1 Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty, translated by Arthur Goldhammer, 2014
2 Where social democracy doesn’t occur as a movement or party under its own name, it is represented from time to time or as the left wing of another movement or party (eg. UK Labour Party or US Democratic Party).
3 Chronicles On Our Troubled Times, 2017, p. 3-4.
4 In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels describe utopian socialism as arising when the working class “…offers to them [the advocates of utopian socialism] the spectacle of a class without any historical initiative or any independent political movement.” For practitioners of utopian socialism, “[h]istorical action is to yield to their personal inventive action; historically created conditions of emancipation to fantastic ones; and the gradual, spontaneous class organization of the proletariat to an organization of society specially contrived by these inventors.”
Cooperatives, for example, are among the neo-utopian “fantastic conditions of emancipation” visited on today’s left. Academic leftists are leading neo-utopian spinners of “society specifically contrived by these inventors.”
5 For a clear and concise explanation of Modern Monetary Theory, see Modern Money, Robert Hockett, in Dollars and Sense, March/April, 2018, pp. 7-14. Hockett explains MMT in its social, legal, historical context.
6 Thanks to Tony Coughlan for recommending this important book.
7 Modern Monetary Theory springs from the notion that after the break with the Bretton Woods system tying currencies to gold and the shift to the dollar as a fiat currency in 1971, the issuance of currency becomes solely a matter of central bank decision making. MMT essentially uncouples money from any objective theory of value and makes its creation, its use, and its purpose a matter of convention or social choice.
The grizzled Howard in the book/movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre as well as Karl Marx would be appalled by this view.
Its proponents overlook the danger of assets bubbles when any reasonable objective measure of value is lost.
8 Value, Price and Profit, addressed to Workingmen, Karl Marx, 1935, p. 61.
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