Tag Archives: capitalism

The Tragedy of Influential (White Supremacist) Liars: Distorting the Commons (Against Fair Housing and Civil Rights)

How can we measure the influence of bad ideas? If there is anything to learn from the “system” of social media it’s that bad news travels and expands exponentially while the “good news” is always sentimental and local (seems a “one-off”). Humans are perhaps best characterized by their affinity for gossip (what is the “gospel” […]

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Happiness Is Notoriously Difficult To Describe

Preface to the Paperback Edition of George Kateb’s Utopia and Its Enemies (1972, 1963). “Of course, no honest person claims that happiness is now a normal condition among human beings; but perhaps it could be made normal, and it is upon this question that all serious political controversy really turns.” “Happiness is notoriously difficult to […]

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Vitruvius (and Lego) Against the Imagination

Perhaps you’ve seen the recent Lego movie. It’s gotten a good critical response based first on the ability of the “digital magicians” to make the action appear as if it were filmed via the manual (literally, by-hand) labor of stop-action animation. Next it is praised for its “parable” of standing against “business” practices and presenting […]

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The Plunder Years

It was as though a veil had been rent. I saw on that ivory face the expression of sombre pride, of ruthless power, of craven terror — of an intense and hopeless despair. Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He […]

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The Fiscal Freedom to Inculcate Evil

The following snippet is from a piece by Andrew Leonard on the SCOTUS ruling striking down the Montana Supreme Court decision to limit political contributions (in the teeth of Citizens United).  It’s a clear loss for people and the planet as corporations have ONE interest, creating wealth for their owners (and no, that’s not “shareholders”) […]

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Okay, I Guess, Whatever

Okay, I Guess, Whatever

The paradox of the mercantile culture we label “capitalism,” or probably more descriptively and truthfully for most of us, consumerism, is in its “false” interconnectedness.  At the level of production, at the level of industrialized processes, people are parts of the machinery of the economic system that serves that process.  In that sense, we are […]

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Indolence! Undercutting the Cult of Mammon

A recent report on Inequality in America from Stanford details the extent of the wealth disparities.  Salon has a brief post on it (United States of Inequality) offering this example of the self-perpetuation of winners in the game of socioeconomic inequality: …in 1972, families in the top income quintile spent an average of $3,536 annually […]

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Clausewitz On the Modern Condition

So, don’t ask me why, but I fell into Clausewitz this morning.  From the Ubiquipedia: Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian soldier and military theorist who stressed the moral (in modern terms, “psychological”) and political aspects of war. His most notable work, Vom Kriege (On War), was unfinished at his death (1831). This has been […]

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Calculable Obligations: Motivations of Money and Technology

Debt, that is, as opposed to a promise, is a calculable obligation. I was reading a review of two books on the current state of global indebtedness in the London Review of Books (“Forgive Us Our Debts” by Benjamin Kunkel) when it seemed clear to me that this is the basic ground of all domination […]

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Tenure’s Just Another Word for Liberty, So Dump It!

Paul Thomas today at Schools Matter: K-12 Teaching: A Service Industry  At The New Republic, “Making the Grade” poses this about the difference between college professors (notice that term “professor,” as in “one who professes”) and K-12 teachers: “The vast majority of states have long granted public school teachers tenure. The way it works is […]

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Building the Insanity In: Ex Machina

This is not a movie review. This is me thinking about empathy. Last night, lonely little ol’ me sat in […]

Dislodged Giant: Can We Use Stevens to Interpret Dickinson?

You tell me. “I thought that nature was enough” by Emily Dickinson I thought that nature was enough Till Human […]

By Metaphor Alone

Motivation matters. If the scientific method (which we make into the massive all-encompassing abstraction of SCIENCE to compete with the […]

By Force of Law

Nothing new under the sun. Why do you suppose a “Sanders” presidency would change what is described below in Chapter […]

Now You Know What A Horse Is: Views On Education in the 19th Century

Schools are scenes of extreme manipulation and coercion. Our national and state interest in them is less than benign, or […]

A Rule of Storytelling and Unhappiness

As my friend began reading William Morris’s News From Nowhere, or, An Epic of Rest, I thought I might take […]