This excellent post at Macrobusiness -- an Australian finance blog -- puts it all together:
Bow to Davos Man, your homeless overlord
Economist Adam Smith wrote famously in 1776 that:
A merchant, it has been said very properly, is not necessarily a citizen of any particular country.
Over 200 years later, the head of Gillette, Al Zeien, espoused a similar view.
A global company views the world as a single country. We know that Argentina and France are different, but we treat them the same.
These quotes both highlight the global capitalist drive to accumulate profit in any market. But there is a difference between the two. Smith focuses on an economy in which capital flows between nations. Zeien alludes to an internationalism of capitalism into a singular global system that has occurred since the 1970s.
It is this very shift in capitalist accumulation that has created a new, transnational capitalist class. The formation of this class has evolved from the opening up of national economies and global integration since the Thatcher and Reagan era. Capital has become more mobile. This means that class formation is less and less tied to a particular nation-state or territory.
The transnational capitalist class is a global ruling class. It is a ruling class because it controls the levers of an emergent transnational apparatus and global decision-making. It is a new hegemonic bloc of various economic and political actors from both the global North and South, which has come out of the new conditions of global capitalism.
Well put and concise. Read below the fold...
Robert Parry writes in “Cheering a ‘Democratic’ Coup in Ukraine”:
There was always a measure of hypocrisy but Official Washington used to at least pretend to stand for “democracy,” rather than taking such obvious pleasure in destabilizing elected governments, encouraging riots, overturning constitutional systems and then praising violent putsches.Read below the fold...
Lost in an Australian podcast where currency decays, cathedrals are built, and London women are an inch taller
Karl Fitzgerald: A monoculture of money, I haven’t really heard that.
Deirdre Kent: Yes, well, let’s look at two civilizations. Let’s look at the period in Europe between 1040 and 1290 where there were two currencies in every area. The lord of the land issued the currency for the land. He also owned the land. So there was a currency that he’d issued here but there was also a trading currency of gold. So we had gold as one currency for trading and a local currency within that fiefdom or that area that the lord or the baron, in all European areas. But the currency was a currency which was a decaying currency. Every now and then he would re-mint the currency, and you brought in five of your coins and only got four in return. So that meant people spent and the currency flowed because they had to spend it; it was going to be worth less. It’s like inflation, but it affects everybody, and it affects those who hoard, so it’s a tax on those who hoard the currency. And Bernard Lietaer has developed in his books a lot of the story of how important it was to have a decaying currency as well as the gold, and that that was responsible for the building of all the cathedrals, for maintenance of equipment during this period, the maintenance of everything like waterwheels and wine presses, and the poor people were relatively well off and they were well fed, and he says that the women of London were actually an inch taller than they are today. I think that’s right, but certainly they were so well nourished, four meals a day was common.
Transcript below the fold. Read below the fold...
The first minute of this video has local weatherman turned state representative, Greg McMaster saying, in answer to a question about restoring funding for education, "You need to recognize that for every dollar that you put into that school there are different entities that want part of that money, some of it going to teachers, others going to education [??!!].... Read below the fold...
A lot of Americans have the feeling that those who have and supply big money to candidates, office holders, lobby groups, think tanks, and media have bought politics. That it is they who are determining the agendas that office holders act upon and even the specific decisions they make in passing laws and rendering executive and even judicial decisions. This short post won't debate the extent to which big money has perverted democratic processes in the United States. Instead it will offer a simple, perhaps an oversimple, solution to the problem that will really work. Here it is. Read below the fold...
The internet is fucked
o ahead, say it out loud. The internet is a utility.
There, you’ve just skipped past a quarter century of regulatory corruption and lawsuits that still rage to this day and arrived directly at the obvious conclusion. Internet access isn’t a luxury or a choice if you live and participate in the modern economy, it’s a requirement. Have you ever been in an office when the internet goes down? It’s like recess. My friend Paul Miller lived without the internet for a year and I’m still not entirely sure he’s recovered from the experience. The internet isn’t an adjunct to real life; it’s not another place. You don’t do things "on the internet," you just do things. The network is interwoven into every moment of our lives, and we should treat it that way.
""Common carrier rules are basically free speech.""
Yet the corporations that control internet access insist that they’re providing specialized services that are somehow different than water, power, and telephones. They point to crazy bullshit you don’t want or need like free email addresses and web hosting solutions and goofy personalized search screens as evidence that they’re actually providing "information" services instead of the more highly regulated "telecommunications" services. "Common carrier rules are basically free speech," says the Free Press’ Aaron. "We have all these protections for what happens over landline phones that we’re not extending to data, even though all these people under 25 mostly communicate in data."
It’s time to just end these stupid legal word games and say what we all already know: internet access is a utility. A commodity that should get better and faster and cheaper over time. Anyone who says otherwise is lying for money.
Very good article. Read below the fold...
In a follow-up to his Harper's piece, Adolph Reed goes on Bill Moyers:
The Surrender of America’s Liberals
ADOLPH REED: ... I mean here's an illustration of the limits of it. President Obama in the speech he gave a couple weeks ago, the ballyhooed speech where he mentioned the word "inequality" a couple times.
He leaves the podium in effect and goes straight to try to, you know, strong arm his own party to support fast track for Trans Pacific Partnership.Read below the fold...
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last Monday:
“Frankly, the legitimacy of many governmental bodies is in doubt there,” ... “Treating masked men armed with Kalashnikov rifles, who are now circling Kiev, as a government – we would find it difficult working with such a government.”Read below the fold...
In response to jo6pac's request, here's a food pr0n post, except not, as you will see. Since by this point I have established at least one foraging routine -- exactly as I have routines in Maine, since wherever you go, there you are -- I thought I'd go through that routine and see what I could photograph and record along the way. (This post may be slow to load, because there are a lot of images.) I started during "sweet light," but through the course of the walk, which takes a little over half an hour, night will fall. And isn't it great to be walking an hour a day and eating good food?
Here's where I started, on the corner of Rama IV and Sukhumvit "soi" [alley] 42:
Read below the fold...