Robert Fitch

I just learned that Robert Fitch recently died. When I was young, I read his book, The Assassination of New York. It had a profound effect on my thinking. It was one of the books that pointed me in the direction of socialist politics.

When I moved to New York City in the early 1990’s, the place seemed unreal to me. Squalor existed alongside the most outrageous conspicuous consumption. Everyone I knew was poor, yet everything was ridiculously expensive. In college I had been taught classical economic theory: supply and demand reach an equilibrium. Yet this clearly wasn’t happening in New York. l became determined to try to understand what was actually going on in this city. While I was working in a second-hand bookstore, I came across a copy of The Assassination of New York. It explained how the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector of the city’s economy controlled the local government and manipulated the infrastructure to serve its own needs. Reading this book helped make me realize that private corporations control our world, and they do so to our detriment. And this was true not just in New York but in most places.

Fitch will be greatly missed.

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