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Posted by: Doug Henwood | March 25, 2012

Yakking in Geneva…

…New York, not Switzerland. Not at all a disappointment, since Geneva, Switzerland, is one of the dullest major places I’ve ever been, and Geneva, New York, features the excellent Jodi Dean, who invited Liza Featherstone and me to speak at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Jodi’s announcement:

Liza Featherstone and Doug Henwood on March 26 at 7:00 in Albright Auditorium, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY

Liza Featherstone, “Occupy Schools: Education for the 99%”

A contributing writer for The Nation, Liza Featherstone is the author of Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers’ Rights at Wal-Mart (Basic Books, 2004). Selling Women Short received an Outstanding Book award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights at Simmons College. Featherstone has continued to write about Wal-Mart’s employment practices, as well as other problems with its business model. Featherstone is the co-author of Students Against Sweatshops (Verso, 2002), which was named one of the best books of that year by the Madison Capital-Times. In addition to writing for the Nation, Featherstone has written for Slate, Salon, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, Babble, Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, The American Prospect, CNN.com, n+1 and many other publications. She is a frequent media guest, appearing on outlets as varied as CNBC, Fox News, the BBC, Al Jazeera English, and “Democracy Now.”

Doug Henwood, “Reflections on the Current Disorder”

Doug Henwood is the editor and publisher of Left Business Observer. The newsletter reports on the world’s financial markets and central banks, in addition to covering income distribution, poverty, energy, and politics. Henwood is a contributing editor of The Nation and hosts a weekly radio program on KFPA (Berkeley). His book, Wall Street, was published by Verso in June 1997. It is available for free download here. His book, After the New Economy, was published by The New Press in 2003.

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Responses

  1. I’ve just published a very little book at Boostzone Editions entitled “Management from Hell: How Financial Investor Logic Hijacked Firm Governance.” Note the emphasis on firm governance. Unless you concentrate on that more you’ll lever come to terms with the problem of invesor capitalism. The problem is systemic.

  2. Doug,
    I would LOVE for you to do a show with maybe Adolph Reed and Francis Fox Piven about Socialist Party Politics in the USA–is there a way forward?

  3. Hi Doug. Thought your comments on credit unions, workers’ co-ops and Mondragon were very sober and useful. Would you at all be able to post a text version here? Thanks a lot.

  4. Unless I concentrate on it more, or people in general concentrate on it? I wrote a chapter on the issue in Wall Street – far more attention than anyone on the political left has ever paid to the issue in years.

  5. Thanks. A version of those remarks are going into my newsletter, for paying subscribers, so I’m not going to give it away yet.

  6. I’m not the one to talk with about that. My expertise is management in Europe.

  7. My point, the one that I make in the book, is that Romney and Bain Capital operate in a system of investor logic that is detrimental to 99% of the Ameican people. Personal morality is not the issue, the immoral system is.

  8. Robert: What is the difference between “personal morality” and “the immoral system”? What makes a system “immoral”? Surely it can only be the view from a sufficient altitude of masses of people who have been hoodwinked, coerced, or persuaded into making wrong individual choices. Thus the classes and masses remain chimerical, and what counts–and is real–is the drama of the individual confronted by moral decision. Like Mr. Christian, we can only run crying after salvation–a solitary pursuit in which one’s conscience is the only living guide. This makes class solidarity at best a theoretical matter. How neatly we Americans have been tricked into regarding this abstract framework as the basis of common sense! Is it any wonder that revolution in any but the most melodramatic and schematic sense remains inconceivable to nearly all of us? Or that when we do think of it, we immediately say either that it is a virtuous idea that is either “idealistic” and “impractical”, or that it is–from a “moral” perspective–a wicked and transparently immoral idea? Or that often we say both of these things simultaneously with a forked tongue?

  9. Joe, is’s easy. If morality is a personal matter, then the answer to greed is for each individual manager nor to be greedy. The discussion stops there. If the system of investor capitalism promotes individual greed then the system needs to be reformed or changed. We’ll always have greedy people, its human nature, but why let them arrange a system of investor capitalism that gives free reign to their propensities. Read more in http://www.nephis.org.


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