ISIS and the instrumental rationality of its Apocalypse

by Sanjay Perera
This Ragnarök finale that ISIS is hung up on is in effect exemplary in its utilitarian approach of the ends justifies the means thinking that underlies the rationality of its Apocalypse. Continue reading ISIS and the instrumental rationality of its Apocalypse

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Taking notes 33: Budgets, values and visions

by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi The release of the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget recently brings up once again the familiar maxim that a budget is, or should be, a moral document. I believe, however, that this statement, although true, does not convey adequately the most salient significance of a budget. I would contend that budgets not only shed light on our schemes of moral values, but also, at a still more fundamental level, bring to manifestation our guiding visions, our deepest views about the meaning of human life and the type of society we should strive to create. Moral values frame … Continue reading Taking notes 33: Budgets, values and visions

Economics, Socialism, Ecology: A Critical Outline (Part 2)

by Kamran Nayeri Introduction In Part 1, I argued that economics is neither an objective science nor capable of providing a lasting solution to the contradictions of the capitalist economy and society. As a discipline it has emerged to maintain and justify the capitalist system and it will wither away with its downfall.  Also, I argued that Karl Marx’s critique of political economy (“economics” of his time) and the capitalist system is a specific application of his theory of history, historical materialism, that aims to serve self-activity and self-organization of working people with the logic of transcending the capitalist system … Continue reading Economics, Socialism, Ecology: A Critical Outline (Part 2)

A critique of Capital (1): The problem with economics

by Sanjay Perera
In the introductory lines of a textbook on economics are these words: “Are Marxists correct in arguing that only vast expenditure on arms saves the capitalist countries from a return of mass unemployment? Or have we now learned…how to avoid forever such devastating situations? Why, then, in the late 1970s, did unemployment in Britain, the United States and several other countries reach the highest levels ever attained since the Great Depression of the 1930s?” Continue reading A critique of Capital (1): The problem with economics

The planetary emergency

by John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark Capitalism today is caught in a seemingly endless crisis, with economic stagnation and upheaval circling the globe.1 But while the world has been fixated on the economic problem, global environmental conditions have been rapidly worsening, confronting humanity with its ultimate crisis: one of long-term survival. The common source of both of these crises resides in the process of capital accumulation. Likewise the common solution is to be sought in a “revolutionary reconstitution of society at large,” going beyond the regime of capital.2 It is still possible for humanity to avert what economist Robert … Continue reading The planetary emergency

China at century’s end

by Salvatore J. Babones One year ago I published an article in Foreign Affairs magazine predicting that China’s outsized rate of economic growth would soon slow down to the levels that are typical of other middle-income countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Russia.  Foreign Affairs published my article under the punning but (in my view) inappropriate title “The Middling Kingdom.”  There is nothing middling about China: it is the world’s largest country, the center of one of the world’s great civilizations, and in many ways the most important place on Earth.  But will its economy continue to grow at 10% per … Continue reading China at century’s end

Redesigning money for well-being and happiness

by Mark Anielski “One must make a new system that makes the old system obsolete.” — Buckminster Fuller The greatest threat to the pursuit of genuine happiness and well-being is our current debt-money system. In the face of an international debt-crisis, it is remarkable that there is no serious discussion about the nature of money, or about how, and who creates our money. While meaningful conversations about alternative measures of progress (e.g. Gross National Happiness, Genuine Progress Indicators) are now under way, these efforts will ultimately fail without understanding that the current debt-based money system must be fundamentally restructured. The … Continue reading Redesigning money for well-being and happiness