Paul Mason follows in the footsteps of Virginia Woolf in search of fictional character in the age of social media.
I get on a train and there, eventually, is Eleni Haifa: about 22, massive hair and 5 ft tall.
She is either Italian, Jewish, Arab, Turkish, Kurdish or Greek. She has olive skin and is wearing high heels with gold tips, a white jacket, oyster coloured skirt and carrying two iPhones, one in a black case and one red.
She has one iPhone in each hand and is transferring something from one to another by typing using her thumbs. But not the tips of her thumbs because her nails are so long – and polished – that she has to use the pads of her thumbs to type, very fast. She puts one down – the one playing her music - and then goes to Facebook on the other: to her profile, where the picture is some kind of cartoon. She flips to What’sApp – I can tell it’s What’sApp from the green message boxes. Between Clapham Junction and Waterloo she spends her switching between What’s App and Facebook. She’s been on the train at least from Richmond.
Neoliberal economics isn't working and students are demanding more from their course reading than the 8th edition of Macroeconomics can provide. Following the news
that Economics students in Manchester have formed the Post-Crash Economics Society
and Aditya Chakrabortty's excoriating and controversial commentary
on the state of contemporary economics, published in the Guardian
, Verso presents a reading list of economics titles which challenge the mainstream neoliberal consensus and offer powerful alternative models in contemporary economics.
First up, Wolfgang Streeck
's analysis of the 2008 financial crisis, Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism
Placing the crisis in the context of the neoliberal transformation of society that began in the 1970s, Streeck's focus is on the tensions that this has produced between states, voters and capitalist enterprises. Buying Time asks fundamental questions about the compatibility between democracy and contemporary forms of capitalism.
Read Streeck's excellent article on the end of capitalism at the New Left Review