Taking notes 28: The next step for digital currency

by Charles Eisenstein: Today’s national and supranational currencies have become a blight on this planet. Created through interest-bearing debt, controlled by financial elites, tracked by the surveillance state, and necessitating endless growth, money as we know it is a primary agent of inequality, injustice, and ecocide. What to do? One response is to attempt to transform the money system; another is to create alternatives that may supplant it when, as is inevitable, the present system stops working. The most famous of these alternatives is the digital currency Bitcoin. It was designed to mimic gold in both its sourcing and its … Continue reading Taking notes 28: The next step for digital currency

Economics, socialism and ecology: A critical outline (Part 1)

by Kamran Nayeri Introduction Economics appears as the religion of modern times. As John Maynard Keynes asserted, it seems as if the world is ruled by little else than economics. Following Marx, I will argue that economics is a pseudo (ideologically driven) science that originated with the rise of the capitalist mode of production and will wither away with its downfall.  I will cite some key junctures in the evolution of economics from classical political economy to the neoclassical and Keynesian economics to illustrate this claim.  I will also argue that Marx’s critique of political economy (“economics” of his time) … Continue reading Economics, socialism and ecology: A critical outline (Part 1)

The economics of well-being

by Mark Anielski I have a dream: to design, build and enhance economies of well-being around the world. It is time for a complete overhaul of our national accounting systems that for over 60 years has measured progress too narrowly according to how much money changes hands as measured by the GDP (gross domestic product). I believe it is time to develop economies of well-being based on the known determinants of happiness and by measuring the things that contribute most to the well-being of human beings and nature. This new accounting system that measures the conditions of well-being must be … Continue reading The economics of well-being

Toward a new social ecology

by Brian Tokar As a rising awareness of the consequences of environmental problems comes to reshape the agendas of critical thinkers and activists around the world, it is more important than ever to fully appreciate the origins of eco-socialist thought. Perhaps foremost among those who brought a coherent left analysis to environmental issues, while first introducing ecology to many on the left, is Murray Bookchin, the founding theorist of social ecology. Bookchin was a pioneer of left ecological thought and action beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, and his voluminous and many-faceted work continues to influence theorists and activists to … Continue reading Toward a new social ecology

Economics, happiness, and life-coherent societies

by Jeff Noonan In a 2007 report on the environmental and economic impact of intensified exploitation of the Alberta Oil Sands, then Chief Economist of the Toronto Dominion Bank, Don Drummond, re-affirmed orthodox economics’ faith in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of economic performance. “Gross Domestic Product,” he wrote, is the best available indicator of the overall health of the …economy, as it measures the market value of the goods and services produced.” [1] I begin with this example because the oil sands, at current global oil prices, are both hugely profitable and massively environmentally destructive. [2]  GDP … Continue reading Economics, happiness, and life-coherent societies

Re-envisioning utopian thinking

by Stevphen Shukaitis 2012 preface: this essay was written in 2003 as a response to concerns coming out of the anti-globalization movement. Movement activists were confronted, much in the same way those involved in the Occupy movements are today, with a demand to move on from a protest against something to articulating alternative social arrangements. “Yes, I understand what you’re against, but what are you for? What’s your vision of how things should work?” Most often this demand was used in attempts to argue against the protest movements, either by claiming that they had no alternative vision or that this … Continue reading Re-envisioning utopian thinking