rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

This is not a crisis of capitalism

To recapitulate an argument I made earlier. The economic and financial crisis is not (yet) a crisis of capitalism. By that I mean there are policy choices that could save liberal-democratic capitalism from the present crisis, although this would require a turn left to social democratic compromise: nationalizing some of the banks, shutting down insolvent banks, and permanently nationalizing, in part, the utility function of banking; and funding a full-scale green industrial strategy to retrofit every home and produce green transport, green energy capacity, and new infrastructure.

The primary danger to capitalism comes not from the economic impossibility of such solutions,  nor from any organized force presenting an alternative to capitalism, but from political contradictions within. Despite neoliberalism's loss of legitimacy, there is also still an incredible strength and resilience in various strains of market ideology, particularly in the Republican party, that makes enacting the necessary policy solutions very difficult, if not impossible. If the crisis continues without appropriate remedy, it may indeed become a crisis of capitalism in a fuller political-economic sense. The dynamic we could be facing is that the right will block an appropriate adjustment, then reap the rewards of policy failures and usher in an even more authoritarian kind of capitalism.

This crisis will not be a crisis of capitalism unless we make it a crisis of capitalism by organizing with sufficient strength and capacity to bring about a viable alternative. It is our job to put alternatives on the agenda.


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.