Economic crisis Thirty years of the open crisis of capitalism, II. 1980s

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Economic crisis Thirty years of the open crisis of capitalism, II. 1980s
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Economic crisis Thirty years of the open crisis of capitalism, II. 1980s . The discussion was initiated by jk1921.
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Anyone else concerned that

Anyone else concerned that the bit on the gold standard sounds too much like a right-wing conspiracy theory?

The abandonment of

The abandonment of convertibility at the end of Bretton Woods was surely an important moment in the evolution of capitalism. We've kind of got used to it these days, but until 1973, the complete severance of money from the world of actual commodities happened only briefly and usually in times of extreme crisis (basically, the state would default on its bills). Today, of course, it's regarded as normal. But the move a pure fiat currency also has extremely important political considerations because without a commodity backing the only thing lending stability to a currency is the power of the state. This is all perfectly in keeping with a Marxist analysis, so I'm not sure about the connection with "right-wing conspiracy theories".

Perhaps you could elaborate?

Yeah, a favorite theme of

Yeah, a favorite theme of some elements in the Tea Party in the U.S. is the idea that the abandonment of the gold standard is what created this giant debt bubble that finally exploded. They blame the Federal Reserve and somehow connect that to the idea of "one world government." Now, Rand Paul was just elected to the U.S. Senate; he believes the country is "enslaved by debt" and he now has the power to filibuster any attempt to raise the legal debt limit the U.S. runs--possibly threatening the entire world economy.

I guess that in the U.S., whenever we hear about the gold standard, its coming from some right-wing crack-pots.



It will be interesting to see

It will be interesting to see how the American parliamentary system handles an influx of right-wing crackpots into both houses of Congress. A number of rules and unofficial rules will come into question. Cloture, reconciliation, filibuster, 'nuclear option', etc.


In U.S. politics, the nuclear option allows the United States Senate to reinterpret a procedural rule by invoking the constitutional requirement that the will of the majority be effective. This option allows a simple majority to override precedent and end a filibuster or other delaying tactic. In contrast, the cloture rule requires a supermajority of 60 votes (out of 100) to end a filibuster. The new interpretation becomes effective, both for the immediate circumstance and as a precedent, if it is upheld by a majority vote. Although it is not provided for in the formal rules of the Senate, the nuclear option is the subject of a 1957 parliamentary opinion by Vice President Richard Nixon and was endorsed by the Senate in a series of votes in 1975, some of which were reconsidered shortly thereafter. Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.) first called the option "nuclear" in March 2003. Proponents since have referred to it as the constitutional option.

The maneuver was brought to prominence in 2005 when then-Majority Leader Bill Frist (Republican of Tennessee) threatened its use to end Democratic-led filibusters of judicial nominees submitted by President George W. Bush. In response to this threat, Democrats threatened to shut down the Senate and prevent consideration of all routine and legislative Senate business. The ultimate confrontation was prevented by the Gang of 14, a group of seven Democratic and seven Republican Senators, all of whom agreed to oppose the nuclear option and oppose filibusters of judicial nominees, except in extraordinary circumstances.

The Nuclear Option is not to be confused with reconciliation, which allows issues related to the annual budget to be decided by a majority vote without the possibility of filibuster.

I'd imagine the bourgeoisie

I'd imagine the bourgeoisie would figure out some way to keep the debt running if one of these wing-nuts actually tried to block it from increasing in Congress. For example, there is no real chance of any further stimulus packages making it through Congress now, so the Fed just decided on its own to buy $600 Billion dollars of bonds to supposedly prevent deflation. Also, there is in theory some serious crisis brewing as a result of the foreclosure documents crisis, such that nobody really knows who owns anything anymore, the banks could turn out to be worthless and the entire global economy could get flushed again. The approach so far is to pretend it isn't really a problem and continue foreclosures, hoping the courts will go along and "homeowners" won't try to fight them. So far the courts have proven perfectly willing to rubber stamp most of them. So much for the vaunted captialist "rule of law"!