often coincides with their interest in a stable and planned flow of profit; it enables them to have their risk underwritten by public money; it enables them reasonably to expect that they can exploit for private profit now and later, the risky research developments paid for by public money. It is, in brief, a mask of the subsidized capitalism from which they extract profit and upon which their power is based.
Identity is marketed in national capitalism as a property. It is something you can purchase, or purchase a relation to. Or it is something you already own that you can express: my masculinity, my queerness. But identity need not be simply a caption for an image of an unchangeable concrete self. It is also a theory of the future, of history.
If a 19th century capitalist Machiavelli had wished to cripple the socialist intelligentsia of the 20th century, he could have invented no more cogent weapon than the labour theory of value. Yet this theory was the invention, not of a defender of capitalism, but of its greatest critic: Karl Marx.
My views are more akin to the nineteenth-century liberal philosophy espoused by Milton Friedman, especially in his Capitalism and Freedom. In that work, he proposed many policies that are harmonious with free markets and are receiving serious attention in the United States and other countries. This list includes school choice, the flat-rate income tax, rules for monetary stability, privatized social security, and the elimination of affirmative-action programs.
Everything that has occurred in Silicon Valley in the last couple of decades also occurred in the 1850s. Anyone who thinks that wild-ass high tech venture capitalism is a late-20th-century California phenomenon needs to read about the maniacs who built the first transatlantic cable projects. The only things that have changed since then are that the stakes have gotten smaller, the process more bureaucratized, and the personalities less interesting.
A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage — the political paradise of communism.
Every time I say the word capitalism, everyone just assumes I have plenty of Marxism in me, I do. But Russia and China had their bloody revolutions and even while they were Communist, they had the same idea about generating wealth - tear it out of the bowels of the earth. And now they have come out with the same idea in the end... you know, capitalism. But capitalism will fail, too.
What worries some people about consumption (and I confess at the outset to be one of these ambivalent creatures, fat but troubled in paradise) is that the affluent, technologically advanced West seems more and more focused not on consuming to live but living to consume. The problem with consumption, and the consumer capitalism that has pushed it to feverish historical extremes, is that it has become so all-consuming.
There is very good reason to believe that, in a generation or so, capitalism itself will no longer exist—most obviously, as ecologists keep reminding us, because it's impossible to maintain an engine of perpetual growth forever on a finite planet, and the current form of capitalism doesn't seem to be capable of generating the kind of vast technological breakthroughs and mobilizations that would be required for us to start finding and colonizing any other planets. Yet faced with the prospect of capitalism actually ending, the most common reaction—even from those who call themselves "progressives"—is simply fear. We cling to what exists because we can no longer imagine an alternative that wouldn't be even worse.