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Cartoon: Summer book blowout

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 28/05/2022 - 7:50am in

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The Irreconcilable Fanny Howe

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 16/05/2022 - 10:44pm in

Fanny Howe’s oeuvre embraces unknowingness.

Anarchafeminism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 16/05/2022 - 10:00pm in

The more we searched for the “anarchafeminist tradition,” and the more we tried to identify the “anarchafeminist canon,” the less interested we were in it. While researching for this book, it became clear that the concept of an “anarchafeminist tradition,” let alone that of an “anarchafeminist canon,” is fraught with internal tensions, if not with an outright contradiction....

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The Destiny of Civilization

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 16/05/2022 - 11:08am in

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“The decline of the West is not necessary or historically inevitable. It is the result of choosing policies dictated by its rentier interests. … The threat posed to society by rentier interests is the great challenge of every nation today: whether its government can restrict the dynamics of finance capitalism and prevent an oligarchy from dominating the state and enriching itself by imposing austerity on labor and industry. So far, the West has not risen to this challenge.”

“There are essentially two types of society: mixed economies with public checks and balances, and oligarchies that dismantle and privatize the state, taking over its monetary and credit system, the land and basic infrastructure to enrich themselves but choking the economy, not helping it grow.”

………………………………………………………………………….
The Destiny of Civilization is based on a lecture series on finance capitalism and the New Cold War that Michael Hudson presented for the Global University for Sustainability. It presents an overview of Michael’s unique geo-political perspective: analysis which integrates economics, history, politics, archaeology and psychology.

Most importantly, Michael applies his macro analysis to explain how the world has arrived at this point of fracture, where a financialized and de-industrialized United States is facing off against the mixed-economies of China and Russia.

He emphasises that There Are Alternatives (TAA) to the neoliberal finance capitalism that prevails in the West, and that civilization is today at a fork in the road:

  • one path leading to a neoliberal neo-feudalism dominated by a rentier oligarchy ruling over the indebted many.
  • the alternative path is broadly mixed-economy industrial capitalism leading to socialism.

Hudson cuts to the big issues, conveying that ‘The role of government has been inverted away from one which was to protect society from the rentiers, but now sees rentiers protected and even encouraged by government’.

The book’s scope takes the reader inside the levers of power, spanning several thousand years:

  • the origins of money and credit, debt cancellations, and land tenure in the first cities of Ancient Mesopotamia;
  • from Classical Greece to Rome’s collapse into a Dark Age of feudalism, and the arresting parallels to today;
  • the development arc of Britain and the United States as industrial powers, and why classical thinkers expected they would move towards socialism;
  • America’s strategic use of financial and creditor power after WWI and again after WWII to structure the world economy in its own interests, orchestrating global economic dominance;
  • the alternatives to neoliberal finance capitalism, and the policies needed to restrain this underlying rentier dynamic.

The Destiny of Civilization is a book of hope for humanity.

Reviews

“Michael Hudson’s book is innovative, inspiring, incisive and worthy of the widest possible dissemination and discussion … it is splendid to have this work out there.”

Prof. David Harvey, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography,
CUNY Graduate Center

“The book explains why the New Cold War’s U.S.-China conflict cannot simply be regarded as market competition between two industrial rivals. It is a broader conflict between different political economic systems – not only between capitalism and socialism as such, but between the logic of an industrial economy and that of a financialized rentier economy increasingly dependent on foreign subsidy and exploitation as its own domestic economy shrivels.

“Professor Hudson endeavors to revive classical political economy in order to reverse the neoclassical counter-revolution. … The book explains why the U.S. and other Western economies have lost their former momentum: A narrow rentier class has gained control and become the new central planner, using its power to drain income from increasingly indebted and high-cost labor and industry. The American disease of de-industrialization has resulted from the costs of industrial production being inflated by the economic rents extracted by this class under the system of financialized monopoly capitalism that now prevails throughout the West.”

Prof. Wen Tiejun, Executive Dean, Institute of Rural Reconstruction of China, Southwest University, China.

Buy your copy now, the must-have book summing up Michael’s key works.

The post The Destiny of Civilization first appeared on Michael Hudson.

The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 07/05/2022 - 12:00am in

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I have arrived at the antithesis of the good life I had glimpsed when I was a student. The professor whose life I envied was never pedantic. In class, he sat with us in a circle and nodded his head as we spoke, inviting us to “say more” when we haltingly tested our new ideas. He was affably erudite. I am angrily dogmatic. My dream of being a college professor, which had sustained me through grad school, the job market, and the slow climb to tenure, has fallen apart....

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Burnley in the early 2000s

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/05/2022 - 10:09pm in

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Mike Makin-Waite is the author of On Burnley Road: Class, race and politics in a northern English town. The book explains why, twenty years ago, the town became the first place to have a clutch of far-right BNP councillors elected – and shows how this controversial moment in local politics fed into right-wing populism on a national level. In these excerpts from Mike’s diary, he charts the key events that informed the book.

2000

21 June. A colleague comes back to the office upset after visiting a lunch club the council runs for older people. There’s a big news story about fifty-eight Chinese ‘illegal immigrants’ suffocating to death in a container lorry coming into Dover, and some of the older people were talking about this story as they ate. My colleague says ‘Do you know what they said? They said they deserved it. And they were happy because it will put others off coming’.

11 August. A council-led partnership gets a £20 million grant for housing and community projects around Accrington Road and Burnley Wood – mainly ‘white’ parts of town. There’s also a £1.3 million Sure Start project for Stoneyholme, a ‘predominantly Asian’ area. The Burnley Express is full of letters complaining about ‘more money being spent in Stoneyholme’.

2001

27 May. There’s rioting in Oldham, and people say the BNP stirred it up. We’ve a BNP candidate standing in next month’s general election here.

11 June. In the wake of the Oldham riots, the BNP leader polls 16 per cent in Oldham. Michael Meacher holds the seat for Labour, but Nick Griffin’s vote is big news. The far-right’s Oldham organiser won 11 per cent in the neighbouring constituency, too. Less notice is given to Burnley, where the BNP candidate also won over 11 per cent, in this case without any time, money or troublemaking from BNP national office. On BBC Radio Four, Peter Kilfoyle, the Labour MP for Walton, rightly comments that ‘if you turn people off mainstream politics sufficiently, they don’t disengage entirely, but can be attracted to simplistic nostrums’.

21 June. In a meeting with a dozen senior managers, there’s reference to the recent Oldham riots, and to the high BNP vote in that town – and in this one. Someone wonders whether we will be reviewing our pattern of regeneration spending in the light of all this, as they understand Oldham are already doing. I’m taken aback by the way this comment appears to assume that there is some legitimacy in the complaints the far-right have been stirring up about ‘too much being spent on the Asians’.

28 June. I ask to be part of the team set up to respond to last weekend’s rioting in our town around Duke Bar and Burnley Wood, but my request is declined. I’m told thanks, but no thanks – I need to finish the ‘best value’ reviews I am doing of our leisure services and community centres.

2002

24 April. A car with a trailer plastered with posters pulls up in a parking bay outside a video shop owned by some Asian people: ‘VOTE BNP – Save Your Country’. The man from the shop comes out and starts arguing with the BNP activists – not because of their politics, but because his customers park in the places they’ve taken.

3 May. The BNP have won three seats. We’re the only council in the country with any BNP councillors. Not much gets done in the office today: we’re all talking politics. I think that our results are about Burnley, of course, but they are also a particular expression of a wider trend, a growing rejection of mainstream politics. Other examples: a monkey football mascot has been elected mayor in Hartlepool, and an independent elected in Middlesbrough who is said to be a corrupt, arrogant and populist right-winger.

10 September. At lunchtime, I see a young Asian woman in the town centre wearing a hijab in the design and colours of the Union Jack.

27 September. At this month’s planning meeting, the councillor who objected to a proposed design for a mosque was not BNP, but Labour. He’s not opposed to the mosque as such, he claims, but the minarets would be ‘obtrusive’ and would ‘not be in keeping with Burnley’s identity as a mill town’. The fact that all the mills have been closed down through long-term industrial decline and then Thatcher’s destructive policies is not in keeping with Burnley’s identity as a mill town, either!

2003

16 April. The BNP have campaigned for the Union Jack to be flown from the town hall whenever a British soldier is killed in Iraq. At first, council officers advised against doing this because of some list they’ve got from a government ministry about when the national flag should be flown from municipal buildings (on the Queen’s various birthdays, for example). But petitions came in, and now the flag is up there, and not just when there are casualties. A Labour councillor tells me that they’ve decided it is ‘staying up there forever … that way, the BNP won’t be able to make an issue of it’. I nearly say, ‘if you went further and implemented all of their policies, they won’t be able to argue with you about anything’ – but think better of it.

1 May. Just appointed to the newly-created post of ‘community cohesion manager’, I’m sent on a residential training course at Birmingham University’s Institute of Local Government Studies. We stay up watching election results come through, and Burnley’s on the national news: the BNP have won the most votes and gained the most seats, but because only a third of seats were being contested they had no hope of taking control of the council – this time. ‘What’s that job you’ve just got?’ the other people laugh. One of them says, ‘you’ve gone pale!’ and pours me another whiskey.

15 May. The first council meeting with the BNP as the second largest group on the council. Anti-Nazi League demonstrators throw flour and eggs as the BNPers arrive at the front door. In the meeting itself, the Labour council leader says that people shouldn’t be worried about asylum seekers in Burnley, because ‘there’s only fifty-four of them here’. He’s pointing out that the BNP are stirring up anxieties and promoting myths, but it’s an equivocal argument, effectively conceding ground to the racists.

5 June. A government-appointed Neighbourhood Renewal Advisor comes to give us tips about ‘communications’. They talk for a bit, and then ask for our comments. When we start talking, they open a notebook and start jotting things down – or rather, they try to: their pen doesn’t work!

2004

2 February 2004. It’s clearer to me than ever that the BNP is a kind of symptom. People talk about ‘defeating the BNP’, but the real need is for an effective response to the conditions which generated the far-right. This can’t be simply about rebuilding confidence in ‘mainstream politics’: it’s this which generated the symptom. Instead, a different politics must become mainstream. Rejection of what is currently mainstream politics should not be a rejection of democracy (as BNP leaders would like). The aim must be a more democratic politics.

17 May. There are St Georges’ flags everywhere: in windows, on flagpoles and little plastic things attached to car windows. Preparations for next month’s elections are co-incident with the build up to the big Euro football tournament in Portugal. Someone writes to the Burnley Express, angry that the BNP have hi-jacked the flag and that they can’t express support for the national football team without their neighbours thinking they’re fascists. People respond, saying ‘don’t be ashamed of flying the flag’. I notice that nearly every Asian taxi driver has got the little plastic things and A4 St Georges’ flags fluttering from their cars.

1 June. After work, I meet up for a drink with an old acquaintance who was involved in the Communist Party back in the 1980s. He left Burnley in the 1990s, but came back visiting just before the 2002 council elections. He was horrified to find that one of his old trade union contacts had nominated a BNP candidate, and rang him up to ask why. The answer was that ‘they’re a bit misguided, yes, but they’re just working-class lads, trying to do something right for the town’.

14 June. The BNP haven’t made the big breakthrough they expected. They’ve won a few seats on other councils, including Bradford and Epping Forest, but it’s nothing like what they hoped for. In Burnley itself, they’ve effectively stood still, losing one seat by a big margin, but winning another with a small majority. Even worse for the BNP, it’s Robert Kilroy-Silk’s UKIP which has drawn the anti-European vote in the EU elections, taking twelve seats across different English regions.

 

Read more about how a northern post-industrial town became fertile territory for the extreme right in On Burnley Road: Class, race and politics in a northern English town. 

The post Burnley in the early 2000s appeared first on Lawrence Wishart.

B&B: Free time before capitalism | Kolko, a heretic historian | Wellness-industrial complex | Entrepreneurial state | Productivity growth vs. wage stagnation |Lack of black economists

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 22/04/2022 - 11:15am in

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This time especially worth reading and sharing pieces: > New York, a city that fetishizes entrepreneurship and business, uses a labyrinthine bureaucracy and police to fight street vendors (poor people, low working class, and immigrants) who work for themselves to make a living — by Molly Crabapple > Before Capitalism, medieval peasants worked less and […]

The Experiment

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/04/2022 - 10:00pm in

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Source photos: Charlotte Button. Design: DF/Public Seminar Steven Armstrong was the first to show up in Classroom No. 1O on the...

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A couple of

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/04/2022 - 8:56am in

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A couple of Free Little Libraries hanging out on dude’s front fences. Marrickville and Hurlstone Park.

Lethbridge-Stewart: the end begins

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 17/04/2022 - 12:55am in

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Candy Jar Books has announced the first book in its final series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels.

The final year of Lethbridge-Stewart novels is split in two halves, with the first a trilogy of novels set during Lethbridge-Stewart’s time as a teacher at Brendon School. This first of these, A Most Haunted Man, sees the return of Sarah Groenewegen to the series, with her first novel since 2017’s The Daughters of Earth, although her most recent short story featured in the UNIT: Operation Wildcat collection.

 

 Candy Jar Books)A Most Haunted Man

Written by Sarah Groenewegen

Cover by Martin Baines

 

 

In 1977, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart suffered a shock so great that he was hospitalised. Not that he can remember what happened. Teachers found him, knocked out cold beside the obelisk on the hill. No signs of an attack. No bumps on his head, and no memory of why he lay where he fell, who he’d been with, and great chunks of his past torn from his mind.

 

It wasn’t like any form of amnesia described in the textbooks. The clinic discharged him back to Brendon Public School and he resumed his duties as a teacher of mathematics and rugger.

 

Two years later and a series of nightmares send him back to the clinic. Then come the pranks played by identical twins, his own erratic behaviour and short-term memory loss leading to a breach of the Official Secrets Act. Someone else is living in his house, driving his car, and making changes to the school he loves.

 

It seems that the demons haunting him prove too big for him to fight on his own.

 

 

The 2022 series was put back a little when it was discovered the book planned to open the year was a little too close to the events at play in Ukraine. Thus, Spheres of Influence has been put on indefinite hold. Hopefully it will see the light of day at some point but, for now, and to make up for the delay, Candy Jar Books have also decided to reprint the very first Lethbridge-Stewart novel, The Forgotten Son: Special Edition, with a brandnew cover by Richard Young.

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell said:

When it became apparent that the themes and events depicted in Spheres of Influence too closely echoed current events, Andy Frankham-Allen and I quickly came to the decision that to release it at this time would be, at the very least, insensitive. Putting it on hold did mean bringing forward the rest of 2022’s books, and finding a replacement. Fortunately, Andy quickly solved that problem by commissioning a third Brendon novel, turning the first three titles into a loose trilogy. For myself, I decided it would be a nice idea to reprint The Forgotten Son with a new cover, to hopefully make up a little for the delay. I must stress, however, that the content remains the same from the previous revised version.

 

A Most Haunted Man is set two years after the Brigadier’s traumatic encounter with his future self in the Doctor Who television serial, Mawdryn Undead<\/a>. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:

This is another of those books which started an idea that came up through discussions with Shaun – a good two years ago, at least. It was a while before I realised it was the perfect fit for Sarah. I’d been wanting to do another novel with her, and she came back for a short story in The Laughing Gnome: The HAVOC Files, so it was great when she agreed to do another novel for us. The only real prerequisite, other than the core idea, was that it had to be set during the Brig’s time at Brendon when he’d lost all memory of the Doctor.

Sarah Groenewegen said:

I adore writing for the Brigadier, and being able to explore different facets of this much-loved character has been great fun. When I was offered another novel in the series, this one set in 1979 and during the Brig’s post-army career as a school teacher, I immediately said yes. It’s an honour to be asked to contribute a novel to the final season of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, which has proved to be a terrific series of stories.

Sarah’s previous novel, The Daughters of Earth, delt with the breakdown of his relationship with his then-fiancée. In this book, Sarah’s dealing with a breakdown of a different sort::

I wanted to explore how he deals with strange goings-on when he has forgotten so much, and when he doesn’t have his soldiers to call on to help. My brief was to write a psychological thriller, in which the Brig’s identity and life is stolen from him. The novel allowed me to explore the nature of identity theft, and memory loss, and the combined uneasiness of not being able to trust your own mind. I added a set of identical twins to the mix, a boy at Brendon, and a girl at a local comprehensive. They are at the cusp of their own change from creepy kids who enjoy playing tricks on people, to young adults facing choices.

Setting the book in 1979 also freed Sarah up from the ongoing narrative, and gave her a chance to explore a different facet from the usual setting of the early-70s:

The setting was apposite because of the feeling of being on a cusp of change, but without knowing its direction. In that, it parallels much of today’s politics. I found it cathartic to explore similar themes of being seduced by the apparent certainty of authoritarianism — even with the attendant feeling it could turn on its own to destroy at a moment’s notice. 1979 proved to be a watershed year in Britain. The full assault on the unions, LGBTQIA people, and appeals to jingoism of the worst kind were all yet to come; and for a while the political turmoil that brought much of the UK to a standstill ceased. It’s hard to think that in this day and age of TV-on-demand, the stations that are now ITV were off air for much of the year. 1979 was an amazing year for British pop music. Punk began to segue into the New Romantic movement, and rap, reggae and disco attracted huge numbers of fans. It was fun delving into the music of the time through a few of the kids who are important during the story.

 

The cover is by popular artist Martin Baines, returning from the success of his recent cover for UNIT: Operation Wildcat:

I was partially inspired by a German poster of a classic British film. My last Candy Jar cover I did was for the UNIT anthology, Operation Wildcat. It was very flash, bang, wallop. Because of this, I enjoyed tackling a more psychological concept for this book.”

 

Both A Most Haunted Man<\/a> and The Forgotten Son<\/a> are available to purchase from the Candy Jar website.

 

The final series of Lethbridge-Stewart will be split in two parts over 2022, the first half is the Brendon trilogy and will continue with Legacy of the Dominator by Nick Walters, and The Overseers II by James Middleditch. The second half will be the final in the road to UNIT narrative which began in 2015, with novels by Natasha Gerson, John Peel, and Jonathan Blum.

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