Ethical capitalism debate podcast…

If you are interested in the reformation (or destruction) of our capital driven economic system, then check out this podcast from a recent debate held by the Oasis’s Charities Parliament-

Does capitalism need reforming, replacing or is it fine just as it is?

Listen to the lively debate around the question of our generation with representatives of Occupy London Stock Exchange, former investment banker Ken Costa and Dr Luke Bretheton.

You might also be interested in checking out some of the stuff on the Occupy Movement’s ‘Occupy Cafe’ website. It full of activism, protest and even poetry! Any activist website with poetry will get my vote…

I really liked this for example-


Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud

Says that America is for him a maximum-security prison


Whose walls are made of Radio Shacks and Burger Kings, and MTV episodes

Where you can’t tell the show from the commercials,


And as I consider how to express how full of shit I think he is,

He says that even when he’s driving to the mall in his Isuzu


Trooper with a gang of his friends, letting rap music pour over them

Like a boiling Jacuzzi full of ballpeen hammers, even then he feels


Buried alive, captured and suffocated in the folds

Of the thick satin quilt of America


And I wonder if this is a legitimate category of pain,

or whether he is just spin doctoring a better grade,


And then I remember that when I stabbed my father in the dream last night,

It was not blood but money


That gushed out of him, bright green hundred-dollar bills

Spilling from his wounds, and—this is the weird part—,


He gasped, “Thank god—those Ben Franklins were

Clogging up my heart—


And so I perish happily,

Freed from that which kept me from my liberty”—


Which was when I knew it was a dream, since my dad

Would never speak in rhymed couplets,


And I look at the student with his acne and cell phone and phony ghetto clothes

And I think, “I am asleep in America too,


And I don’t know how to wake myself either,”

And I remember what Marx said near the end of his life:


“I was listening to the cries of the past,

When I should have been listening to the cries of the future.”


But how could he have imagined 100 channels of 24-hour cable

Or what kind of nightmare it might be


When each day you watch rivers of bright merchandise run past you

And you are floating in your pleasure boat upon this river


Even while others are drowning underneath you

And you see their faces twisting in the surface of the waters


And yet it seems to be your own hand

Which turns the volume higher?

Tony Hoagland

There is also quite a lot on the site about faith- and how this might stimulate or oppose activism for change. Check out this or this for instance.

Let’s join in the conversation at least friends…

4 thoughts on “Ethical capitalism debate podcast…

  1. I like it, but the problem is, demand (for rubbish tv, brand names, inane music, junk food etc) guarantees supply. Difficult for young people brought up not to know better… it’s so difficult to opt out. Difficult too, for us parents who don’t want our kids to get bullied for being ‘different’, yet squirm uneasily as we succumb to the horrors of the toy department, and feel such anger when we hear a child making yours feel bad because they don’t have this or that label on their clothes.
    Sometimes I wonder if God thinks, ‘Wow, I made a serious mistake with this ‘human being’ lark’, and I wonder how this will ever turn around. Sobering stuff.

    • So true Nik- so very true…

      My lovely daughter is away in London this weekend- excited like a cat with it’s tail on fire about all this big city life- all the shops and the buzz of it all. And I just want to say- but……..

      However, as you say, their generation need to come to their own view of these things, and all we can do is hope that we show a different way of living. And believe that they will do better than we have done!

  2. Capitalism is an evolutionary form of feudalism! The only way capitalism can work is by imposing an incremental tax system not the inverse of trickle-down economics of this unfair world!

    • Hi JR- thanks for the comment

      Hmmm- ‘incremental tax system’- by this I assume you mean a ‘progressive’ tax system? In the UK this was the hot topic of the post WW2 political economy- how to make society fairer and more egalitarian- how to manage capitalism to achieve benefit for the many, not just the few. For a while, thanks to John Maynard Keynes, it seemed to be working. However, since Thatcher, tax systems here have been increasingly regressive- despite the long years of left of centre government from 97 to 2010.

      The default situation to covering over this seems to be COMPLICATION- ways of making it almost impossible to understand where money is collected from, and where it goes.

      The rich then have any number of loop holes to squeeze their millions through, whilst much social policy is funded through taxes on beer and cigs, or Value Added Tax on all produce, rather than income tax.

      The Neoconservatives have also cornered the market on ideology. We all seem to have bought the ‘free market’ con, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

      I wonder if we could do this better? Could we have better progressive taxation? I think the answer is YES- but we need a shift in ideology and political will- a new zeitgeist. This is what I am looking in hope for at the moment.


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