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Economic Update: The Challenge of Progressive Unionism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 21/07/2021 - 1:09am in

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A weekly show focusing on the economic dimensions of everyday life and alternative ways to organize our economy and politics, with Prof. Richard D. Wolff.

What political lessons can we learn from football? A lively chat with Brian Eno, Ken Loach & Roger Waters (plus a short text on the politics of football)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 16/07/2021 - 6:52pm in

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English, Video

On this, the 6th edition of LET’S TALK IT OVER, the whole gang (Brian Eno, Ken Loach, Yanis Varoufakis & Roger Waters, chaired as always by Frank Barat) is on stage – to chat about lessons progressives must/can learn from… football. It turned out a fun, and possibly, insightful, hour. Whatever the quality of our musings (which I leave to use to judge), there were also two funny moments:
When Ken Loach was stood on his head, reminding us lefties of what Marx did to Hegel: And when Mowgli decided I had said enough and it was time to take him to the beach:

After our chat was over, I felt sufficiently inspired after our chat to put down some of the thoughts I had tried to express. For what they are worth, here they are:

Contemporary societies, comprising atomised persons, deny men and women the experience of solidarity. Importantly, football is the last bastion of solidarity. It actually provides solidarity in oodles, sometimes to the point of shared frenzy.

And, yes, it is the beautiful game. Football’s beauty at times reaches the heights of an art that can take your breath away.

Moreover, football offers excitement, a simulation of bloody war, or at least skirmishes that would otherwise cause the police to step in. It provides people with an opportunity to experience tribal rituals and, at once, community festivals. It even brings on moments of ancient Greek tragedy – in the form of the penalty shootouts English fans know so well.

And then there is the special relationship between fans and players – a unique relationship that ordinary people cannot have with Hollywood stars or outsized basketball players: footballers look and sound very much like them. And that’s why they celebrate them: as their alter egos.

Football is also a little like Greek or Catholic Easter: It is uniquely able to bring under the same roof fascists and the leftists they seek to exterminate. On the terraces, we find neofascist white supremacists and Marxist trades unionists. On the pitch, sophisticated leftists like Socrates and Cantona and Tory icons like David Beckham.

Time for a personal story: I was ten. It was 1971. Panathinaikos was playing Red Star Belgrade in Athens in the European Championships semifinals – which they won, earning a place in the final, at Wembley versus Ajax.  Those were bleak days in the midst of the fascist dictatorship (1967-1974). Our fascist rulers were in the stadium, cheering. I remember watching the match in television with my mother, both of us cheering the Greek team’s victory despite knowing full well that at a stone’s throw distance from the stadium there was a torture chamber (run by ESA, the feared military police) were democrats were being tortured and maimed, including my mum’s brother. I mention this story as the best example I can think of the paradox that is football.

Football is too complicated politically to portray in black and white terms. Yes, football affords the working class the illusion that their rituals are better than the bourgeoisie’s. But, beware: this is NOT a revolutionary feeling, but one that makes exploited workers more willing, even enthusiastic, to endure their exploitation – it makes them more reluctant to become agents of change.

Even worse, football is a breeding ground for outraged populism – recall the recent revolt against corporate bastards who tried to take over the beautiful game with their plans for a Superleague. The same fans who celebrate when a rich bastard buys their club and promises to spend millions to buy star players!

Yes, football is the opium of the people. But, like the most effective mind-altering drugs, football offers humans invaluable comfort in the midst of a cruel social order – and it captures much that is human. Because I agree with Karl Marx who once said that ‘Nothing human is alien to me”, I feel I have no right to be a stranger to football.

So, with this excuse, let me declare my undying commitment to Panionios, my struggling Greek team founded by refugees who arrived here in 1922. And let me finish with a “Come on you Reds”, meaning both socialists and Liverpool, an association whose credibility we owe to that great socialist Bill Shankly.

The post What political lessons can we learn from football? A lively chat with Brian Eno, Ken Loach & Roger Waters (plus a short text on the politics of football) appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

Sanders Foundation Announces Philosophy in the Media Initiative

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/07/2021 - 11:56pm in

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Media, Radio, Video

The Marc Sanders Foundation has created a new fellowship program that “aims to increase the presence of philosophy in print, audio, and video media by training philosophers to write and produce for the public and by connecting philosophers to editors and commissioners in the media industry.”

Barry Lam (Vassar College), associate director of the Marc Sanders Foundation, says that this fall the foundation will select 30 “Sanders Media Fellows” who next year will “attend exclusive training and networking sessions with media professionals”:

Ten fellows will be selected for Op-ed writing, ten fellows for longform journalism/magazine writing, and ten fellows for podcasting. Fellows will receive a $1500 honorarium and will be brought together for a three-day workshop with editors and writers from the New York Times, The New Yorker, among others, and producers and editors from NPR, This American Life, and others. All philosophers at any career stage eligible, no institutional affiliation required.

The program is funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

Further details and application instructions are here.

Economic Update: Inflation & Labor Shortage

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/07/2021 - 12:31am in

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A weekly show focusing on the economic dimensions of everyday life and alternative ways to organize our economy and politics, with Prof. Richard D. Wolff.

What Does Patriotism Really Mean? Real patriotism is about...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/07/2021 - 5:00am in

What Does Patriotism Really Mean?

Real patriotism is about paying taxes proportional to your wealth; paying your workers a living wage; ending the filibuster to protect voting rights; and reckoning with — not whitewashing — how racial oppression has shaped the nation, and taking restorative action to repair harm.

Who is afraid of Julian Assange? Why are they so determined to suck the life slowly out of his body?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 03/07/2021 - 7:32pm in

My dear friend Julian continues to waste away in Britain’ Guantanamo, the victim of ruthless Western governments determined to suck his life slowly from his body as a cautionary tale to anyone who dares expose inconvenient truths. DiEM25, the movement that Julian co-founded, is moving heaven and earth to stop them. Today, Saturday 3rd July, we were demonstrating in front of embassies to celebrate his 50th birthday, to demand his immediate release and to wish him at least another 50 years of being a thorn in the global oligarchy’s backside.

The post Who is afraid of Julian Assange? Why are they so determined to suck the life slowly out of his body? appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

Why Your Chipotle Burrito Costs MoreRepublicans have finally...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 30/06/2021 - 5:27am in

Why Your Chipotle Burrito Costs More

Republicans have finally found an issue to run on in next year’s midterm elections. Apparently Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head weren’t gaining enough traction…

“Democrats’ socialist stimulus bill caused a labor shortage and now burrito lovers everywhere are footing the bill,” said an NRCC spokesman, Mike Berg.

You heard that right. They’re blaming Democrats for the rise in Chipotle burrito prices.

The GOP’s tortured logic is that the unemployment benefits in the American Rescue Plan have caused people to stay home rather than look for work, resulting in labor shortages that have forced employers like Chipotle to increase wages, which has required them to raise their prices.

Hence, Chipotle’s more expensive burrito.

This isn’t just loony economics. It’s dangerously loony economics because it might be believed, leading to all sorts of stupid public policies.

Start with the notion that $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits is keeping Americans from working.

Since very few jobless workers qualify for state unemployment benefits, the Republican claim is that legions of workers have chosen to become couch potatoes and collect $15,000 a year rather than get a job.

I challenge one Republican lawmaker to live on $15,000 a year.

In fact, the reason workers are holding back from reentering the job market is because they don’t have childcare or are still concerned about their health during the pandemic.

Besides, if employers want additional workers, they can do what they do for anything they want more of but can’t obtain at its current price — pay more. 

This is free-market capitalism at work…which Republicans claim to love.

When Chipotle wanted to attract more workers, it raised its average wage to $15 an hour. That comes to around $30,000 a year per worker — still too little to live on, but double the federal unemployment benefit.

Oh, and there’s no reason to suppose this wage hike forced Chipotle to raise the price of its burrito. The company had other options.

Chipotle’s executives are among the best paid in America. Its chief executive, Brian Niccol, raked in $38 million last year — which happens to be 2,898 times more than the typical Chipotle employee. All Chipotle’s top executives got massive pay increases. 

So it would have been possible for Chipotle to avoid raising its burrito prices by — dare I say? — paying its executives less. But Chipotle decided otherwise.

By the way, I keep hearing Republican lawmakers say the GOP is the “party of the working class.” Well if that’s the case, it ought to celebrate when hourly workers get a raise instead of howling about it.

Everyone ought to celebrate when those at the bottom get higher wages. 

The typical American worker hasn’t had a real raise in four decades. Income inequality is out of control. Wealth inequality is into the stratosphere (where Jeff Bezos is heading, apparently).

If wages at the bottom rise because employers need to pay more to get the workers they need, that’s not a problem. It’s a victory.

Instead of complaining about a so-called “labor shortage,” Republicans ought to be complaining about the shortage of jobs paying a living wage.

Don’t hold your breath. Or your guacamole.

Kelton: Why we need to debunk the ‘deficit myth – 5 min video

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 29/06/2021 - 5:37am in

Icymi, there’s always more good content to add. This one is from June of 2020:
Why we need to debunk the ‘deficit myth’
— Stephanie Kelton BBC Reel (@BBC_reel) June 29, 2020 (05:09)

Added to Basic Ideas; Videos; Debt, Deficit Spending, & Austerity; Stephanie Kelton

Economic Update: How Capitalism Shapes Our Food

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 28/06/2021 - 10:51pm in

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A weekly show focusing on the economic dimensions of everyday life and alternative ways to organize our economy and politics, with Prof. Richard D. Wolff.

FRAPORT: H Μεγάλη Ληστεία με υπογραφή τρόικας, ΝΔ, ΣΥΡΙΖΑ που θα μείνει στην Ιστορία μαζί με το δάνειο από τους Αδελφούς Ρικάρντο & το Κατοχικό Δάνειο

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 24/06/2021 - 7:47pm in

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Φαντάσου να έχεις  μουσαφίρη στο σπίτι σου που, ξάφνου, σου λέει: «Ωραίο το σπίτι σου. Το παίρνω.” “Δεν το πουλώ”, του λες. “Ασ’ τα αυτά”,  σου απαντά κοφτά. “Το παίρνω!” Και σαν να μη έφτανε αυτό το σοκ, ο μουσαφίρης συνεχίζει:
“Δεν έχω λεφτά να σου δώσω αλλά θα στο πάρω. Κοίτα να δείς τι θα κάνουμε: Θα πάρεις ένα δάνειο από την τράπεζα. Θα το δώσεις σε κάτι φιλαράκια μου. Εκείνοι θα μου δανείσουν τα λεφτά αυτά να στα δώσω. Εσύ θα τα δώσεις στην τράπεζα σε βάθος χρόνου, βάζοντας από την τσέπη σου τους τόκους. Επί πλέον, εγώ θα το νοικιάζω σε νοικάρη για ποσό μεγάλο για να αποπληρώνω το δικό μου δάνεια στα φιλαράκια μου και να μου μείνει κι ένα κέρδος. Αν ο νοικάρης δεν έχει κάποιους μήνες να μου δίνει το νοίκι, θα το πληρώνεις εσύ. Κατάλαβες;”

Κάπου εκεί, φαντάζονται, θα φωνάξεις την αστυνομία να έρθουν να τον μαζέψουν. Σωστά; Μόνο που στην περίπτωσή μας, στην περίπτωση του χαρίσματος 14 αεροδρομίων μας στην Fraport, η αστυνομία που κατέφτασε ήταν η… τρόικα – η οποία, βεβαίως βεβαίως – πήρε το μέρος του και σου πήρε το σπίτι!

Το 2015 μετά την συνθηκολόγηση του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ έκλεισε ένας πολύ όμορφος κύκλος χρήματος για μία άλλη μορφή εθνικοποίησης, ούτε καν ιδιωτικοποίησης, αλλά από «λάθος» έθνος, το γερμανικό έθνος. Έρχονται λοιπόν μετά να κάνουν δήθεν επενδύσεις και τι επένδυσαν; 0! Από το ελληνικό ΕΣΠΑ και χρήματα Ελλήνων και ευρωπαίων φορολογουμένων έγιναν όλες οι «επενδύσεις».

Η «καλή» Fraport πήρε ουσιαστικά δωρεάν τα 14 αεροδρόμια διαμάντια, έβαλε άλλους να κάνουν τις επενδύσεις γι’ αυτά και εν μέσω πανδημίας τους δίνετε κιόλας και τα κέρδη που μας λέει η ίδια η Fraport πόσο τα υπολογίζει! Δεν ντρέπεστε πραγματικά, δεν αισχύνεστε κ. Υπουργέ; Ακόμα και ο μεγαλύτερος καπιταλιστής δεν θα τα έκανε αυτά.

Η Αριστερά όμως εδώ κάνει ένα λάθος, κακώς κατηγορεί την Κυβέρνηση για νεοφιλελευθερισμό, δεν είναι καν νεοφιλελευθερισμός όλο αυτό. Η Θάτσερ μιλούσε για ανταγωνισμό των ιδιωτικών εταιρειών, ενώ εδώ δίνετε και τα 14 αεροδρόμια σε μία κρατική γερμανική εταιρεία, πρέπει να ντρέπεστε ακόμα και ως θατσερικός κ. Σκυλακάκη. Επιπλέον, το κέρδος του επιχειρηματία δικαιολογείται υποτίθεται για το επιχειρηματικό του ρίσκο, πρέπει να ντρέπεστε που εξασφαλίζετε το κέρδος ιδιωτών επιχειρηματιών από το δημόσιο, αυτό είναι ο ορισμός της ληστείας.

Όταν είχα ρωτήσει τον Βόλφγκανγκ Σόιμπλε αν θα έδινε ποτέ 14 γερμανικά αεροδρόμια σε μια κρατική εταιρεία άλλης χώρας, μου απάντησε: «σε καμία περίπτωση», κι όταν στη συνέχεια τον ρώτησα «και γιατί βάζετε εμάς να το κάνουμε;» Σήκωσε απλώς τους ώμους του σαν να λέει «ίσα κι όμοια είμαστε;». Σαν να λέει δηλαδή είσαστε κράτος υπό κατοχή και αυτό ήρθατε εσείς του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ και το επιβεβαιώσατε.

Ακόμα και πρώην Υπουργοί της Θάτσερ λένε πως τα όσα συμβαίνουν σε αυτή τη χώρα είναι ανήκουστα. Τη στιγμή που έχουμε και τον απόλυτο εξευτελισμό του κοινοβουλευτισμού. Δίνετε χρήματα που δεν έχει καν ο ελληνικός λαός στη Fraport. Δεν είστε νεοφιλελεύθεροι, θεραπαινίδες, ξεδιάντροπων αποικιοκρατών είστε. Αν ζούσε ο Κωνσταντίνος Καραμανλής και ο Ανδρέας Παπανδρέου θα σας καταριόνταν γι’ αυτά που κάνετε.

Το σημερινό αίσχος όμως είναι η «φυσιολογική» εξέλιξη της αποικιοκρατικής σύμβασης που υπέγραψε ο συνθηκολογημένος ΣΥΡΙΖΑ του 2015.

Υπάρχουν 3 ληστρικές συμβάσεις, θα μείνουν στην ιστορία ως συμβάσεις καθολικής εξάρτησης και υποταγής, αλλά και ως υπενθύμιση της βασικής ήττας του ελληνισμού:

  • Το δάνειο του 1825 από τους αδελφούς Ρικάρντο

  • Το κατοχικό δάνειο που επιβλήθηκε από την Βέρμαχτ

  • Κι η σύμβαση υποταγής στην Fraport, επιβεβαιώνοντας πλήρως τη Χρεοδουλοπαροικία και την υποταγή της χώρας στα μνημόνια.

 

Σήμερα, όσοι ψηφίζετε θετικά, ή κρύβεστε πίσω από ένα δειλό “παρών”, επιλέγετε να καταταγείτε στον βραχύ κατάλογο των δακτυλοδειχτούμενων του μέλλοντος. Έχετε μια τελευταία ευκαιρία: Καταφηφίστε όπως καταψηφίζει το ΜέΡΑ25!

The post FRAPORT: H Μεγάλη Ληστεία με υπογραφή τρόικας, ΝΔ, ΣΥΡΙΖΑ που θα μείνει στην Ιστορία μαζί με το δάνειο από τους Αδελφούς Ρικάρντο & το Κατοχικό Δάνειο appeared first on Yanis Varoufakis.

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