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REVIEW: Global Justice and Finance

Philip Roddis

Paleontologists tell us homo sapiens sapiens has walked the earth for 140,000 years, 130,000 of them as hunter gatherers. Social animals, poorly equipped for solo survival, we foraged in small bands. Any surplus wealth beyond that required for immediate survival would be windfall and not to be relied on. Then, some 10,000 years ago, we learned to farm. Greater land yields now generated dependable surpluses to allow rising populations and ever finer divisions of labour.

And class society. Post neolithic societies – slave-based, feudal, Asiatic – featured a ruling class whose monopoly ownership of some essential of wealth creation[1] saw it taking the lion’s share of the surplus in tangible form, overtly and after it had been produced.

Capitalism, by contrast, extracts surplus wealth in abstract form, invisibly at point of production.[2] How? By exploiting the unique capacity of human labour power, now a commodity in a system of generalised commodity production, to create exchange values greater than its own.[3]

Hence Marx’s opposition to “vulgar socialists” like J.S. Mill, who took capitalism’s most glaring defect – opulence for the few; insecurity and destitution for the many – at face value as a problem of unfair distribution to be redressed by more equitable slicing of the cake. Without altering the manner of its baking.

Without altering, that is, the social relations embedded in a mode of wealth creation premised on one class owning the means of production, and taking its cut of surplus wealth in the hidden form of surplus labour power to be valorised in the markets as profit, while a much larger class is obliged by those same markets to sell its labour power to the first group.

Or to institutions and agencies which, with varying degrees of transparency, serve a status quo whose parameters and functions are ultimately determined by the needs of that first group.[4]

*

At first blush the thrust of this invaluable new book – its primary focus the immense disparities of wealth between global north and south (its secondary focus burgeoning threats to earth’s capacity to sustain human and other forms of life) – would appear to align it with Mill not Marx.

Apparently taking those disparities as cause rather than symptom[5] of capitalism’s fundamental and chaotic inequity, author Tim Hayward announces in the opening chapter that his:

central line of inquiry … addresses the basic assumption that provided financial flows are directed aright, they can make a beneficial contribution to the achievement of any goals that can, in principle, be achieved with money. For the inquiry turns on the difference between what in principle money might be thought capable of achieving and … the real conditions of its [doing so].

Put like that, the book’s mission would appear to be the highlighting of obstacles to the worthy end of modestly redistributing wealth through some form or other of north-south cash transfer.

But here Professor Hayward is teasing us, seriously underselling a book delivering more than is promised in those words. Exploring that difference between what we think money can do, and the realities of its quintessential natures – note the plural form – turns out, as we read on, to be nothing short of a radical critique of capitalism as it really exists, as opposed to what common sense understandings would have us believe it to be.

A key reason for the mismatch, it also turns out, being that money is for most of us a medium of exchange, by which we trade our labour power for the means of purchasing life’s essentials and luxuries. In the macroeconomy of a financialised world, however, money serves other ends.[6]

Global Justice & Finance seldom invokes Marx, and only occasionally cites Marxist economists like Sweezy. And despite the line of enquiry, it reserves usage of the word ‘imperialism’ for its penultimate chapter, and then but fleetingly.

Yet its questioning of what money might achieve, and the real conditions of doing so, assembles in meticulous detail as damning an indictment of capitalism in an imperialised world as ever was made in more overtly Marxist critiques.

*

Science has two interrelated duties. One is to penetrate surface appearances and “common sense” understandings to uncover deeper realities. The other is to show why those uncovered realities take the surface forms they do. On both counts this book acquits itself admirably.

Its indictment of capitalism in an imperialised world is so thorough as to make vanishingly small, for all practical purposes, the gap between those who locate its many insanities in its relations of production, and those who locate them in its relations of distribution.

(An outcome unsurprising to those who view financialisation as advanced capitalism returning surplus values – extracted at point of producing goods and services but recycled and leveraged in markets so dizzyingly out of control that not even those ‘masters of the universe’ understand their micro workings – not to the gruff mill owner in Dacca but, in ratios set by sums deployed, within an increasingly internationalised ruling class at large.[7]

On the matter of things not being as they seem, pervading this book is the reality that personal experience, and intuitive understandings derived from it, are woefully unreliable guides to the nature of money. In particular, quantity changes quality. Take the fact, seemingly unremarkable and seemingly scaleable, that I can make a huge difference to a family in Africa by transferring what is to me a relatively trifling twenty dollars a month via Western Union.

How so? Twenty bucks could make no “huge” difference to a family in the global north, however poor the family. That the buying power – aka leverage, aka marginal utility – of dollar, pound or euro is greater in Ethiopia or Nigeria than Holland or France is an implicit premise of ‘effective altruism’:

The proposal of Peter Singer and ‘effective altruists’ … is that by earning as much as they can, people in affluent parts of the world donate a portion of their income to effective charities, and thereby the problems of severe global poverty can be eliminated.

But if that premise is made explicit, the question is begged: what makes the buying power of a dollar so much greater in the global south? Mainstream economics, as noted in footnote 3, is at pains to dismiss all notion of value premised on embedded labour.

From this perspective, one of frantic realpolitik, institutions like the IMF insist – for reasons set out in the lucid discussions of arbitrage in John Smith’s excellent Imperialism in the Twenty-first Century – that currency convergence is only a matter of time.

Yet the stubborn facts, in our age of big data and the power to crunch it, show convergence to be a receding rather than advancing prospect. Which steers us towards a corollary half-hidden. ‘Effective altruism’ touts a remedy, for grotesque and geographically skewed inequality, whose efficacy – shown in any case by Hayward to be dubious or even toxic – itself derives from those deeper injustices of which currency divergence is one symptom.

*

Can the poverty of hundreds of millions, and destitution of tens of millions, be eliminated or at least eased by scaling up lone acts of altruism? The answer from Global Justice and Finance is a quiet but firmly reverberating “no”, echoing back from every dead end and false promise of the moral and practical maze it explores.

What’s more, in showing such notions of scaled up altruism to be naive, at times dangerously so, to the workings of capital, Hayward leads us inexorably, almost innocently, to the truth of global injustice and looming environmental catastrophe beyond the reach of all but the most radical measures.

Measures too radical for acceptance, you might conclude – I couldn’t possibly comment – given the relations of class and power currently prevailing.

Which leads me to what some may view as the achilles heel of Tim Hayward’s – I’ll say it again – invaluable book. Toward its close, in chapter ten of twelve, we are told:

A more just world order would depend on the creation of institutions. There are very practical questions about how exactly those institutions might be brought into existence and by whom that cannot be settled simply by … philosophical thought; there are also questions of institutional design that require attention to numerous and momentous contingencies, and most of these would not be appropriately addressed as questions for a political philosopher, either.

Where political philosophy has a distinct contribution to offer is in seeking to make clear and explicit the most fundamental constitutional principles that a just world order would depend on.

In terms of substantive values, this book is premised on the thought that these principles fundamentally aim at achieving social justice and ecological sustainability; the objectives to these ends can nowadays be regarded as codified in the language of human rights as it has developed these past seventy years to refer to the basic norms of conduct human beings have affirmed in international treaties and other agreements.

If human rights norms are currently honoured as much in the breach as in the observance, and even sometimes cynically instrumentalized—by states and other actors internationally—we can still endorse in good faith the goal of implementing their humane normative substance.

Well, my inner cynic responds, we can “make clear and explicit the … constitutional principles a just world order would depend on” till the cows come home. It won’t change a damn thing, as a man of Hayward’s intelligence and erudition knows only too well.

(Though I applaud that “cynically instrumentalised” allusion to imperialism’s barefaced dressing up of murder and wholesale larceny in the cloak of humanitarianism. Tim Hayward, in case you didn’t know, is a consistent and courageous critic of said murder and larceny, most notably in Syria, on which his stance has drawn all the ire, derision and opprobrium reserved by corporate media for “Assad apologists”.)

Nevertheless it is expected that authors of academic books – there’s a clue to its status as such in a £60 price tag – find a ray of light in even the longest and darkest tunnel. And it’s not as if I have a better plan up my own sleeve. I never did see the logic in insisting that, with no solution, we’ve no business articulating the problem.

It’s not for me then to criticise this book on that score. As Gramsci said, when that which must happen cannot happen, we are in the age of monsters. It is to Tim Hayward’s great credit that he paints so thorough and accurate a picture of the monsters.

NOTES:

[1] That monopolised essential varies. For slavery it is human labour; for feudalism, land. For the Asiatic mode of production it is irrigated water, and for industrial capitalism it is factories, machinery – and liquid capital in the amounts needed to set these things to work in conditions of fierce competition and rising entry thresholds. (That the two conditions ultimately contradict one another, hence capital’s tendency to monopoly, is beyond the scope of this discussion.)

[2] All my references to capitalism are to industrial capitalism, generally agreed to have arisen in the late eighteenth century, and not to mercantile capitalism, which operated under the aegis of slavery and/or feudalism.

[3] Setting out Marx’s labour theory of value is beyond the scope of a book review. Ditto defending it against critics ranging from (relatively) sophisticated to risibly philistine. Suffice that the classical economists, Smith and Ricardo, saw embedded labour as the only quantitative basis on which goods could change hands in mature markets with commodity production generalised, money forms stabilised. Indeed, they saw nothing remarkable in what they took to be self evident. Not until capitalism had fully ousted feudalism (slavery in the USA) – which new reality shifted the concerns of mainstream economics from disinterested inquiry to apologetics and normative intervention – did the political implications of a labour theory of value necessitate its abandonment.

[4] That these relations of production are now globalised in supracontinental divisions of labour is both a defining feature of imperialism and the elephant in the room ignored by the fatuous term, “post industrial world”.

[5] In taking inequality to be more symptom than cause of the root problem, I do not wish to imply a crude determinism. A striking feature of Hayward’s forensic analysis is its uncovering of the many and diverse ways in which the relationship is dialectical, most obviously in the way financialisation is both driven by, and driver of, capital’s laws of motion. This chicken-and-egg aspect of financialisation finds its clearest articulation in a chapter three discussion of the merits and defects of both supply-side (monetarist) and demand-side (Keynesian) understandings.

[6] On this point Hayward might have done well to follow Marx in distinguishing two very different roles of money. One is as facilitator of commodity exchange – C-M-C – with money the intermediary in the trading of qualitatively determined use-values in ratios set by the quantities of labour embedded in them. The other is as driver of a business cycle – M-C-M+ – in which money-as-capital is indifferent to the specific use-values exchanged.

[7] The point here being that it is a vulgar understanding of the law of value which sees profit as surplus value snatched by an individual capitalist from those s/he employs. Rather, a globalised working class in its entirety is exploited by globalised capital in its entirety. This, incidentally, is why a profitable, fully automated factory would in no way disprove the law of value.

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Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz
Feb 5, 2020 10:30 PM

The quote below is from Girolamo Benzoni, who was an Italian conquistador and merchant that wrote a popular account of his travels in the “New World.” This particular Benzoni quote is from Silvia Frederici’s wonderful book “The Caliban and the Witch,” which examines the witch trials and the subjugation of women as important to the development of capitalism.

In the quote Girolamo is talking about how the “Indians” then being slaughtered, enslaved and colonized “view” the Spanish. I suspect that the poor of the world today might see our Western neocolonial system of endless war and plunder and mass murder in rather similar terms to how those “Indians” saw the behavior of the Spanish 500 years ago.

(“. . . . and so they say that we have come to this earth to destroy the world. They say that the winds ruin the houses, and cut the trees, and the fire burns them, but that we devour everything, we consume the earth, we redirect the rivers, we are never quiet, never at rest, but always run here and there, seeking gold and silver, never satisfied, and then we gamble with it, make war, kill each other, rob, swear, never say the truth, and have deprived them of their means of livelihood. And finally they curse the sea which has put on the earth such evil and harsh children.”) – Girolamo Benzoni, “Historia del Mondo Nuovo, 1565.”

500+ years now of this mayhem that has simply never ended.

James Graham
James Graham
Feb 5, 2020 1:35 PM

Value? Hegel says, existence is not a property…or the particular properties said to be possessed by what exists. Value, as such, doesn’t exist. It has to do with the properties…qualities and quantities…varieties, variables and versions that are attributed or ascribed to what exists. Say it’s an apple that exists. It is what it is. First things first. Now, how do we value it? https://youtu.be/32m7kcv08q8

BigB
BigB
Feb 5, 2020 6:53 PM
Reply to  James Graham

Mazzucato may be no raging radical: but I am. Her answer was state inducted value: yuk!

What is an apple worth? Nothing: it is price-less. Value – as a way of making meaning and sense – has no validity outside the social setting. Though not intrinsically valuable (as an isolated object): it has a social value-aesthetic and social relational value (that is a unitary ‘subject-object’ social value-form as part of a community setting.) Being food: its ultimate community value is in being consumed for its nutritional life-value. In a means of life economy: L => MoL => L’ (Life => Means of Life => more (enhanced) Life) [See McMurtry link below].

One might propose – and I would – that the value is in the eating. In an experience economy that is enriched by the pure experience of partaking in and becoming of nature. And I might propose that there is absolutely no commensurablity – that is an equivalent value-form – for this experience. And definitively no price-form. And that it is truly unique experientially and not equivalent to any other experience at any other time, or in any other place. That is: it has a unique spatio-temporal quality that is non-transferable. Which makes the experiential into pure presence …neither a subjective or objective economic dichotomy. As an existential experience: there is a unique experiential quality that is neither repeatable, equivalent, nor commensurable with any other experience.

So, the ‘eating an apple’ analogy might be stretching things a bit. But, for Marx – in a broader, more general sense – the quality of lived experience becomes indistinct (including across space and time) and synthesised into abstract quantitive values. Due to the ‘universal equivalence’ of the money-form (of ‘General Purpose Money’ see below.) Which subverts the above reality: severs the ‘structural coupling’ between subjects and objects; and debases all personal and social relations into calculative instrumental value quantities.

In Capital he says: ‘Everything becomes saleable and buyable … Not even the bones of saints, and still less are more delicate res sacrosanctae, extra commercium hominum are able to withstand this alchemy’ (of the money-Fetish.)

When the priceless is surrendered to price: how much is anything worth?

James Graham
James Graham
Feb 6, 2020 8:01 AM
Reply to  BigB

It’s difficult. First, both Hegel and Marx reject the idea of a “subjective existence.” Action or movement springs from the confrontation in conscience between what the interest is and what it is not. I’m not an apple and apples are not oranges. When something exists it cannot be the other of what it is. Marx warned about making false equations, analogies or comparisons. Superficially this “is not” appears as a contradiction….but it doesn’t contradict what it means to exist. Lenin agreed with J. Dietzgen…”Mind and matter at least have this in common, that they exist.” MEC p. 290, Peking, 1976.

Capital is about “value in motion.” It’s a value system that determines the values of objects and labour or what exists at the various points of their production, distribution, exchange and in consumption. Now those relations give rise to specific forms of contradiction that are unique or definitive of capitalism….and the strange existence of commodities that extinguishes their natural properties and qualities. For Reason…existence presupposes properties or values and these should come together hand in glove; and not just to meet the political economic imperatives of the ruling class.

Lucky I’m old fashioned and wrote this down before it disappeared, at first. I think what’s valued is legally constituted and enforced. Marx’s Dad was a lawyer. Marx rejected the literary and moral critique because he could see the power of capital was just too resilient and durable to succumb to that kind of idealistic treatment.

When Marx looked at the environment he saw inherited legal entities that pre-existed, compliance and cooperation and the material enforcement of power and control. Feudal superiors, military people, had decided wage labour and exclusive private property possession was the way to go…to meet their needs. It’s a political economic constitution that divides society in two; into the ruling class and the working class, their values and interests.

For all of it’s destructive wars, crises and failures the capitalist order has remained in force; the ruling class never gave up their military interests in land, labour and capital. What a strange, depraved and inhuman form of justice that is, to be imposed at gunpoint and death threats.

Freedom is never off their lips, when it’s all under orders. Hegel said that, ” Every Law/order is a Liberty/freedom.” He was a Constitutional Monarchist. These ruling class team players and their armies make the most excellent “individuals.”

So, I asked, what would a socialist constitution and a socialist value system look like? Capitalism is long past it’s extinction date and we are flogging a dead dinosaur there.

BigB
BigB
Feb 7, 2020 10:58 AM
Reply to  James Graham

[Apologies: I did reply …but it seems not to have shown up. Along the lines of …]

Capitalism is dead: and the illusion it is not is quickly unraveling. It is beyond one person to design a socialist constitution and socialist value system. In very broad strokes: it is not hard to envisage the overall structure …once we have correctly identified capitalism’s coercive value-destructive system. Which is predicated on the twin conceptual infinities of Prosperity and Progress.

Simply accepting we live in a finite ecological setting becomes the normativity of a new value-ethics. As laid out by McMurtry [see link below]. A ‘Means of Life’ economic value-ethics naturally entails living within the sustainable ecology – preserving and enhancing it intergenerationally. Which entails stewardship, common ownership, the end of private property, the end of the triple evils of usury, interest, and rent (to which we should add arbitrage and derivatives), and above all – economic and ecological degrowth.

A transitional socialist market economy – whilst still being an unfair means of distribution – would exchange goods and services (which are no longer unnecessary commodities – but means of life utilities) – at an ecological ‘true-cost accounting’ use-value only. In which true social and ecological relations are primary ‘capitals’ – not externalities. With no resale or derivative trading allowed. This, by design, would favour the redistribution of wealth from North to South. To be clear: we can never repay our ‘ecological debt’ – but we could encourage an inverted unequal exchange of value that at least allows maldeveloped countries to have clean water and sewage systems; etc. And a chance at life.

Which entails food and energy sovereignty: and re-localisation of resilient ‘anti-fragile’ infrastructures and appropriate technologies. To which twin currencies – of ‘special purpose’ and ‘general purpose’ monies – with ‘demmurage’ (negative interest rates that negate over-accumulation – see links already posted) …are possibilities. There is the issue of the complexity superstructure – which is socially constructed derivative assemblage – which will have to be absorbed into its substructures and become the eco-economic base. Transferring autonomy and self-sovereignty to the homogenised value-structure of the holarchic, heteronomous global base. That is the eventual transition from the state hierarchic value-form to the stateless holarchic value-form …where the part is whole is part. That is: ‘holonic’.

So, one can wax lyrical about a potential utopian socialist constitution. Which is way too radical for most. I believe it becomes a necessary, natural and normative value-ethics: once we get human nature right. To be clear: there is no fixed human nature beyond that which becomes fixed – institutionalised – by the power and knowledge regimes of a certain historical circumstantial moment. Which is the historical dialectic: does society produce social being? Or does social being produce society? The Marxist ‘chicken and egg’ dilemma. Where do we focus when both produce each other in the same historicised cognitive moment?

Which brings me back to unique experiential moment which is beyond price – or evaluating as an abstract quantity. Which is valueless and meaningless in a money market setting where every commodity – including the experiencing ‘I’ as yet another capitalist commodity – is tradable and universally exchangeable in a bland valueless ‘arithmetic’ status scale. The figurative capitalist: “knowing the price of everything, but the value of nothing”.

We have transferred all value and meaning from our subjects to our objects – not least the hyper-individual ‘I’ commodity-form – which ‘live’ for us. All we have to do is transfer value and meaning back: and live for ourselves. Then the social need to construct externalised and institutionalised states and markets is culturally redundant. The need to grow is naturalised not in market accumulation and extractive valorisation …but returned to nature. Growth is literalised: not commercialised. Our choices – which is what value-meaning is – are naturalised as life-coherent. Life grows life which we ourselves are inclusively cognisant of …as a holon of life. Which, at this point in capitalisms anti-life ethics: is less utopian and more necessitarian.

The thing that prevents us acting in our own best interest is the self – the hyper-individual ‘I’ commodity-form. Which hates uniformity and collectivety so much it becomes uniform and collective at the mathematicised level of social reality. Its worth is its monetised cultural capital. In praise of which: it wanders the streets and virtual airwaves declaring itself free. In a socially constructed consensual covenant of conformist sort of way. Which is commodified unmeaning unfreedom.

Any standard deviation from this conformist convention – of the hegemonic cultural discourse – is anathema to the self. Which reconstitutes its own imaginary ground …in states and markets and infinite objective growth. Which further devalues the feeling experiencing base of the self. The socialist constitution is thus a united and holistic experiencing self – neither metaphysically ‘I’ nor ‘we’. One that can instantiate an entire value system from metaphorically ‘eating an apple’. And a whole gamut of life-coherent, more-than-human, experiential ‘value-and-meaning’ aesthetics that are actualised in full presence. Which we can all do right now: beyond market capitalism and liberating from the statist chains that the commodified imaginary self must always find itself in. We just have to expand the horizons of the experiential – as the local locus of compassion – globally. Which is possible – even if it is easier said than done.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
Feb 6, 2020 8:20 AM
Reply to  BigB

Yes, everything is unique. This is such an important truth about the nature of reality!

Price is the antithesis of this truth. As number, price is but one part of that control freakery that seeks to reduce ‘nature’ – conceived as various machine parts – to isolated, generic components devoid of experience, where experience itself is not even remotely understood, is asserted as an ephemeral chimera that is in fact an illusion, a chemically-rooted happenstance accidentally manufactured by brain activity. This control freakery extends of course to the economy, which must be a machine ‘neutrally’ driven by price information and operate ‘impartially’, mechanically, blindly, and thereby ‘fairly’ distribute value-as-numbers. And these number have symbols attached – $, £, €, etc. – that magically imbue them with purchasing power. And the pernicious, corrosive effect of all this is to persuade our ‘civilized’ minds We Are In Control, that value has been fairly measured and portioned out, that the machine is operating as well as can be, and so on.

But the uniqueness of everything is buried under the endlessly flowing data-chatter. The potential richness of each and every experience is ignored, demoted to fantasy or irrelevancy. Depression, cynicism, hopelessness, bickering, division, greed, etc. are the social crops we continually harvest. Thank god for Netflix, Primark, and fast food!! Without them and their ilk, we’d feel keenly how poverty-stricken we all are, ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ alike.

James Graham
James Graham
Feb 7, 2020 5:30 AM
Reply to  Toby Russell

No. Money is legally constituted as well. It’s legal tender. I’m not 100% but I think it belongs to Her Maj in the UK. Was the Royal Mint privatised a while back? Some banks have their own notes…white collar crime etc. aside. But there’s legal provision for that. Some years ago I was almost stung by my solicitor (a lawyer in Scotland.) I arranged to meet with the Sheriff Clerk who is also the Auditor of the Court. My solicitor never got a farthing out of me after that…and suddenly didn’t want to talk to me anymore. I’ll never forget what the Sheriff Clerk said to me as I left his office, “I suppose you are going to tell everyone about this now?” The further you go up the totem pole the less oversight there is.

I watch Max Keiser a lot. If proper money is gold or silver that expresses exchange values and use values. You can make things out of them. Now, the voodoo $ and debt finance….the Ponzi Scheme….if that can go wrong, big, likely it will go wrong, big. But if we take money as the measure of wealth, an economic factor, that doesn’t determine the distribution. Class politics does. In 2008 the debts of the ruling class were nationalised. That was a political decision. There was no economic causal mechanism at work in that event.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
Feb 7, 2020 7:13 AM
Reply to  James Graham

Hi James,

I didn’t say money is not legal tender. Money is always legal tender to some degree, or it isn’t money. Put differently, money is a social contract, an agreement that this or that thing is money. However, my reply to BigB was, I confess, a rather romantic outpouring as a supplement to or embellishment on his points, but did indeed build atop them, and many others he has made at this site. But my reply was also the fruit – if I may be so bold – of over a decade of study into money, primarily into its origins as they shed light on its deeper meanings: a philosophical quest if you will.

Money is, in my view, primarily a tool of control, and a very good one. Its current iteration as fiat money created as debt always owing compound interest on top of the principle is a malicious tool of control that drives perpetual growth while also reinforcing our widespread cultural belief that money stores value … that it is, and defines, wealth somehow. But money is not wealth, nor can it store wealth beyond the environment’s and society’s ability to deliver that wealth. Imagine planet earth were suddenly solid gold through and through! To some degree, money is a record of wealth, but a poor one since, as a number/price, it cannot capture vital issues like power, joy, trust, soil fertility, biodiversity, unpolluted air and water, etc. While it is our god, while it drives almost all our decision making, we will remain impoverished.

I could go on, but prefer brevity (generally speaking). I’ll close by saying that common conceptions of money, including orthodox economics’ position on this pivotal societal phenomenon, are woefully, likely deliberately inadequate. For example, the widely accepted trope that money is a technology invented to solve the problem of double-coincidence of wants has found no basis in the ethnographic record, nor does orthodoxy appear to care about that record:

No example of a barter economy, pure and simple, has ever been described, let alone the emergence from it of money; all available ethnography suggests that there never has been such a thing.
Caroline Humphrey, quoted on p29 of Debt: The First 5,000 Years, David Graeber, 2011.

My preference is to start with a fully fledged monetary economy. … I simply assume that the set without money is wholly contained in the monetary set. Here I short cut the detailed comparison between barter and monetary exchange.
Frank Hahn, quoted on p43 of Eigentum, Zins und Geld, Gunnar Heinsohn and Otto Steiger, 1997, 2010 reprint.

BigB
BigB
Feb 7, 2020 12:12 PM
Reply to  James Graham

James:

Money is hopelessly complicated. I would like to re-iterate what Toby says (above or below depending). Money is 97% loaned into existence by financial institutions. Only 3% is printed or minted. Money is a virtual privatised institution. There are even ‘virtual’ money-forms – such as the eurodollar – which do not exist at all. Not until there is a crisis: then the abstract and virtual become real and repayable …by nature and by us.

I truly wish I was making this up: but I am not. Any tangible value a monetary asset might have comes with a hidden derivative ‘value’. Which is incalculable and comes with an equally incalculable risk. And an exponentially increasing ecological footprint. Money is a future claim on nature (resources) and humanity (labour). Which is only transferable if there is something to transfer it for. Which, arguably, there isn’t. In other words: we are consuming the future now.

In a non-spurious way: we have transferred our humanity into the money-form – objectifying it. In order for it to valorise our subjectivity and produce an enhanced humanity in the future. But we have already exceeded the ‘bank of nature’s’ ability to sustain and repay our virtual credit and debt schemas. And if it has not: do we morally and ethically want to transfer our future resource reserves to the pockets of 2,153 people …morally bankrupting everyone else? This is of course a corruption of anything that could be attributed value or meaning to.

Value and meaning are essentially free. Or would be without the essentially out of control market ethics we have. Socialism – defined as the end of wage slavery, the establishment of true inter-personal social relations, embedded in a ‘means of life’ ecological relations of true interbeing (not ‘I’ not ‘we’ holonic individuality) – is also essentially free. That is: there are other ways of organisation that do not necessitate the false and virtualising intermediary of the money-form.

Essentially: our artefacts – of which money is the primary ‘commodity of commodities’ – have become autonomised (brought to life by what Marx calls ‘supernatural’ means) and have taken control of us. To understand that is to understand the metaphysics of subject and object separation: which is psychological. Money is then reduced in value to that by which we calculate the degrees of separation. Which may seem abstruse: but quite literally …the best – most valuable and meaningful – things in life are (almost) free. We do not need an exponential transfinite valorisable scale of quantity. As an autonomous value-form – which becomes a homogenising ‘infinite’ money-form. Not if and when we learn (or unlearn) to value the lived experience for what it is …price-less. But a meaningful and value-laden aesthetic of life as lived in full. Full and pregnant with infinite potentiality. Now that’s value for money!

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 5, 2020 1:09 PM

“A key reason for the mismatch, it also turns out, being that money is for most of us a medium of exchange, by which we trade our labour power for the means of purchasing life’s essentials and luxuries. In the macroeconomy of a financialised world, however, money serves other ends.[6]”

“6] On this point Hayward might have done well to follow Marx in distinguishing two very different roles of money. One is as facilitator of commodity exchange – C-M-C – with money the intermediary in the trading of qualitatively determined use-values in ratios set by the quantities of labour embedded in them. The other is as driver of a business cycle – M-C-M+ – in which money-as-capital is indifferent to the specific use-values exchanged.”

Sounds a bit of a circular statement Mr Roddis – ‘if he’d only believe Marx than he wouldn’t be disbelieving Marx’ !

I recently had this conversation with a ‘Marxist’ here using the allegory of Jack and the Beanstalk- in the end he ran away squealing like a little pig to the market.

https://off-guardian.org/2020/01/24/putin-calls-for-a-new-system-guided-by-the-un-charter-but-is-it-possible/#comment-114313

Marx, I fear will be too late discovered by some, was a tool of the bankers.

Anyway I hope to examine Tim Haywards work – it seems to be as illuminating as other recent great pieces on MONEY and just wtf it is?

George Mc
George Mc
Feb 6, 2020 8:54 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Thanks for alerting me to Stephen Morrell’s comments. They make a lot of sense.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 7, 2020 12:49 PM
Reply to  George Mc

George, if you think parroting ‘Marxist Socialist’ screed is making sense then you should get into latin masses and sky fairy liturgy.

Morell ran away instead of engaging in the specifics of my argument of what MONEY really is as his Marxist objection response scripts can’t answer it.

Marx’ task was to obfuscate by creating a sub category of money called Capital and concentrate all attention on that and away from the bankers.

That is as clear and succinct as I can put it.

It was to create that new religion and its priests and soldiers, teachers and journalists – to protect the bankers.

George Mc
George Mc
Feb 7, 2020 5:03 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I don’t see any “screed” although I am familiar with the liturgy that Marxism is a religion. Morrell did not run away but spent a considerable amount of time making reasonable statements. All I read from you was content free invective apart from the notion – which you have just verified – that the bankers funded Marx. I’ve heard that one before from right wing nuts. Well, if it makes you happy ….

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 7, 2020 10:14 PM
Reply to  George Mc

‘Notion’ !
Yeah see nothing Admiral.

I asked him very specifically to explain what marx had to say about Tally sticks.
And how ‘money’ got to be.

Nothing but Marxist gobbledygook.

I kept asking but having no answer – like a flat earthist – he ran away.

Maybe you want to answer?
Or even better Mr Roddis.

I’m waiting right here.

George Mc
George Mc
Feb 8, 2020 10:02 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I take it by your objection to “notion” that it is an absolute certainty that Marx was funded by the bankers – who presumably were the ones who wrote all those thousands of pages of political and economic analysis as a con. This seems to be on the same level as that …uh…entertaining suggestion that “the King” created money(!)

The tally sticks whataboutery came after a very long discussion in which Mr Morrell showed admirable patience and tenacity. As one knockabout highlight, you quote – appropriately enough – from a fairy tale and when Mr Morrell explains that even Jack and his beanstalk need to have a social and economic context, you just ignore this and carry on with more homespun received wisdom from The Book Of Capital. You then have the audacity to claim that Mr Morrell is the one being dogmatic and “faith driven”!

And I love the unintentional humour of:

“I’ll be forced to go back and start parsing the basics dressed as a fairytale !”

When what you are doing is parsing a fairytale dressed as the basics!

I have no intention of indulging another interminable thread only for you to turn round and say, “Ah but what about vodka? What about women? What about cattle?” I don’t see how I can do better than Mr Morrell – and I certainly don’t have his patience and tenacity. But I will offer a few pointers:

1) You don’t win an argument by simply claiming that you won the argument.
2) You don’t win an argument by invective.
3) You don’t win an argument by TYPING IN CAPITALS.
4) You don’t win an argument by ensuring that you get in the last word.

George Mc
George Mc
Feb 8, 2020 10:37 AM
Reply to  George Mc

And before anyone gets smart, when I referred to “The Book Of Capital”, I didn’t mean the Book of Das Kapital. I should have said – the gospel according to Adam Smith.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 8, 2020 7:47 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Ok. You got me. I made up the Jack stuff on the fly. Using MY own understanding.

I only asked about money in history and economic theory.

All i had in reply was Marxsist screed. All I can say is that for someone who was such a ‘threat’ to the society he developed ‘his’ ideas in – he was certainly well respected. Unlike Assange for instance today… anyways i’ll leave the thread with some heavier weights that may back up my amateurish efforts.

——
https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2019/11/08/its-time-to-rethink-the-economics-of-money-and-the-way-its-taught/

——
The Encyclopedia of Central Banking, co-edited by Louis-Philippe Rochon and Sergio Rossi, contains some 250 entries written by over 200 economists on topics related to monetary macroeconomics, central bank theory and policy, and the history of monetary
‪Edward Elgar Publishing‬, ‪27 Feb 2015‬

‪Money‬: ‪Myths, Truths and Alternatives‬
What does money mean? Where does it come from and how does it work? In this highly topical book, Mary Mellor, an expert on money, examines money’s social, political and commercial histories to debunk longstanding myths such as money being in short supply and needing to come from somewhere. Arguing that money’s immense social value means that its creation and circulation should be a matter of democratic choice, she sets out a new finance system, based on green and feminist concerns, to bring radical change for social good.
‪Policy Press‬, ‪3 Jul 2019‬ – ‪Social Science‬ – ‪176 pages‬

George Mc
George Mc
Feb 6, 2020 9:19 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

‘if he’d only believe Marx than he wouldn’t be disbelieving Marx’ !

No, Mr Roddis is saying that Hayward has caught an insight which he doesn’t properly investigate.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Feb 7, 2020 12:51 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Hayward doesn’t need to investigate what has so ably already been done in recent years.

Brian Harry
Brian Harry
Feb 5, 2020 2:41 AM

“The proposal of Peter Singer and ‘effective altruists’ … is that by earning as much as they can, people in affluent parts of the world donate a portion of their income to effective charities, and thereby the problems of severe global poverty can be eliminated”

Sounds good in theory, but, Guys like Singer, and he’s not the only one, just cannot get enough money, and they hate paying TAX(hence we have a thriving world Tax Avoidance industry) , even if it is for the benefit of their own country, let alone , worrying about ‘Severe Global Poverty’.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Feb 5, 2020 9:07 AM
Reply to  Brian Harry

IMO it’s another singer who best epitomises that schizoid pairing of virtue-signalling acts of largesse with industrial scale tax avoidance.

I refer of course to Saint Bono.

George Mc
George Mc
Feb 6, 2020 9:28 PM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

Bono’s finest (i.e. worst) moment: making an impassioned “threatening” speech at the 2004 Labour Party Conference:

In that moment, I became the worst thing of all: a rock star with a cause.

Blair and lesser neoliberal lapdogs are so terrified ….they guffaw!

George Mc
George Mc
Feb 6, 2020 8:28 AM
Reply to  Brian Harry

The idea of charity as a cure for poverty is ludicrous when you consider the matter of necessary income i.e. the cost of living. Consider the amount of money you need on a day-to-day year-to-year basis. And I know that most of us are in the enviable position of having a degree of affluence beyond the reach of most of the global population. But even scaling down livelihoods presents a picture of necessary input that cannot possibly be maintained by the whimsical occasional payments of the rich. One egregious example of this charity mongering appeal was the appearance of technology entrepreneur billionaire Elon Musk on “Big Bang Theory” ….as a volunteer in a soup kitchen! This guy whose personal wealth could eradicate the need for such kitchens poses as a humanitarian hero by washing a couple of dishes!

Brian Harry
Brian Harry
Feb 5, 2020 2:32 AM

The proposal of Peter Singer and ‘effective altruists’ … is that by earning as much as they can, people in affluent parts of the world donate a portion of their income to effective charities, and thereby the problems of severe global poverty can be eliminated.

Brian Harry
Brian Harry
Feb 5, 2020 7:09 AM
Reply to  Brian Harry

Sorry, I was unable to edit the second comment…..please disregard….

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Feb 4, 2020 9:28 PM

Excellent review Philip, and appreciate the end notes, thanks.
This looks a very meaty read, tho as a humble Big Issue vendor, £60 ($122 here in Australia) is way out of my price range.
Obviously, there are a whole cacophony of blogs out there, and invaluable sites like here, The Greanville Post, Moon Of Alabama, and of course the World Socialist Website to get round the lack of funds for people like me.
And in the meantime the Neoliberal juggernaut keeps rolling over everything, squeezing everyone, while countries like Syria are deliberately targeted and destroyed.
There is a vast mountain of evidence out there to show the massive levels of injustice perpetrated by this economic system.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Feb 5, 2020 9:09 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

I doubt it will hit the general libraries, Gezzah, and the days are probably over when those fantastic instutions could and would order a book simply on the request of a borrower. But if you can by hook or crook get access to a university library, you’ll likely find a copy there.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Feb 5, 2020 11:30 AM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

Thanks Philip… Thanks to the huge wealth of knowledge amongst commenters here, found out (via BigB) that Tim Hayward has a blog, which I looked at earlier today, seems pretty impressive.
There’s a pretty decent left wing bookshop here in Melbourne called New International Bookshop which has a fairly wide range of Marxist, Anarchist and general Left books, including most of the classics.
Their prices are pretty reasonable, and have bought a few books from them in recent times. I do have a few customers who are Uni Students…

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Feb 4, 2020 9:22 PM

I live well below the poverty line in CANADA & UK. The last book I could afford to buy was Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side post-911 CIA debacle.

Academics should send their shitty research to me for free as I cannot afford their largesse on a pauper’s salary whilst residing in Potter’s Field, motherfucker.

MOU

paul
paul
Feb 4, 2020 4:19 PM

Poor countries are victims of a rigged system where free trade is a strictly one way affair.
They cannot sell their sugar or cotton in the US market so that domestic farmers of those crops, whose income is 60% and 70% subsidy respectively, are protected. Of course the same applies in the EU, Japan and elsewhere.
They have no influence whatsoever over the commodity markets they depend upon.
They are the victim of the predatory lending practices China is falsely accused of.

This would be bad enough without all the usual barbaric repertoire of the Zio Empire: sanctions, economic strangulation, subversion, regime change, humanitarian bombing and droning, and outright invasion and slaughter.

This will never change until the costs of aggression and imperialism are brought home and escalate to totally unacceptable proportions. Human, financial, and political costs. Appeals to international law, morality, justice, or people’s better nature, are completely futile. These things don’t exist, never have and never will. All that matters is raw power in its various forms.

The Zio Empire has got off fairly lightly in its recent adventures, at least in terms of its own casualties. But the financial and political costs have been far greater, and these are rising against a backdrop of declining power and greater resistance.

Nothing will change until this imbalance of power disappears. But there are clear signs that this is happening.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 4, 2020 9:10 PM
Reply to  paul

There will NEVER be a fair and just global order because the ruling Western psychopaths, concentrated in Washington and Tel Aviv, will not allow it. The response to Trump, or should I say Kushner and the other Talmudists’, ‘peace’ plan for Palestine is illustrative. The plan is truly psychotic in its racist and xenophobic, arrogance, contempt and cruelty, with the Palestinians reduced to prisoners in a series of Warsaw Ghetto-like containment camps. Yet the Western rulers have welcomed the stinking farce, that puts their Israeli Masters above International Law, basic humanity, Justice and decency. The Palestinians represent the future envisaged by The Gods Upon the Earth for all the planet’s various untermenschen, forever.

BigB
BigB
Feb 4, 2020 4:00 PM

I suggest anyone who cannot afford £60 check out Tim’s blog: and/or buy Jason Hickel’s “The Divide” instead …which is in many ways complementary to the global justice issue Tim is spearheading with his book. For instance: in destroying Development Theory – or what Tim calls ‘benign leverage’ – Hickel shows that global justice for poverty is a shifting baseline scenario. For instance: if we transferred 1-2% of the Global North’s surplus – that might massage Singer’s socially inclusive billionaire ego – but it will do nothing to narrow the Divide. That is because the North will increase its value and the baseline poverty level will polarise anyway. Like the Oxfam Report: 2153 billionaires increased their wealth (almost) in inverse relation to 49% of humanity decreasing theirs. Its (almost) a zero sum distribution. The rich get rich off the back of the poor. Any countries development is by the global maldevelopment of the majority of the world – with no exceptions. Evaluated correctly: 4.5 billion people are deliberately immiserated – so we can have the internet and have this conversation. And it will take 200-900 years to raise them to a baseline level that will long have been eclipsed by the profligate bourgeois conspicuous consumption societies we live in. Which makes the only ethical use of my economic privilige in challenging the unethical foundations of such a society.

What is value? I already gave an economic and ecological indication below. The true answer is not purely economic though. It is subjective and psychological. Objects can have no intrinsic value without subjective choice – value-ethical choice. Or: as John McMurtry proposes – the onto-axiology of life-coherent and life-blind choice. We choose our value-ethical aesthetic systems to suit our desires: and lay them as a grid of hierarchic values on the world. A commodity is just an object with a subjective value imposed psychologically and axiologically …by choice and ontological construction. By projection or transference: our object relations have acquired monetised status-values. And a quasi-autonomous life of their own. Which Marx termed as Fetish. Anything can assume any value dependent on subjective bourgeois status, privilege, and imagistic cultural relationships …which are quasi-autonomous abstractions from true economic and ecological social relations. This is the Society of the Spectacle – where the true is a moment of the false. And reality has become an imagistic “separate pseudo-world”.

All human violence is predicated on false objectification: which is founded on false object relations. Economic and ecological injustice has psychological roots in falsely abstracted object relations. To disunite the world – creating injustice, sectarianism, dehumanisation, and ecological alienation – all you have to do is invent abstracted categories of ‘object’ and ‘subject’. And coercively impose metaphysical separation on everything. And you have the root of the root of all suffering and violence – economic and ecological.

To be clear: the Buddha never said “All life is suffering”. He said: “All concepts of life are suffering” – sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā. Sankhara are ‘conditioned things’ – concepts of things – like abstract monetised values of things. Or pseudo-concrete categories of subject/object; self/other; culture/nature; etc. Dukkha is the conceptual separation of things into a dualistic binarism of abstract metaphysical categories. An imposed ideological separation that is incapable of ever being satisfied or satisfactorily resolved. Which is entailed entirely in the pseudo-categories of subject and object.

Or subjectification and objectification: the co-commodification of subjects and objects in a false value-ethical system of commodity exchange. Where everything is equally exchangeable for everything else. Universal exchange via the medium of the money-form of homogenised value exchange – General Purpose Money. Which undervalues (or excludes) the valuable (life-coherent value) and overvalues the valueless (life-blind value) as the over-inflated (and ultimately meaningless) status-values of the Spectacular. The illimitable pursuit of which creates the global injustice of hyperglobalisation and economic and ecological dehumanisation and desecration.

https://themoneyquestion.org/special-purpose-money-for-a-limited-globalization/

Metaphysical dualism has created a civilisational development of cultures of mind-independent objects and object-independent minds. The transactions between which are reduced to symbolic and token exchange in a less than human world. In bourgeois consumer societies: which is subject and which is object? Anything meaningful – like feeling and compassion – is priced out or excluded from the exchange. In Zen: this is the contemporary parakalpita. The ungrounded commodification of all: which exists only as a ubiquitous hallucination of empty and imagistic meaning-values …which ultimately have little or no real life-coherent meaning at all. All is spectacular in this separate ontological pseudo-world of appearances and imagistic representations (Vijnaptimatrata or cognitive representation only.)

The solution to which is the end of ontological dualism. Ontological dualism entails a false conception of humanity; with false purpose and false goals. Such as the economic development of all. Which has the economic destruction of all as a reality. Ontological dualism is the false foundation for the commodification of nature. Via a spurious life-blind onto-axiology of false monetised status values.
Life is value and value is life. It is only not free because we have chosen to construct a value system that commodifies and financialises everything …including us. A falsely constructed value system which is systematicically life-blind can be replaced by one that is life-coherent. There is a choice to be made. If we choose with dignity, wisdom, and compassion: we choose global justice. I’m sick and tired of being told it can’t be done. It can’t be done if we say it can’t be done …that’s all.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Feb 4, 2020 9:57 PM
Reply to  BigB

When you come on sites like here, you find things out, like Tim Hayward has a blog, which I didn’t know until I read your comment, or other people like Jack Rasmus.
Things like solidarity and compassion and community are the very antithesis of Neoliberalism, which grounds itself in the… self, the individual – the alienated individual, the consumer… Me, not the collective, not the community, not… Us.
Fully agree with you about ‘the global injustice of hyper globalisation and economic and ecological dehumanisation and desecration.
The very things the system is built on.
Exploitation on a vast scale.
Also agree with your last 3 paragraphs.
F*** Tina (there is no alternative).

johny conspiranoid
johny conspiranoid
Feb 4, 2020 1:08 PM

” Smith and Ricardo, saw embedded labour as the only quantitative basis on which goods could change hands in mature markets with commodity production generalised, money forms stabilised.”
They haven’t defined a unit of “embedded labour” or even what embedded labour is.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Feb 5, 2020 9:33 AM

I suggest you acquaint yourself with Marx’s labour theory of value (which solved problems neither Smith nor Ricardo were in a position, coming as they did before capitalism had achieved “full spectrum dominance”, to solve) in Capital Vol 1. Also worth reading is Ernest Mandel’s “An Introduction to Marxist Economic Theory”.

Then you might wish to raise any objections in more specific form.

Meanwhile, a few observations. One, price and value, though related, are not the same. The law of supply and demand explains the movement of prices. It does not and (for the reason I give in footnote 3) cannot explain price itself.

Two, the way you couch the challenge of your final sentence – defining ‘a unit of “embedded labour”‘ – is wide of the mark. The fact we can’t do the sums does not nullify the law of value.

Three, I do not mean to suggest mainstream economics’ retreat into psychology (marginal utility theory and the “diamond-water paradox”) was consciously informed by the dangers to the ruling class of the law of value. Another driver of that retreat is that capitalism was now ascendant. Its champions avoided scientific investigation of profit’s origins not just because of the dangers of such an inquiry but because they saw no need for it. The common sense idea of profit arising by addition of “the capitalist’s reward for risk” to the other overheads of production made intuitive sense. That profit as “costs plus” could not withstand rigorous inspection in an age of generalised commodity production was of little concern to men busy making profits, else engaged in apologetics on their behalf!

I’d be happy to engage in more detail on these points but, first, you might be a little more forthcoming, so I know I’m talking to a serious person.

Tutisicecream
Tutisicecream
Feb 4, 2020 10:50 AM

“Nevertheless it is expected that authors of academic books – there’s a clue to its status as such in a £60 price tag – find a ray of light in even the longest and darkest tunnel.”

Not necessarily so. May I elucidate. All property is theft. All money is debt. From cradle to grave the mass global populace are debtors who the usurer class extract surplus labour from – even in their sleep. It’s a system made in heaven and is said to be controlled from there in feudalism to capitalism and back again. Hence the Christian work ethic, “You will find your reward in heaven”.

I think there is a clue in the price tag of £60 for the book though. Yes you guessed it, the author Tim Hayward, clearly wishes to make an example of surplus labour extraction in action.

BigB
BigB
Feb 4, 2020 12:09 PM
Reply to  Tutisicecream

Sorry, that is a completely unfair criticism. Tim published an overview and a draft of chapter one on his blog – for free. I can only speculate that his university had the final say in publication and price. After all, that is how tenure works (though I am not totally sure Tim has tenure – I just presume he has before he criticised the Syria narrative.)

We are all hypocrites in a capitalist world. I totally agree with the premise ‘property is theft’ …but I live by selling my labour-power. I’d do it for free – in a community setting with perhaps a calculation-in-kind form of exchange – but we do not live in that world. I agree in general with your comment. Much the best academic criticism of capitalism I know of is behind academic paywalls – where it is of no use to anyone. It is a major problem in the advance of a cogent challenge to capitalism …is that it has to come on capitalism’s terms and vocabulary. But them’s the rules.

If we want to change the rules: we have to look at the broader implications of our rule-governed society. I think we can agree Tim has done more than most to challenge the hegemonic narrative? And he is aware of the paradox of having to capitalise in on that critique. It is an aporia we all face: that in challenging capitalism we have to capitalise the challenge …which becomes capitalism. Which is the capitalist recuperation of all criticism. Which is how Che Guevara ends up as a status emblem on Jay Zee’s clothing range. It’s shit: but we have to live with it without becoming hypocrites.

https://timhayward.wordpress.com/global-justice/finance/

Tutisicecream
Tutisicecream
Feb 4, 2020 12:37 PM
Reply to  BigB

Point taken Big B, I agree we all operate within existing paradigms. It was a bit of a cheep joke, it just struck me as a hefty price for an academic book.

BigB
BigB
Feb 4, 2020 1:17 PM
Reply to  Tutisicecream

🙂

lundiel
lundiel
Feb 4, 2020 1:24 PM
Reply to  Tutisicecream

As I recall from uni days. Academic books are hard to write, take much editing, have many references/footnotes, must be free of plagiarism, are produced in hardback and sell very few copies. Hence the price. Thank God for libraries.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Feb 5, 2020 8:49 AM
Reply to  lundiel

Thank God for libraries.

Amen.

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood
Feb 6, 2020 4:35 PM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

I know we are supposed to hate Amazon, but I have bought a lot of 2nd-hand books that way, for pennies plus postage. And to get the same books on inter-library-loan (since my local library would not generally have them) would cost probably as much, or more, for a mere few weeks of temporary possession.

However, I still thank God (or at least, what is left of the post-war consensus), for libraries.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Feb 7, 2020 2:09 PM
Reply to  Mike Ellwood

I use Amazon too, Mike, and often at that. This question is part of the same discussion as the £60 price of Tim Hayward’s book. As I put in a different comment, “we who critique capitalism as a monstrous and insane political economy do not stand outside of and immune from its remorseless logic.”

The point is to bring down capitalism – or at least to show its life-negating inhumanity – not to act if if it doesn’t exist!

George Mc
George Mc
Feb 11, 2020 8:22 AM
Reply to  Mike Ellwood

I have often used Amazon’s “look inside” facility and, in conjunction with Books.google, I find I can read a fair amount of text for nothing. Also – many books are available in pdf format for free. I sometimes think it may be “cheating” but this is the closest the net gets to a library function.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Feb 5, 2020 8:47 AM
Reply to  BigB

Thanks for the intervention, BigB. And thanks, Tutti for your graceful acknowledgement of BigB’s point.

We who critique capitalism as a monstrous and insane political economy do not stand outside of and immune from its remorseless logic. And as both lundiel and Andy point out, Tim will never receive compensation commensurate with his efforts, For that matter, OUP the publishers will do well to break even.

Andy
Andy
Feb 4, 2020 2:38 PM
Reply to  Tutisicecream

Given the usual sales figures and time put into academic books, I imagine even £1000 a book would return less than the minimum wage. 😕

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Feb 5, 2020 8:49 AM
Reply to  Andy

Yup.

George Mc
George Mc
Feb 11, 2020 8:26 AM
Reply to  Andy

That’s a good point to bear in mind. There’s a common prejudice that anyone famous – author, singer, academic – must be loaded and if they bring out something new they must be greedy for more dosh. It’s like someone who doesn’t work constantly – and is therefore due a regular income – charging for “set up” or “travel fees”. You always get those who complain about this but many workers have to get by for extended periods with no regular income and possibly no income at all.

binra
binra
Feb 4, 2020 10:34 AM

Swings and roundabouts according to the central ideas from which we live.
My personal experience and intuition regarding money as security and control at cost of creative calling or more simply – life – led me to to ‘livelihood’ rather than a career that felt more like a living death. Out of the frying pan into the fire? Only if a sense of entitlement abnegated my own growth in self-responsibility.
However, I am a sample of one and don’t presume to know what anyone else should do – excepting that notional security comes at a price, and regardless the forms it takes, we strike a bargain that cannot be kept – for money cant buy the regenerative, connective and creative expression of love AS our lives.

The alienation or dislocation of our ‘self-sense’ from our true environment is firstly spiritual – in terms of a split and masked mind from its own denied conflicts.
‘Bubble realities’ reinforce their own surface tension of adjustment for inner truths awaiting acceptance.

I hold that the god-king idea as the nature of self agency or power activated and initiated human consciousness not so long ago as a result of both self-awareness of existence and ‘Separation trauma’ that was catastrophic – and which for the most part is buried and yet active within our consciousness as archetypes of what we ‘rationally’ regard as mythic fable.

The sense of agency in opposition to Life (Intimacy of our own being) has set a predicate in guilted fears and deceits that seek currency of fig-leaf thinking rather than reopen Original Currency of Meaning shared.
The adulteration of true Currency is the interjection of ‘priesthoods’ and ‘kings’ or powers as rules and enforcements of mutually reinforcing narrative identity set over and against a sense of lack associated with fear, pain and loss.
In giving a capital C I am also indicating a direct or intimate relationship or resonant alignment in the Current of Life – as distinct from the placeholder substitution of mental construct and model of image and concept that seeks or demands substitution as a masking bubble of personal reinforcement taken as survival set against a greater evil.

I sketch to point beneath the imagery of shadows on the ‘Cave’ of a dissociated consciousness – simply to stir or join with the direct intuition of Life that can be ‘old-wine-bottled’ into falsely derived or partial thinking taken as true – not least because our minds are predicated to seek anywhere BUT where truth would expose us in guilt, hate, fear, conflict or any other re-living of ‘separation trauma’.

It is thus ingenious in projecting its ‘grievance’ to ‘other and world’ and seeking to ‘resolve’ inner conflict in the casting out to an outer displacement mapping. A poor workman blames his tools – and a blamed-mind – seeks respite and mitigation in judging and attacking or denying others and world.

In the fantasy of ego dominance the victor stands over the body of the defeated. But in truth the denier seeks release from those they have denied. It is quite possible to live ‘backwards’ for a time – until we run out of time or the ability to maintain the mask of a currency of self-deceit seeking its accusation and denial in the other.

When the ‘game is no longer worth the candle’, its predicates are questioned and found wanting.
The intuitive discernment of the Heart is called upon for truth as the freedom from illusion that no longer serves it purpose. But this has to reach through or regardless the learned and acquired investment of surviving ‘separation trauma’ to some willingness to revisit as the desire for the integrity of peace instead of the pre-mental drive to deny, eradicate or control conflict.

I write this stuff in some sense of clothes – but it cannot be communicated but to the sharing of the terrain. The active principle is not intellectual but honesty in which self-trust can allow a true Currency to move us. We are not really IN the displacement mapping so much as focusing within its purpose. Instead of seeking to change the forms to redistribute psychic energy to nodes of reactive ‘control’, we address and embody the centre from which all polarities arise.

““Truth is without measure. Therefore, any part of it will stabilize reality and serve as a centering point from which observations may be compared and evaluated. Reality approaches or recedes from truth according to its affinity or resemblance to it. Truth is not measured by data, and you do not need volumes of it to make your life more productive and beneficial. What you do need is a better understanding of how and where to find the truth. Then you will be able to evaluate your experiences using an axial power rather than a boundary-based context. The true definition of a context comes from its center rather than its boundaries. Knowing this is freedom.”
~ The Keys of Jeshua – Glenda Green

James Graham
James Graham
Feb 6, 2020 10:30 AM
Reply to  binra

We met before. Now you are “a sample of one.” But you don’t keep it to yourself. You hang it out on the line and let it flap about on the public breeze. Pass the clothes-pegs.

So, knowing what’s under orders is, “Knowing this is freedom?” Last time you accused me of being violent. I worked with drug addicts. Someone on on here suggested I was an “upmarket person.” I worked in a care home before that and as a joiners labourer before that. I’ve been sanctioned 3 times and used the food bank. Both my parents were alcoholics.

You bet I’ll use force to save people from themselves. They thank me for the help afterwards. I’ll stand in front of any officer of the law and have my say and they can like it or lump it. They haven’t got a parking ticket or a stolen tube of Smarties to pin on me.

What are you afraid of? What is the cause of your anger and frustrations, fears and anxieties? Go on. Feel free!

Binra
Binra
Feb 6, 2020 8:15 PM
Reply to  James Graham

I don’t recall meeting you just from your tag.
Force is a form of communication but coercion and deceit are expressions of a breakdown of communication, that reinforce the mindset that undermines (weaponises) communication.

Is the last question for me – or for everyone to ponder -0 or both?

James Graham
James Graham
Feb 7, 2020 2:55 AM
Reply to  Binra

Forget it.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 6, 2020 11:50 AM
Reply to  binra

“~ The Keys of Jeshua – Glenda Green”

Thank you for posting that quote, which enabled me to understand clearly the ongoing problem I have with most of your postings by leading me to the genesis of Ms Green’s disastrous brush with organized religion.

His wounds her fingers, His ribcage her canvas; her faith, His Hollywood. John 20:24-29. Lion God in the sky above help us for we know not what we have done.

Meanwhile, a word from the other Didymos Thomas: “Jesus said, ‘Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human’ and a quick mid-shot from the camera of oldPiero:comment image taken from within the earlier organized tradition.

This Green stuff is about as regressive as it gets, so where are you coming from?

Binra
Binra
Feb 6, 2020 8:11 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

― Malcolm X

If you are looking for something else – you will find something else.
I don’t use quotes for their personal appendage – but because they say something I hold worthy of acknowledging.

But am I talking to a template?

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 7, 2020 12:29 AM
Reply to  Binra

“But am I talking to a template?”

No, I’m just writing at somebody who is happy with quoting someone who believes that an accidental 4-inch dent and 1-inch gash that was caused in a painting of Jesus, which she had made by simply copying from an image that a visual materialization of Jesus in person had implanted in her optic nerve, and through which gash she had poked her fingers in dismay, healed itself completely in transit back to her studio such that “the canvas weave was as tight and perfect as the day it was stretched”; someone who went on from that to have cosy chats with the Son of God on a regular basis and telephone healing sessions with mere mortals, $100 minimum, or groups, $120, telephone 1-888-453-6324, tithes accepted, ever since.

The woman is fucking bonkers, and shrewdly bonkers at that.

Which leads to the point: can totally deluded mental deviants string together bunches of words that make sense to someone else who is ready to listen to them? Well yes, your quote of Glenda is an example. “Truth is not measured by data, and you do not need volumes of it to make your life more productive and beneficial. What you do need is a better understanding of how and where to find the truth. Then you will be able to evaluate your experiences using an axial power rather than a boundary-based context. The true definition of a context comes from its center rather than its boundaries. Knowing this is freedom.”

It seems to make sense, but does it make sense? Well no, not even in any general spritual context, any more than the plain nonsense that has dominated the Western psyche for two millennia, the sheer lunacy of which has led to a whole generation of people–finally liberated from it by the rise of the newer substitute religions of science and art–who now routinely, and wrongly, throw the spiritual baby out with the organised spiritual bathwater and, with stunning cultural ignorance, rabbit on about fairies in the sky at the merest hint of religion.

Do you know what Glenda’s Jesus’s Dad did when Moses asked to see his face? He (God) mooned him (Moses). Really. Truly].

And [Moses] said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
[…]
And [God] said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
–Exodus

From there on, reason takes a final dive and everything goes rapidly downhill.

Now tell me, what do you think: am I a template?

James Graham
James Graham
Feb 7, 2020 4:21 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Exodus 33:18-23. Do yourself a favour. Forget that one. Let’s say there’s no way they are going fishing with me. Never!

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 7, 2020 12:05 PM
Reply to  James Graham

“Exodus 33:18-23”

Yes. I cut and pasted from the KJV but didn’t feel the need to be particularly specific. “Near enough for jazz” as I’ve heard someone who couldn’t play hookey for a day off at the slots say from time to time.

Binra
Binra
Feb 7, 2020 1:15 PM
Reply to  James Graham

Thought never leaves the mind that thinks it. When you cast out your thought – as a net – you receive in like measure, but when you cast as if to GET RID OF feared or hated self – you get an exclusion or ‘exclusive’ reality in like measure.

The human (split) mind can only perceive what happened – (past tense) it cannot perceive what is truly happening – though it can construct a model in substitute for direct Intimacy of being – and ‘be-live’ it. Nor can it know HOW anything happens – except under the rules of its constructed worldview – in which false flag of misidentifiction has ALREADY phished the mind with forms and associations as triggers to reaction.

My original sense of ‘Religion’ is a direct Intimacy or transparency to Being, and thus of resonant recognition and balanced communication with All That Is. The term ‘organised religion’ is doublethink – because its terms contradict each other. A perception and world and society built upon doublethink is expressing self-contradiction in all it thinks, does and says – but invisibly so to a sense of split mind.

What CAN split a non physical and non local realm of qualities into quantitative fragments that all the king’s proxies must then seek in vain to put together again? Trauma.

You do not want to re-live trauma. That’s perfectly understandable – excepting this: What we are running from or seeking to evade will frame and limit and sabotage our life from the shadows of a false sense of having done so. Persistent Notional Security is then the underlying dictate that conforms and complies thinking, interpreting and reacting to a past-experience as if it were still here – and so the past is imprinted on the face of the present by a protective sense of self-recoil from Infinity. Infinity is not defined by its boundary conditions but by its centre.

Traumatised thinking is defined by its boundary conditions as ‘ego-centricity’ that does NOT recognise itself in others and world but seeks only for what it can GET. It makes a world for getting. There is a way of revisiting trauma from a new desire and perspective – one that is NOT framed and defined by the evil of loss of love, power, trust, support, worth – and thus set by the drive to get substitution for innate qualities in a world of shifting forms.

‘They’ (whoever they are) – are assigned motives that ‘you’ give or ‘cast them in’. Your net worth is thus something you seek to avoid and never let in…?

Any accepted and active belief seeks and finds reinforcement. We could not HAVE reality experience without beliefs – but are they invisible structure or template to which we are conformed and subject? or are they within our power and freedom to re-evaluate and change?

Simply align in accepting what resonates true to such self-honesty as you can currently allow. Resonance is a vibratory quality of matching frequency – not merely a structure of identity set in defence against freedom of communication.

Binra
Binra
Feb 7, 2020 12:28 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

But of course you are seeing through a template darkly – however I do not say you ARE a template.

If you had a sense of what it is to be truly centred and thus connected – you would perhaps also know what templated or conditioned reactivity is. That is the gist of living from resonant alignment rather than reactive polarised identity in judgements that DO to you as you would to those you so smugly trash.

The intent to un-centre and ‘divide’ the individual expression of God (That we each and together are), is the divide and rule mindset that so many love to hate, attack, smear and deny in OTHERS. You get to feel ‘good’ in a perverse kind of way when you crap on others and display your superior consensus ‘power’.

Where is the truth to be found?
Anywhere and everywhere there is willingness and readiness to hear, see and receive it. The key being what you look with or where you are ‘coming from’.

The notion of truth to ego-templated thinking is some kind of possession or weapon – but this is characteristically BACKWARDS – and leads to a world in which

“Everything is BACKWARDS; everything is upside down! Doctors destroy health, Lawyers destroy justice, Universities destroy knowledge, Governments destroy freedom, Major media destroys information, And religions destroy spirituality”. (Michael Ellner)

Now you are free to assign cause to ‘others’ and world as the externalising of your own conflicted thought – but no matter how you believe it, it will never be true and will never reveal you as freedom to align with who and what you are – rather than who you have come to believe, assert and defend in grievance.

I am not interested in discussing Glenda Green or any take or mis-take on Christianity in context of your framing in derision. Honouring and acknowledging the presence of others does not require ‘special beliefs’ – but it does require the disinvestment of allegiance to belief set AGAINST the living.
Because such a mind is set backwards as an Expression usurping its Cause.

The ability of the mind for deceit is limited only be our willingness to choose pain as if it can be joy, hate as a special ‘love’ or private gratification as ‘Reality’.

In terms of illuminating and releasing deceit, so as to release it to share in the true value and meaning of life, is the uncovering of invested mis-identitification. All are called, but few choose to listen … yet. It is all a matter of time – which can waste as well as be wasted.

Wasting the opportunity of embracing Life on Earth is perhaps a Human temper tantrum. I am not without understanding of grievance, but I choose not to weaponise it and become its proxy or template of destructive intent. You seek your ‘enemy’ and find it everywhere. But you could as easily seek truth that heals.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 11, 2020 6:54 AM
Reply to  Binra

Sanctimonious bullshit, the currency of reaction, regression and (passive) aggression, the politicized mainline of every priest from shaman to psychotherapist, the devaluation of the immanent within every individual phrased as their salvation, veneration of the Ark that only the Cohanim may approach and emerge to offer succour to the masses deemed responsible, each and every one individually, for their failure to free themselves from an ignorance engendered only by that very same self-aggrandizing act of so deeming. Get lost Aaron, the spirit of humankind has suffered only oppression at your ministrations and any induced ‘need’ for your snake oil has only compounded the misery of the load you have placed on them since you learned the trick.

binra
binra
Feb 11, 2020 8:49 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

If there is any meaning to be gleaned from anything you wrote above, it escapes me. Accusatory assertion and smear by association with ‘Jewish power???’ or Shamanism???

Reaction, regression and aggression? Yes I can see you accuse your sins in me – but do you then except yourself from your hateful ‘self aggrandizement?’.

Whether you know what you do, or do as you ‘think to know’ – you misread me and react to your own shadows.
While you seek your joy in attack, you must and shall do so until you discover it is a false and negative return.

I am not the addressee of your frustration.

You do not want to see that blame (and its penalty of sacrifice) is the toxic debt by which freedom of a true responsibility is undermined and lost to the narrative dictate of the ‘judge’.

That we are responsible for what we think is NOT to say that we are to BLAME – but to say we ARE the freedom to question, re-evaluate or disinvest from thinking that is AS A RESULT recognised false.

Recognising this freedom restored to your awareness now is ‘salvation’ TO love and from fear.

If thinking were not not the framer and farmer of deceit, propaganda or narrative identity manipulation would not fathering the lie.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 12, 2020 9:51 AM
Reply to  binra

“If there is any meaning to be gleaned from anything you wrote above,”

Good one. Ancient, but still 7/10.

” it escapes me.”

Mandy Rice-Davies applies.

Voluminous, patronizing, clinically narcissistic, self-aggrandizing, self-serving stupefacient bullshit upon voluminous, patronizing, self-aggrandizing, self-serving stupefacient bullshit piled aeons high.

And you don’t give damn where you dump it, do you, just as long as you got de rubric and he/she/it aint. Take this from the ‘Launching No Deal for Nature’ BTL, just you and some remote viewing, no nasty interaction with some disintegrated personality involved:

AS a framework or medium for communication – I abhor the chosen template format.
There was something to be said for ‘simple’.
The development of gizmo and slick is generally the art of hyping lack of content or hidden payload.

So I see the fragmented mind in the use of such a (ubiquitous template).

Go on, you tell ’em. The really need your rose red crap up their earholes. That’ll fix their hyping, disingenous, false flagging, (secret) code no end. They’re a Texas outfit (that may have once operated in San Francisco) with a phone number and all, so you can contact them direct to heal them. The guy to talk/write/intone at is Forrest Palmer of “Photosynthesis Studio Art and Design”, 4114 McDuffie Street, Houston, Texas 770098; phone +1.5623318709; email [email protected]. Tell him you understand his problem and can fix his mind, soul, life, business and code in just a couple healing sessions of love and truthful spiritual reintegration with his ground of being. It might be helpful to offer him a free cassock as a come-on. Keep the balsam off his nightie. Tell him I sent you and ask for a discount, so he only needs to kiss your feet.

Binra
Binra
Feb 12, 2020 12:25 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

There was an OG request for feedback to a new site. I offered mine. I have no need to change the mind of those who chose to use the template. They are fully able to make their own choices, and can do so in the light of all feedback. I am not in the business of ‘fixing’ others but of learning to accept and appreciate them for who they are.

You choose to engage in stamping YOUR mind onto others as aggressively asserted personal judgements of smear and invalidation. Perhaps you have a NWO that will fix all the shit you see everywhere and in everyone. It’s all the rage these days.

There is a conversation that can be had about the development of computer (browser) interface, the social political context of its development and the extension of a fragmentation of consciousness to a new ‘language’ of conditioned attention grabs. But you have no interest in communication – except as can be used as a weapon to dump your shit on others and presumably feel either ‘better’ for it – or mistake less shitty, as a positive expression of favour granted or prayer answered.

I questioned whether there was any meaning in what you wrote because it was rabidly incoherent or relating to some pet mythology of your own inner dialogue.

The action-reaction cycle is mindless – or rather the uncreative use of mind as an autonomous habit. I don’t write from a point of insulation from fear or pain or loss – but from a willingness to stop taking the bait of reaction so as to allow an original order to re-align thought.

Which part of your posts to me is not ad hom?
Where is the substance of your sharing or argument?
You would appear to detest what I say but only in the context of blanket judgements and smear by association.
There IS hatred in the human heart and it IS putrid to feel. But you can own only what is yours – as a result of your experience and choices – and release what is not yours to where or whom it belongs.

There is an argument for ‘impact’, marketing, grabbing attention etc – in respect of a campaign website. I hold that this is the nature of the problem but where do you draw the line? The way in which information is offered is part of what is being said.

I feel that your example shows it is NOT the powers that (should not) be – alone – who bring great ills to our world, but a pervasive and systemic way of ‘thinking’ that is a contradiction in terms or doublethink. It actually blanks the mind of those who accept it as their own. Buyer beware!

johny conspiranoid
johny conspiranoid
Feb 4, 2020 8:50 AM

What does “value” mean in this discussion?

BigB
BigB
Feb 4, 2020 1:13 PM

What does ‘value’ mean at all in a socio-economic sense is the absolute crux of all human and more-than-human socio-ecological relations. The non-trivial answer is: Q = “What does value mean?” A = “Anything we want it to be.”

Which separates pre-market from market societies. Where spondylus, cowrie shells, wampum beads, etc. had subjective value as human kinship relations. Situated in and dependent on ecological relations. Which was termed ‘special purpose money’ by Polanyi. Conversely: market societies operate with ‘general purpose money’ – which is universally exchangeable …in theory on an anything for anything basis (‘impossible exchange’). Which commodifies everything as valueless: except to imaginary subjective human relations. What makes a Picasso worth ten Ferrari’s: labour? Or Fetish?

That’s Marx to Baudrillard and Debord in a dense, untranslatable paragraph. The point is that ‘value’ and ‘value-ethics’ are subjective and socially created. In a bourgeois society: social value relations are developed from status and entitled privilige relations – not from economic class relations per se. Culture itself becomes a capital for Bordieu. Bourgeois societies transcend basic class relations by exporting them to create a global proletariat that services their community development by tribute and ‘Ecological Unfair Exhange’. True social and ecological relations are invisibilised by invented, imaginary, status relations. The society becomes ‘autonomised’ from actual human and actual more-than-human exploitative social relations. Which is globally socially and ecologically destructive …which amounts to global economic and ecological value destruction. By consuming the value-ground: of all life …which denies more life for all. Repressing any chance of global justice in a true synergitic ecological economy. Of a global value economy of life enhancing greater and more ‘valuable’ life.

https://bsahely.com/2018/02/14/the-primary-axiom-of-value-universal-human-economy/

In short: value has a subjective element and an objective element. Subjectively: value is living life to the maximum spontaneous joy of human ecological kinship relations. Objectively: life is meeting our real needs – for comfortable survival and spiritual communities of cooperation – in a way that enhances, not degrades, the inclusivity of interbeing in more-than-human socio-ecological relations. For which a return to special purpose – locally exchangeable – money would be a giant transitional step.

https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/General-Purpose_Money_vs_Special-Purpose_Money

Ultimately: value is life. And exchange is either life-blind – the ”mad-money” of general purpose impossible exchange (how many Ferraris is a baby worth: all of them?) …or life-coherent (every baby has an equal opportunity for life because there are no Ferraris). And the source of value-ethical choice is you or I. When enough of us make the right choices: we will have the ‘impossible’ world we all desire.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 4, 2020 8:02 AM

“‘Effective altruism’ touts a remedy, for grotesque and geographically skewed inequality, whose efficacy – shown in any case by Hayward to be dubious or even toxic – itself derives from those deeper injustices of which currency divergence is one symptom.”

“X millions in nation Y have been ‘lifted out of poverty'” is one of the most pernicious urban myths of our time.

P.S. Your footnote [3] needs some subeditorial syntactical intervention.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Feb 5, 2020 8:41 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

You’re right, Rob on both counts. Re footnote 3, I’d never have allowed so tortuous a construct in the main text!

Capricornia Man
Capricornia Man
Feb 4, 2020 6:04 AM

Hayward is quoted as writing: ‘…human rights norms are currently honoured as much in the breach as in the observance…’

If this is an allusion to Shakespeare, it would mean that violations of such norms are just as much approved of as observance of those norms. I doubt this is Hayward’s intended meaning. Shakespeare’s original (‘a custom more honoured in the breach than the observance’) means that a custom is more APPROVED of when it is not performed.

James Graham
James Graham
Feb 4, 2020 5:01 AM

Testing

James Graham
James Graham
Feb 4, 2020 5:13 AM
Reply to  James Graham

Is this working right? I’m subscribed. I posted a comment and it disappeared. Then it said I wasn’t authorised. Was my comment too long?

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 4, 2020 7:01 AM
Reply to  James Graham

Your comment was unlikely to be too long. Your two different avatars for your original post and your reply to yourself suggests (unless you changed your email address between the two, intentionally or otherwise) that “this isn’t working right”.

merit
merit
Feb 4, 2020 10:57 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Having not logged in would change the avatar. (if someone registered, they are also entitled to post without logging in. nothing wrong with that).

Clearing the browser cookies changes the avatar, and nothing wrong with that.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 11, 2020 7:22 AM
Reply to  merit

“Having not logged in would change the avatar. (if someone registered, they are also entitled to post without logging in. nothing wrong with that).”

I have never ‘logged in’ (unless that’s what you call initially filling out the Anyname and anyaddress fields in the comment form, I certainly have never ‘registered’,

“Clearing the browser cookies changes the avatar, and nothing wrong with that.”

and I have cleared my cache (so to speak) completely and irrevocably several times by switching to different systems with different browsers, when, provided I fill in the first comment form I post with the same Anyaddress, I get the same avatar while changing the Anyname at any stage, including the first post from a new setup, has no effect on the avatar, but changing the Anyaddress invariably does.

Yet still I post with a consistent avatar.

I have already referred to my ignorance of the use of the term ‘log-in’ in this context and, because I have no intention of getting in the WordPress code even slightly, my understanding of the Anyname/Anyaddress/avatar linkage is based entirely on deduction from 20 minutes worth of simple experimentation.

Where have I got it wrong?

Gall
Gall
Feb 4, 2020 7:06 AM
Reply to  James Graham

It happened to me also. Every once and I while you end up typing into one of black holes located in cyberspace. I mentioned something about Singer’s “effective altruists” being similar to “trickle down ‘economics'” where what trickles down must have evaporated before it got there.

Actually one could overturn the whole financial apple cart by going off the grid and growing their own food. If one doesn’t want to be a total vegan they could learn to raise domestic stock or become good at hunting game and fishing.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Feb 4, 2020 11:27 AM
Reply to  Gall

It gets more difficult by the day. The bionome is destroyed with vengeance by those who want to make organic agriculture impossible – to force the masses to eat their GMO/glyphosate food that is genetically engineered to withstand the chemical onslaught from above.

I am part time caretaking thousands of Hemp plants. Watching all the problems they have when growing outside is heartbreaking. Knowing the plant for most of my life in all of its forms, it is apparent that the environment has changed towards artificial hostility.

And again and again and again, people talk about overpopulation without ever including themselves in the numbers. It’s always the others that have to reduce themselves. So to speak.

But the future of sustenance will not be possible under fascist rule. Fascist corporations doing everything to curtail what folks can grow and what not. As long as the machine (bureaucracy) is destroyed for good – there will be no survival but in the most remote areas on the Planet.

Here is a laundry list for those who are interested to get away from it all (excluding new fascist regulations against organic farming):

Find out what ‘Aircrete’ is and how you can build a very comfy shelter in two days. How you can ban plastic from your life by replacing it with cement. Cement will not end up on the landfill or the oceans as does plastic furniture. Build fish tanks from aircrete. Build growing space from aircrete. Learn about ‘Aeroponics’ – a way to grow organic food with 90% less water use (an important fact). You will need to buy a high pressure pump, pressure tank and HP nozzles/HP hoses.

Here in Uruguay are not only the trees and plants croaking. There is an insane increase in non-beneficial pests and at least I have my theory about that. Leaf cutter ants are now the threat number one for all farming. The people here use TONS of ‘Hormigocido’ (sic), Ant poison that is highly deadly to fish when getting washed away in heavy rain.

Fascists in the U.S. and Israel might not be the only ones that use biological warfare to destroy the crops of a country that they want to be depending on their filthy GMO shit. It can be done with microwaves and those should be known for the damages they are doing to Mammals already. Just like you can steer locusts, you can promote growth of pests.

These are end times no matter what some hopeless optimists wish to be. Behind most everything that is plagueing the Planet and mankind are fascist criminals. It does not look like they will let go of the stranglehold they have the Planet in.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Feb 4, 2020 11:33 AM
Reply to  nottheonly1

is destroyed for good

should read “ISN’T”.

anonymous bosch
anonymous bosch
Feb 4, 2020 3:11 PM
Reply to  nottheonly1

“These are end times no matter what some hopeless optimists wish to be.” The “hopeless optimist” does not exist. Your “fascist criminal” was once a child. We must educate youth and be willing to be educated by them too.

Gall
Gall
Feb 4, 2020 10:26 PM
Reply to  nottheonly1

I totally understand. Here in the Americas we see ecological destruction everywhere perpetrated by these ecocidal maniacs. Even so there are minor victories that should give heart. Here on the north side of Turtle Island the Saugeen Ojibway Nation refused to take a bribe of $150 million in filthy lucre to turn their territory into a nuclear waste dump.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/04/saugeen-ojibway-nation-has-saved-lake-huron-from-a-nuclear-waste-dump/

Anyone who wishes to support their cause against the Corporatist (another name for fascist) State can send them a few bucks, pounds, francs, lira, pesos, Euros, yen or whatever currency in vogue wherever you are to:

Saugeen Ojibway Nation’s Environmental Office is 25 Maadookii Subdivision, Wiarton, Ontario, Canada N0H 2T0

One way to show these greedy bastards that we can’t be bribed!

Another way is to boycott any and all environmentally unfriendly corporations that includes those who pretend to be “environmentally friendly” by throwing up a few solar panels.

merit
merit
Feb 4, 2020 4:36 AM

If 95% of Australian and NZ rock lobster exports were halted overnight due to the latest virus, why prices didn’t come down so poor people, who have never tasted rock lobster before due to the prohibited price, can have a taste of this saefood (for some, it would be the first time)?
The other question is: Is fresh seafood so expensive in Australia because it is a landlocked country? And why capitalism dictates that Australians need to buy frozen full-of-MSG seafood from Vietnam? Did the author meant Global Poisoning when he wrote global justice?

Capricornia Man
Capricornia Man
Feb 4, 2020 5:26 AM
Reply to  merit

Australia isn’t landlocked. It’s surrounded on all sides by oceans.

merit
merit
Feb 4, 2020 6:53 AM

Do the rulers of Australia know their country is surrounded by oceans? If the first-worlder democracy-spreader Australian government knows that there are 60,000km of coastaline around their country, how do they allow the importation of fish from Thailand, and precisely from fisheries that are run by mafia, where they kidnap poor people and force them to work extended hours in harsh conditions???

And by the way, Australian rock lobster is now selling for $99(AUD) per 800 grams, despite the latest shutdown of the Chinese market.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 4, 2020 7:28 AM
Reply to  merit

The rulers of Australia are vicious, pig ignorant, morons, many now fundamentalist ‘Christian’ poltroons. We have one major war criminal from Iraq increasingly prominent in the regime, and the rest are corrupt, climate destabilisation deniers and all-round hard Right fanatics.

MrChops
MrChops
Feb 4, 2020 1:19 PM

Climate destabilisation – that’s a new one.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 4, 2020 9:15 PM
Reply to  MrChops

To reject (I assume you’re another denialist)science agreed to by all the Academies of Science and scientific societies on Earth and confirmed by irrefutable evidence, on the basis of its nomenclature, is not terribly convincing.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 5, 2020 2:21 AM
Reply to  MrChops

Funny how a site that claims to allow any opinion, cannot allow a simple answer to this, that the nomenclature used does NOT in any way refute the science and observations. As I said, funny.

lundiel
lundiel
Feb 4, 2020 1:14 PM
Reply to  merit

Maybe the reason is because you’ve passed the deadline for large quantities of rock lobster in Australian waters, and the price is reflected in it being a seasonal catch, along with the fact that it is hard gruelling work?
Supply and demand isn’t everything.

Jen
Jen
Feb 5, 2020 1:21 AM
Reply to  merit

Erm, maybe because one reason is that many fish species around Australia are actually endangered species and so the fisheries that catch them are subjected to regulation and quotas to ensure these species are not overfished?

A second reason is that Australian consumption of seafood outstrips its own production and so Australia needs to import seafood from other countries.

A third problem is that tropical and semi-tropical oceans around Australia are probably low in nutrients for fish and other marine life, which partly explains why humpback whales migrate past Australia twice a year: they migrate north to warm waters near northern Australia to give birth (and live off their fat) and migrate south to the Antarctic to eat (and fatten up). Cold waters around Antarctica are where most humpback and other baleen whales’ food is.

Plus would you begrudge the people who catch rock lobsters and other seafoods, or who perhaps farm them, a fair price for their produce to cover their costs of producing these foods and to pursue this work for a decent living?

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 4, 2020 7:20 AM

“Australia isn’t landlocked. It’s surrounded on all sides by oceans.”

Australia isn’t landlocked, only its white settlers and their descendants are

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Feb 4, 2020 7:35 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

It’s certainly ‘brain-locked’.

merit
merit
Feb 4, 2020 10:49 AM

‘brain-locked’
That’s the expression I was looking for! Thanks!

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Feb 5, 2020 10:13 PM

Ha ha ha… True.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Feb 4, 2020 7:13 AM
Reply to  merit

“If 95% of Australian and NZ rock lobster exports were halted overnight due to the latest virus, why prices didn’t come down so poor people, who have never tasted rock lobster before due to the prohibited price, can have a taste of this saefood.”

Because Israel has started importing them in large quantities as part of its relaxed dietary restrictions designed to attract a vastly increased number of new settlers to occupy and secure by fait accompli its annexed Palestinian lands.