This blog is not a rush reaction to the current global economic crisis, though I will admit that the timetable for opening the blog has been rather rudely speeded up by the current crisis. On the contrary. The origins of the blog are rooted in prosperity, not crisis. This needs some explanation.
The roots of this blog go back decades, long before there were blogs or indeed the Internet in anything like its current form. I am a member of the so-called “baby boom” generation, itself a product of an earlier economic crisis, the Great Depression, and World War II, which in large measure grew out of the Depression. In an almost literal sense, members of my generation are the children of the Depression.
Growing up in the 1960s, I like many others of my generation was radicalized by the vast protest movement against the war in Vietnam, as well as the Black Liberation movement that was making a transition from the Civil Rights movement against legal Jim Crow segregation in the U.S. South to the Black Power movement. I took part—though not in a leadership role—in many of the demonstrations against the war in Vietnam and licked up my share of envelopes for mailings—e-mails were far in the future. My only regrets are that I didn’t wear out more shoe leather and lick more envelopes and postage stamps! And in the end, the people of Vietnam were victorious!
In the course of this activity, I became a socialist and gradually a Marxist. But I was bothered by one thing. The U.S. and world capitalist economies were passing through a powerful boom in the 1960s of a scope that has not been seen since in the imperialist countries of the United States, Western Europe and Japan. Indeed, a whole generation has now grown up that has never experienced the kind of economic prosperity that reigned in the sixties of the last century.