SLJaredDiamondOp-Ed: As part of my board work, I have been asked to assess the environments in oil fields, and have had frank discussions with oil company employees at all levels. I’ve also worked with executives of mining, retail, logging and financial services companies. I’ve discovered that while some businesses are indeed as destructive as many suspect, others are among the world’s strongest positive forces for environmental sustainability. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog
on Dec 11, 2009 -
Prelude to Federation
- Like a neocolonial SEZ
) Paul Romer
, not to be confused
"less developed countries contract with capitalist nations to set up Hong Kong's for them... that we rethink sovereignty (respect borders, but maybe import administrative control); rethink citizenship (support residency, but maybe import voice in political affairs); and rethink scale (instead of focusing on nations, focus on cities—on city states like Hong Kong and Singapore)." cf. neocameralism
] [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on May 21, 2009 -
Tragedy of the anti-commons
is the opposite of tragedy of the commons - it's when too many owners create grid-lock, nothing can get accomplished. It exists everywhere from copyright law, tech patents, music industry, airport runway expansion, medicine
, etc.. it is pervasive across all aspects of modern capitalist societies. The concept was coined by Professor Michael Heller who published a book in 2008 called The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives
. In an excellent Authors@Google video, Michael Heller
explains what it is and how it undermines capitalism, in particular over the past 30 years with increased privatization.
posted by stbalbach
on Feb 10, 2009 -
In 1943, while the Allies were busy battling the Axis Powers and the Nazi Regime, there was another
kind of war that was being waged against a helpless populace (living on the Indian Sub-continent). A war
that has been largely ignored by the mass media and the history books of our time. It is known as the Great Bengal Famine
, and ended up causing the death
of an estimated 1.5 million to 4 million
posted by hadjiboy
on Aug 30, 2008 -
The black backs by and on which the fortunes of the New South were built:
On March 30, 1908, Green Cottenham was arrested by the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and charged with “vagrancy.”... Cottenham’s offense was blackness.... [After a brief trial] Cottenham... was sold. Under a standing arrangement between the county and a vast subsidiary of the industrial titan of the North — U.S. Steel Corporation — the sheriff turned the young man over to the company for the duration of his sentence.... he was chained inside a long wooden barrack at night and required to spend nearly every waking hour digging and loading coal. His required daily “task” was to remove eight tons of coal from the mine. Cottenham was subject to the whip for failure to dig the requisite amount, at risk of physical torture for disobedience, and vulnerable to the sexual predations of other miners.... Forty-five years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freeing American slaves, Green Cottenham and more than a thousand other black men toiled under the lash at Slope 12.
— from the Introduction to Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II
. The book's website
includes reviews of the book
, an excerpt of the Introduction, and an extensive photo gallery
that includes disturbing images of enslaved and tortured prisoners. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality
on Jun 21, 2008 -
I asked Nathan Myhrvold, C.E.O. of Intellectual Ventures and widely considered to be one of the smartest people in technology, if he is brilliant. "If you put yourself in that camp, you might be correct," he teased. "But then, you're also an asshole." The Brilliant Issue
profiles Porfolio's picks for best game-changers, upstarts, rebels, connectors and other influencers. [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur
on May 2, 2008 -
Bill Moyers' interview with Dr. Benjamin Barber about the state of our modern capitalist society and how he believes capitalism threatens American democracy. PBS.org streaming video. [more inside]
posted by orelius
on Dec 23, 2007 -
Ghetto Capitalists At once an outsider and a welcome participant in the ghetto economy, he found that he was suddenly part of “a vast, often invisible web” of economic exchange. That web supports the residents of Maquis Park and adds a strange sort of order to their existence, tempering chaos and adding predictability to the lives of Chicago’s poor. For the most part, the people he meets seem eager to trade. It’s just that much of what they’re trading isn’t going to meet with the approval of a law-and-order Republican or a bleeding-heart Great Society Democrat.
posted by jason's_planet
on Sep 14, 2007 -
hosts a two-part essay on the environmentalism movement's attempts to fit within free market capitalism, and the problems therein. Part one, The Idols of Environmentalism
, focuses on the cross purposes of capitalism and environmentalism, and the apparent impossibility of the two working together. In part two, The Ecology of Work
, the focus is on the human impact of the work and consumption culture.
posted by knave
on Apr 29, 2007 -
"All over Orlando you see forces at work that are changing America from Fairbanks to Little Rock. This, truly, is a 21st-century paradigm: It is growth built on consumption, not production; a society founded not on natural resources, but upon the dissipation of capital accumulated elsewhere; a place of infinite possibilities, somehow held together, to the extent it is held together at all, by a shared recognition of highway signs, brand names, TV shows, and personalities, rather than any shared history. Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of what America actually is and the conventional idea of what America should be more vivid and revealing."
"Welcome to the theme-park nation." [more inside]
posted by wander
on Mar 2, 2007 -
The Mayfair Set [Google Video].
A BBC Documentary series on how City of London bankers systematically dismantled British industry from the 1960s-90s and removed the power of the state to protect people from the greed of the market
A thought provoking documentary from Adam Curtis
whose other documentaries The Power of Nightmares and The Century of the Self have been previously
discussed and well received on Mefi.
It is almost four hours long but well worth the effort.
posted by ClanvidHorse
on Dec 2, 2006 -
Now we're faced with a supposedly democratic
Russia where the opposition parties are established, crushed, united, their leadership changed
, all at the behest of the president. China, now clearly a capitalist state, albeit one without the democratic trimmings
, still calls itself communist
. Vietnam has gone much the same way
Some things remain the same, though. America's still meddling
in Latin America, just like it did during the Cold War
. The US Army is also fighting a guerilla resistance in Iraq, its leaders apparently ignorant of the lessons of history
, yet accusing others of exactly that
. It's just like the 60s, when it was just as obvious who had learnt lessons and who hadn't
posted by imperium
on Aug 30, 2006 -
Never wanna work/Always wanna play/Pleasure, pleasure every day.
What happens when the jobs go away and don't return?
Should we take the surpluses generated and pay people not to work?
What happens to the assumption of scarcity when nanotechology
allows us to generate potentially anything we want from grass clippings?
Maybe Marx had it wrong all along. Maybe, instead of fetishizing work and the authoritarian mindset that it generates, we should have been reading Paul Lafargue instead.
Just as a thought experiment, what would you do if your job category disappeared? How would you spend your time? Would you invest more time and energy in friendships and other relationships? Hobbies? If you were your employer, what technologies would you use to get rid of your position and save money?
posted by jason's_planet
on Jun 25, 2006 -
The Abrigded King James Version And the LORD Capital said unto the socialist, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Hope you enjoy!
posted by nofundy
on Feb 22, 2006 -