Philosophy

Wednesday, 05 May 2010 00:00 Jose Cabrera Editorial Dept - Philosophy
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Saturday, 01 May 2010 00:00 Michael R. Shannon Editorial Dept - Philosophy
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There is a story told about Vince Lombardi when he was still coaching the Green Bay Packers. During a game he sends in a rookie running back that scores a touchdown and then performs some forgettable end zone “celebration.”

Lombardi calls him over and says, “Next time, act like you’ve been there before.”

Eight words that sum up what it used to mean to be a professional. Since then football and athletic decorum has degenerated to such a degree that high school referees in Virginia are now instructed to penalize players who cavort after scoring with an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.


The National Federation of State High School Associations apt definition: “Any delayed, excessive or prolonged act by which a player attempts to focus attention upon himself."

You might say Virginia is leading the way. Last year during a game between Broad Run and Potomac Falls, a Broad Run back was hit twice with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for excessive “celebrations.”

 

 
Sunday, 28 March 2010 00:00 Jennett Meriden Russell Editorial Dept - Philosophy
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Wednesday, 27 January 2010 18:00 Jose Cabrera Editorial Dept - Philosophy
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Saturday, 28 March 2009 19:00 Jim Camp Editorial Dept - Philosophy
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“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” That’s pretty good advice from entertainer Bill Cosby who also just happens to hold a PhD in education.

Right now, Congress is trying to please everybody and, since October of last year, has been bailing out businesses when, in fact, the public might have been better served by allowing the laws of bankruptcy to permit the changes necessary to learn from failure.

Every year thousands of new business ventures end in failure. The philosophers of capitalism call it “creative destruction” because, for every failure there is a learning curve that leads to eventual success for those willing to evaluate what went wrong, change habits of management that led to failure, and avoid the previous mistakes.


If Thomas Edison had allowed the countless failures that preceded the invention of the incandescent light bulb, millions might still be using candles. It is instructive, therefore, that Congress has banned the future sale of this great invention in favor of fluorescent bulbs. Never mind the specious reason given, why is Congress interfering in the marketplace? The answer is because it can.
 

 
Wednesday, 04 March 2009 19:00 Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin Editorial Dept - Philosophy
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Eight Theses on the Economic Crisis

1. The current economic crisis has to be understood in terms of the historical dynamics and contradictions of capitalist finance in the second half of the 20th century. Even though the spheres of capitalist finance and production are obviously intertwined (in significant ways today more than ever before), the origins of today's US-based financial crisis are not rooted in a profitability crisis in the sphere of production, as was the case with the crisis of the 1970s, nor in the global trade imbalances that have emerged since.

Although the growing significance of finance in the major capitalist economies was already strongly registered by the 1960s, it was the role finance played in resolving the economic crisis of the 1970s that explains the central place it came to occupy in the making of global capitalism. The inflation that was the main symptom of that crisis had a strong negative impact on those holding financial assets and destabilized the international role of the dollar. 

Under the guidance of the US Federal Reserve, financial markets used very high interest rates to drive up unemployment, defeat trade union militancy and restrict public welfare expenditures in the early 1980s - all of which had come to be seen as the source of the intractable profitability and inflation problems of the previous decade. Yet it was precisely the contradictory ways finance contributed to global capitalism's successes in the closing decades of the 20th century that laid the foundation for the massive capitalist crisis that now closes the first decade of the 21st century.

 

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