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The US: Failed or Rogue State?

June 27, 2009 by and tagged , , , , ,

That is the question asked by Josh Harkinson over at the Blue Marble:

It’s an interesting notion indeed, also in light of the massive financial crisis. One could perfectly argue whether corporate money and corporate media played a part in the stimulus package as well as the Geithner plan where a central part of government action involved equating saving the economy with saving the banks and the bankers with limited action designed to significantly support homeowners or the unemployed. In effect, the Obama administration limited its own capacity for action and hollowed itself from significant reform thereby continuing years of economic policies designed to limite state’s actions in the face of global integration on neo-liberal terms.

Posted in Corporatism, Economy, Environment, Failed States, Hollow States, Sustainability | 4 Comments »



4 Responses to “The US: Failed or Rogue State?”

  1.   Dangger Says:

    I’ve always wondered what plus do we get from naming things? Does it add anything to the discussion?

    Reply

    •   SocProf Says:

      The point is not to be picky but to apply what I call “conceptual clarity”. Concepts incorporate sets of ideas and theoretical notions that are specific.

      At the same time, because language can be ideologically loaded (“socialism”!!!), applying the correct concept can change the frame of the discussion (“universal healthcare” is not “socialized medicine”).

      Using the proper concepts is also a way of stating the proper diagnosis on social issues. Concepts are also part of theoretical apparatuses that have predictive properties and can/should be the basis for sound public policy.

      Reply

      •   Dangger Says:

        Thanks for the reply. I also advocate clear concepts and to do that one must express precisely what is meant.

        I was merely thinking this because I went to a conference and they were talking about a book that was written 20 something years ago but the author intentionally left aside concepts that were in vogue.

        Now that we read the book it doesn’t seem old because it’s not making reference to old ideas or very popular concepts back then. People were asking her if she thought that the discussion missed something because of this and she said she did not know.

        Stuff like intensively using Foucualt and some years later Bourdieu and when you read them again they almost seem too narrow.

        Reply

        •   SocProf Says:

          That is an interesting point (I’d be curious to know what book that is). I think concepts, like everything else, survive the test of time in various shapes. Some of the current “hip” concepts, like “the long tail” have already shown their limits.

          On the other hand, if you look at some of the concepts from the “big guys” (Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Veblen… and I would argue even Bourdieu) hold up pretty well because they were theoretically sound and backed up by data and captured enduring social mechanisms (broadly, not narrowly).

          Reply

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