The Dartmouth Observer
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
And as for Capitalism (the latest in a series of pieces on this article)
You just have to read the entire thing by one Rebecca Solnit, author of "River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West":
When Sitting Bull toured with Buffalo Bill's Wild West circus, he gave his earnings to the street urchins he met, appalled that a society that could produce such wealth could permit such poverty. He commented that white men were good at production but bad at distribution, a criticism of capitalism that's still trenchant. In the wealthiest society the world has ever seen, education, health care and housing are deteriorating into speculative commodities out of reach for many, and the "economic recovery" — of what? for whom? — is jobless. Capitalism and democracy are sometimes equated, but you only have to look at the Bush administration, with its passion for unfettered corporate privilege and loathing for civil liberties and public participation, to get over that fairy tale. Happily, it's not overrated everywhere; Latin Americans are looking for more humane models, from Argentines' surviving the collapse of their model neoliberal economy by creating community alternatives to Bolivians' ousting a president who tried to sell off the nation's natural gas, to the landless people's movement in Brazil.
The Showalter Criticism could be said to apply here as well: Ms. Solnit, befuddled by primitivism, displays a "remoteness from the world of difficult, flawed, risky, but necessary decision-making." She should read this page on Johan Norberg's website, and then his recent book.
Or she could move to France, where the sort of "more humane" model she yearns after resulted in the death of nearly 15,000 people last August.