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A special issue of European Journal of Development Research on ‘Bringing Production back into Development’, co-edited with Antonio Andreoni, is free to view until 30 April, 2021

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 04/04/2021 - 3:20am in

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A special issue of European Journal of Development Research on ‘Bringing Production back into Development’, which i have co-edited with Antonio Andreoni, is free to view until 30 April, 2021. You can view it here.

2021 PEF STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST IS OPEN

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 02/04/2021 - 3:32pm in

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The 2021 PEF Student Essay Contest is now open!

Calling all Canadian students anywhere in the world and all post-secondary students in Canada who are working on papers taking a critical approach to the functioning, efficiency, social, and environmental consequences of unconstrained markets. The winning essays will receive a cash prize of $1,000 for the graduate student category and $500 for the undergraduate student category.

You can download a poster in English or Français. Please help us spread the word and share with your networks and on social media.

Essay submissions should be made to PEFEssayContest2021@gmail.com and must be accompanied by a signed scanned file of the completed PEF Essay Contest Submission Form or fiche d’inscription pour le concours de textes du PEF. The deadline for submitting an essay for the contest is May 3 now May 11, 2021 [deadline extended].

——

2021 PEF ESSAY CONTEST RULES

ELIGIBILE ENTRANTS

  • Open to all Canadian students, studying in Canada and abroad, as well as international students presently studying in Canada. All entrants receive a complimentary 1-year membership in the Progressive Economics Forum.
  • The definition of “student” encompasses full time as well as part time students.
  • Students eligible for the 2020 competition must have been/be enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution at some point during the period of May 2020 – May 2021.

LEVELS OF COMPETITION

There are two levels of competition:

  • One for undergraduate students;
  • One for graduate students*.

*Note: Those who have previously completed an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree, and are returning to do a second undergraduate degree will only be considered for the graduate student competition. The same holds for students who spend part of the academic year in a graduate program.

CONTENT OF THE ESSAY

Entries may be on any subject related to political economy, economic theory or an economic policy issue, and should reflect a critical approach to the functioning, efficiency, social and environmental consequences of unconstrained markets.

ELIGIBLE SUBMISSIONS

Eligible entries will be:

  • sent by email at the latest on May 3 May 11, 2021, to: PEFEssayContest2021@gmail.com
  • the only submission by the author(s) (i.e., one submission per person);
  • between 20-40 pages in length, and typed in 12-point font, double spaced;
  • referenced to academic standards (including any data);
  • written in either English or French;
  • original, single-authored essays that do not infringe upon the rights of any third parties;
  • accepted on re-submission once;
  • accompanied by a signed scanned file of the completed PEF Essay Contest Submission Form.

Entrants consent to having the Progressive Economics Forum publish essays from winners and those receiving honourable mention. Each applicant will submit a valid email and postal address for correspondence.

ADJUDICATION

  • A panel of judges selected and approved by the Progressive Economics Forum will judge entries.
  • Entries will be judged according to the following criteria: substance and originality, writing style, composition, and organization.
  • The Progressive Economics Forum reserves the right not to award a prize or any prizes where submissions do not meet contest standards or criteria.

WINNING SUBMISSIONS

  • The winning essays will be announced at the Annual General Meeting of the PEF at the Canadian Economics Association.
  • A cash prize of $1,000 will be awarded the winner of the graduate competition; and $500 will be awarded to the winner of the undergraduate competition.
  • The winning essays will be published on the PEF website.
  • Judges’ decisions are final.

*******

Concours de textes étudiants – édition 2021

Qui peut participer?

  • Ouvert à tous les étudiants canadiens, qui étudient au Canada ou à l’étranger, ainsi qu’aux étudiants étrangers étudiant au Canada. Tous les participants deviennent gratuitement membres du Progressive Economics Forum pour un an.
  • Le terme « étudiant » couvre les étudiants à temps plein et les étudiants à temps partiel.
  • Pour être éligible à l’édition 2021 du concours, un étudiant doit avoir été ou être inscrit dans une institution post-secondaire à un moment donné pendant la période allant de mai 2020 à mai 2021.

Niveaux de compétition

Il y a deux niveaux de compétition:

  • Un pour les étudiants prégradués;
  • Un pour les étudiants gradués*.

*NB: Ceux qui ont déjà complété un programme prégradué ou un programme gradué et qui retournent faire un deuxième programme prégradué ne peuvent participer au concours qu’au niveau gradué. C’est la même chose pour tout étudiant ayant passé une partie de l’année dans un programme gradué.

Contenu du texte

Les textes peuvent porter sur tout sujet relié à l’économie politique, la théorie économique ou une problématique en lien avec des politiques économiques, qui reflète une approche critique sur le fonctionnement, l’efficience, et les conséquences sociales et environnementales des marchés libéralisés.

Pour être accepté, un texte doit:

  • être envoyé par courriel, au plus tard le 3 mai 11 mai 2021, à l’adresse suivante: PEFEssayContest2021@gmail.com;
  • être le seul texte envoyé par le(s) auteur(s) (un texte par personne);
  • avoir entre 20 et 40 pages, tapé dans une police de taille 12 points, à interligne double;
  • avoir des références écrites selon les standards académiques (incluant les données);
  • être écrit en anglais ou en français;
  • être un texte original, avec un seul auteur, qui n’enfreint pas les droits d’auteurs d’une tierce-partie;
  • n’avoir été soumis au maximum qu’une fois auparavant (donc un texte peut être soumis un maximum de deux fois);
  •  être accompagné par une fiche d’inscription pour le concours de textes du PEF complétée, signée et numérisée.

Les participants acceptent que le Progressive Economics Forum publie les textes des gagnants et de tout autre participant recevant une mention d’honneur. Tout participant devra soumettre une adresse courriel qui fonctionne, ainsi qu’une adresse postale pour fins de correspondance.

Jugement

  • Un panel de juges choisis et approuvés par le Progressive Economics Forum va juger les textes soumis.
  • Les textes seront évalués selon les critères suivants : substance, originalité, style, ainsi que l’organisation et la cohérence de l’ensemble.
  • Le Progressive Economics Forum se réserve le droit de ne pas décerner un prix, ou quelque prix que ce soit, si aucun texte ne remplit les critères ou n’atteint les standards.

Textes gagnants

  • Les gagnants seront annoncés à l’Assemblée générale annuelle du PEF.
  • Un prix de $1,000 sera attribué au gagnant du concours pour les étudiants gradués et $500 sera attribué au gagnant du concours pour les étudiants prégradués.
  • Les textes gagnants seront publiés sur le site internet du PEF.
  • Les décisions des juges sont sans appel.

Again: Good “Mainstream” Econ Podcasts still get basics wrong, frustrating

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 17/03/2021 - 8:36pm in

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Another otherwise interesting Planet Money podcast. But with the complete and total belief in the falsehood that interest rate manipulation does what the mainstream thinks it does, when it clearly does not (and never has). “Happy Fed Independence Day (Update)” https://www.npr.org/2021/03/01/972618276/happy-fed-independence-day-update Everything everyone mentions about the effects of manipulating the base interest rate is incorrect. … Continue reading Again: Good “Mainstream” Econ Podcasts still get basics wrong, frustrating →

More on Our Favorite Solo B-Sides

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/03/2021 - 1:05pm in

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Quite a few unique tracks have shown up on the flip side of solo Beatles singles through the decades. In Beatlefan #248, we flipped over many solo singles and presented some of our contributors’ favorite B-sides. However, due to space limitations, we weren’t able to run everyone’s complete comments. Here is an expanded version of what they had to say, including some second and third choices!

Brad Hundt:

George Harrison: “Isn’t It a Pity” is a highlight of “All Things Must Pass,” and that has to be considered his strongest B-side. A majestic song that ranks among Harrison’s best. In his solo career, George did put out some B-sides that were not included on albums at the time, but unfortunately most of them were throwaways, along the lines of “I Don’t Care Anymore” or “Zig Zag.” However, “Deep Blue,” the B-side to “Bangla Desh,” is an endearingly simple acoustic number written in the wake of his mother’s death in 1970. It’s a treat.

Ringo Starr: “Snokeroo,” the B-side of “No No Song” in the United States, was such a good tune it was released as an A-side in the U.K. — probably not a bad call, considering that it was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, who were at the zenith of their popularity in 1975. After that, Ringo’s best B-side would have to be “Early 1970,” which detailed Starr’s feelings about his bandmates just after The Beatles’ split.

John Lennon: Many of John’s B-sides were Yoko compositions, and, in many instances, the B-sides showcased some of her best work. A prime case is “Sisters O Sisters,” the flip side of 1972’s “Woman Is the N***** of the World.” A feminist anthem set to a reggae beat, it’s one of the best tracks on John and Yoko’s “Sometime in New York City.” Another top-tier Yoko track that ended up on a Lennon B-side is “Listen, the Snow Is Falling,” on the flip side of 1971’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”

Of the Lennon B-sides that feature a Lennon composition, “What You Got,” the flip side of “#9 Dream,” would not have sounded out of place at all on the radio in 1975. Considering that some promotional singles were pressed for “What You Got,” it seems likely that Lennon himself and the powers that be at Capitol/EMI in those days recognized its commercial potential.

Paul McCartney: There are so many McCartney B-sides, it’s hard to narrow it down. The overall best would have to be “Let Me Roll It,” which was the B-side of the “Jet” single in 1974. Classic solo McCartney, it’s been a mainstay of Paul’s setlists through the years. In the 1970s, McCartney and Wings put out a series of top-notch B-sides that were not released on albums, including “Sally G,” “C Moon,” “The Mess,” “Little Woman Love,” “Daytime Nighttime Suffering” and “Country Dreamer.”

Later on, the CD-single bonus tracks that accompanied “Off the Ground” were, in many cases, superior to the songs that ended up on the album. “Long Leather Coat,” the animal rights offering that was on the “Hope of Deliverance” B-side, is a foot-stomping McCartney rocker in the tradition of “Hi Hi Hi” and “Junior’s Farm.” 

Wings, circa 1979.

Simon Rogers:

Paul McCartney always has kept in mind The Beatles’ work ethic of giving value for money by offering exclusive B-sides. For me, the tracks “Girls School” and “Sally G” stand out, but, in the U.K., “Girls School” was a double A-side with the track “Mull of Kintyre.” 

So, for me, there really was no  contest for my fave McCartney B-side and, in fact, one of my favorite McCartney songs of all time, “Daytime Nighttime Suffering.”

The song was the result of a bet Paul made with the members of  Wings — whoever could write the best song over the weekend would get the B-side of his next single. Paul, of course, won, with this slice of power pop.   

Recorded in January, 1979,  it is pure class, and it simply beggars belief that this was a B-side. It’s also amazing that “Daytime Nighttime Suffering”/“Goodnight Tonight” were not included on the album “Back to the Egg.” This B-side features some simply wonderful vocals from Paul and some great melodic bass playing.

George with Ravi Shankar.

For George Harrison, “What is Life.” George has some really great B-sides, such as “Writings on the Wall,” “Deep Blue” and “Miss O’Dell.” But, for me, the standout is “What Is Life.” The song has some very personal memories. I was lucky enough to see George play his only U.K. concert at the Albert Hall on the 6th April, 1992. I managed to fight my way down to the front of the gig just as George started playing “What Is Life.”

What amazed me was the fact that, after reading for years that George hated touring, when I made eye contact with him, how much he was actually enjoying singing this song. I will always remember his smile as he sang.

Certainly, it’s one of the highlights of his “All Things Must Pass” LP.

For Ringo Starr, “Early 1970.” Ringo sometimes is overlooked, but, if you look closely, there are some great and some frankly strange Ringo B-sides. From the spaghetti Western-themed “Blindman” to the disco romp of “Devil Woman” to the live favorite “No No Song.”

But, I must admit I really have a soft spot for the tongue-in-cheek “Early 1970,” which sums up Ringo’s feelings for his fellow bandmates just after the breakup. It originally was recorded under the title of “When Four Knights Come to Town” in October, 1970, during the sessions for the “Plastic Ono Band” album. 

Ringo seems closest to George and John, with Paul coming very firmly third. Any record that features Ringo showing his prowess on the guitar and piano must be worth a listen. A track that always seems to put a smile on my face.

For John Lennon, “Move Over Ms. L.” There is no contest for what my favorite Lennon solo B-side, and it’s this wonderful rocker. Recorded for John’s LP “Walls and Bridges,” it was supposed to fit between “Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradise)” and “What You Got” on the second side of the LP.

John decided to remove it from the track listing just before the album went to press. He later rerecorded it in October, 1974. It has the honor of being the only Lennon nonalbum B-side. Keith Moon, drummer of The Who, would record a version for his “Both Sides of the Moon” LP.

John and May Pang.

Al Sussman:

John Lennon, “Move Over Ms. L.” An enjoyable rocker from the “lost weekend” era. 
George Harrison, “Deep Blue.” The bluesy B-side of “Bangla Desh” stems from a sad time in George’s life (the death of his mother) but is still an enjoyable listen.
Ringo Starr, “Early 1970.” Ringo’s musical “state of the (dis)union” commentary, which was the B-side of “It Don’t Come Easy.”
Paul McCartney, “Daytime Nighttime Suffering.” The B-side of “Goodnight Tonight” was a typical piece of expert Macca songcraft that Mark Lewisohn reported is one of McCartney’s own favorites. 

Clint Ard:

John: “Move Over Ms. L.” This one wins by default, as it was the only nonalbum B-side of John’s career.  However, it is a fine rocker, with some pointed lyrics toward Yoko: “Well, now to err is something human and forgiving so divine / I’ll forgive your trespasses, if you forgive me mine / Life’s a deal, you knew it, when you signed the dotted line.”

Fortunately, John and Yoko did forgive each other’s trespasses and were reunited for the last six years of his life. This was the B-side of John’s cover of “Stand By Me,” but it failed to make either the “Walls and Bridges” or “Rock and Roll” albums. Strangely enough, Keith Moon recorded a cover version!  

Paul and Linda and the Wings tour bus.

Paul: “Daytime Nighttime Suffering.” So many great B-sides from Paul (& Wings), but this one sticks out for me. The B-side of the disco-flavored “Goodnight Tonight,” I felt this song better foreshadowed what was coming on the “Back to the Egg” album. Still, I can’t really imagine it on that album, either. It truly is an original song, meant to be heard all on its own. It opens and closes with great harmonies from the band, and, in between, really delivers a terrific tune. A great bass line and fine guitar work by Laurence Juber and Denny Laine. My favorite lyric is “Come on river, flow through me.  Don’t be stopped by insanity.”  Many claim that Paul released better quality songs on his B-sides than on his albums. This song is a perfect example of that. 

George: “Miss O’Dell.” A real charmer of a song from the B-side of “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth).” I really enjoy the lightness of the tune, and how George did not take it too seriously. In fact, he ends up laughing in the middle of the verses more than once. It features some quirky lyrics, such as “And the smog that keeps polluting up our shores is boring me to tears.”  A nice acoustic song, with rhythm backing by Klaus Voormann and Jim Keltner.  More cowbell!  

Ringo: “Down and Out.” The B-side of one of Ringo’s greatest songs, “Photograph.” Not included on the 1973 “Ringo” album, but it sure sounds like it would fit right in. A very catchy tune that is easy to sing along to, and gets stuck in your head. The lyrics aren’t particularly meaningful, but I’ve always wondered what fire Ringo was looking at here: “Looked in the fire, what did I see? I saw someone looking at me.” A little spooky, actually. Gary Wright contributes some nice piano and even gets a shout-out from Ringo. The horns add a nice punch to the song, as well.    

Steven Prazak:

John: “Beef Jerky.” Although a throwaway track to some, it’s actually one of the most composed and complex Lennon tracks, even without a lead vocal on top of it. Love all the time signature shifts, the quasi-“Cold Turkey” guitar riff transitions, the horn charts, and, hands-down, the funkiest refrain ever laid down by a Beatle. The flip side of “Whatever Gets Thru the Night,” I played “Beef Jerky” countless times on Waffle House jukeboxes throughout the South. 

Paul: “Secret Friend.” Ten and a half minutes of arpeggio’d and pitch-shifting piano loops, rhythm box and speed-accelerated Macca vocals that sound like they’re coming from deep within a jug of water. A beguiling little melody that fits somewhere in the “ambient” scheme of things. So many fans speak disparagingly of this track, but I love it! Pretty daring for 1980, too! Suffice it to say, I spun this tune quite a bit more than its “Temporary Secretary” A-side.

George: “Isn’t It a Pity.” My personal favorite from “All Things Must Pass,” and as luck would have it, all 7+ minutes are replicated on the flip of “My Sweet Lord” (here in the colonies, that is). What a melody, and a PERFECT production from both George and Phil Spector. And, it’s all verses, too — no chorus or refrain. Another “Waffle House” favorite!

Ringo: “Just a Dream.” The disco-flavored “Ringo the 4th” is no one’s favorite Ringo album, and this non-LP B-side (the disco-flavored flip side of both 1977’s “Drowning in the Sea of Love” and “Wings” 45s) probably won’t change anyone’s mind of that best-forgotten LP. But, there’s no denying that “Just a Dream” is a really great song, despite all the disco trappings heaped on it. Much like the Bee Gees’ disco-era songs have been reappraised for their composition and craftsmanship, I think Ringo’s “Just a Dream” deserves a similar revisit.

John in 1975.

Kathy Urbanic:

John: My favorite John Lennon solo B-side is “Beautiful Boy” (1981, A-side “Watching the Wheels”). The song, written for Sean, is one of the most touching in John’s catalog and a tribute to the loving father he had become. The lyrics on the verses are simple and childlike, as father talks to son and calms his fears. On the chorus, they change perspective, as John marvels at the life he has helped create. The bridge, with a reference to his sailing trip to Bermuda, is poignant now, expressing his happiness at the thought of watching Sean come of age. The melody moves from a nursery-rhyme quality on the verses to a joyful chorus and bridge, beautifully arranged with the sounds of a Tibetan wishing bell, a steel drum, and ocean waves. It’s no surprise that both Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono picked “Beautiful Boy” as the one Lennon song they would take to a desert island.

In second place is “Woman,” released in 1981 as the B-side to “Starting Over.” John wrote many love songs for Yoko, but “Woman” rises above the rest, conveying a depth of emotion and a maturity about relationships. He himself said the song was “the grown-up version of ‘Girl.’”  Words, music, and arrangement work together seamlessly, creating a Motown/early Beatles feeling with one of John’s most affecting vocals.

Paul: Among the dozens of songs Paul McCartney has released as a solo artist, my favorite B-side is “Mamunia” (1974, A-side “Jet,” released prior to the “Jet”/“Let Me Roll It” pairing, also released in 1974). Any of the songs on Paul’s acclaimed “Band on the Run”would make a fine single release, but “Mamunia” has a special charm. Inspired by a visit to Tunisia, it weaves lyrics ostensibly about rain around an Arabic word meaning “safe haven.” Like John Lennon’s “Rain,” “Mamunia” uses rain as a metaphor for life’s problems. Taking, as usual, a lighter approach than John, Paul creates an infectious melody, with African echoes and bright harmonies that make this a great singalong. “Mamunia” is one in a long line of underrated McCartney gems.

Second for me among Paul’s B-sides is “Let Me Roll It” (1974, A-side “Jet”). Its dramatic, bass-fueled opening pulls the listener into a fine vocal that rises in strength and intensity. On their own, the lyrics are unexceptional, but they fit the sensual feel of the music.  “Let Me Roll It” has shown up frequently in Paul’s concert set list, and rightfully so. (The song is just one example of the ways in which the solo Beatles inspired one another; Paul lifted the title phrase from a line of George Harrison’s “I’d Have You Anytime.”)

George: The George Harrison B-side that wins my vote is “Apple Scruffs” (1971, A-side “What Is Life”), his ode to the devoted fans who kept vigil outside Abbey Road Studios. Of the four Beatles, George took the kindest interest in them, sometimes stopping to have a word or taking tea out to them on cold days. His tribute to the girls who braved wind, rain and security guards for a glimpse of a Beatle is whimsical and affectionate, punctuated by a harmonica that evokes street music. As many times as I’ve heard the song, I always wipe away a tear when George sings the last verse: While the years they come and go / Now, your love must surely show me /That beyond all time and space / We’re together face to face, my Apple Scruffs.” Like so many first-generation fans, I was an Apple Scruff in spirit, hanging out at Abbey Road in my heart.

Second to “Apple Scruffs,” I love George’s B-side “Miss O’Dell” (1973, A-side “Give Me Love”). The song is a delight, with clever lyrics and a playful arrangement, featuring harmonica, acoustic guitar and a cowbell. Each verse paints a different scene, from Bangladesh to an ocean-front home in California, as George waits for an overdue call from former Apple employee Chris O’Dell. Midway through, he dissolves into giggles and laughter, guaranteed to raise a smile on any listener. At the close of the song, he leaves a telephone number — Garston 6922 — that was Paul McCartney’s number on Forthlin Road in Liverpool. “Miss O’Dell” is George at his cheekiest. 

Ringo: “Early 1970” (1971, A-side “It Don’t Come Easy”) is my favorite of Ringo Starr’s B-sides.  One of his own compositions, the song features George Harrison on slide guitar and, according to some researchers, John Lennon also participated in the recording session. The tune has the country music vibe often identified with Ringo, and the lyrics are a charming sketch of his three former bandmates: Paul raising sheep on his farm in Scotland, John organizing bed-ins for peace with Yoko, George and Pattie settling in at Friar Park. With its autobiographical lyrics, “Early 1970” foreshadows compositions to come, such as “Liverpool 8” and “The Other Side of Liverpool.” When it was released, it brought hope to fans reeling from The Beatles’ breakup, assuring us that Ringo, at least, wanted to keep making music with the other three.

Runner-up in my affections among Ringo’s B-sides is “Step Lightly” (1974, A-side “Oh My My”), from the marvelous “Ringo”album. Another of his compositions, the song is light and bluesy, embellished on the instrumental bridge by the sound of tap dancing (credited to “the dancing feet of Richard Starkey, MBE”). Ringo’s songs are not covered often, but “Step Lightly” has been recorded by David Hentschel (1975) and the Beatles cover band Suburban Skies (2015). After the success of this single, and two others from the album, John Lennon sent Ringo a telegram: “Congratulations. How dare you? And please write me a hit song.”

Richard S. Ginell:

George: “I Don’t Care Anymore.” The title says it all — the lackadaisical spoken intro, the hoarse voice, the bored delivery, the goofy jaws-harp over the guitar, the raw sound quality, the publishing company (Oops Publishing Ltd.). For candor alone, this one is in a class of its own. It was the B-side of “Dark Horse” in the U.S. and “Ding Dong” in Europe, which is where I found a copy last year in Oslo, Norway.

John: “Do the Oz.” This weird little screamer is a B-side, but not for a Lennon single per se; rather, it’s the companion piece for Bill Elliot and the Elastic Oz Band’s “God Save Us.” While Lennon leaves the vocal to Elliot on the A-side, that’s John yelling over a lumbering heavy metal drone laced with Yoko’s electronically treated caterwauling. It’s just credited to the Elastic Oz Band, and it sank unnoticed somewhere below the Hot 100 in 1971.

Paul: “The Mess.” While most record buyers and McCartney fans of 1973 swooned to the No. 1 hit A-side “My Love,” I flipped the single over and rocked on to the unsung B-side, “The Mess.” It’s the first edition of Wings unleashed live in Antwerp, grinding through several changes of pace in hard rock fashion as Paul treats his voice with echo delay. That’s as far as the track got until it finally turned up in the archive CD edition of “Red Rose Speedway” more than 40 years later — and, for me, it beats anything on the originally-released album.
“Secret Friend.” The third single from “McCartney II” was not released in the U.S.; it came out in Britain as a 12-inch single. So, Americans never heard this wonderful, sprawling electronic samba that occupied the B-side of the goofy “Temporary Secretary.” Paul found an irresistible groove on his drum machine and just let it run for over 10 1/2 minutes, pasting a compressed vocal on top. It resulted in one of his longest, and certainly most offbeat inspirations — not to be heard in the U.S. until it wound up on the “McCartney II” archive CD edition. It was a memorable pickup for me, since I bought it at a flea market in Birkinhead, England, right across the Mersey from Liverpool.

“Check My Machine.” Another bit of solo Beatle lunacy in the spirit of “You Know My Name” — with Yosemite Sam thrown in. McCartney once said that “You Know My Name” was his favorite Beatles song, and this is the closest thing I can think of as a sequel. Again, nowhere to be found on an album until the “McCartney II” archive edition came out, and running twice as long there.

Ringo: “Coochy Coochy.” The B-side of the title track of “Beaucoup Of Blues,” Ringo’s 1970 excursion to Nashville, is a swinging jam session with the crack Nashville sidemen assembled by Pete Drake, whose pedal steel guitar figures in the mix. It didn’t make its way onto the album until the CD edition in the 1990s, yet for me these 4 minutes and 48 seconds of exuberant Ringo vocals and joyous jamming eclipse anything on the LP. Of all of the solo Beatle B-sides, this is my favorite. A 28-minute version of “Coochy” is rumored to exist; I anticipate hearing that just as many Beatles fans are lusting after the 27-minute version of “Helter Skelter.”

Bruce Spizer:

John: It is a bit of a problem to pick favorite John B-sides, because so many of them have Yoko on the flip side. “Move Over Ms. L” was the B-side to “Stand By Me.” This track is an all-out rocker reminiscent of Larry Williams’ “Bony Moronie” (unlike the recording of the song on Lennon’s “Anthology” set, which has a Western swing feeling). And, for those wanted to get up and dance, there’s always “Do the Oz,” which was the B-side to “God Save Us” by Bill Elliot and Elastic Oz Band. The B-side features John singing and Yoko wailing. 

Paul: Paul McCartney has put out many quality B-sides pulled from albums, but I limited my choices to outright B-sides. “Oh Woman, Oh Why” was the flip side to and opposite of the carefully crafted pop tune “Another Day.” It developed out of a studio jam with lyrics that are “Hey Joe” in reverse, with the singer getting shot, instead. I also like “Girls School,” which is a silly rocker that was the B-side to “Mull of Kintyre” in the U.K. (although the A-side in the States). 

George: My favorite George B-side is “Miss O’Dell,” a delightful throwaway song, with George laughing through parts of his vocal and giving out Paul’s old phone number at the end (Garston 6922). It makes for a perfect pairing with “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth).” His worst is a tune whose title appears to describe George’s attitude toward recording this particular B-side, “I Don’t Care Anymore,” which was on the back of “Dark Horse.” 

Ringo: His most interesting and charming B-side is “Early 1970,” with Ringo singing about his bandmates and his own limited musical abilities on guitar, bass and piano (“if it’s in C”). This B-side to “It Don’t Come Easy” was written during the time The Beatles were breaking apart. At its end, Ringo sings “When I go to town, I want to see all three.” His worst B-side is “Blindman,” which was the flip side to “Back Off Boogaloo.” I doubt many people flipped the disc over to hear this muddy-sounding dirge more than once. 

Savings Glut? “Households are Just Saving all that New Money!”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 04/03/2021 - 4:56am in

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The big coronavirus stimulus programs are helicopter-dropping trillions of dollars in assets into households’ (and firms’) accounts, onto their balance sheets â€” all those assets created ab nihilo by government deficit spending.

But as many are pointing out, households aren’t turning over many of those assets in spending, buying things â€” transferring the assets to firms in exchange for newly produced goods and services. The Personal Saving Rate â€” saving, or holding relative to income, divided by (disposable) income â€” has skyrocketed.

In simpler terms, spending as a percent of income has plummeted.

A Twitter post by our new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Macroeconomics at Treasury Neil Mehrotra raises exactly the question that comes to my mind:

It would be nice to articulate what exactly is the downside is of making transfers that are saved . . .

The short answer, of course, is that households’ failure to immediately turn over their new assets in spending will fail to stimulate economic activity â€” producers creating goods and services: giving massages, preparing meals, producing cars and cell phones â€” and presumably hiring more people to do that production.

But will households start spending those assets when things open up?

That immediately got me thinking about WWII and ensuing, when the same thing happened though in somewhat different form: households were hoarding their income, holding onto their assets, like they are now (saving rates were in the mid-20% range 1942-44). Meanwhile both households and firms were getting a lot of their income/revenue from wartime government deficit spending — paying soldiers and arms producers. The household sector was piling up those magically created new assets, and not turning them over, transferring them to firms in spending.

Which all reminded me of this old post by GMU economist David Henderson: “Does Drawdown of Savings Explain the Postwar Miracle?” He pooh-poohs the idea that postwar households were “spending down their savings,” because while saving rates declined (9.5% in ’46, 4.3% in ’47), they didn’t go negative.

Which highlights the fundamental problem with (especially Right) economists’ quasi-Calvinistic “saving rate” obsession: that measure has both a numerator and a denominator, which both involve income (saving is just a residual: income minus spending). Note that the spending graph above doesn’t have that problem.

And the two are causally connected. When postwar households started spending out of their accumulated stock of assets, causing firms to produce more consumer goods, firms inevitably hired more to produce those goods â€” increasing households’ aggregate income. (While firms’ revenue sources shifted from government deficit spending to household spending turnover.) So the “saving rate” didn’t go negative because the resulting income increase kept it positive.

In other words, Henderson’s “saving rate” framing is an error of composition (or a partial-equilibrium error); it considers saving as a percent of income, without considering that higher spending causes higher income. Households were spending out of their assets at a higher rate, postwar â€” the lower saving rates clearly suggest that â€” even as higher wage bills paid by firms were funneling (a lot of) those assets right back to the household sector as income.

We can perceive that today by looking at the sudden decline in household spending as a percent of assets, spending velocity; the numerator (spending) declined a lot, while the denominator (assets) increased a bit:

Fiscal policy is kinda pushing on a string. But we should probably expect a postwar-style dynamic to play out over the rest of this year, and beyond. Households have more assets; if (when?) velocity returns to pre-crisis levels, they’ll start turning those over in spending.

And we should remember that the big postwar jump in household spending/asset turnover didn’t translate into significant, sustained inflation for another three decades â€” excluding the war years, the only significant and sustained inflation episode we’ve seen in the last ninety years. (Extra credit: count the recessions over that period.)

Related posts:

  1. Swimming in the Stream: How Economic Forces Force Household Indebtedness
  2. Why the Government Must Keep Running Deficits. Forever.
  3. Karl Smith: Why Is The US Government Still Collecting Taxes? THE DEFICIT EARNS A PROFIT!!!
  4. An MMT Thought Experiment: The Arithmetic and Political Mechanics of Net Financial Assets
  5. Oh Yeah: Crowding Out Has Been a Huge Problem

Previewing Ringo’s ‘Zoom In’ EP

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 25/02/2021 - 2:05pm in

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Ringo Starr has a new five-track EP, “Zoom In,” due out March 19 from Capitol/Universal. Here, Bill King provides a preview. …

When Ringo Starr released his most recent album, “What’s My Name,” in 2019, he said he thought it probably would be his last, but that he wasn’t giving up recording.

True to his word, Ringo hasn’t done an album since, but he has joined Paul McCartney and others in issuing recordings made during the pandemic, releasing the self-produced “Zoom In,” consisting of five new tracks. He’s calling it an EP.

Is half a new Ringo album better than none?

Yes, of course. It’s always good to hear from Ringo again. But, does this new release rank with his best solo releases?

No, it does not.

Still, it’s a pleasant, if all too brief, outing, and it does have a couple of moments that stand out, with the opening and closing tracks being the strongest.

That first track is “Here’s to the Nights,” which was issued as a digital single just before Christmas. The track, running 4:05, is

an ode to friendship written by Diane Warren (“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”).

Joe Walsh is among the friends joining Ringo on “Here’s to the Nights.”

Ringo is joined by a host of famous guest vocalists (who can be seen in the music video): Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Corinne Bailey Rae, Eric Burton (of Black Pumas), Sheryl Crow, Finneas, Dave Grohl, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, Jenny Lewis, Steve Lukather, Chris Stapleton and Yola.

(It’s worth noting that McCartney only occasionally is audible in the mix. It’s also noteworthy that one of Ringo’s most frequent musical partners of recent years, Dave Stewart, is absent this time around.)

The track is a stately, string-backed pop number that features some tasty guitar from Lukather, and a catchy singalong from the celebrity chorus: “Here’s to the nights we won’t remember with the friends we won’t forget.”

A favorite moment for me is at the very end, where Ringo, not primarily known as a vocalist, sustains the final note longer than you’d expect, before finally laughing, as if to say, “You didn’t expect that, did you?”

Next on the EP, which was recorded at Starr’s Roccabella West home studio in Beverly Hills, CA, between April and October, 2020, is the title track, “Zoom In Zoom Out,” a midtempo song that lopes along with a slightly bluesy backing. The 3:57 number was written by Jeff Silbar and Joe Turley.

It’s another message song, with the message this time being “we’re all in this together” and “love is what it’s all about.” As Ringo sings, “Zoom in to get a new perspective / Zoom out to see we’re all connected.”

The lyrics are a little out of the ordinary: Not many pop songs mention Galileo, or include a couplet like this: “Shift your paradigm / Seek and you will find.”

The EP’s third track, running 3:07, is “Teach Me to Tango,” written by Sam Hollander and Grant Michaels, with Ringo also getting a composing credit. He added a drum fill, along with his vocal, to a pre-recorded track the team sent him.

It starts out with a Latin flavor, as the title might lead you to expect, but, unfortunately, it’s mostly a pretty pedestrian midtempo rocker. Not much of a message here, other than “You gotta live it up / Until you get what you want, my friend.” The track comes to an abrupt ending.

Next up is “Waiting for the Tide to Turn,” a 3:54 track with a laid-back reggae beat. It was written by Ringo and his longtime engineer and co-producer, Bruce Sugar. The lyrics are a bit on the nose, as in “just play some reggae music and it will be a better day.” It also includes mentions of Bob Marley, Toots Hibbert and Burning Spear.

The EP winds up with another summation of Ringo’s philosophy, “Not Enough Love in the World,” a midtempo pop-rock number written by longtime All Starr Band member Lukather and Joseph Williams, who also arranged it. The longest track, at 4:16, it has a pretty catchy chorus that will stay in your head afterward, and a nice guitar solo by Lukather.

Ringo recorded his new EP in his home studio in Beverly Hills.

Overall, this is not a scintillating collection, but it is an enjoyable listening experience.

In explaining that he didn’t want to do another full album, Ringo has said that he wanted to get away from co-writing all the songs. Whereas on the best of his post-Mark Hudson albums, 2015’s “Postcards From Paradise,” Ringo co-wrote every number — teaming up with the likes of Lukather, Joe Walsh, Todd Rundgren, Richard Marx and Van Dyke Parks — he takes only two co-writing credits on “Zoom In.”

It’s not the lack of Starkey writing credits that’s holding this mini-collection back, though; it’s the fact that none of these songs truly is memorable. That may be because the writers involved are a level down from some of his past collaborators.

For example, Ringo also did a reggae number, “King of the Kingdom,” on his “Give More Love” album, and it was much superior to the reggae track on this EP. The difference is that, on the earlier number, he was writing with Van Dyke Parks, rather than Sugar.

If Ringo wants to continue doing EPs, rather than full albums, but doesn’t want to work that hard at coming up with new songs, I think he’d be better off re-recording some of his older material, as he did on “Ringo 2012” and in the bonus tracks for “Give More Love.”

Or, perhaps he could tackle some of the oldies from his youth, as he’s also done occasionally in the past.

I’d also love to see him explore the blues-based material that he flirted with on “Give More Love” with the track “Standing Still” and others, or renew his old love affair with country music, as he did with “So Wrong for So Long” on that album.

In fact, a five-track Ringo country EP sounds like a great idea.

I hope this doesn’t come across as a slamming of “Zoom In,” because I have enjoyed listening to it quite a few times. It’s an amiable, respectable effort — just not very exciting.

We know Ringo can do better, but the bottom line is that it’s good to have him still putting out new recordings, even if they’re not breaking any new ground. As long as he’s still at it, there’s always a chance he’ll come up with something that matches his best work from the past.

William P. King

Catching Up With Macca

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/02/2021 - 10:55am in

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Paul and some of his guitar collection. (Mary McCartney)

Paul McCartney did a lot of press to promote his recent “McCartney III” album. Here are highlights of some of those interviews. …

Talking with the BBC, Macca addressed his off-and-on gray pandemic beard, saying, “what I do is, I grow it for a couple of weeks and then I get fed up with it ’cause it gets itchy, so I shave it off.”

Asked about working alone, he said: “If you’re on your own, you can have an idea and then very quickly play it. Whereas, with a band, you’ve got to explain it. Sometimes that’s great… but when you’re just noodling around on your own, there’s just a sense of freedom.”

Considering the undertain future of live concerts, he was asked had he thought about the possibility he might never be able to play live again. “Yes, definitely,” he said. “I look back at the last gig I did, which was at Dodger Stadium in LA, and we didn’t have a very good night. I must say, I was thinking ‘Uh-oh, what if that was the last gig?’

“But it would be great, wouldn’t it, to be in a crowd and be able to go crazy and listen to a live band again. I was imagining that the other day — instead of doing the songs, you’d just be standing there going ‘This is great, isn’t it?’”

McCartney was asked whether any of the new songs are informed by the pandemic. “Yeah, I think so, a couple of the newer songs,” he answered. “There’s one called ‘Seize the Day’ — that had echoes of the pandemic kind of thing when the cold days come, we’ll wish that we had seized the day, kind of thing. So that was just reminding myself and anyone listening that yeah, we better grab the good stuff and, you know, try and get on through the pandemic. But it certainly helped me, you know.”

Of his wider feelings about the worldwide crisis, he reflected: “I hate it. You know when you turn on the news, the lead story is going to be how many people died. That’s depressing, after a while. But in truth, what kind of saw me through a lot of this was, I remembered that my parents, my mum and dad, Jim and Mary were in World War II.

“They survived — they survived the bombing and the losing people left, right and center and yet they came out of it with incredible spirit and so us kids in Liverpool, we grew up with this really, you know ‘Let’s have a good time, let’s roll out the barrel,’ with this great sort of wartime spirit that all the people had, because they’d had enough. And so I was brought up in a lot of that, so it’s kind of good to draw on that and think well, if they could do it, I can do it.”

Asked about his thoughts on Sir Peter Jackson’s forthcoming “The Beatles: Get Back” film, Macca said: “I love it. I said to him when he was going to trawl through all the footage — like about 56 hours or something — I said ‘Oh God, it’s going to be boring’ because my memory of the [original 1970] film was that it was a very sad time, and it was a little bit downbeat, the film.

“But he got back to me he said ‘No, I’m looking at it,’ he said, ‘It’s a laugh – you guys, it’s just four guys working, and you can see you making up songs.’ George wondering about the lyrics of ‘Something in the Way She Moves’ or me trying to figure out ‘Get Back’ and he’s shown me little bits and pieces of it and it’s great, I love it, I must say because it’s how it was. It just reminds me of — even though we had arguments, like any family — we loved each other, you know, and it shows in the film. It’s a very warm feeling, And, it’s amazing just being backstage with these people, making this music that turned out to be good.”

Macca in the studio. (Sonny McCartney)

In his interview with Loudandquiet.com, McCartney was asked if he could write a song every day if he wanted to. “I think so,” he said. “The secret for me is having a bit of time. This afternoon I haven’t really got anything on, and my guitar is sort of sat here looking at me, saying, ‘Why am I over here?’ But it’s time. I think if I was stuck and needed to write a song every day, maybe I could. 

“I kind of play every day, one thing or another. A mate of mine said, ‘Guitars is best.’ I mean, they are. They’re great. You can form a good friendship with a piece of wood and metal. I was always lucky as a kid to have one, and when the world was against you, you could go off into the corner with your guitar and you could make things right. It’s the magic of music, because it comes out of nowhere. It does strike me occasionally — I’ll think, ‘This is great, because I’ve really learned chords, and I can really go between them.’ I can remember a really long time ago finding it really difficult to go between E and A and B, and don’t even talk to me about B7. I was just thinking the other day, “No, I can move between chords. I’m getting pretty good at this.”

Asked about his 8-minutes-plus track “Deep Deep Feeling,” recorded during lockdown when he was staying with daughter Mary and her family, he explained: “That was one of the songs that I’d actually started last year. If I’m lucky, I’ll have a bit of time when I’ll go into the studio and just make something up, and so I try to just do something that I haven’t done before. This was one of those that I didn’t finish. To me, what it was about was, sometimes — I don’t how it happens of even what it is — when you’re feeling real love towards someone, sometimes it can manifest in a tingling over your whole body, and it’s a pretty funny feeling, and you almost don’t like it — ‘What the hell is this?’ — like you’re about to be beamed up into a spaceship or something. On this song I was fascinated with the idea of that — that deep, deep feeling when you love someone so much it almost hurts. That was the start of that, but after I made it I thought, well, this isn’t for anything. It’s certainly not a 3-minute single. What became nice about working in the studio was that in the evening Mary would be cooking, because she loves to cook, and we’d be sitting around before dinner, and she’d say, ‘Well, what did you do today then?’ and I’d go, ‘Oh, OK, I’ll play it for you.’ And I always wanted it to keep going. I just wanted it to go on forever. It’s a bit indulgent, and I was a little bit worried about that — I thought I really needed to cut it down, but, just before I did that, I just listened to it, and I thought, ‘Y’know what, I love this, I’m not going to touch it.’”

Macca also elaborated on the closing track, “When Winter Comes,” recorded years earlier with Sir George Martin. “I made a track called ‘Calico Skies’ a while ago [for the 1997 album “Flaming Pie”], which George produced. And at the same time, because I was in the studio and had an extra minute or so, I had this other song, so I said, ‘let me knock this one off.’ That was ‘When Winter Comes’, and I mention George because it was on a George Martin-produced session, but it is just me on the guitar. It was nearly going to be a bonus extra that was going to be on a reissue of ‘Flaming Pie,’ but I’d just been reading that great book on Elvis, ‘Last Train to Memphis,’ and it mentioned a song and said you’ve probably never heard it because it was buried as a bonus on the B-side of an album. So, I thought, no, I’d rather have this one as a proper track. And we finished the album with it because it was the reason for doing the whole thing, because me and my mate Geoff Dunbar, who’s an animation director, were talking about making an animated film to that song.”

Asked if he’s still seeking to innovate, Sir Paul said, “There’s a lot of things in my life that I’m surprised at. People say, ‘After touring for all these years, don’t you just hate it? Aren’t you fed up?’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m not.’ I suppose I am still looking for something new, but it’s not that important. The more important thing for me is getting into a studio and thinking, what can we do now. It doesn’t have to be something new, it can be something old. And on this record, actually, I had a couple of guitars that I’ve not played much, and we got them out — this old Gibson, this beautiful thing — and I’m like, ‘How have I not played this!?’ and that led me into a track. But I still enjoy what I do very much, and it all comes out as clichés — ‘I feel very lucky’ — but it’s true. When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was plug a guitar into an amp and turn it up for that thrill, and it’s still there. So, it’s not so much that I’m looking for something new, more that I’m looking for something to do to keep me off the streets.”

McCartney conducted a media blitz for his “McCartney III” album. (Mary McCartney)

In an interview on paulmccartney.com, Paul was asked if he uses his phone to record song notes. “Yes, I do, a lot — and it’s embarrassing! To think, when we started off all those years ago, John and I had to remember everything! The only things available for home recording were the big Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorders, and of course you had to be very rich to have one, so we didn’t have them.

“We always had to remember what we’d written that day. We’d write the song, go away, and all we’d have is a little piece of paper with the words on, and then later on we’d have a drink and think, ‘What the hell was that song?! … Oh God! Forgotten it!’. I’d wait a minute, thinking John would probably remember, and often one of us would wake up first thing in the morning and luckily have the song in our head again. So, in the studio you were always playing something that you remembered, that you knew and that was finished. 

“Nowadays with iPhones, you put a little sketch of an idea or a little bit of a riff, maybe just two lines of a song and think ‘I’ll finish that later’. My phone is full of little sketches, some of which I pulled out during lockdown and thought ‘I’ve really got to finish these’. So, I did. 

“But yeah, I’m always on my iPhone, always putting ideas down. And the double-edged sword means it’s good because you can remember your ideas. But it’s bad because you don’t finish them. You’ve got to force yourself to come back and finish. Fortunately, I had an opportunity during this time to do just that.”

McCartney also told Britain’s Uncut magazine that “McCartney III” allowed him to explore his backlog of unfinished songs. “The problem with iPhones is that you can have an idea — “Doo do doo do come on bam bam” — and you think, ‘That’s good, I’ll finish this later.’ Then you realise you’ve got 2,000 of these ideas on your phone! ‘Oh, God! Am I ever going to get round to them?!’ So, lockdown allowed me to get round to a lot of them. Bu, I do have a list of songs that I started but didn’t actually finish or release.”

Asked if he ever mentally consults John Lennon, he replied: “Yeah, often. We collaborated for so long, I think, ‘OK, what would he think of this? What would be say now?’ We’d both agree that this new song I’m taking about is going nowhere. So instead of sitting around, we’d destroy it and remake it. I started that process yesterday in the studio. I took the vocal off it and decided to write a new vocal. I think it’s heading in a better direction now.”

Asked about George Martin, he said, “He was brilliant to work with. He was like a doctor when you’re ill. They have a way of not getting you angry. ‘Sure, let me just take your temperature.’ George was like that. I’d disagree with one of his ideas, and they were often very good ideas, and instead of having a barney, he’d say, ‘Maybe we could just try it and if you don’t like it, we’ll lose it.’ Then I’d go, ‘Oh, OK.’ He was clever that way. He’d get you to try things.”

“McCartney III” is informed by the pandemic, but radiates Macca’s innate optimism. (Mary McCartney)

He told NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly that while his wife Nancy would like to clean out the closets, as many people have done during lockdown, he’s “just short of a hoarder. What happens is, we’ll be going to throw an old book away and I’ll say, ‘Just let me check through it.’ And there, on the third page, will be the original lyrics I scribbled down to one of my songs. So, I say, ‘This is why I don’t throw things away!’ That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.”

In an interview with the Times of London, Macca was asked whether The Beatles ever experienced any mental health problems. “Yes, I think so,” he said. “But you talked about it through your songs. You know, John would. ‘Help! I need somebody,’ he wrote. And I thought, ‘Well, it’s just a song,’ but it turned out to be a cry for help. Same kind of thing happened with me, mainly after the break-up of the band. All of us went through periods when we weren’t as happy as we ought to be. Ringo had a major drinking problem. Now he’s Mr. Sober of the Year! But you know there were a lot of things we had to work through, but you’re right — you didn’t talk about mental health. It was something really that, as four guys, you were more likely to make fun of than be serious about. And the making fun of it was to hide from it. But having said all that, we were reasonably well adjusted, I think.”

In his interview with the New York Times Sunday Magazine, McCartney was asked if there are aspects of “McCartney III” that represent creative growth. “The idea of growing and adding more arrows to your bow is nice,” he said, “but I’m not sure if I’m interested in it. The thing is, when I look back to ‘Yesterday,’ which was written when I was 21 or something, there’s me talking like a 90-year-old: ‘Suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be.’ Things like that and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ have a kind of wisdom. You would naturally think, OK, as I get older I’m going to get deeper, but I’m not sure that’s true. I think it’s a fact of life that personalities don’t change much. Throughout your life, there you are.”

Asked how central to his life those 10 years as a Beatle are, he replied: “Very. It was a great group. That’s commonly acknowledged. … It’s like your high school memories — those are my Beatles memories. This is the danger: At a dinner party, I am liable to tell stories about my life, and people already know them. I can see everyone stifling a yawn. But the Beatles are inescapable. My daughter Mary will send me a photo or a text a few times a week: “There you were on an advert” or “I heard you on the radio.” The thing that amazes me now, because of my venerable age, is that I will be with, like, one of New York’s finest dermatologists, and he will be a rabid Beatles fan. All of that amazes me. We were trying to get known, we were trying to do good work and we did it. So to me, it’s all happy memories.”

Asked if his processing of Lennon’s death has changed over the years, he said, “It’s difficult for me to think about. I rerun the scenario in my head. Very emotional. So much so that I can’t really think about it. It kind of implodes. What can you think about that besides anger, sorrow? Like any bereavement, the only way out is to remember how good it was with John. Because, I can’t get over the senseless act. I can’t think about it. I’m sure it’s some form of denial. But denial is the only way that I can deal with it. Having said that, of course, I do think about it, and it’s horrible. You do things to help yourself out of it. I did an interview with Sean, his son. That was nice — to talk about how cool John was and fill in little gaps in his knowledge. So, it’s little things that I am able to do, but I know that none of them can get over the hill and make it OK. But you know, after he was killed, he was taken to Frank Campbell’s funeral parlor in New York. I’m often passing that. I never pass it without saying: “All right, John. Hi, John.”

The interviewer pointed out that, while McCartney frequently is asked about Lennon, he rarely is asked about George Harrison.

“John is probably the one in the group you would remember,” he said, “but the circumstances of his death were particularly harrowing. When you die horrifically, you’re remembered more. But, I like your point, which is: What about George? I often think of George because he was my little buddy. I was thinking the other day of my hitchhiking bursts. This was before The Beatles. I suddenly was keen on hitchhiking, so I sold this idea to George. … Exeter and Paignton. We did that, and then I also hitchhiked with John. He and I got as far as Paris. What I was thinking about was — it’s interesting how I was the instigator. Neither of them came to me and said, ‘Should we go hitchhiking?’ It was me, like, ‘I’ve got this great idea.’ … My theory is that attitude followed us into our recording career. Everyone was hanging out in the sticks, and I used to ring them up and say, ‘Guys, it’s time for an album.’ Then we’d all come in, and they’d all be grumbling. ‘He’s making us work.’ We used to laugh about it. So, the same way I instigated the hitchhiking holidays, I would put forward ideas like, ‘It’s time to make an album.’ I don’t remember Ringo, George or John ever ringing me up and saying that.”

Asked if he remembers the last thing he said to George, Paul replied, “We said silly things. We were in New York before he went to Los Angeles to die, and they were silly, but important to me. And, I think, important to him. We were sitting there, and I was holding his hand, and it occurred to me — I’ve never told this — I don’t want to hold George’s hand. You don’t hold your mate’s hands. I mean, we didn’t anyway. And, I remember he was getting a bit annoyed at having to travel all the time — chasing a cure. He’d gone to Geneva to see what they could do. Then he came to a special clinic in New York to see what they could do. Then the thought was to go to L.A. and see what they could do. He was sort of getting a bit, ‘Can’t we just stay in one place?’ And I said: ‘Yes, Speke Hall. Let’s go to Speke Hall.’ That was one of the last things we said to each other, knowing that he would be the only person in the room who would know what Speke Hall was. Anyway, the nice thing for me when I was holding George’s hands, he looked at me, and there was a smile.”

Asked if he could share a Beatles story that hasn’t been told before, he said, “So when we did the album ‘Abbey Road,’ the photographer was set up and taking the pictures that ended up as the album cover. Linda was also there, taking some incidental pictures. She has some that are of us — I think it was all four of us — sitting on the steps of Abbey Road studios, taking a break from the session, and I’m in quite earnest conversation with John. This morning I thought, I remember why. John’s accountants had rung my accountants and said: ‘Someone’s got to tell John he’s got to fill in his tax returns. He’s not doing it.’ So, I was trying to say to him, ‘Listen, man, you’ve got to do this.’ I was trying to give him the sensible advice on not getting busted for not doing your taxes. That’s why I looked so earnest. I don’t think I’ve told that story before.”

A Preston Model for Organised Labour

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 27/01/2021 - 11:19pm in

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During the Cameron government Preston’s Labour-run City Council responded to cuts to local authority budgets with an interlocking set of policies centred on public procurement. Led by Matthew Brown, the Council took contracts away from large national providers and shifted resources to smaller firms in the area. Where capacity was lacking they helped create it, especially in the cooperative sector. Other public ‘anchor institutions’, the University of Central Lancashire and others, were also encouraged to re-orient their supply chains to protect the local economy from the worst impacts of austerity. Over time the so-called Preston Model has developed into an integrated approach to building local, and widely shared, economic power.

The Preston Model has been much praised by the labour movement. Other Labour councils have adopted and adapted many of its approaches. But the institutions of organised labour themselves – the trade unions, the large cooperatives and the Labour Party – have so far failed to apply the lessons in a systematic and widely publicised way to their internal operations. It is almost as though the people running these organisations don’t want to establish in miniature the economy and society they say they want to see at scale.

These institutions have, by their nature as member-supported organisations, more freedom to spend their money as they choose than local authorities. And their millions of members don’t need permission to make them more thoroughly democratic. In other words, they are free to trial both economic and political democracy of a much more intense and thorough kind than we are used to. Best of all, if the people currently in charge don’t want to do this, they can be replaced.

Perhaps behind the scenes the bureaucracies of labour are straining every nerve to ensure that their budgets build strategic capacity and promote cooperative values – to use their considerable procurement powers as an instrument of political transformation. But it seems unlikely when one considers the media and communications sector. This is now moving away from a broadcast-plus-print regime to one dominated by online distribution. Modest investments can make a vast impact, as Momentum and the World Transformed have shown. But the TUC, which once owned 49% of the largest English-language newspaper in the world, now has fifteen hundred subscribers to its YouTube channel. Meanwhile, the consumer cooperatives were recently found to be giving some of their advertising budget to the Spectator magazine. Instead of acting strategically to create a media infrastructure that can challenge and out-compete a hostile mainstream, the institutions of labour seem paralysed. And this is not at all surprising. A number of senior trade unionists over the years have told me that ‘it’s not their job’ to invest in media operations.

It isn’t hard to see what a Preston-type approach would mean for the labour movement more broadly. The substantial budgets that are currently paid to external suppliers could be redirected to unionised worker and hybrid cooperatives. Instead of operating as a relatively small player in the capitalist economy, the labour movement would become a collection of anchor institutions that build cooperative capacity in key sectors. They would divert resources away from what bureaucrats reflexively do, towards the more effective promotion of their members’ interests and values. By favouring cooperation the labour movement would expand and strengthen its lifeworld – the sphere of lived experience in which solidarity and equality make material sense.

Many labour institutions own or rent large properties in central London and Manchester. It might make sense to reduce their footprint in these expensive cities and move closer to the communities they serve. The money saved on rents, or earned from the ownership of assets in London, would then becomes a steady source of start-up funding for new cooperative enterprises. These would provide well paid employment and raise living standards in communities that are increasingly losing faith with the labour movement.

By settling a significant number of well-paid professionals to a medium sized town or smaller city, a large union would make an immediate impact on the local economy. And through the self-conscious use of both budgets and purchasing power, they could turn impact into transformation. The economy surrounding organised labour, both geographically and sectorally, would then become much more substantially cooperative.

Similarly, the labour institutions control significant funds through their pension funds. Meanwhile, cooperatives have a strong record of business success but struggle to access bank lending. By acting as both start-up lenders and ‘anchors’ these institutions could join up and strengthen cooperative supply chains while creating safe long-term returns. Indeed, the pension funds could provide the funding for a network of cooperative investment banks – embedded in their communities, with an institutional design that improved decision-making and stripped out opportunities for corruption. If we are serious about economic democracy at the national and supra-national levels, then these are problems we have to solve, and solve now – not in the pressure cooker of government.

Through their procurement practices, the labour institutions would promote socialist development outside the state. Trade unions would help their members to create cooperatives when opportunities presented themselves in the private economy, and work with the wider cooperative movement to help them find markets. They would also work with to secure local authority contracts for cooperatives.

The teams created to support cooperative business formation would work with those businesses to become the functional equivalent of the liberal think tanks. But, rather than puzzling over marginal changes to the capitalist economy, these teams would extrapolate from their ‘day job’ to co-design the system of democratic economic planning that would be implemented in government. For too long organised labour has outsourced policy development to academics and groups like the Fabians. At best this has encouraged the idea that government is too complicated for ordinary people. At worst it has created a space in which elites can collude with impunity.

Communications budgets would no longer be spent in efforts to secure coverage in the mainstream media. Instead they would be used to encourage and publicise widespread participation by members in consequential decision-making. Over time the institutions would develop the expertise needed to make strategic investments in movement media. These media would have a compelling story to tell, as well as the means to tell it to a mass audience: we are building another world, and we want you to join us. This combination of action and communication is absolutely crucial to our project. Unless we can marginalise the existing mainstream in the minds of voters we will never be able to change the UK in the ways we say we want to.

In future those seeking an elected position in either the trade unions, the consumers cooperatives or the Labour Party need to be asked if they will commit to ‘prestonisation’ of the institution they want to run. This would mean a full audit of spending conducted by an assembly of members selected by lot, who would have a mandate to interview staff and issue recommendations that would be published and publicised. Each year the institution would publish a report on its progress and convene an assembly every four years to issue an independent assessment.

This isn’t something that will happen automatically. There are precious few Matthew Browns in this world. And there are plenty of people in positions of authority who would rather manage decline in conditions of professional comfort than risk any deviation from respectability. We have to insist that our leaders lead in this, that this is their job, and the basis on which they will be judged. If you are on good terms with an MP or councillor, with anyone who holds institutional power in this movement, share this article with them and ask they what they make of it. If they agree that prestonisation is a good idea, ask them what they are going to do to make it happen. If they disagree, but can’t explain why, then maybe it should happen, with or without them. And the rest of us will have to coordinate with those willing and able to lead, not for factional advantage, but for the purposes of a general transformation.

Jeremy Corbyn attracted enthusiastic support in the Labour Party and beyond because he represented the possibility of transformation at the level of the state. He made it possible to think that maybe the tightening of capitalist social relations after 1979 could be eased, that maybe we could escape the snare altogether. The defeat in 2019 was shattering and it is no wonder that we have been disoriented since. But we must now adapt. From ‘change is possible’ we must move to ‘change is happening, here and now, in the spaces we control.’

In 2020

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 03/01/2021 - 1:59pm in

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My new year’s eve ritual is to read through my journals from the year: in 2020 these were the yellow ‘Herakles’ and a foolscap journal labelled ‘Meeting’. I’d kept these books by my side, written in them most nights, and by so doing wrote the story of my year.

Usually I write daily observations in my journals, the details of things I’ve noticed out in the world as I go about my activities, and thus I expected to have written less in 2020 than in previous years. I’d mostly been at home, after all, and the days conformed to a similar pattern. But against my expectations there was plenty to notice, in myself, the immediate environment, and the world as its news filtered through to me. As I read I re-lived the year, shaped as it was by fires, protests and the pandemic.

A sky with a cloud of bushfire smoke and a sun tinged red by the smoke. The sky on 4 January 2020, the hottest day of the year (48.9 in Penrith), with the cloud of smoke from the south coast fires sweeping across.

As I read through I began to take note of metaphors. In my writing for others, I’m careful and sparing with metaphors – I sometimes say to my students that every metaphor they put in their writing they have to imagine is something really physically present for the reader, there beside them – so too many and it gets confusing or crowded – but in my journals, which no one but me reads, I use them frequently to describe particular states of mind. There were a lot of metaphors of broken things – I felt like a deflated balloon, my attention felt like a frayed cord, my head felt like a broken plate – as if I was progressively embodying a pile of hard rubbish. Then things turned towards the surreal, after weeks at home “my room starts to feel like a portal. All its objects the controls of a spaceship.” This was my favourite metaphor of the year, and indeed I did pay extended scrutiny to the objects surrounding me – in April I wrote some of the stories of these objects on Instagram (private account but please feel welcome to request to follow). Some are pictured here: a VHS recording of a Cure special on Rage from 1993, the Trodat Typo stamp set, Nescafe jars, peacock pocket warmers, the ‘Vanessa’ diary from 1985 that tells the story of an EH Holden…

Metaphors and difficulties aside, I kept working and writing. At the start of the year, Anwen Crawford and I organised the ‘We, the Animals’ benefit reading at Frontyard, with readings by Michelle Cahill, Julie Koh, Mireille Juchau, and Julie Vulcan, as well and Anwen and me, to assist Wildlife Rescue South Coast in their rescue and care of animals after the fires in that region.

A group of people sitting listening to a person reading, outside underneath trees. Reading at Frontyard for We, the Animals, in January 2020

Early in the year I worked on the 20th issue of my autobiographical zine I am a Camera, the first issue of which I put out in 2000, making the zine 20 years old. I launched it at Other Worlds Zine fair in May (the fair occurred online and you can still visit it here – you don’t need to register, just click on the tabs on the left to go to the various aisles, I’m in Aisle C and you can watch a video of me reading from the zine here).

 I am a Camera 20.

The Mirror Sydney podcast came out in May, after I’d been working on it with producer Lia Tsamoglou in the earlier part of the year, and I continued the Mirror Sydney blog, writing about places such as Grand Flaneur beach in Chipping Norton, the ‘Videomania’ building in Rosebery, and the Banana Joe’s supermarket in Marricvkille, which closed down in 2020.

The banana remains, but the supermarket is a Woolworths now (one of 3 Woolworths in Marrickville – why?)

Throughout the year I was a Visiting Writer at the State Library of NSW, a position established by the Sydney Review of Books and the library, for a writer to research the library’s archives. For a while it didn’t seem as if I’d be able to do much visiting, but as restrictions eased mid-year, I made research trips to the library to examine materials relating to department stores. You can read the essay I wrote based on this research – In the Catalogue – on the Sydney Review of Books.

Researching at the State Library of NSW in July 2020.

In August, I was an artist in residency at Gunyah, on Worimi country/North Arm Cove, where I spent a week writing and walking and working on the manuscript of my new book. You can read my blog post describing my time at Gunyah here.

Writing at Gunyah artist residency, August 2020

In 2020 I contributed short stories to HiLoBrow – one on the 1959 film of The Flyand one the Cure song ‘So What’. I also wrote a story for the zine Cat Party #6, edited by Katie Haegele, for the quarantine-themed issue. I wrote about my sometimes-editor, Soxy.

It wasn’t the year I or anyone expected it to be, but I have plenty to be grateful for. Thank you to you my readers, supporters and friends, for being there with me this year. In 2021 I’m looking forward to the publication of my new book of essays, Gentle and Fierce, mid-year, with Giramondo, and to filling many more journal pages with the details of my days.

Another Media Regime is Possible

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 28/12/2020 - 12:11am in

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After the 2017 General Election it seemed that the Labour Party’s combination of a mass membership, a transformative policy platform, and an effective online strategy might be enough to counterbalance the right-wing bias of the print media and the establishment orientation of the BBC. But this turned out to be an illusion. In 2019 Corbyn’s Labour Party was compelled to fight an election on terrain it did not choose, and nothing it did could spring it from the three-word confines of ‘Get Brexit Done.’

Since then a great deal of energy on the left has gone into apportioning blame. But Labour’s defeat last December was part of a larger pattern. The destruction of Bernie Sanders’ US presidential campaign in the studios of MSNBC followed only a few months later. The simple truth is that, while the transatlantic left has been able to develop policies to address the crisis that began to coalesce in 2008 around economic stagnation and environmental collapse, we lack the means to convert them into a broadly accepted plan of action. Many of these policies are popular. But we cannot persuade sufficient numbers that they are popular. The problem is overwhelmingly one of communicative weakness. Meanwhile, the right broadly defined has almost unlimited power to reach mainstream liberal and conservative voters with their messaging – and to tell them that no one else supports policies like universal healthcare or de-privatisation.

The UK labour movement should be moving to address this communicative weakness. Their reluctance to do so is as baffling as it is infuriating. At the moment the co-op movement advertises in the Spectator and senior trade union officials are happy to insist that ‘it isn’t their job’ to fund left media. I suppose the idea is that all those pamphlets and newspapers, all those libraries, book clubs and public talks in which the early labour movement invested so much were a waste of time and money, and the 1945 election result was only a happy coincidence.

The Daily Herald, half-owned by the UK trade union movement, announces
a Labour landslide in 1945.

There’s not much we can do to wake up the sleeping institutions of organised labour, and it is pointless to fret about something beyond our control. But smaller groups of trade unionists and co-operators can start putting together a left media infrastructure capable of challenging the right’s dominance of the communicative space. If they are to succeed, this infrastructure must securely embed audiences in the governance of the institutions that they fund, and on which they rely. It is this principle, and this principle alone, that holds out the prospect of media regime that can out-compete and steadily marginalise the existing mainstream.

It isn’t enough to create content for the left understood as a niche demographic. Publishers organised on capitalist lines already do this, and they have enjoyed windfall profits in the years since 2008, as graduates denied access to the middle class look for explanations. The aim must be to create left media that reaches, and re-constitutes, mass audiences. This re-constitution is to be achieved through the provision of content, certainly. But just as important will be the creation of a constellation of institutions that amount to more than the sum of their parts; internal cooperation at the point of production echoed and amplified by cooperation at the point of distribution. Cooperation itself must become an obtrusive feature of media production, even as our media fosters cooperation in the broader economy.

If this is to happen we need a platform on which audiences and producers of content can come together on clearly defined cooperative lines. We can already see something like this, in outline at least. The publication Mutual Interest is an media cooperative that uses a payment processing system called Open Collective, managed by a ‘fiscal host’, the Platform 6 Co-op. Mutual Interest ends up paying 2% in transaction fees to Open Collective and Platform 6. This is less than a third of the amount Patreon charges (7%). And any surplus goes to supporting new co-ops.

Mutual Interest specialises in articles about the cooperative and mutual sector. The revenues received from members pay writers a fixed fee and members also allocate extra funds every month to their favourite articles. In this way members are encouraged to take an active interest in what’s published. Mutual Interest runs its governance on Loomio, another co-operatively developed resource. The result builds in a relationship between the writers of Mutual Interest and their supporter-subscribers, and the surplus feeds back into the cooperative sector. All the content goes ‘free to air’.

At the moment podcasters, video producers and writers who want to operate in the same way as Mutual Interest have to host their own content. This means that they have to be quite well established and quite technically sophisticated. Capitalist platforms like Patreon and Substack offer very small media operations a simple way to start collecting revenues, with very few questions asked. Matt Christman has described how he set up Chapo Trap House’s Patreon account in an afternoon, with no real clue how many people would sign up. From Chapo’s point of view, establishing the subscriber model was essentially risk free. But if Patreon charges Chapo 7% in fees it now make about £10,000 a month from that one business.

A cooperative platform would want to offer the same simplicity as Patreon. But it would also formalise a relationship between producers and supporter-subscribers that protects the interests of both. At the moment that a cooperative media operation is launched it would choose from a range of governance options that bring its subscribers into a meaningful partnership with its workers, and that make content available to larger audiences in ways that promote the cooperative sector. To repeat, it is these steps that offers cooperative media its structural advantage over capitalist rivals. Capitalists only invest in institutional forms that guarantee that their interests predominate. Why shouldn’t everyone else?

This platform would host audio-visual and text content, handle payments and provide paywalls as required. It would enable publishers to keep transparent records of their expenditure. It would provide an easy route into ebook, audiobook and print for publishers. And it would allow institutional aggregators to distribute funds to cooperative outlets in a way that reflects the wishes of their members. If, for example, Momentum creates a media fund to support left media, a platform like this would provide them with a simple, and cost effective, way to do so.

When trade unions and other left organisations finally starting putting resources into the media sector, a co-operative platform would make it easier for their members to organise the process ‘from the ground up’, and harder for senior managers to squander money on silly ideas that catch their eye. And when a radical reforming government is finally elected in the UK, or at the federal or state level in the US, this platform will provide a template for a system of public media provision that replaces outmoded notions of public service or market competition with robustly democratic governance. At the moment we struggle to imagine what democratic media looks like, and the media institutions that currently reach large audiences work hard to keep it that way.

Corbyn’s Labour Party and the Sanders campaign both showed that the energy and the imagination the left needs are not well represented in those institutions that currently control its cashflows. In the realm of political education, for example, the World Transformed in the UK has vastly out-performed the established organisations of the Labour movement on a tiny fraction of their budget. The more money that can be prised away from bureaucrats and put into the hands of members, the more scope for experimentation and innovation there will be – and if the money predominantly flows into cooperative organisations, the media sector can become an engine for cooperative formation and consolidation in other sectors. Strategies that focus on securing paid or earned coverage in mainstream outlets can be replaced by an approach to communications that itself tells a story – imagine if the Sanders campaign had used all the money it spent on television ads in 2020 providing start-up funding to a network of cooperative media outlets. Instead of painstakingly building electoral campaigns from scratch such a network would have been a permanent source of organisational and communicative power, controlled by its members.

At the moment Patreon, Substack, PayPal and a handful of other intermediaries hoover up enormous amounts of money from doing only some of what a fully realised media platform would do. A ‘turn-key’ cooperative alternative would allow start-ups – local news providers, investigative teams, policy shops, individual writers etc. – to establish themselves and begin piecing together a support base. Individuals and small teams of producers could come together on clearly defined terms – secure in the knowledge that their contributions will be valued, and that whatever they create won’t eventually be sold off. Such a platform would also allow social movements that want to extend their communicative reach to build their own editorial apparatus, in which the core audience are established as governors from the outset. Content from multiple sources could then be brought together and formatted to target particular demographics, to exploit particular opportunities, to develop particular political and social possibilities. The success of any particular approach will feed resources and attention to the co-operative media sector as a whole.

A non-capitalist platform would commit its users to baseline editorial standards. These would fall far short of ideological purity: it’s clear that the left is much more effective when one faction doesn’t pretend that it has all the answers. A cooperative platform would want to host plenty of content that was ‘apolitical’, anyway. Its radicalism would derive at least as much from its cooperative form as from its content. And besides, a platform that refuses to host fascist and fascist-adjacent content would immediately send a message about how much it differs from the UK’s capitalist and state media. Governance at the level of the platform would mirror the governance of individual outlets: members would be organised and resourced to ensure that pernicious content and bad faith producers is removed speedily.

This platform would protect the rights of workers on it and it would establish limits on wage inequality, so that no one is paid more than a set multiple of the UK median income. This would be another source of structural advantage: instead of creating a handful of extremely rich ‘winners’, a cooperative media platform would create a stronger cooperative sector as a whole – surpluses would flow into new employment and investment in a widening circle of enterprises. Media workers who are good at what they do would be encouraged to find cooperative means to improve their quality of life outside the workplace. At the moment we have nothing immediately at hand but the capitalist fantasy of escape to an offshore paradise – a cooperative platform could tip its workers towards making the places they find themselves into a paradise firmly onshore.

A left media system that reproduces the dynamics of success-through-competition of the capitalist media is doomed to remain a niche offering. To succeed it must describe and promote another kind of life altogether. It should be understood as providing much more than political coverage in the conventional sense. Its organisation as a cooperative endeavour is part of the message it is conveying. And, as cooperation becomes a source of economic advantage, rather than a ‘nice-to-have’ extra, the content can reach out into cultural and social terrains that are currently dominated by the implicit needs of the advertising industry. Indeed, the structure itself can become the equivalent of the capitalist advertising and public relations sectors. Everyone seeking a non-manipulative relationship with their audience would have access to a platform that rewards them for that.

The platform would impose or encourage certain kinds of cooperation between publications. For example, paywalled content could be made available to others in the network on defined terms. In this way, small operations could take advantage of a common pool of journalism, analysis, graphic design etc to help build an audience. Over time, as they become larger, they can feed material back to others. Indeed, by capping salaries, the platform will push successful operations to grow by channelling funds to new operations that complement their own. Cooperation of this kind might encourage a new articulation of journalism altogether, as insights and investigative findings from plural perspectives and locations feed into a different, better account of the social world. The national and transnational layers no longer come into being as products of detached, imperial speech. They are pieced together from, by, and for their constituent elements – which is to say, from, by and for us.

But we can’t stamp our feet and create a platform that serves and promotes cooperative values against those of the capitalist class and their allies in the state. It takes time and money to develop what we need. Fortunately, some of us have been able to save significant amounts during the pandemic. There are few options for savers. It would be reasonably simple to use something like Open Collective to raise the necessary funds in the form of loans that would pay interest, or be repaid, if and when the platform begins to generate a surplus. Small investors will then have a reason to promote the platform once it is launched – if it doesn’t start generating revenues, they don’t get their money back, never mind any interest. In this way we can develop a kind of solidarity investment to build cooperative infrastructures – starting with the media, but, again, extending outwards into other fields.

A project of this kind cannot, must not, have a capitalist structure. It must be cooperative in its bones. If we are to create a new media regime we have to create a new model of what it means to live well. Instead of the billionaire founder bestriding the world like a colossus, we will promote and create the cooperator who works, and spends money, to protect their interests – whether they work in media production, or rely on media production to make sense of their lives and the choices they face. Instead of a tiny number of endlessly celebrated winners, each of us wins by building collective capacity that we share. And this collective capacity feeds back into a more fully achieved individual flourishing, instead of the monstrous bloating of the self that now passes for success.

If we are serious about social transformation, then we have a responsibility to show people who are sceptical that what we want is practical, and that our chosen methods can be effective. A strong cooperative media sector that supports the creation of a cooperative commonwealth will be a powerful communicative asset in future political contests. But it will also serve as a worked example of the world we say we want, in which contributions to the common good are rewarded and attempts to shore up arbitrary power are challenged effectively.

Cooperative media outlets, articulated along these lines, will allow each of us to take an equal piece of the communicative power currently hoarded by the ruling class. They will make it possible for us to develop and share better, more robust, descriptions of the ourselves, each other and the world. They will allow us to dismantle the thought worlds created by the corporate media. They will be better for our mental and physical health. Above all, they will be be more interesting than the media that we must now drive to the margins of our shared life.

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