Taking notes 4

There is an interesting casino scene in Thunderball where Connery’s Bond stares down the bad guy Largo and tells him that he sees the spectre of defeat behind the shoulder of his opponent. While egging his enemy on, the reference is also to the man’s organization: It is a cabal which stands for “Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion”. These words could even apply as an apt description of what that conglomerate — that includes most governments, banks, mega corporations and economists — has been in relation to the rest of humanity. However, with the unsolvable Eurozone crisis, … Continue reading Taking notes 4

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

Anarchist economics

by Uri Gordon  It cannot be enough to criticize capitalism, even from a distinctly anarchist point of view. Nor will it do to merely construct models of free and equal economic arrangements, no matter how inspiring and realistic. In addition to these, the discussion of anarchist economics must also involve a look at ways of getting from here to there. In other words, it requires that we examine anarchist economics in terms of concrete, present-day practices and assess their role within the more general context of anarchist revolutionary strategy. In this chapter I attempt to initiate such a discussion, by … Continue reading Anarchist economics

The Tao of economics

by Geoff Davies In the tropical forests of Central America are great stone temples and monuments, remnants of the Mayan civilisation that collapsed over a thousand years ago.  We can never know exactly why the Mayan civilisation collapsed, but some of the main factors were probably shifting climate, over-exploitation of natural resources, warfare and internal rivalries.  However a telling observation is that the grandest temples were built just before the final collapse.  It is not uncommon that the grandest accomplishments of a past society came just before a precipitous decline.  This pattern indicates the society was busy, right to the … Continue reading The Tao of economics

The capitalist life crisis

by Jeff Noonan The failure of the Durban Conference on Climate Change, (December, 2011) to agree to anything more substantial than that all nations would work together to develop binding targets for reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 is a metonym for the life-crisis besetting globalised capitalism.[1] Because global capitalism subordinates what John McMurtry calls “life-value”  to the expansion and accumulation of  money-value, it progressively undermines the conditions of planetary life-support, human life-requirement satisfaction, and meaningful human life-capacity development and enjoyment.[2]  Resources, relationships, practices, norms, institutions, and forms of life-activity have life-value when they:  a) satisfy objective requirements of human … Continue reading The capitalist life crisis

Life after capitalism

by Michael Albert “Most everybody I see knows the truth but they just don’t know that they know it.” — Woody Guthrie The British Victorian liberal thinker John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) tells us that we… are not charmed with the ideal of life held out by those who think that the normal state of human beings is that of struggling to get on; that the trampling, crushing, elbowing, and treading on each other’s heels which form the existing type of social life are the most desirable lot of human beings. The American social critic Noam Chomsky says he … would … Continue reading Life after capitalism

A Marxian interpretation of the economic crisis

by Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff Two different and contending mainstream theories have explained capitalism’s repeated crises over the last century. Each time each theory proposed correspondingly different solutions. Today’s crisis is no exception. One theory—called, after one of its founders, “Keynesian economics”—claims that unregulated private markets inevitably yield price movements that react back on the decisions of businesses, workers, and consumers to produce out-of-control price spirals. These periodically push the economy into inflations, recessions, or even depressions. Without intervention from outside, capitalism’s private economy may remain depressed or inflated long enough to threaten capitalism itself. Keynesian—or now more generally … Continue reading A Marxian interpretation of the economic crisis

A new form of activism

by Douglas Rushkoff As highly corporatized people, it’s only natural for those of us interested in addressing our social and environmental rehabilitation to do so from within our roles as employees, consumers, and maybe shareholders. We rarely relate to one another very directly as it is, so it’s a bit much to expect us to engage together in a pursuit as foolhardy as the reinstatement of the social fabric. Instead, like corporations, we tend to prefer to express our charitable and community impulses from afar. Lord knows there are plenty of people who need our help, and their advocates seem … Continue reading A new form of activism

A co-revolutionary theory

by David Harvey The historical geography of capitalist development is at a key inflexion point in which the geographical configurations of power are rapidly shifting at the very moment when the temporal dynamic is facing very serious constraints. Three percent compound growth (generally considered the minimum satisfactory growth rate for a healthy capitalist economy) is becoming less and less feasible to sustain without resort to all manner of fictions (such as those that have characterized asset markets and financial affairs over the last two decades). There are good reasons to believe that there is no alternative to a new global … Continue reading A co-revolutionary theory

Corporate alchemy

by Daniel Pinchbeck Now that the Evolver network and brand have established themselves to a certain extent, I want to look ahead to developments I hope to see in the near future, with this organization and other initiatives. For the next phase of development, I propose the term “business shamanism.” “Corporate alchemy” would be a viable alternative. First, some context: As I write this, the ruling regime in our rotten republic of Obama-stan is seeking to ignore the pain of the sheeple and extend lavish tax breaks for the wealthy. The financial elite engineered a massive transfer of assets over … Continue reading Corporate alchemy