Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, and professor at Brandeis University's Heller School. His latest book is Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? In addition to writing for the Prospect, he writes for The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, and the New York Review of Books. 

Follow Bob at his site, robertkuttner.com, and on Twitter. 

Recent Articles

The Failure of the Globalist Fantasy

Jason Lee/Pool Photo
Jason Lee/Pool Photo Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Beijing W hat does the sweeping re-election victory of the neo-fascist Viktor Orbán in Hungary have to with the escalation of trade conflicts between the West and China? Both are disastrous byproducts of a naïve faith that a push for free-market global capitalism would somehow increase the appeal of liberal democracy. This was the hope in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down and communism fell—a grand convergence of ever-freer markets and ever-stronger democratic institutions. This was also the hope when China was allowed to join the World Trade Organization in 2001, pretty much on in its own terms. China would become less totalitarian in its government and less statist in its economy. No less than Tom Friedman proclaimed , “China’s going to have a free press. Globalization will drive it.” Neither fantasy has come true. In Western Europe and the U.S., the more that political and...

Martin Luther King Jr. 50 Years After

AP Photo
AP Photo Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd on a street in Lakeview, New York, in 1965. A s we mark the 50th anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., let’s recall two paradoxical things about MLK. Despite attempts to airbrush him into a benign idealist who had a dream, King never stopped being a radical. And despite the fact that his was above all a crusade for racial justice, he understood that racial progress required racial coalition. King especially appreciated that the next great struggle had to be economic. The full name of the famous August 1963 march on Washington was the March for Jobs and Freedom. When King was murdered on April 4, 1968, he was in Memphis to march with striking sanitation workers, most of whom were black, but he was increasingly looking to class to help overcome barriers of race. At times, King used rhetoric that today might be considered a reminder of “white privilege” and even a call for reparations. King could give a powerful speech...

The Face(book) of Big Brother

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, California I magine that Jimmy Wales and the other good people who built Wikipedia had also created a free, non-commercial version of Facebook; call it Wikiface. People could use it to stay in touch with family and friends, to pass along items that they found interesting, and create networks of common interest. But there would be no commercial exploitation of people’s data, no political use of data other than voluntary self-directed groups, and limits to using artificially amplified posts for orchestrated hype. Nobody would get filthy rich from selling your confidential information. Just as Wikipedia is policed for accuracy and for abuses, by a kind of peer-review, so would be this new nonprofit social medium. This was the original dream of social media. There have been a few halting attempts to create nonprofit social networking platforms, but they have gained little traction. A for-profit competitor to...

Pete Peterson Meets St. Peter

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File Peter G. Peterson, Chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, attends a meeting of the Economic Club of New York Editors' Note: Peter G. Peterson passed away on March 20. Sign up here to receive exclusive, daily writing from Bob Kuttner and Harold Meyerson straight to your inbox. N ame, Please? Peter G. Peterson. And what makes you think you deserve admission to the Pearly Gates? I’ve led a virtuous life, made billions, and gave most of it to charity. What sort of charity? Well, I gave over $1 billion to create the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, to warn Americans about the dangers of deficits and debts, and the excesses of Social Security and Medicare. Yes? And where’s the charity part? Too much spending will bankrupt America, especially the dreams of the young. I’m just a saint, not an economist. But are you saying that it’s Social Security and Medicare that are destroying the life chances of the young, rather than—oh, I don’t know—college debt,...

Putin, Trump, and Cold War II

Sergei Chirikov/Pool photo via AP
Sergei Chirikov/Pool photo via AP Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a news conference after meeting with his staff at the campaign headquarters in Moscow I n the past month, we’ve learned that 13 Russian officials and three Kremlin-linked agencies were involved in 2016 election trolling and hacking, to a sufficient degree to indict them; that the Kremlin was almost certainly behind the assassination attempt on a Russian former double agent living in Britain; and that Russian cyber-war agencies penetrated vital US electrical and other infrastructure systems, and could have shut them down. That latest finding, reported last week by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, was sufficiently alarming that even the Trump White House bleated a mild protest, for the very first time. And the Trump administration joined Britain and other allies in condemning the attempted hit job. Three things are now clear. First, Vladimir Putin has crossed a bright red line and is...

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