Who pays for the crisis?
In the new edition of his acclaimed account of the financial crisis, Paul Mason shows how, for the last fourteen months, the illusion has been sustained that no matter how badly the world economy slumps, there is always a pain-free way out of it. With the realisation slowly dawning that there is not, and that the pain will be severe, the question is: who should feel it?
In response to Meltdown
by Paul Mason
After giving Richard Seymour an audience by reading his essay, "The Genocidal Imagination of Christopher Hitchens," I've decided that the purchase and investigation of his "Unhitched" effort will be worth neither my dime nor my time. Which is oddly a shame, because I chase a high that Seymour can only understand as fetishized contrarianism, but which bonded me to the Hitch, however briefly, as his student: it includes a passion for having new evidence infect your most cherished beliefs so that your former identity must evolve and so that your newfound "hypocrisy" must be reckoned with as a matter of intellectual rigor. One of my cherished beliefs, I'll admit, is that even when Christopher was wrong, he was principled. Despite sentimental personal attachments, Mr. Seymour MIGHT have persuaded me with evidence. Instead, he appears to think that Hitchens was an unprincipled scoundrel. I understand Mr. Seymour is praised for the extensiveness and exhaustiveness of his argumentation -- even his essays are brimming with footnotes. Taking a cue from Seymour and substituting amateur psychoanalysis for de rigeur analysis, I'm inclined to say that it's as easy to dismiss the author of this book as a person with a tribal bone to pick, and an education in fashionable nonsense that makes his bone picking sound more legitimate than it is. During the time that I studied with the late Hitch, my long term girlfriend was Afghan and Muslim. Seymour's readers would do well to hear her sentiments on the man's "blatant Islamophobia" and on the Taliban who had beggared her country. But if her opinions squared with his, whatever would they do? We have Ayan Hirsi Ali to reference, for a start. I hope Mr. Seymour and Verso enjoy the dimes this book reels in. The rarity of the condition to which I referred above--the addiction to the high of having your most cherished notions shattered by evidence and your tribe membership revoked as a result--is still a rare enough addiction.
In response to Unhitched
by Richard Seymour
Join me in bringing about changes to end this practice!
I've started a Facebook group for anyone to join who is concerned about this practice and wants to contribute to a public discussion, and who wants to do something about it!
I'm looking to start a not-for-profit clearinghouse to address this topic and welcome the input of anyone who's interested.https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_125481824195915
In response to Intern Nation
by Ross Perlin
Gregory Wilpert, a freelance writer based in Venezuela’s capital Caracas, has written a very useful study of the history and policies of the Chavez government in Venezuela. He examines its governance policy, economic policy, social policy and foreign policy. He looks at the opportunities, obstacles and prospects facing the Venezuelan people, and explores Chavez’s ideas of 21st-century socialism.
In 1998, the people elected Hugo Chavez President, with 56.2 per cent of the votes. In the 2004 recall referendum, he won 58 per cent of the votes and in the 2006 election, 62.9 per cent.
Wilpert notes that the previous ruling class’s counter-revolutionary acts against the Chavez government have each radicalised the government. He also notes that between 2001 and 2005, the US state sent $27 million to opposition groups.
The government is promoting micro-credits, cooperatives, worker co-management, efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, and skills training and logistical support to help people to start coops and social enterprises. Its social programmes have cut poverty from 44 percent to 38 per cent.
Wilpert shows how the Chavez government is trying to move from representative democracy to a more participatory democracy.
This is an excellent introduction to the history and policies of the Chavez government, joining Eva Golinger’s The Chavez code, and Bart Jones’ Hugo! The Hugo Chavez story: from mud hut to perpetual revolution.
In response to Changing Venezuela by Taking Power
by Gregory Wilpert
Did Zizek read Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472)?
When Zizek says that there remain only two teories that still show and practice the engaged notion of the real: marxism and psicoanalisis, I started to wonder if he had read Alberti. I consider that this humanist from the Renaissance developped a theory that practices and engages a notion of the real in many of his books including De re aedificatoria. So if Zizek read him, I would like to know why he doesn´t consider his theory as so.
In response to In Defense of Lost Causes
by Slavoj Žižek