Tag Archives: capitalism

WFHB’s Interchange – An Interview with Jasper Bernes on Logistics and Food Systems

AUDIO: Capital’s (Hidden) Art of War and the Belly of the Revolution In the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible, Yahweh rejects the grain offering of the farmer, Cain, while accepting the flesh offering of his brother, the shepherd Abel. Cain, wounded by this rejection, murders his brother. The consequence is banishment to the […]

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Explanation and Example: Capitalist Nationalism

**Reformist consciousness was famously described by Gramsci as “dual” or “contradictory”; on the one hand accepting the permanence of the system, on the other rejecting the effect of its operation. The most basic expression of this contradiction is an acceptance by workers of the wages system accompanied by a rejection of the particular level of […]

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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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Glorifying War Shall Not Grow Old

Concerning War Movies (prompted by a conversation about Peter Jackson’s movie They Shall Not Grow Old). In J. D. Salinger’s […]

Cutting Down the Clouds

This winter they are cutting down our woods more seriously than ever,—Fair Haven Hill, Walden, Linnaea Borealis Wood, etc. etc. […]

Representative Texts from Hawthorne to Dickinson

In your daily busyness you are pressed for time to think and often choose instead anesthetization – watching any number […]

Between Hope and Defeat, History and Heaven

“God himself culminates in the present moment.” (Thoreau) What is “now” for? What if you “know” the future? Fairy tales […]

Absolute Solutions Necessary

Only two things to do: 1. zero out carbon emissions 2. exception: all technological and scientific labor exploring new solutions […]

Rachel Carson’s book had no real effect

Facing Global Climate Disruption and the End of Everything All At Once… David Wallace-Wells’ The Uninhabitable Earth tries very hard […]