Michael Sandel: what money can’t buy

Michael Sandel: what money can’t buy Continue reading Michael Sandel: what money can’t buy

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Class and need: Social surplus and Marxian theorization of development

by Anjan Chakrabarti We know that there have been two paths of development, paths that are not always considered complementary to one another. The first and still the dominant path would contemplate economic growth as the basic indicator of capturing the increase in standard of living (either measured as GDP per capita or GDP per worker) which represents development of a nation or region; thus poor and rich countries are differentiated in terms of, say, the level of GDP per capita and resultantly, the path to development of poor countries lie in expanding the latter as fast as possible. High … Continue reading Class and need: Social surplus and Marxian theorization of development

Reflections on 1968

by George Katsiaficas More often than not, the movements of 1968 have been situated within nationalist parameters, and the global dimension of the movement’s vitality, if not altogether ignored, has been consigned a minor role. Whether in Mexico or France, Vietnam or India, the meaning of 1968 has been interpreted within the context of domestic patterns and localized history. Seen through such prisms, the most significant and vital aspect of 1968’s explosive energy — that it consisted of one international movement rather than multiple ones — becomes minimized, even forgotten. My book on 1968 was the first to consider the … Continue reading Reflections on 1968

Taking notes 16: The rebellion has started

by Jeffrey Harrod Rebellions are special social events. They are special because once they start they never end and because they provoke other events which eventually change the world. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British heralded the defeat of the British some 90 years and millions of Indian deaths later. The power of a rebellion is that it confronts the supporting images of power of its invincibility, of its claimed logic of superiority and of its absolute control of subordination. A tactical but failed rebellious challenge is eventually a strategic victory. In the global political economy the rule … Continue reading Taking notes 16: The rebellion has started

Taking notes 15: Sad Cyprus

If it has not already, then the world should be taking note of the curious and disturbing situation that is developing in Cyprus. The latest is that some resolution has come to pass in which Cyprus can remain in the Eurozone and deposits over 100,000 euros, not guaranteed by EU governments, will be expropriated to help resolve the debt issue. Most of those who will be affected by this appear to be Russians who have deposited billions in Cyprus. But it does appear that we have what amounts to a never-ending Eurozone crisis where the savings of ordinary Cypriots (small … Continue reading Taking notes 15: Sad Cyprus

Taking notes 14: Remembering Chávez

by Marta Harnecker   A. “Chávez’s chief legacy: Building, with people, an alternative society to capitalism” When Hugo Chávez triumphed in the 1998 presidential elections, the neoliberal capitalist model was already foundering. The choice then was none other than whether to re-establish the neoliberal capitalist model — clearly with some changes including greater concern for social issues, but still motivated by the same logic of profit seeking — or to go ahead and try to build another model. I believe that Chávez’s chief legacy is having chosen the latter alternative. To name that alternative, he also chose to reclaim the word socialism, … Continue reading Taking notes 14: Remembering Chávez

Criminalizing dissent and punishing Occupy protesters

by Henry A. Giroux Military-style command and control systems are now be­ing established to support “zero tolerance” policing and urban surveillance practices designed to exclude failed consumers or undesirable persons from the new enclaves of urban consumption and leisure. — Stephen Graham Young people are demonstrating all over the world against a variety of issues ranging from economic injustice and massive inequality to drastic cuts in education and public services.1 In the fall of 2011, on the tenth anniversary of September 11, as the United States revisited the tragic loss and celebrated the courage displayed on that torturous day, another … Continue reading Criminalizing dissent and punishing Occupy protesters

The Politics of debt in America: From debtor’s prison to debtor nation

by Steve Fraser Shakespeare’s Polonius offered this classic advice to his son: “neither a borrower nor a lender be.”  Many of our nation’s Founding Fathers emphatically saw it otherwise.  They often lived by the maxim: always a borrower, never a lender be.  As tobacco and rice planters, slave traders, and merchants, as well as land and currency speculators, they depended upon long lines of credit to finance their livelihoods and splendid ways of life.  So, too, in those days, did shopkeepers, tradesmen, artisans, and farmers, as well as casual laborers and sailors.  Without debt, the seedlings of a commercial economy … Continue reading The Politics of debt in America: From debtor’s prison to debtor nation

Towards a post-Occupy world

by Richard J. White Running deeply through radical critiques that have emerged across dissident academic, activist and public communities — critiques that have pricked the mainstream consciousness through their repeated denouncement of both the legitimacy and the desirability of the current orthodox economic and political system — is the spirit of Ya Basta! (‘Enough! Now for something else!’). As Wight (2012: 161) argued: One thing is clear, irrespective of how it will all end, the Arab Spring, looting in London, riots in Greece, wars across the Middle East and beyond, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and the Occupy Movement are … Continue reading Towards a post-Occupy world