A CRITIQUE OF THOMAS PIKETTY CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY

I have just finished reading what is considered by many ‘influential’ people to be the most important economics book of recent years ‘Capital in the  twenty first century’ by Thomas Piketty. In this review of the book I will argue that whilst his analysis of the present world capitalist system is correct his solutions to the crisis is both naïve and bankrupt.

Piketty correctly argues in my opinion that there is widespread inequality in the modern economic world. He states that a main reason for this is that capital returns are now higher than economic growth. The reasons for this is of course the introduction of the neo liberal globalist economy over the last 35 or so years.The mass privatization of state assets. The financialization  of the world economy and the cuts in income and corporation tax for the rich.

However Thomas Piketty solution to the growth in economic inequality in recent years is in my opinion both naïve and utopian. Basically he is in favour of a global tax on capital. Now the obvious draw back to this idea is that there is no way that every government in the world will agree to this idea.

Piketty is a supporter of the French Socialist Party and the failed policies of the disastrous presidency of Francois Hollande who has carried out neo liberal policies to maintain France,s  continuation in the Euro. For some reason Piketty argues in his book for greater EU integration. However it is obvious that the introduction of the Euro has been an economic disaster for the countries involved in the single currency.

So while  his analysis of the growth of income inequality are correct his solution are not. What then is the solution to the growth in economic inequality. Firstly what  is clearly needed is the building of new mass political movements in all countries in the world which should campaign for higher taxes for the rich and also public ownership of the major corporations. Also the rebuilding of national democracies and the dismantling of globalist institutions.

So I say to all people reading this blog get involved in building the new social and political movements that are needed to help build a new socially just world.

A REVIEW OF INVOLUTION AND EVOLUTION BY JOSS SHELDON

In my latest blog I will review an excellent and deeply moving first time novel by Joss Sheldon called Involution and Evolution. The novel is about Alfred Freeman a conscientious objector in the first world war.

Alfred Freeman was born in 1897 and he was deeply affected by a number of incidents in his life. Firstly his father died in the 1901 Boer war. Later on he heard about the atrocities carried out by the British army in the Boer war and he also heard via his Mother about his Fathers part in the atrocities.

However in 1907 he had a life changing meeting with The Good German who was a Mennonite who helped him after he was attacked. Alfred started to carry out good deeds such as providing food for orphans. He also started to develop a strong dislike of jingoism, also a hatred for war and a strong dislike for the British army. So it was no surprise when in 1914 Alfred refused to be taken in by the jingoist stampede to join the British army.

When military conscription was introduced in 1916 it was no surprise that Alfred who was already active in the anti war Union of Democratic control refused to join the imperialist blood slaughter and became a conscientious objector. However he was forced join the non combatant corps and was sent to France where he suffered brutal treatment at the hands of sadistic army officers. He was sentenced to death for disobeying and order but this was commuted to 10 years hard labour.

When the war ended in 1918 he was released with his integrity very much intact and his spirits high determined to help build a better world. This was despite his Mother stating that she never wanted to see him again as she considered him to be a traitor for not fighting in the war.

In conclusion this is as I have already stated a very deeply moving novel. But it is very much a novel for our present times as well as about Alfred,s heroic actions in the first world war. With Nato seemingly intent on starting a major conflict with Russia and China we are going to need many Alfred Freeman,s in our present time.

Read the book and buy it from http://www.joss-sheldon.com