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How President Obama Trumps Romney on Capitalism

Revised May Day, 2012

Romney's defect - he is the face of non-productive, inequitable capitalism. Obama takes up the mantle of productive American capitalism.

Romney faces backward - the terms grass roots, beyond oil and cyber mean nothing to him but to the President they would suggest a coming time of government-stimulated experimentation, building, testing, creating. The very things Braudel saw as the most dynamic aspects of capitalism.

On this May Day, let us concede that capitalism is a fact. It can either manifest new genius and new productivity or sit there after long years of domination and kill us.

Romney represents the conservative, retrograde form of death-dealing capitalism which the Kochs embody.  Obama represents the not-yet sclerotic, not-yet effective force of the Nascent Next Thing.

The Nascent Next Thing is a creative reinvention of life, of local existence.  It is recovering face to face, reclaiming and enhancing public space,  creating local scenes that work. It is growing independence of the automobile, the strip city, the current structures of business, education, recreation, health.  It is the creation of cyber-community. Uncharted Territory. The new New Frontier. 

Make no mistake. Obama is probably more a capitalist than Romney. Romney is a plutocrat, a hapless oligarch. Obama stands at Nags Head with Wilbur and Orville looking for something that flies. That Obama genuinely cares about the well-being of all is a plus. That Romney has no sense of the all - that he is binary through and through - marks him as bad news. He's a Manichean conservative capitalist of the Koch variety. 

We should prefer Obama. We should prefer the freedom we feel when we are not having to dream of Romney in the White House, chipping away at our already limited ability to do more than sit there, waiting for the ax to fall.   

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