Well, it is pretty clear that I was overreaching when I proposed starting a conversation on the most complex and difficult questions facing a student of society. Your comments, which have been thoughtful and very intelligent, raise huge numbers of questions, and although I have answers for some of them [such as what I think about the Labor Theory of Value, or what capitalism is, etc.], I cannot imagine how to shape all of this into a coherent discourse. So I am going to have to step back and pause. Partly, I am wrung through after the effort of writing 500 pages of my Memoir in less than four months, along with the Formal Methods blog, but partly I did not realize how dispirited I have become over the appalling content and tone of the public conmversation in America these days. I am by nature a cheerful and optimistic person. If a glass comes from the diswasher with a few drops of water still clinging to it, I am likely to see it as half full. But what is going on now is so bad that it defeats both my natural sunny disposition and my capacity for satire.
I am going to try to write some responses to your splendid comments in the next few days. [First I have to print them out so that I can read them properly.] But I will also make a few comments on the passing scene.
The announced resignation of Christina Roemer as Chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisors [or whatever it is called these days} is really bad news. It seems Larry Summers shut her out from direct access to Obama, and gave Obama his own bad advice rather than her good advice. Let us be clear. This is Obama's fault. He is no fool. He chose the likes of Summers and Geithner, and then chose to listen to them rather than to Roemer and Volcker.
A propos Geithner -- I am a novice in financial matters, but speaking purely as a couch potato, I can say without hesitation that Geithner is a disaster. He LOOKS like a clueless idiot, and when he speaks, any lingering faith one had in him dissipates.
As for the Afghan war, I wrote on this blog long ago that Obama was making a terrible mistake, and that in the end his administration would be all about that war. I still think I was right.
Well, enough fulminating. It is approaching 7 a.m., and I must go for mjy morning four mile walk. I will try to post some more later today.