CLASS IS BACK IN THE US AS THE OWNERSHIP SOCIETY CRUMBLES

Bush hoped to be proud father of the rightwing economic revolution's grand project. Instead, he is its undertaker.

Remember the "ownership society", fixture of major George Bush addresses for the first four years of his presidency? "We're creating ... an ownership society in this country, where more Americans than ever will be able to open up their door where they live and say, welcome to my house, welcome to my piece of property," Bush said in October 2004.

Washington thinktanker Grover Norquist predicted that the ownership society would be this president's greatest legacy, remembered "long after people can no longer pronounce or spell Falluja". Yet in Bush's final state of the union address this week, the once-ubiquitous phrase was conspicuously absent. And little wonder: rather than its proud father, Bush has turned out to be the ownership society's undertaker.

Well before the ownership society had a neat label, its creation was central to the success of the rightwing economic revolution around the world. The idea was simple: if working-class people owned a small piece of the market - a home mortgage, a stock portfolio, a private pension - they would cease to identify themselves as workers and start to see themselves as owners, with the same interests as their bosses. That meant they could vote for politicians promising to improve stock performance rather than job conditions. Class consciousness would be a relic. ...

RLCC: Capitalism is a failure. It will always fail. It is inherently fatally flawed. Selfishness is the mistake of mistakes. If we as humanity could just overcome the falsehood that is capitalism (invented by the greedy), humanity would bloom as never before.

This is no call to Marxism. Marxism is also fatally flawed. It too is based upon selfishness. It too is violent (a manifestation of selfishness). Harm is not the way. Beneficence is the way.

Originally by Naomi Klein from Comment is free:Naomi Klein on January 31, 2008, 5:00pm

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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