Stalenhag says

“We no longer live in civilized times.”

Page 104, The Electric State, by Simon Stålenhag.

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Two Wolves

Two wolves were in the house and they kept trying to pick me up. Running around and I was getting away from them. They were brown in color with round shaped heads. I did not feel safe. How did they get in? How did they get out? I think they were two wolf spirits.

Globalization’s Four Progeny

Writing on England in the mess of Brexit, Alexander Cockburn writes on counterpunch that:

globalisation has produced political crises all over the world which differ in some respects but have certain common themes such as de-industrialisation, increased inequality, immigration, and the alienation of large parts of the population

These four define the political, economic and social tumult filing many countries and most nations. I studied Geography from Form 3 through 5 and the push and pull factors that we used to categorize migration provide scaffolding for the waves of people moving across land, continents, and bodies of water. These four elements compose a self-perpetuating cycle where inequality begets alienation that causes immigration resulting in more de-industrialization, which completes the loop by resulting in more inequality.

On moral economy (aka philanthrocapitalism)

From Gates to Adam Smith and the Rogan triumvirate of R.H. Tawney, Karl Polanyi, and E.P. Thompson. The two closing paragraphs of Tehila Sasson’s review of The Moral Economists by Tim Rogan are:

In this sense, it is worth recalling one of Polanyi S most important conclusions, written out of Rogan’s narrative: moral economies never emerge out of spontaneous human fellowship. Rather, moral economies are shaped by the state. It took immigration laws, regulations, and taxation to determine the relationships between ethics and the economy in the late 1970s, as they do today.
Despite its radical origins, in other words, the moral critique of the economy never transcended the realm of ethics. Every political economy has an ethics, but to truly reshape the ethics of the market we will need to reform it through state institutions. That requires us to leave the realm of the spiritual and go back to material question of redistribution.

Further, Gates trying to contest Thomas Piketty’s analysis of global inequality is pitiful. And almost comical.

Economics and politics colliding

It is an everyday occurrence. Though, this John Cassidy story in the New Yorker that looks back a decade to the financial crisis of 2008, illuminates the degree to which economics is politics and politics is economics: 

Using taxpayers’ money to bail out greedy and incompetent bankers was intrinsically political. So was quantitative easing, a tactic that other central banks also adopted, following the Fed’s lead. It worked primarily by boosting the price of financial assets that were mostly owned by rich people.

Cassidy is writing a review of the 700-page book “Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World”  by Adam Tooze.

The failure of the political parties that dominated the industrialized West in the late 20th Century continue to collapse and be imperiled by their complicity in this unprecedented buyout. Though they supposedly represent different “sides of the isle” in politics, the lessons from 2008 and the decade that is 2008-2018 demonstrate how they serve the owning class of the neoliberal era.

The rifts that exist within the parties hint at the coming splits that will define US politics, and politics in the industrialized west, for the next two decades. Or the first half of the 21st Century. 

Old clothes on my back 

I put on my jean jacket, stamped IRREGULAR on the inside of the pocket, a purchase from an outlet store in 1996 or so. I have a number of articles of clothes in my closet that I have carried for 10 years, others for 20 plus years. I am familiar with the colors, sensations, shape, look, and the coverage that some provide my skin and body. And I am an old soul who prefers th familiar and durable. I did not have strong distaste towards many things as a kid, but one thing I did despise was fads, especially when it came to fashion. I like to dabble in color subtly, or solid, clean colors; I could not fathom the appeal of Cross Colours jeans that we’re yellow on one thigh and green on the other. Now, when I choose color for my jeans, I can go for brick red or waxy evergreen if it is a solid, consistent color. 

Some of the lat20th Centuy relics in my wardrobe are:The 22 year old, tan t-shirt that we printed for African Day in February of my last year of high school.Black ankle socks that I have had more than 10 years. The white/red/black Air Max high tops that I have worn to play basketball twice, but regulatory will wear to get groceries.

Time becomes immaterial in the fabrics of my closet. It is curious to still have some of these things, considering there was an 18 month period when I carried and lived through two trunks of stuff. It was my Jesus year, and I catapulted from one place to another, traversing five states in the four regions of the country. Of the items I los,in that geographic catharsis was the red, pullover, winter coast that endured 3 Minnesota mild winters, and a decade of rising and falling snowstorms and wintertime rainfall in Harlem and Brooklyn. 

As I turned 40, I was gifted 20 some items to add to my closet, after I had removed more than 40. My partner called them ill-fitting or heavily worn. I still wore onto a number of things even though they were too small in the chest, the biceps, back, and stopped wearing but did not remove others that no longer fit and were perrennially overlooked. There’s some odd psychology and habits that succumbs to inertia and entropy if I do not sustain the muscle and practice of removing, deleting, and letting go. 

Deep Rules: Adopting Global Capital

In light of the Panama Papers release earlier this week, this probing blog by Joe Brewer poses three DEEP RULES of global capital:

  1. Economies must grow no matter what the cost
  2. All value must be measured in monetary terms
  3. Money is debt that must always be repaid with interest
  4. Rich people are morally superior to poor people

Scathing. Cathartic. Chilling. All at once.

 

Calling for Attention

The large hand-written signs used to say I AM A MAN.

Now they say DON’T SHOOT.

If this is the message, it suggests that our humanity (our manhood, our womanhood) as Black people is no longer in doubt, but the sanctity of our lives as Black people is what is at play. The question, then, is what will it take for the state to respect the lives of Black people, and therefore all people.

There’s a reason that Lani Guiner and Gerald Torres called us the canaries in their book, The Miner’s Canary. [for more on the book visit: http://www.minerscanary.org/about.shtml]

from Ferguson, Missouri — August 2014