Not Trickledown But Gush-Up

“Trickledown hadn’t worked. But Gush-Up certainly has. That’s why in a nation of 1.2 billion, India’s one hundred richest people own assets equivalent to one fourth of the GDP.” [Yesterday’s election results only promise to worsen that.] That’s how the extrordinary writer-and-activist Arundhati Roy, one of the world’s leading public intellectuals, describes contemporary capitalism in her new collection of essays titled Capitalism: A Ghost Story after the first and longest essay.

It’s hardly surprising that there are some most quotable quotes.

Minerals are a major export. “India’s new megacorporations…are those that have managed to muscle their way to the head of the spigot that is spewing money extracted from deep inside the earth.”

“Gush-Up concentrates wealth onto the tip of a shining pin on which our billionaires pirouett, tidal waves of money crash through the institutions of democracy – the courts, the parliament – as well as the media, seriously compromising their ability to function in the ways they are meant to.”

Roy sees the Occupy movement as having giving us a new language to replace There Is No Alternative.

The foundations, she insists, are the new missionaries of capitalism, fronting for the corporations. She cites a disgusting, creepy, example of how the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. has been remodeled. King, Roy reminds us, “made the forbidden connections beween Capitalism, Imperialism, Racism, and the Vietnam War.” That has not stopped major US corporations from supporting the creation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. And what did it do? “It cosponsored the Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture Series called ‘The Free Enterprise System: An Agent for Nonviolent Social Change.'”

Roy’s last word on this atrocity is “Amen” as in “Enough Said.”

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