Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Global Capitalist Crisis and the Second Great Depression

Armando Navarro
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Ethnic studies professor Armando Navarro will present a brief lecture and sign copies of his new book, "Global Capitalist Crisis and the Second Great Depression" (Lexington Books), on Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in HUB 302 at UC Riverside.
Sociology professor Jose Calderon of Pitzer College will present his observations of the book and its timeliness. The event is free and open to the public. Parking costs $5. Event sponsors are Chicano Student Programs, the Department of Ethnic Studies, MEChA, African Student Programs, Asian Pacific Student Programs, and Native American Student Programs.
In "Global Capitalist Crisis," Navarro, a political scientist who teaches in the UCR Department of Ethnic Studies and has authored five other books, analyzes the political and economic decisions that led to the on-going global economic crisis that he contends put the nation's survival at risk. He argues that the country is in the midst of a deepening depression, which he calls the Second Great Depression. He calls capitalism a failed economic/political system controlled by "capital" that is in dire need of systemic change, and he provides several ominous forecasts that he believes will impact the country greatly in this decade, particularly in 2012 and 2013.
"In the history of modern capitalism, with the exception of the Great Depression, the world has never been economically in such calamitous turmoil," Navarro writes. "Not since that period have the economies of the world, especially that of the United States, been so egregiously impacted and threatened."

After WWII capitalism began to transition from the welfare capitalism of the New Deal to neoliberal capitalism in the 1980s. Navarro points to policies of the administration of President George W. Bush - including deregulation of the financial markets - as the cause of the subprime mortgage crisis in 2006 that precipitated the financial and economic crises that continue today. President Barack Obama followed with "quasi-welfare Keynesian-oriented policies," which "failed to halt the growing economic storm."
Navarro's book calls for radical reformation or transformation of the United States economic and political systems: social democracy or democratic socialism. He also argues that the re-election of President Obama hinges on the creation of a welfare capitalist New Deal II.
Using countries like Sweden and Norway as models, Navarro argues that social democracy would establish a multiparty system that provides viable choices, incorporate elements of both socialism and capitalism, foster a more equitable distribution of wealth, guarantee workers' rights, and create safety-net programs that facilitate quality of life and equal opportunity.
Democratic socialism, which Navarro calls the most transformative alternative, would replace the capitalist system with one characterized by the state's control or the workers' control of the country's means of production and distribution. This model, grounded on the concepts of social justice and equitable distribution of wealth and power, "operates on the principle that goods and services should be owned publicly, where planning denotes a peaceful and nonviolent transition to the state's power and control, via the nation's existing superstructure."
"Change will not happen without the creation of a new movement, such as the Occupy movement that has spread globally," he says. "Times of crises produce times of opportunity."
For more information about the book-signing contact
Maria Anna Gonzales at (951) 743-7173.
· Armando Navarro website
· Chicano Student Programs

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