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Laura Kalbag – The cost of access
Why has surveillance capitalism become so prevalent? It’s because the cis straight non-disabled white wealthy men who control the majority of technology are the least vulnerable to the monetisation of their personal information. They can afford special security and privacy measures. They can afford to pay for expensive access rather than being forced to sell their personal information.
I often try to sell accessibility by explaining that making the web more usable to people with disabilities, you invariably make the web more usable for everyone. The same goes for our ethical alternatives to mainstream technology. If we make, participate, support and fund inclusive alternatives, we will all benefit.
design  information  accessibility  ***  access  data  surveillance  capitalism  politics 
july 2018 by gpe
All That's Solid Melts Into Airports -
This all might sound preposterous: my class spent a full week on this article. I tell my students the point of such an exercise—well, it isn’t an exercise at all—is to slow down and read closely what we are not supposed to. This sort of article is intended for quick digestion and internalization. But I’m showing my students how to stick with something that asks to be disposed of quickly. I’ve stuck with airports and air travel for over fifteen years now—writing, thinking, teaching, critiquing—and I’m more intrigued and baffled by these spaces than ever. We know that commercial airlines are unflappable about their reliance on a strict class system: they brazenly calls certain people “Elite” while relegating others to “Economy”—a not so subtle dig at the true base of this whole enterprise. But when we project this normalized state of affairs out into the near future, what do we see?

Airports of the future? Sure, makes total sense. Common sense. But airports as animate, appetitive agents who feed off the paltry incomes of petit bourgeoisies, only to metastasize and grow larger and larger, biometric scanning bodies who read and consume people, only in order to grow their own tumorous tendrils and limbs? Jetways extending upon jetways, shop-laden terminals leading to nowhere while operating like gigantic ATMs? What Ozymandian future are we building? Is this the future we will choose, as the makers of airplanes and airports? It doesn’t have to be. But for it not to be, we need to acknowledge our complicity in this, and disentangle the strong threads of capitalist fantasy woven around our airports as they are, and as we plod forward into our as yet uncertain future, as a very real species partaking in evolution on this planet that is, itself, airborne.
critique  aeriality  futurism  bloomberg  ****  airport  capitalism 
april 2018 by gpe
How does the socialist left build a mass plan to take back the country? Flu shots and brake lights.
This style of activism, where locals share resources and skills, is traditionally called “mutual aid.” One of the most famous examples in recent American history is Black Panther’s Free Breakfast for Children program of the late 1960s, where black liberationists organized hot meals to be served to underfed children. Mutual aid steps in where government has purportedly failed — provocations that show the failures in a system that needs, in the eyes of democratic socialists, to be radically revised.

For leftists in America, this means mending the holes that, if left unattended, lead to sickness, poverty and, especially, incarceration. In NYC, Black Lives Matter activists have stood at subway entrances to hand out free rides on the s
leftist  protest  critique  democratic  **  capitalism  leftism  socialism  mutual.aid  dsa  democracy 
february 2018 by gpe
How Feminist Artists Reclaimed Futura from New York’s Mad Men
This oversaturation in the commercial sphere, says Thomas, made it a perfect tool for artists criticizing runaway capitalism. “Futura is the lingua franca of 20th-century advertising,” he explains. “So if you’re trying to critique commercialism, what better than to use the same visual language as the advertisers themselves?” Women artists were particularly adept at using the tools of advertising (including their typefaces) to critique its structures. “I think it’s a helpful corrective,” Thomas continues. “If you think of 1950s ‘Mad men’ using Futura to target women in a stereotypical housewife mold, I think it’s very significant that in the 1980s and ’90s, Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, and the Guerrilla Girls were turning these typographic messages back on advertisers.”
The Guerrilla Girls did this explicitly by creating posters with headlines like “When Racism & Sexism Are No Longer Fashionable, What Will Your Art Collection Be Worth?” and “Do women have to be naked to get Into the Met Museum?” (both from 1989). Using a potent mix of humor, statistics, and Futura Bold Extra Condensed, the Guerrilla Girls aimed for a wide audience. Like advertising, their work was mass-market, provocative, and ultimately disposable.
futura  typography  capitalism  ***  feminism  20thcentury  art  history  advertising  20th.century  critique 
february 2018 by gpe
What It Means to Be on the Left
The socialist project, for me, is about something more than just immediate demands for more jobs, or higher wages, or universal social programs, or shorter hours. It’s about those things. But it’s also about transcending, and abolishing, much of what we think defines our identities and our way of life.

It is about the abolition of class as such. This means the abolition of capitalist wage labor, and therefore the abolition of “the working class” as an identity and a social phenomenon. Which isn’t the same as the abolition of work in its other senses, as socially necessary or personally fulfilling labor.

It is about the abolition of “race,” that biologically fictitious, and yet socially overpowering idea. A task that is inseparable from the abolition of class, however much contemporary liberals might like to distract us from that reality.

As David Roediger details in his recent essay collection on Class, Race, and Marxism, much of the forgotten history of terms like “white privilege” originated with communists, who wrestled with the problem of racism not to avoid class politics but to facilitate it. People like Claudia Jones, or Theodore Allen, whose masterwork, The Invention of the White Race, was, as Roediger observes, borne of “a half century of radical organizing, much of it specifically in industry.”
reform  leftism  jacobin  socialism  capitalism  economics  marxism  ****  leftist  philosophy 
february 2018 by gpe
How to Be an Anticapitalist Today
There is thus an inherent tension between the real and the utopian. It is precisely this tension which the idea of a “real utopia” is meant to capture. The point is to sustain our deepest aspirations for a just and humane world that does not exist while also engaging in the practical task of building real-world alternatives that can be constructed in the world as it is that also prefigure the world as it could be and which help move us in that direction.

Real utopias thus transform the no-where of utopia into the now-here of creating emancipatory alternatives of the world as it could be in the world as it is.
leftism  capitalism  politics  cooperatives  wikipedia  cooperative  *****  jacobin  library  policy  socialism  utopianism  ubi 
january 2018 by gpe
King John, Act II, Scene 1 :|: Open Source Shakespeare                
Philip the Bastard. Mad world! mad kings! mad composition!
John, to stop Arthur's title in the whole,
Hath willingly departed with a part,
And France, whose armour conscience buckled on,
Whom zeal and charity brought to the field 880
As God's own soldier, rounded in the ear
With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil,
That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith,
That daily break-vow, he that wins of all,
Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids, 885
Who, having no external thing to lose
But the word 'maid,' cheats the poor maid of that,
That smooth-faced gentleman, tickling Commodity,
Commodity, the bias of the world,
The world, who of itself is peised well, 890
Made to run even upon even ground,
Till this advantage, this vile-drawing bias,
This sway of motion, this Commodity,
Makes it take head from all indifferency,
From all direction, purpose, course, intent: 895
And this same bias, this Commodity,
This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,
Clapp'd on the outward eye of fickle France,
Hath drawn him from his own determined aid,
From a resolved and honourable war, 900
To a most base and vile-concluded peace.
And why rail I on this Commodity?
But for because he hath not woo'd me yet:
Not that I have the power to clutch my hand,
When his fair angels would salute my palm; 905
But for my hand, as unattempted yet,
Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich.
Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail
And say there is no sin but to be rich;
And being rich, my virtue then shall be 910
To say there is no vice but beggary.
Since kings break faith upon commodity,
Gain, be my lord, for I will worship thee.
poverty  capitalism  criticism  shakespeare  marxism  speech  **** 
october 2017 by gpe
Knock the Hustle —Jacobin Magazine “Tidal founder Jay-Z. Mikamote / Wikimedia Take him at his word: he’s not a businessman, he’s a business, man.”
Jay-Z’s Tidal is only one example of the music industry’s turn to the sharing economy ethos, but it deserves outsized flack given its branding and PR rhetoric: the superstar owners masked the platform’s anti-artist coup with power-to-the-people messaging. Like their cousins Uber and Airbnb, streaming services have turned the labor force they rely on — artists — into desperate micro-entrepreneurs who compete for an ever-decreasing share of already meager rewards. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley grifters get rich, riding a wave of venture-funded growth.
music  ***  sharing  sharing_economy  jacobin  art  economics  capitalism 
august 2017 by gpe
Centuries in Sorry —The New Inquiry ““We do heartily ask forgiveness of you all, whom we have justly offended” The apology of the Salem jury, 1697   “Last night was a particularly long night as I regret the word I used in the banter of a live m
The qualities of an effective public apology—acknowledgement of wrongs done, acceptance of responsibility, expression of regret—are now taught in business schools and consultants are often brought in to help powerful individuals (particularly those like Maher that function as agents of white supremacy, patriarchy, capital, and the State) calibrate their remorse and its expression, always with minimal investment and maximum benefit to the apologizer. Even when a public apology gives off the cool heat of consideration or the raw impression of true anguish, the apology’s function is primarily optical, serving to recast reality in a way more favorable to the injurious agent and, often, to control the range of the injured parties’ responses.
business  ***  accountability  apology  new.inquiry  emotions  capitalism 
august 2017 by gpe
The Problem Is Capital —Jacobin Magazine “Dave Center / Flickr The United States is an enormously wealthy country. In 2015, total household wealth stood at $71.3 trillion.”
If we want to get serious about creating a fair and egalitarian society, we must confront capital directly. Wage levels are important. Benefit levels are important. But getting those things right will not be enough so long as nearly one-third of the national income flows out passively to a handful of people at the top of society.

Current liberal efforts to tackle wealth inequality are woefully inadequate. Policies aimed at building the assets of low-income families, the typical approach to this issue, rarely succeed on their own terms and even if they did succeed, would only be an insignificant drop in the bucket. For wealth and capital income to become more fairly distributed throughout society, the ownership of existing assets must be reordered toward that end.
jacobin  wealth  ****  politics  inequality  economics  capitalism 
august 2017 by gpe
Management theory is becoming a compendium of dead ideas
The similarities between medieval Christianity and the world of management theory may not be obvious, but seek and ye shall find. Management theorists sanctify capitalism in much the same way that clergymen of yore sanctified feudalism. Business schools are the cathedrals of capitalism. Consultants are its travelling friars. Just as the clergy in the Middle Ages spoke in Latin to give their words an air of authority, management theorists speak in mumbo-jumbo. The medieval clergy’s sale of indulgences, by which believers could effectively buy forgiveness of their sins, is echoed by management theorists selling fads that will solve all your business problems. Lately, another similarity has emerged. The gurus have lost touch with the world they seek to rule. Management theory is ripe for a Reformation of its own.

Management theories are organised around four basic ideas, repeated ad nauseam in every business book you read or business conference you attend, that bear almost no relation to reality. The first idea is that business is more competitive than ever.
management  counterintuitive  critique  capitalism  politics  2016  economist  religion 
january 2017 by gpe
The global city -- Saskia Sassen
Saskia Sassen is the leading urban theorist of the global world. (Here are several prior posts that intersect with her work.) Her The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo (1991) has shaped the concepts and methods that other theorists have used to analyze the role of cities and their networks in the contemporary world. The core ideas in her theory of the global city are presented in a 2005 article, "The Global City: Introducing a Concept" (link). This article is a convenient place to gain an understanding of her basic approach to the subject.

Key to Sassen's concept of the global city is an emphasis on the flow of information and capital. Cities are major nodes in the interconnected systems of information and money, and the wealth that they capture is intimately related to the specialized businesses that facilitate those flows -- financial institutions, consulting firms, accounting firms, law firms, and media organizations. Sassen points out that these flows are no longer tightly bound to national boundaries and systems of regulation; so the dynamics of the global city are dramatically different than those of the great cities of the nineteenth century.

Sassen emphasizes the importance of creating new conceptual resources for making sense of urban systems and their global networks -- a new conceptual architecture, as she calls it (28). She argues for seven fundamental hypotheses about the modern global city:

The geographic dispersal of economic activities that marks globalization, along with the simultaneous integration of such geographically dispersed activities, is a key factor feeding the growth and importance of central corporate functions.
These central functions become so complex that increasingly the headquarters of large global firms outsource them: they buy a share of their central functions from highly specialized service firms.
Those specialized service firms engaged in the most complex and globalized markets are subject to agglomeration economies.
The more headquarters outsource their most complex, unstandardized functions, particularly those subject to uncertain and changing markets, the freer they are to opt for any location.
These specialized service firms need to provide a global service which has meant a global network of affiliates ... and a strengthening of cross border city-to-city transactions and networks.
The economic fortunes of these cities become increasingly disconnected from their broader hinterlands or even their national economies.
One result of the dynamics described in hypothesis six, is the growing informalization of a range of economic activities which find their effective demand in these cities, yet have profit rates that do not allow them to compete for various resources with the high-profit making firms at the top of the system. (28-30)

Three key tendencies seem to follow from these structural facts about global cities. One is a concentration of wealth in the hands of owners, partners, and professionals associated with the high-end firms in this system. Second is a growing disconnection between the city and its region. And third is the growth of a large marginalized population that has a very hard time earning a living in the marketplace defined by these high-end activities. Rather than constituting an economic engine that gradually elevates the income and welfare of the whole population, the modern global city funnels global surpluses into the hands of a global elite dispersed over a few dozen global cities.
urbanism  global.city  globalization  capitalism  ****  development  london  newyork  philosophy 
september 2016 by gpe
Why You Can Thank the Government for Your iPhone | TIME
“Every major technological change in recent years traces most of its funding back to the state,” says Mazzucato. Even “early stage” private-sector VCs come in much later, after the big breakthroughs have been made. For example, she notes, “The National Institutes of Health have spent almost a trillions dollars since their founding on the research that created both the pharmaceutical and the biotech sectors–with venture capitalists only entering biotech once the red carpet was laid down in the 1980s. We pretend that the government was at best just in the background creating the basic conditions (skills, infrastructure, basic science). But the truth is that the involvement required massive risk taking along the entire innovation chain: basic research, applied research and early stage financing of companies themselves.” The Silicon Valley VC model, which has typically dictated that financiers exit within 5 years or so, simply isn’t patient enough to create game changing innovation.

Mazzucato’s book cites powerful data and anecdotes. The parts of the smart phone that make it smart—GPS, touch screens, the Internet—were advanced by the Defense Department. Tesla’s battery technologies and solar panels came out of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Google’s search engine algorithm was boosted by a National Science Foundation innovation. Many innovative new drugs have come out of NIH research.
capitalism  government  entrepreneur  silicon.valley  technology  innovation  ****  funding  time 
september 2016 by gpe
Stone-Soup for the Capitalist’s Soul
There is something quintessentially European about Stone Soup. There is individualist hustling, a fluid conception of the relationship between the rich and poor, and an energizing element of the paradoxical (represented by the stone or axe-head: is it necessary ingredient or not?).

And speaking of Scrooge-types, it is also very unlike that other European fable of wealth and community, A Christmas Carol, which ironically (despite its overt Christian context) is not particularly European in spirit.

Both fables offer implicit commentaries on the nature of the relationship between wealth and community, but I’ve concluded that A Christmas Carol is fundamentally wrong-headed. It is based on a characteristically religious incomprehension of wealth creation as a sort of de facto sinful black-box process, for which absolution must be sought, either during or after the act. The incomprehension leads to the conflation of wealth and corruption caused by wealth. A Christmas Carol suggests that the rich ought to unilaterally share out of a sense of compassion, empathy, charity, moral duty and yes, guilt. In other words, it limits itself to challenging just the moral authority of the rich. The poor for their part, are forced to accept the demeaning status of recipients of charity.

Stone Soup on the other hand, challenges both the moral and intellectual authority of the rich, and is ultimately a more satisfying tale because of it.
class  economics  fun  storytelling  *****  capitalism 
september 2016 by gpe
Jacobin
Capitalism is an extremist ideology. We have forgotten this in America, where the economic system that’s stifled our democracy and bankrupted our communities is presented to us from birth as right, inevitable, enduring, and unquestionable.

For many, a just and well-functioned government is hard to imagine after years of political gridlock and corruption. I recognize that it’s asking a lot to imagine that things could be different, much less better. We’ve been conditioned to accept that the state is inherently incompetent, that free markets are inherently optimal, and that private wealth and consumption are the only drivers of growth. These pernicious fallacies are self-fulfilling prophecies. We must end them by ending our belief in them.
capitalism  socialism  politics  twitter  *** 
march 2015 by gpe
The case for faculty self-governance | An und für sich
As Gerry Canavan has eloquently pointed out, the perpetual crisis mentality of higher ed is an indication that the very large and expensive management class that has taken over universities in recent decades is an utter failure. Well-managed universities should not need significant “flexibility” in their course offerings semester to semester, for example, nor should they be blindsided by demographic trends that were easily predictable decades ahead of time. Gerry notes, of course, that the apparent “failure” of the autonomous administration class actually reflects a success on another level: they want to destroy the traditional university, and using constant crises to force budget cuts is a great way to destroy anything.
administration  management  public-policy  ****  politics  capitalism  crisis  academic-culture  education 
february 2015 by gpe
Instagram Deal Is Billion-Dollar Move Toward Cellphone From PC - NYTimes.com
“People are living in the moment and they want to share in the moment,” Professor Sundar said. “Mobile gives you that immediacy and convenience.”
nytimes  facebook  social.media  mobile  cell.phone  ***  2012  capitalism  trends  future 
april 2012 by gpe
Are radical journals selling out?
Lot more in this article. | "It seems that radical journals can survive and thrive in a conservative era. It is good news. Many of them have intrinsic academic merit. Without them higher education would be impoverished. But it is time to return to some fundamental questions. Are journals the right institutions to pour so much radical time and effort into? What are they trying to achieve? Are they capable of offering alternatives that people can believe in? Today it is harder than ever to bat these questions away with talk of revolutionary negation or the necessity of analysis. People are desperate for solutions, for pathways out of the dilemmas of a failing system.

I believe that, over the coming decades, the radical tradition will be reoriented and reimagined in institution-building of another kind. It is towards institutions that deliver housing, jobs, services or even higher education that the radical compass is pointing. The journals will carry on the good fight, questioning and provoking. But we will learn to expect less of them.

So I'II conclude with a different type of dissident institution. Although it has the rather grand title of The Social Science Centre, Lincoln, it is tiny. This not-for-profit co-operative, founded only this year, is attempting to establish "a new model for higher and co-operative education". More specifically, the centre is "designed for students who do not wish to take on the burden of debt currently imposed by the government, but do wish to receive a higher level of education". So far it has 27 members and £360 in the bank. Harvard it ain't. But no matter their scale, such ventures do something important. They show us how things can be done differently."
radical  journal  academic  ****  capitalism  critique  future  trends  education 
february 2012 by gpe
Is Capitalism Fighting Back Against the European Union? - Heather Horn - International - The Atlantic
"One particular modification of Marxist theory that might apply to this case comes from an American academic named Immanuel Wallerstein. Wallerstein's idea of "world-systems analysis" is based on the Marxist notion that our political structures -- in this case, our entire system of states and international relations, our "world-system" -- are all driven by the capitalist "world-economy" we live in. In other words, the political system exists to serve the market system. International relations reproduce an international division of labor. Let's set this up and then return to David Cameron to see how it all fits together.

One common element between Marx and Wallerstein is that profit pretty much depends upon exploitation of some variety. Marx's argument, considerably simplified, includes the claim that once you get rid of technological advantage, the only way for a factory-owner to turn a profit while competing against other factory-owners is to squeeze so-called "surplus value" out of the factory workers, i.e. pay them less relative to what they are required to produce. What Wallerstein argues is that profit, on an international scale, depends upon temporary "quasi-monopolies" that allow a company or industry to squeeze some other element of the economy. You only get quasi-monopolies in strong states. Thus, the profitable industries get located in strong states, and in fact encourage the development of strong states. The truly competitive processes -- for example, cotton production in India in the 18th and 19th centuries -- get located in the "periphery," where weak or nonexistent state structures mean the territory is dominated by state or corporate agents from the core states."
state  politics  government  capitalism  critique  marxism  economics  globalization  ***  the.atlantic  2011 
december 2011 by gpe
Worker-Owners of America, Unite! - NYTimes.com
"THE Occupy Wall Street protests have come and mostly gone, and whether they continue to have an impact or not, they have brought an astounding fact to the public’s attention: a mere 1 percent of Americans own just under half of the country’s financial assets and other investments. America, it would seem, is less equitable than ever, thanks to our no-holds-barred capitalist system.

But at another level, something different has been quietly brewing in recent decades: more and more Americans are involved in co-ops, worker-owned companies and other alternatives to the traditional capitalist model. We may, in fact, be moving toward a hybrid system, something different from both traditional capitalism and socialism, without anyone even noticing."
toread  ****  capitalism  socialism  future  cooperatives  usa  2011  nyt  economics  policy 
december 2011 by gpe
Cheat Sheet: What’s Happened to the Big Players in the Financial Crisis - ProPublica
"...here’s a quick refresher on what’s happened to some of the main players, whose behavior, whether merely reckless or downright deliberate, helped cause or worsen the meltdown. This list isn’t exhaustive -- feel welcome to add to it."
economics  2008  2011  politics  finance  capitalism  usa 
december 2011 by gpe
America Beyond Capitalism | Dollars & Sense
"The “Cleveland Model” now underway in that city involves an integrated complex of worker-owned cooperative enterprises targeted in significant part at the $3 billion purchasing power of such large scale “anchor institutions” as the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital, and Case Western Reserve University. The complex also includes a revolving fund so that profits made by the businesses help establish new ventures as time goes on."
socialism  cleveland  labor  cooperative  capitalism  critique  ****  toread  usa  2011 
december 2011 by gpe
Is Modern Capitalism Sustainable? - Kenneth Rogoff - Project Syndicate
"Fourth, today’s capitalist systems vastly undervalue the welfare of unborn generations. For most of the era since the Industrial Revolution, this has not mattered, as the continuing boon of technological advance has trumped short-sighted policies. By and large, each generation has found itself significantly better off than the last. But, with the world’s population surging above seven billion, and harbingers of resource constraints becoming ever more apparent, there is no guarantee that this trajectory can be maintained."
capitalism  sustainability  economics  marxism  future  trends  children  *** 
december 2011 by gpe
The Future of the Left - We Go To Sleep And Drown Our Sorrows In Consumption | The European Magazine
From an interview:

The European: Let’s take labor as an example. For many, the labor movement seems to be an example of a force on the left that has lost its vision, and is desperately trying to sugarcoat the inevitable, to borrow your phrase. How should the progressive envision labor’s struggle?
Unger: The first problem is the denial to the majority of the labor force, even in the richest and most even countries, of access to the advanced sectors of learning and of production. Solving this problem requires a form of strategic coordination between governments and firms which is decentralized, pluralistic and experimental. A second step would be to innovate in the legal and institutional arrangements of the market economy so that it is not fastened to a single version of itself. Alternate regimes of property and contract coexisting in the same economy to the end that more people have more access to more markets in more ways.

And then, as the horizon, a fundamental change in the nature of work and production. All the liberal and socialist thinkers of the 19th century understood that wage labor is a compromise, and retains many of the aspects of slavery and serfdom. There are two other forms of labor, self-employment and cooperation, and combined in some way they could help solve the problems of scale and wage labor could become the residual rather than the dominant form of free labor. The other aspect of this yet distant change in the nature of work is a shift in the relation between people and machines. The whole purpose of having machines is that people can be different from machines. We ought to use machines to do for us anything that is repeatable, so that the whole of our lives can be reserved for the not yet repeatable.
politics  socialism  liberalism  progressive  europe  usa  labor  innovation  future  trends  democracy  government  interview  ****  capitalism  critique 
december 2011 by gpe
Civilization was once a popular subject.
A brilliant column from the Jacobin. | "To be done then, with social democracy in practice and in aspiration. We must shut our ears to the civilizationists’ plaintive death warbles. As Guatemalan President Juan Jose Arevalo said (as quoted by Corey Robin in The Reactionary Mind): “We are socialists because we live in the twentieth century.” Following Arevalo, I think we can begin to periodize social-democracy. That is, to bury it. The time of the industrial unions is over, the workers’ parties as well. If the annual Shirley Jackson special that is Black Friday tells us anything, it’s that we live amidst actually existing barbarism. The twentieth century made its choice, we won’t get the same question.

To be clear, as Evan names his blog, that choice was always socialism and/or barbarism – we got some of each. We witness the savagery of civilization every day, it looks just like the photogenic Linda Katehi. Public servants (state university employees, no less) attack kids, while the offending forces of anarchy hold each other tight and scream. When you push it a little, civil society is a warm glass of capsicum.

This isn’t an argument for novelty for novelty’s sake. As people who study history are good at explaining, nothing new ever really happens. I’m sure there was a pirate ship or a Quaker colony or something that used the same organizational model as OWS. No one’s claiming to have invented horizontalism or the critique of representative democracy, nor would it matter if they had. The important thing is that, raised in a tunnel of neon bulbs, we’re still able to recognize natural light when we see a trickle of it."
capitalism  critique  civilization  ***  toread  marxism  revolution  socialism  history 
november 2011 by gpe
How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests | Politics News | Rolling Stone
Taibbi's great wrangling over what OWS means. | "What both sides missed is that OWS is tired of all of this. They don't care what we think they're about, or should be about. They just want something different.

We're all born wanting the freedom to imagine a better and more beautiful future. But modern America has become a place so drearily confining and predictable that it chokes the life out of that built-in desire. Everything from our pop culture to our economy to our politics feels oppressive and unresponsive. We see 10 million commercials a day, and every day is the same life-killing chase for money, money and more money; the only thing that changes from minute to minute is that every tick of the clock brings with it another space-age vendor dreaming up some new way to try to sell you something or reach into your pocket. The relentless sameness of the two-party political system is beginning to feel like a Jacob's Ladder nightmare with no end; we're entering another turn on the four-year merry-go-round, and the thought of having to try to get excited about yet another minor quadrennial shift in the direction of one or the other pole of alienating corporate full-of-shitness is enough to make anyone want to smash his own hand flat with a hammer.

If you think of it this way, Occupy Wall Street takes on another meaning. There's no better symbol of the gloom and psychological repression of modern America than the banking system, a huge heartless machine that attaches itself to you at an early age, and from which there is no escape."
ows  taibbi  rolling.stone  protest  usa  2011  banking  finance  capitalism  ***** 
november 2011 by gpe
Pepper spray nation - Opinion - Al Jazeera English
"In short, real-world markets favour the non-market approach as more efficient! This really shouldn't be so surprising, considering how much Medicare drives down prices, for example. Whatever the field, private oligopolies will capture massive unearned rents, unless there's at least a vigorous public option to compete with them, and force their prices back down to genuinely competitive levels. The last thing in the world that private oligopolies want is a competitive-free market.

If one looks again at the Board of Regents, one sees that it's packed with oligopoly capitalists, well insulated from the rough-and-tumble of the idealised competitive marketplace that conservatives rhapsodise over. Both the actual capitalists and the idealised marketplace are far removed from everyday reality - as far removed as any theocracy on Earth.

Indeed, market fundamentalists are like any other fundamentalists: sacrificing the lives of their young in the self-deluded service of their gods. And that's the real bottom line behind the pepper spray video, and pepper spray nation for which it stands."
al.jazeera  op-ed  capitalism  market  economics  california  ucdavis  ows  2011  ***  incarceration  history  protest  war 
november 2011 by gpe
Subsidies in the air | The Economist
"Ignoring Mr Byers’s overblown rhetoric, there are just two credible arguments for Airbus launch aid. One is that the consortium’s only rival, Boeing, receives covert subsidies from the American taxpayer, and that the world would be worse off if Airbus were unable to compete at the top end of the market. This argument also underlies the 1992 standstill agreement between the Americans and the Europeans setting limits on launch-aid subsidies. Yet Airbus no longer needs “infant-industry” protection now that it is becoming a proper public company, so it would be far more sensible for both sides to agree to get rid of competing subsidies altogether. The temptation otherwise will be for each to cheat by offering more generous support than the agreement allows (Mr Byers, suspiciously, refuses to set out the detailed terms of the BAE Systems deal).

The second argument is that big civil-airliner projects are so expensive and risky that, without government support, they would never be financed at all. But such an argument sits ill with the assertion that taxpayers are sure to get their money back—a claim which, if true, simply invites the question of why the market cannot finance the A3XX. More generally, the argument hugely underestimates today’s capital markets, which have willingly financed not only the Channel Tunnel but also plenty of Hollywood movies and dubious Internet-related businesses, many of which look even more unlikely to yield a profit than does the A3XX.

Government claims about jobs created or saved through support for Airbus and Rover also lack credibility, especially at a time of generally low unemployment and tight labour markets. Any subsidy carries an opportunity cost: using the money in some other way would have had an impact on jobs too. Claims about jobs are also undermined by the lack of a counterfactual: nobody knows what would have happened without the subsidy."
taxes  subsidy  government  europe  usa  2011  industry  capitalism  state  economics  boeing  airbus  aviation  the.economist 
november 2011 by gpe
The 147 Companies That Control Everything - Forbes
When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group."
capitalism  forbes  economics  globalization  corporation  *** 
october 2011 by gpe
Tom Ferguson: Congress is a “Coin Operated Stalemate Machine” « naked capitalism
"The system …ensures that national party campaigns rest heavily on slogan-filled, fabulously expensive lowest-common-denominator appeals to collections of affluent special interests. The Congress of our New Gilded Age is far from the best Congress money can buy; it may well be the worst. It is a coin-operated stalemate machine that is now so dysfunctional that it threatens the good name of representative democracy itself."
congress  politics  government  2011  capitalism  quotation 
october 2011 by gpe
A Highlight and Note by Tom Watson from Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President
"In 1980 the richest 1 percent of Americans received about 9 percent of overall income, roughly the same level it had been since World War II. By 2007 it was 23 percent—an income disparity not seen in the United States since 1928, a time of Robber Baron wealth, stock manipulation schemes, and vast poverty, where more than half of America still lived on farms and survived, with little security, off the land."
economics  history  usa  capitalism  inequality  poverty  wealth  *****  quotation  book  amazon 
september 2011 by gpe
Cars are the most socialist transportation | The Albert Lea Tribune
"“Since bicycling and walking impose lower roadway costs than motorized modes, people who rely primarily on nonmotorized modes tend to overpay their fair share of roadway costs and subsidize motorists.”<br />
<br />
The study found that “in 2002, $27.9 billion were spent on U.S. local roads, of which only $3.1 billion was from user fees.”<br />
<br />
That means the other $24.8 billion were paid through taxes that everyone pays — a true case of motorist socialism.<br />
<br />
There’s more: Subsidies are given to oil companies. Automakers have received government bailouts. Government funds health care expenses related to pollution from exhaust. Cars themselves promote a sedentary lifestyle, which could be argued to be health care cost, too. Taxpayers pay the cost of hiring civil engineers at every level of government. Let’s not forget the government labor expense for law enforcement to enforce rules for motorized vehicles."
automobile  taxation  taxes  government  socialism  capitalism  **  counterintuitive  driving  transportation  mobility 
september 2011 by gpe
BBC News - A Point of View: The revolution of capitalism
"Capitalism has led to a revolution but not the one that Marx expected. The fiery German thinker hated the bourgeois life and looked to communism to destroy it. And just as he predicted, the bourgeois world has been destroyed.<br />
<br />
But it wasn't communism that did the deed. It's capitalism that has killed off the bourgeoisie."
marx  marxism  capitalism  future  history  economics  2011  bbc  **  philosophy 
september 2011 by gpe
Legal taxis ferry illegal immigrants to work in Georgia - latimes.com
[from bfunk] Legal taxis ferry illegal immigrants to work in Georgia - latimes.com:
la.times  immigration  georgia  usa  mexico  business  capitalism  *** 
august 2011 by gpe
How Obama Saved Capitalism and Lost the Midterms
"...more than anything, the fact that the president took on the structural flaws of a broken free enterprise system instead of focusing on things that the average voter could understand explains why his party was routed
...
The three signature accomplishments of his first 2 years—a health care law that will make life easier for millions of people, financial reform that attempts to level the playing field with Wall Street, and the $814 billion stimulus package—have all been recast as big government blunders, rejected by the emerging majority.

But each of them, in its way, should strengthen the system. The health law will hold costs down, while giving millions the chance at getting care, according to the nonpartisan CBO. Financial reform seeks to prevent the kind of meltdown that caused the global economic collapse. And the stimulus, though it drastically raised the deficit, saved about 3 million jobs, again according to the CBO. It also gave a majority of taxpayers a one-time cut..."
politics  obama  economics  capitalism  economy  nyt  business  op-ed  counterintuitive  election  **  2010  healthcare  finance  reform 
december 2010 by gpe
From N.Y. Jets to Boise State, sports-themed planes take off
Oh, brother. | "Despite the novelty appeal in Bozeman, however, the Montana State aircraft is not the first university-themed aircraft to fly for Horizon. In fact, it's Horizon's eighth, joining seven additional aircraft that are painted in the colors of other universities.

And it's not just college sports logos taking to the air these days. Fliers are increasingly likely to find themselves on sports-themed aircraft on a number of airlines."
airplane  color  sports  capitalism  *  usa.today 
december 2010 by gpe
Sugar coats this hunger for the past
"...I asked about the wonderful cakes of his ancestors. "Ah, the baklava," Malouf said regretfully. "Very complicated. All those layers of filo pastry, the chopping of nuts, the honey that needs to be spread."

The opposite of the cupcake then, which spend 12 minutes in the oven and where the skill lies entirely in the decoration that can be achieved in a few seconds at the end. Appearance is all, or nearly so: the perfect cake for commerce, the perfect cake for our times."
food  capitalism  london  critique  **  guardian 
august 2010 by gpe
Cupcake Gentrification
"...according to Dr. Kathe Newman, a lecturer at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, it turns out that a spatial analysis of cupcake proliferation could also reveal the flow of capital investment in cities."
food  culture  capitalism  neoliberal  gentrification  geography  space  cartography  mapping  economics  urbanism  ** 
august 2010 by gpe
Don't forget your passport ... or your credit card
"It has taken two decades to plan, 20,000 workers to build and cost an unprecedented £4.3bn. But until now, the doors to the retail space at Terminal 5, Heathrow airport, which opens next month, have been firmly closed to the media, amid criticisms that the terminal is destined to be little more than a glorified shopping mall. Given the first glimpse inside this week, the Guardian discovered that shopping will indeed be an integral part of the experience for the 27 million passengers expected to pass through the airport's gates each year.

The operator, BAA - which has built the terminal for the exclusive use of British Airways - says that only 5% of the overall space is devoted to retail. That figure belies its breathtaking scale. Its 22,000 square metres of shops and restaurants will increase Heathrow's total retail space by half."
commerce  guardian  heathrow  london  2008  terminal  ***  shopping  capitalism  dissertation  economics  airport 
august 2010 by gpe
David Harvey: The Right to the City
Surprised I haven't saved this yet. It's great. | "The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from that of what kind of social ties, relationship to nature, lifestyles, technologies and aesthetic values we desire. The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights."
dissertation  *****  urbanism  politics  marxism  david.harvey  capitalism  geography  history  theory  new.left.review 
august 2010 by gpe
Why we’re building that new terminal at McCarran
Logic of capitalism. | "McCarran cannot continually serve 40-plus million travelers without expanding. Las Vegas has added more than 11,500 hotel rooms since McCarran last added space in 2008. The community has grown, and so must its airport.

Exceeding customers’ expectations is critical. Las Vegas relies on leisure and convention travelers, none of whom is obligated to return. Travelers who associate a city’s airport with overcrowding or unwieldy delays are more likely to take future trips elsewhere.

Airports from Atlanta to San Jose, Calif., are investing heavily to expand and modernize. Local businesses have spent billions of dollars to attract visitors; those investments would quickly unravel should McCarran leave a negative impression. Failing to maintain an attractive, modern and efficient airport would unquestionably cost Las Vegas visitors."
globalization  capitalism  airport  expansion  las.vegas  *****  dissertation  2010  mccarran  economics 
august 2010 by gpe
Eat, Pray, Spend | Bitch Magazine
"Winfrey’s advice moves women away from...agency by promoting materialism & dependency masked as empowerment."
feminism  books  women  culture  literature  consumerism  money  capitalism  race  ** 
august 2010 by gpe
Bourne v. Bond deconstructed
In today's world, that organization man who looked up to James Bond as a kind of avatar of his hopes and dreams, no longer exists.

Who is our generations James Bond? Jason Bourne. He can't trust his employer, who demanded ultimate loyalty and gave nothing in return. In fact, his employer is outsourcing his work to a bunch of foreign contractors who presumably work for less and ask fewer questions. Oh, and like the modern, (sub)urban professional, Bourne had to mortgage his entire future to get that education. They took everything he had, and promised that if he gave himself up to the System, in return the System would take care of him.
via:nelson  modernism  literature  film  2000s  1960s  history  globalization  capitalism  bourne  *****  ask.metafilter  bond 
july 2010 by gpe
Mapping Conspiracy | Cartographies of the Absolute
"To conclude by returning to Jameson, there is a quote from his cognitive mapping essay that seems particularly appropriate here: ‘successful spatial representation today need not be some uplifting socialist-realist drama of revolutionary triumph but may be equally inscribed in a narrative of defeat, which sometimes, even more effectively, causes the whole architectonic of postmodern global space to rise up in ghostly profile behind itself, as some ultimate dialectical barrier or invisible limit.’[xvii] In both The International and Lombardi’s drawings, as well as in a show like The Wire to take another example, it is a double sense of failure – the failure of reform and the failure to transgress certain established epistemological limits – that emerges as a unifying theme."
capitalism  film  topography  dissertation  mapping  *****  cartography  cognitive  mindmapping  connectivity  conspiracy  neoliberal 
june 2010 by gpe
Football: a dear friend to capitalism | Terry Eagleton
"If every rightwing thinktank came up with a scheme to distract the populace from political injustice and compensate them for lives of hard labour, the solution in each case would be the same: football. No finer way of resolving the problems of capitalism has been dreamed up, bar socialism. And in the tussle between them, football is several light years ahead.

Modern societies deny men and women the experience of solidarity, which football provides to the point of collective delirium."

...

Like some austere religious faith, the game determines what you wear, whom you associate with, what anthems you sing and what shrine of transcendent truth you worship at. Along with television, it is the supreme solution to that age-old dilemma of our political masters: what should we do with them when they're not working?"
socialism  capitalism  philosophy  false.consciousness  guardian  soccer  sports  world.cup  2010  op-ed  ****  marxism  via:rgreco 
june 2010 by gpe
Karl Marx, Enthusiast for Capitalism
"The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life." — Karl Marx
marxism  quotation  capitalism  history  rural  urbanism  adam.smith  economics  farming  yglesias 
january 2010 by gpe
Wikichains
"WikiChains is a website that aims to encourage ethical consumption and transparency in commodity chains. Contemporary capitalism conceals the histories and geographies of most commodities from consumers. Consumers are usually only able to see commodities in the here and now of time and space, and rarely have any opportunities to gaze backwards through the chains of production in order to gain knowledge about the sites of production, transformation, and distribution."
commerce  capitalism  mapping  flows  geography  space  commodity  consumption  production  industry  economy  wiki  mytools  dissertation 
november 2009 by gpe
As the formal economy shrinks, the informal one grows.
As the official economy shrinks, the informal one grows. | "Perhaps the biggest surprise about America’s shadow economy is its size. Long associated with colorful street hawkers in the developing world, the shadow economy makes up a larger portion of the economies of countries like Greece (25 percent) or Mozambique (more than 40 percent) than it does in the US. But because America’s economy is so much bigger, its shadow economy amounts to nearly 8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) – in the ballpark of $1 trillion, estimates Friedrich Schneider, an economics professor at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. That’s bigger than the GDP of Turkey or Australia."
economy  t  economics  csm  usa  capitalism  informal.sector  entrepreneur  growth  poverty 
november 2009 by gpe
New Hollywood
"New Hollywood or post-classical Hollywood, sometimes referred to as the "American New Wave", refers to the time between roughly the mid-1960s (Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate) to the early 1980s (Heaven's Gate, One from the Heart) when a new generation of young filmmakers came to prominence in America, influencing the types of films produced, their production and marketing, and impacted the way major studios approached filmmaking. // The films they made were part of the studio system, and these individuals were not "independent filmmakers", but they introduced subject matter and styles that set them apart from the studio traditions. New Hollywood has also been defined as a broader filmmaking movement influenced by this period, which has been called the “Hollywood renaissance”."
film  wikipedia  history  capitalism  culture  entertainment  tv  1960s  1970s 
november 2009 by gpe
Neil Smith on Foucault and revolution « Foucault blog
"Smith’s position is that Foucault is actually useful in thinking about revolution again (ie., since the 1960s). He argues that Foucault’s position on revolution is (A) misunderstood mainly because of his visits and comments on Iran in 1978/9 and (B) potentially better than Marx’s because whereas Marx’s revolutions were tied to a specific time and place, Foucault’s is “universalized.”"
crampton  foucault  neil.smith  revolution  marx  capitalism  iran  cuba  david.harvey  nigel.thrift 
november 2009 by gpe
Longish read: "Baltimore as World and Representation: Cognitive Mapping and Capitalism in The Wire"
"While the logic of capital is constantly pullulating under the surface of the show’s narrative, The Wire also adroitly portrays the really existing neoliberal city in a manner that shows how often capitalist efficiency is encumbered by everything from election cycles and black ministers associations to nepotism, palace politics, and the conservatism of the silent majority. In the words of Harvey (borrowing from Arrighi), it dramatises on the city-level the dialectical relation between the territorial and capitalist logics of power."
capitalism  urbanism  economics  philosophy  david.simon  david.harvey  theory  the.wire  culture  politics  baltimore  marxism  labor  sociology  dissertation  art  mapping  technology  t 
november 2009 by gpe
Klepto-Capitalism, and How to Fight It
"What we have in the United States is no longer capitalism but klepto-capitalism: a system where publicly traded corporations are run not to produce value for shareholders but to provide loot for a new class of corporate mega-thieves. How do we stop this rampant pilfering, particularly in an era of American politics when at least half the nation's political class is averse to government intervention in the economy? By being as greedy and as smart as the thieves."
economy  capitalism  economics  wealth  television  30.rock  theft  corporation  politics 
november 2009 by gpe
Rentier capitalism
"The beneficiaries of this income are a property-owning social class who play no productive role in the economy themselves but who monopolise the access to physical assets, financial assets and technologies. They make money not from producing anything new themselves, but purely from their ownership of property (which provides a claim to a revenue stream) and dealing in that property."
wikipedia  capitalism  sociology  marxism  economics 
october 2009 by gpe
Boeing Doubles Bet on 787 Scheme That’s 2 Years Late
"Boeing Co.’s decision to put a new assembly line for the 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina, instead of its historic Seattle hub, doubles its bets on a global supply strategy that is more than two years late delivering the plane. // Boeing chose less-unionized South Carolina in part because of frustration with labor strife in Seattle, where four strikes in the past 20 years by the machinists union delayed deliveries. Yet the move also puts further responsibility on a far-flung production network and asks more of relatively inexperienced workers, adding to the risks for the 787, Boeing’s most important project, with $150 billion in orders."
boeing  aircraft  industry  capitalism  south.carolina  seattle  bloomberg  labor  strike  unions  business  news 
october 2009 by gpe
Reality as Special Effect | airoots/eirut
"From a radical Marxist standpoint, notions of equality, social justice and universal rights, disconnected from a critical understanding of the relationship of production that create inequality and injustice in the first place are mere ideological tools, reflective of bourgeois values and relations of exchange. (David Harvey, 2001 pp 272-3) // At the other end of the ideological spectrum, theories of economic incentives have for long argued that the prospect of greater wealth produces incentives for competition and innovation, which are essential to economic growth. The widening inequality between the rich and poor is a by-product of the economic growth that generates high living standards in the first place. The wealthiest societies are often the most unequal. This means that condemning rising inequality amounts to questioning the principle of economic growth which lies at the core of capitalist societies."
capitalism  marxism  critique  development  economics  equality  socialjustice  justice  david.harvey  urbanism  globalsouth 
october 2009 by gpe
If not mass consumption, then what? « Foucault blog
"What government is interested in is a kind of circulation, an aleatory one (a favorite Foucault word in these lectures) that can nevertheless be known through the usual technologies (statistics, cartography, public health, etc.). // I expect any day now to find a journal or at least conferences and papers on “circulation studies” if in fact it hasn’t already happened…"
crampton  foucault  marxism  neoliberal  capitalism  consumption  frankfurtschool  hayek  adorno  modernism  critique 
september 2009 by gpe
Confessions of a DJ | n+1
"DJed music develops in the great centers: London, New York, Paris. But the artists make much of their living in forays to the periphery. To state culture bureaus, our music sounds like art and the "avant-garde," a means of prestige. To kids coming of age in a world of technology and unhinged capitalism, our music seems to sound the way global capital is—liquid, international, porous, and sped-up."
dissertation  copyright  music  dj  travel  capitalism  mytools  commerce  dance  hip-hop  culture  urbanism  djrupture 
september 2009 by gpe
DeLong, Scott and Hayek — Crooked Timber
"Thus, I think there is a argument against the Hayekians which is not very far from the surface of Seeing Like a State and which can be drawn out quite easily. First – Scott makes it clear that the processes of market development and of state imposition of standards goes hand in hand. Brad talks about how the very first example that Scott draws on – German scientific forestry in the nineteenth century – is intended to show the failures of state planning. But as Scott makes clear, the relevant failures are driven as much by the market as by the state – Scott writes about how the “utilitarian state could not see the real, existing forest for the (commercial trees)” and about how the <<forest as a habitat disappears and is replaced by the forest as an economic resource to be managed efficiently and profitably. Here, fiscal and commercial logics coincide; they are both resolutely fixed on the bottom line.>>"
james.c.scott  economics  planning  bureaucracy  food  hayek  crooked.timber  critique  criticism  review  politics  capitalism  commerce  market  science  positivism  jane.jacobs  book  toread  society  20thcentury  modernism  history  nyt 
september 2009 by gpe
‘We still have the same disease'
An interview with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, on the anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
taleb  interview  economics  collapse  finance  capitalism  economy 
september 2009 by gpe
Ctrl-V: Local Transcendence | Serial Consign
"...Piez argues that Hall's now-famous interchangeable-part manufacturing process of the 1820s and the 1830s (at the U.S. armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia) was the predecessor to the logic of separating content from presentation that ultimately triggered not so much databases and XML as the exact, social, economic, and technical need for need for databases and XML."
database  xml  standards  neoliberal  fordism  production  capitalism  usa  history  industry  marxism  20thcentury  book  dissertation 
july 2009 by gpe
Video Warning of Pitfalls of Consumption Is a Hit in Schools - NYTimes.com
"Mark Lukach, who teaches global studies at Woodside Priory, a Catholic college-preparatory school in Portola Valley, Calif., acknowledged that the film is edgy, but said the 20-minute length gives students time to challenge it in class after viewing it."
environment  activism  time  video  consumption  education  capitalism  anticapitalism 
may 2009 by gpe
The ideology that dare not speak its name — Crooked Timber
"Neoliberalism" and the euphemism treadmill. I was thinking about this just a few weeks ago in class.
economics  language  etymology  crooked.timber  words  power  capitalism  neoliberalism  neoliberal 
may 2009 by gpe
click opera - Yesterday's Pirate Bay decision was wrong
"There are more similarities between the Pirate Bay people and the established entertainment producers than may meet the eye. Anyone who has worked in the film or music industries knows that the people behind making films and records are basically pirates too. They raise money in semi-legal ways, they bully and chivvy, they take risks, they create in a state of permanent chaos. The Pirate Bay people are clearly culture creators / distributors themselves. They should be edged towards legitimacy and monetization -- like all the software companies that started off semi-legal (Napster, YouTube etc) and free -- rather than fined and sent to prison."
music  counterintuitive  law  capitalism  copyright  hegemony  creatiity  riaa  creativity 
april 2009 by gpe
The case against — and for — Twitter
"I recently visited the STASI Museum in East Berlin and was struck by how capitalism has now reproduced virtually the entire omni-surveillance machinery the communists had during the Cold War. The only difference is that we've done it voluntarily -- why bother concealing tiny cameras inside fake boulders or lapel blooms when someone will happily tell you his every passing thought or action on the internet, sitting in full view of a camera he's paid for himself? Similarly, who needs an Orwellian Party to enforce the use of Newspeak when microblogging imposes a 140-character limit?"
surveillance  communism  capitalism  orwell  twitter  privacy  facebook  internet  share  ***** 
april 2009 by gpe
Thomas Frank Says 'Kids for Cash' Incentivizes the Prison Industry
"Privatizing bits of the prison industry was a step in the right direction, but what we didn't have -- until recently -- were proper instruments for incentivizing the judiciary. That's what the "kids for cash" judges were apparently experimenting with. // Today the do-gooders revile those efforts as "kickbacks," but before long we will see them as legitimate tools of justice. Our laws governing lobbying and campaign contributions have struck the right balance between the wishes of the people and those of private industry, so why are we so quick to doubt that the same great results can be achieved by putting the government's justice-dealing branch on the same market-based course?"
via:bfunk  incarceration  law  capitalism  pennsylvania  wsj  prison  youth  children  illegel  politics  ***  illegal 
april 2009 by gpe
Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 8, Of the Wages of Labour
"We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combination is everywhere a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his neighbours and equals. We seldom, indeed, hear of this combination, because it is the usual, and one may say, the natural state of things, which nobody ever hears of. Masters, too, sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this rate. These are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy, till the moment of execution, and when the workmen yield, as they sometimes do, without resistance, though severely felt by them, they are never heard of by other people."
via:crookedtimber  economics  adam.smith  quotation  labor  unions  work  capitalism  critique  business  share  ** 
march 2009 by gpe
The Revenge of Karl Marx - The Atlantic (April 2009)
Marx is so embedded in our Western cast of thought that few people are even aware of their debt to him. Everybody I know now believes that their attitudes are to an extent a creation of their material circumstances … “that, on the contrary, their social being determines their consciousness”, as Marx wrote—and that changes in the way things are produced profoundly affect the affairs of humanity even outside the workshop or factory." — James Buchan, in Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money
hitchens  the.atlantic  marx  communism  marxism  philosophy  economics  capitalism  history  quotation  economy 
march 2009 by gpe
Adorno: A Critical Introduction - Google Book Search
"Amusement under late capitalism is the prolongation of work. ... What happens at work, in the factory or in the office, can only be escaped from by approximation to it in one's leisure time. All amusement suffers from this incurable malady. Pleasure hardens into boredom because, if it is to remain pleasure, it must not demand any effort and therefore moves rigorously in the worn grooves of association."
adorno  quotation  work  entertainment  leisure  philosophy  marxism  capitalism  culture  labor  share  *** 
march 2009 by gpe
Steven Poole: Working for the Man
"Amusement under late capitalism is the prolongation of work. It is sought after as an escape from the mechanized work process, and to recruit strength in order to be able to cope with it again. But at the same time mechanization has such power over a man’s leisure and happiness, and so profoundly determines the manufacture of amusement goods, that his experiences are inevitably after-images of the work process itself." — Theodor Adorno
capitalism  marxism  leisure  work  philosophy  games  play  economics  quotation  *****  game 
february 2009 by gpe
The rest of the story...
"developers are like sharks, if they stop moving [building] they die."
zoning  cultural  planning  invasion-succession  theory  development  capitalism  chinatown  nyc  dc  culture  washingtondc 
february 2009 by gpe
Archinect : Features : Compared to What?
"...it is extremely difficult to transfer knowledge gained regarding real, challenged lives into meaningful design initiatives. There is a kind of fall-away from what was learned about the disadvantaged or disenfranchised person and the existing material conditions of his, her, or their life, and a fall-back to known problems and solutions, to conventional thinking and ideas, to what was taught instead of what was learned."
architecture  urbanism  abandonment  detroit  flint  chicago  essay  capitalism  activism  ***  abandoned 
january 2009 by gpe
The Theses on Feuerbach as a political ecology of the possible
Loftus, Alex. (2008). Area, 14 October 2008. | Marx's These on Feuerbach offers "a firm and concise foundation on which to base the ontological and epistemological claims of work on the politicised environment."
environment  ontology  epistemology  feuerbach  marx  nature  capitalism  geography  area  2008  j  p  loftus  philosophy 
october 2008 by gpe
Globalization, nationality and commodification: the politics of the social construction of the internet
Hrynyshyn, Derek. (2008).New Media & Society, 10(5), 751-770. | Examines domain name system; "finds that such structural concerns add a needed dimension and can illuminate the power relations that help to shape the role of the internet in the tension between national and global structures of communications."
dns  capitalism  power  social.construction  internet  tuvalu  j  m  newmediaandsociety  hrynyshyn  2008 
october 2008 by gpe
Limits to Growth
This artwork experiments with growth in another model world: a simple generative system in the form of a computer program. In this two-dimensional system, growth has the ability to constrain itself, creating boundaries that define a formal and graphical whole. These forms are utopian diagrams of self-limiting growth.
teeming.void  art  economics  capitalism  growth  constraints 
september 2008 by gpe
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