Recent Items

Links 7/26/13

Posted on by

Scientists Trace Memories of Things That Never Happened New York Times

Human hybrids: a closer look at the theory and evidence PhysOrg (Robert M)

A full moon DOES affect our sleep – and it’s all because of our inner caveman Daily Mail (Lambert)

Why the CIA Is Worried About Geoengineering OilPrice

Verizon Ready to “Kill Copper” and Take Hostages Corrente

The world might be drifting into an oil price shock Financial Times (Scott)

Barnier Says TTIP Deal ‘Won’t Work’ If It Leaves Out Financial Regulations Inside Trade

Japan military ‘needs marines and drones’ BBC

IMF fears Fed tapering could ‘reignite’ euro crisis Telegraph

Basta ‘La Casta’: No End in Sight to Italy’s Economic Decline Der Spiegel

Egyptian army questions Mohamed Morsi over alleged Hamas terror links Guardian

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Feds Receive Lashing From Judge in Challenge to NSA Spy Program Courthouse News (Deontos)

The Worldwide Surveillance And Privacy War (Which You Already Lost) Wolf Richter

Privacy advocates spurred on for surveillance fight Guardian

How immigrant children affect the academic achievement of native Dutch children VoxEU

Zimmerman trial Juror B29 says ‘Zimmerman got away with murder’ Christian Science Monitor

A Surprise Ending for Larry Summers and the Fed? Richard Eskow. With all due respect, we’ve been saying Summers is a probable stalking horse for Geithner for a while, but we haven’t been willing to devote an entire post to this unpleasant prospect

Senate letter backs Yellen for Fed role Financial Times

Can The G20 Make Multinationals Pay Tax? Lee Sheppard, Forbes

UBS to Pay $885 Million to Settle U.S. Mortgage Suit Bloomberg

Halliburton admits it destroyed Gulf of Mexico evidence Telegraph

Biggest Shipping Banks See End to Slump as Lending Recovers Bloomberg

Detroit Automatic Stay Ruling Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Durable Goods: Seen and Unseen (the Good, the Bad, the Ugly) Michael Shedlock

A Better Way to Think About Trade Simon Johnson, New York Times

Investors Fear Stocks More Than Death Clusterstock

Antidote du jour (Dr. Kevin):

image043

Print Friendly
Twitter15DiggReddit0StumbleUpon0Facebook2LinkedIn1Google+0bufferEmail

56 comments

  1. rjs

    re the maximum fine of $200,000 for halliburton; about a week’s pay for the executive who should be going to jail for that…

    1. BondsOfSteel

      It’s not as bad as it looks… the evidence was computer simulations done after the accident.

      It only affected the finger pointing… not the oil that was spilled into the gulf.

  2. S Bunnell

    As a biologist, I can say, after reading your ‘human hybrids’ link, that phys.org has now been added to my ‘write anything in exchange for cash’ list. That link is April Fool’s worthy…

    1. brian

      Fellow biologist here, phys.org is on the verge of ridicule. Call it the Daily Mail of the science websites.

      1. Susan the other

        Sorry to hear this. I was just enjoying the implication that evolution was once a much freer possibility. And that the free-market evolution in the past has been restricted now by exclusivity. What is the theory in evolution where a species finally gets too exclusive even for its own kind?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It can still be a free market and that’s why it’s wise to leave the cat at home, instead of taking him/her on one’s honeymoon.

    2. reslez

      What was it about the hybrids link that caused you to dismiss it so totally? Please educate us.

      I can understand being suspicious of phys.org but I’m curious what red flags you as a biologist see about the hypothesis itself.

  3. Jim Haygood

    From the wonderful woman who brought us Obamacare:

    Hill sources say most of the credit for the [Amash] amendment’s defeat goes to someone else: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

    Ahead of the razor-thin 205-217 vote, which would have severely limited the NSA’s ability to collect data on Americans’ telephone records if passed, Pelosi privately and aggressively lobbied wayward Democrats to torpedo the amendment, a Democratic committee aid with knowledge of the deliberations tells The Cable.

    “Pelosi had a big effect on more middle-of-the road hawkish Democrats who didn’t want to be identified with a bunch of lefties [voting for the amendment],” said the aide.

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/07/25/how_nancy_pelosi_saved_the_nsa_surveillance_program

    In a rotten-borough Congress with an incumbent re-election rate in the high nineties, the status quo is defended with gusto. TIA, PRISM, it’s all the same to Nancy.

      1. Ms G

        Spoken like a true plutocrat. Great quote, thanks. Nancy Pelosi is one of the powerful trojan horses for the Third Way Panzer Divisions.

    1. Seal

      NSA probably has something on Paul Pelosi or maybe even Nancy. Maybe they found a horse head in their bed.

    2. Roger Bigod

      It’s surprising that the Amash Amendment got as far as it did. A couple of months ago, there wasn’t a snowdenball’s chance in hell it would have reached a vote.

  4. rich

    Surgeons Eyed Over Deals With Medical-Device Makers

    Ten months after an Afghan-born surgeon named Aria Sabit arrived in Ventura, Calif., local hospital staffers noticed he suddenly developed a preference for an obscure brand of spinal implants for many of his surgeries. Soon his volume of operations increased, with sometimes-tragic results.
    Glickman & Glickman Dr. Aria Sabit, a spinal surgeon, testifying in a deposition last year.

    By the time he moved on less than a year later in late 2010, he had become embroiled in investigations by the California medical board and the Food and Drug Administration and more than two dozen medical malpractice lawsuits, including 12 involving surgeries he did with the new implants.

    Now, the Department of Justice is investigating Dr. Sabit because it has emerged that he had an ownership interest in the company that distributed, and profited from, the surgical devices he switched to, people familiar with the matter say.

    Physician-owned distributorships, or PODs, have proliferated in medicine. Distributorships, whether owned by physicians or not, act as intermediaries between medical-device makers and hospitals: In exchange for marketing and stocking devices, the distributors get a cut of each sale. When surgeons own the distributorship, that commission goes into their pockets. And since surgeons often dictate to their hospitals which devices to buy, they can effectively steer business to themselves.

    Depending on how they are set up, such entities can be legal. But in March, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General issued a special fraud alert about PODs, warning that they “pose dangers to patient safety” by inducing surgeons to do more procedures than necessary and to favor devices they profit from over more “clinically appropriate” ones.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/surgeons-eyed-over-deals-medical-030100766.html

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is a tragic, developing humanitarian crisis in Syria and nations have to start taking in refugees.

      Do they do it on drawing lots or give preference to certain people?

      Should surgeons and doctors be given less preference so they can stay behind and help with an urgent medical need (hey, Afghans are people too) or do we seize their talent because we can always use more doctors and surgeons (maybe slightly underpaid – good for our hospitals as well) over here?

      Or is the whole drawn randomly? If they are ‘fortunate enough,’ everyone gets to leave for a strange, new, but safer, country.

  5. skippy

    Interrogating Klein’s Shock Doctrine – Saroj Giri

    (The author of this piece is Asst. prof. Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. He is a renowned Marxist academician well known for his socio-political articles)

    Abstract
    In The Shock Doctrine Naomi Klein rightly critiques capitalism in its repressive ‘market fundamentalist’ avatar. But she does not problematise ‘democratic capitalism’ or the very form of capitalist democracy. Instead she advocates the latter. Thus for her the role of social movements is limited to the extension of democracy, from the political sphere, to the economic. No problem as such there – until we find that her advocacy for social movements derives from the need to make sure “disillusioned citizens would not go looking once again for a more appealing ideology, whether fascism or Communism” (p. 54). It is hard to overlook her liberal rationale. Neoliberalism must be challenged, since it is a bad candidate to keep the ‘hard left’ in check. Klein functions within the paradigm of the ‘end of ideology’ and the ‘end of history’: anything beyond liberal capitalist democracy takes us to ‘totalitarianism’, where fascism and communism merge. Social movements and people’s subjectivity that tend towards the ‘hard left’ (for example, those on the left of Allende’s democratic socialism in Chile who were fighting the coup), finds mention in her analysis, if at all, only to be repudiated as a danger. – snip

    We explore some of these dimensions below, Klein’s recent work being an example. However, Klein says that David Harvey inspired her. Harvey stamps his approval on such a ‘co-option’ (for want of a better word) of such movements when he writes: “a strong and powerful social democratic and working class movement is in a better position to redeem capitalism than is capitalist class power itself”.(2) How working class movements are so easily assumed to be on the side of social democracy, and the task of redeeming capitalism, is what we need to take note of here. After this, Marx gets easily placed alongside Roosevelt.
    Along with a declaration, on the cover page, that it is the no. 1 international bestseller, Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is also described as “a compelling study of the dark heart of capitalism”, which “aims its 10-foot long middle-finger at the Bush administration..”.(3) The book “is a challenge to the central and most cherished claim in the official story”, the claim “that unfettered free markets go hand in hand with democracy” (p. 18).
    Instead, she argues, “this fundamentalist form of capitalism has consistently been midwifed by the most brutal forms of coercion” (p. 18). This fundamentalist capitalism is associated with the Chicago School in general, and Milton Friedman’s ideas in particular. Free market fundamentalism, and the shock and terror associated with it, are mainly examined in the context of the “war on developmentalism” and Third World nationalism particularly in the Southern Cone of Latin America in the post-WW2 period. “By the 1950s, the developmentalists, like the Keynesians and the social democrats in rich countries, were able to boast a series of impressive success stories” in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and parts of Brazil (p. 55). Poland, South Africa, Russia, UK and USA are among the other countries discussed. But it is the Other September 11, the coup of 1973 in Chile, which is taken as a key turning point: “the beginning of what The Economist would later describe as a ‘counterrevolution’ – the first concrete victory in the Chicago School campaign to seize back the gains that had been won under developmentalism and Keynesianism” (p. 79).
    The book forcefully challenges the approach whereby “acts of terror were framed as narrow ‘human rights abuses’ rather than as tools that served clear political and economic ends” (p. 118). It establishes the symbiosis between “the shock of the torture chamber” and the “economic shock treatments”, “the symbiosis of Pinochet’s violence and Chile’s ‘economic miracle’” (p. 118, p. 153). A huge amount of evidence is presented to show a strong “connection between their (Chicago School) policies and the use of terror”, proving “that the repression and the economics were in fact a single unified project” (p. 118, p. 124).
    Torture is “a metaphor of the shock doctrine’s underlying logic” (p. 15): “like the terrorised prisoner who gives up the names of comrades and renounces his faith, shocked societies often give up things they would otherwise fiercely protect” (p. 17). “The original disaster” shocking society could be “the coup, the terrorist attack, the market meltdown, the war, the tsunami, the hurricane” (p. 17). It is to implant their policies in such terrorised, shocked societies that, “as Milton Friedman had said”, Chicago School believers would “be ready with their solutions when everyone else was still asking questions and regaining their bearings” (p. 182).
    The shock doctrine means that free market policies are imposed against the aspirations of the people: they are terrorised, or tricked, or deceived into it.4 The source of the problem is located in corporate greed and the profit motive of the ruling free market elites in power, inspired by Friedman’s vision of “total corporate liberation” (p. 19). This “closed, fundamentalist doctrine” is totally unresponsive to the aspirations of ordinary people: it is undemocratic (p. 19). The way out, according to Klein, is to extend democracy from the political sphere to the economic sphere. “It was true, as Francis Fukuyama noted, that there was an emerging and irrepressible consensus that all people have the right to govern themselves democratically” (p. 183).

    However, this ‘desire for democracy’ was not extended to include the economy, so that people could “choose how the wealth of their countries would be distributed, from the fate of the state-owned companies to the level of funding for schools and hospitals” (p. 183). The need is to “redefine democracy to include the economy”.5 This re-defined democracy is of course no more than a form of ‘democratic capitalism’, social democracy or Keynesianism – what Klein otherwise describes as a government sensitive to the aspirations of ordinary people. Clearly then in this search for “some hybrid of political freedom and economic security” she does not break from liberal democracy (p. 182): she merely argues for its extension into ‘economic democracy’ and hence believes in the possibility of this extension. It is in this obeisance to liberal democracy or, democracy generically used that the shock doctrine starts unravelling, revealing its own self-referential conditions.
    Overlooked is that, while free markets are so often accompanied, as she shows, by the most brutal forms of coercion, they can also come about without these brutalities, within the framework and machinations of normal (capitalist) political democracy. If, with political democracy in place, people can be so often tricked and beaten to accept an unjust order, does it not say something about this democracy itself? Klein does not raise this question. Instead for her the problem is to be located only in the violation of this democracy through shock and terror or trickery from the outside, by a set of people and policies that are imposed.
    These policies are not understood in the context of the class or political struggle constitutive of capitalism, but from a closed-loop fundamentalist doctrine external to this struggle.6 Once ‘fundamentalist capitalism’ is thus externalised, it is set in a constitutive opposition to the idea of some normal (read democratic) capitalism, a la Keynesianism, social democracy. Free market fundamentalism, the book’s documentation of its enormous horrors notwithstanding, becomes now a mere aberration, a deviation from this default capitalism harking back to the days of the New Deal and Marshall Plan and promising to be what all ‘ordinary people’ and popular movements aspire for. In a word, the real struggle for her is between social democracy and free market policies – with mass movements un-problematically subsumed within social democracy. – snip

    http://toanewdawn.blogspot.in/2012/10/interrogating-naomi-kleins-shock.html

    skippy… class – political – economic – individual struggle…. Haha~~~ were all Tyson chickens now [!!!] Ref. Food Inc et al.

  6. evodevo

    Re: Human/pig hybrids – I am giving Phys.org benefit of the doubt and considering the article to be satire? Otherwise, I might have to say it confirms my suspicions that physicists are idiots when they get even the slightest step over the line into another science field.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If you are a famous physicist, people will literally worship whatever you say and quote it over and over again.

  7. McMike

    The word Cerrente is looking for (re Verizon copper) is: “plunder.” Right next to “plutocrat” and nearby to “pillage” in the dictionary of vulture vampire capitalism.

    It’s the same story as the Chicago privatization craze, and as with what Wall Street is doing everywhere.

    The western financial elite have been travelling the globe and systematically plundering other cultures’s capital, resources, labor pools, and common wealth for centuries.

    It is simply our turn to be roasted on the spit and picked at by pirate capitalists like a fat hog drenched in honey BBQ sauce.

    The plunder somehow seems harder for people to see when it is happening to us, moreso because it takes subtler forms in advanced economies. Unlike Latin America or Africa – where we could get away with overt scrorched earth colonialism with only the shadiest of pretexes – raiding the fat plumb that is the United States took decades of planning and set up and cover stories. And must be run more like an intestinal parasitee occupies it’s host, slowly sucking the life out of it, while keeping the host unaware and still functioning.

    It’s the biggest con ever. Not at all a smash and grab, it is more of a Hollywood bank job starring Matt Damon and Sean Connery: sophisticated tunnels, electronic wizzardy, elaborate infiltrations, incredibly convoluted plots.

    But, make no mistake, we are being systematically plundered. Piece by piece. It has been decades in planning and execution.

    What has changed is it has come out in the open now, as most of the pretenses are dropped in one last orgy of plunder.

      1. britzklieg

        “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

        - Frank Zappa

      2. Synopticist

        “They don’t even care enough to fake it any more.”

        That’s it in a nutshell.

        1. Ulysses

          It seems like they are now trying to drown out the reality of what’s going on by ever more noisy and splashy diversions. 9 out of 10 Americans know far more about Lance Armstrong’s doping than they do about the routine violations of their Bill of Rights. Useful information is buried in mountains of gossip and consumerist crap.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Eric Holder lives!

      Trust us:

      “Claims that Snowden “would be tortured and would face the death penalty” if he is sent to the U.S. “are entirely without merit.” [entirely right, why would anyone think such a thing?]

      “On the death penalty, “the charges he faces do not carry that possibility.” [so far, anyway, and never mind the vociferous threats made by that Congress of Baboons]

      “Mr. Snowden will not be tortured. Torture is unlawful in the United States.” [everyone knows we are sticklers when it comes to following the law and the constitution]

      “We believe these assurances eliminate these asserted grounds for Mr. Snowden’s claim that he should be treated as a refugee or granted asylum, temporary or otherwise.”

      In related news, the Senate voted unanimously to impose sanctions on any country that aids Snowden’s request for asylum. Unanimous?! You too, Bernie? And Elizabeth? Is there not a single oath-keeper or defender of the US Constitution in the Roman Senate? And why stop at sanctions; why not war? What an utter disgrace!

      http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/07/25-11

      1. James G Browne

        Wonder which Bank he has his mortgage with?
        Occupy Snowden’s Home! Have Booze pay off the princple. I’m calling Steny Hoyer right now, to urge complete amnesty for our critical patriot Snowden:

        1705 Longworth House Office Building
        Washington, D.C. 20515
        Phone – (202) 225-4131

      2. we're going to put their heads on sticks

        Non-refoulement is an absolute prohibition. Is Holder really enough of an ignoramus as to think he can lie his way out of documented torture?

        …oh wait, Holder got his job by lying about the US government’s extrajudicial killing of Martin Luther King as documented in King Family v. Jowers. Lying is what Holder’s there to do. Let’s hope that Russia’s frisky legislators will rub Holder’s pornstachioed ferret face in the Big Lies he has plopped on the rug.

        Actually, it was the Committee on Appropriations that voted to apply the sanctions – in manifest pig-ignorance of UN Charter Article 41. The morons don’t know sanctions are above their deep-state flunky pay grade. Good to hear, though, lest we forget what a phony scumbag Leahy is.

      3. Gerard Pierce

        The headline for the article was incorrect. The Senate did not vote unanimously, it was the 30 member Senate Appropriations Committee where this vote happened.

        All it proves is Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is a traitor to the constitution, but we knew that already.

  8. barrisj

    Hilarious how the CNBC talking heads were turning themselves inside out in trying to come to grips with the SAC indictment.
    “A criminal enterprise…c’mon guys!!” “They’ve built a very successful business model, don’t forget.” That these types are trying to put a positive spin on criminal actions speaks volumes about how deceptive and unethical conduct amongst Wall Street titans has become institutionalised and fully integrated into the financial zeitgeist now extant in the financial community and its defenders. By the very fact of Steve Cohen staggering wealth, he and his fund are truly regarded as “successful”, certainly by the standards prevalent on “The Street” today. Sad, sad, but surely not surprising. Cohen so far has escaped any sort of criminal indictment, and one wonders how many of his lieutenants are willing to fall on their swords to protect his “good name”. Knowing how the game is played, some of the eight employees who have copped to a guilty plea re: insider-trading charges may have a relatively short sentence and probably will have to serve a suspension of employment within the securities industry, but as long as they don’t rat out The Big Kahuna, there will be a place for them on “The Street” eventually. Spivs, wide-boys, and chancers are ALWAYS in demand, as long as they understand Rule One: don’t grass up the chief. There is no Rule Two.

  9. Susan the other

    James Gorman. NYT. It would appear that false memories are part of cultural evolution. Anything that helps you rationalize you can store in the “dentate gyrus” of the hippocampus. And pass it on genetically if you are a mouse! That is so truly amazing I hardly believe it; it must be an evolutionary advantage. They refer to optogenetics, but I fear that doesn’t describe it. False memories that are inherited (?) are not an image, they are a definition. Otherwise why bother? Just ask Marcus Arelius because no doubt he had his share of bloody nightmares.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        My thinking regarding passing on genetically has always been ‘what has posterity ever done for me?’ Perhaps too selfish, I suppose.

        Ok, this is the part that concerns me NOW: ‘…researchers have found it relatively easy to generate false memories of words and images in human subjects.’

        Imagine how much a totalitarian regime with unlimited money printing ability can do with that bit of ‘scientific discovery.’

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        China likes to be the first in a lot of things.

        Maybe she was preparing to war with the US before the US was preparing to war with her.

        1. optimader

          the first time I was in China ~25 years ago on business , I went on a tour to the Great Wall. The Chinese had a compulsion to express provenance on every development of civilization: paper,silk, porcelain, blackpowder, skyrockets, ect ect ect.

          On the way to the Great Wall Chinese Guide (watcher) segued from the development of blackpwder for firework displays to the fantastic effort and allocation of resources (and it was) that went into the construction of the Great Wall.

          When he finally asked if there were any questions, I obliged and asked him, well after all that effort and resource diversion, how did the “Great Wall” work out as an imperial defensive strategy to repel the Mongol hordes? Was it a technical success, or in retrospect should more of that effort been applied toward the development of rockets? No good answer to this one.

  10. rich

    The Too Big to Fail Insurers – the next bail outs, another nail in Democracy’s coffin.

    These and a host of other squalid allegations with seemingly very strong evidence to back them up – strong enough to get you or I suspended if not in custody – are piling at Mr Rajoy’s door. Yet, as the BBC notes,

    Mr Rajoy has dismissed the allegations and seems irritated that questions are being asked. He has repeatedly said he will not stand down. To date he has seen no need to provide a detailed explanation.

    And why should he, he is Too Big To Question. No European leader has said a word – The BBC ‘s curious silence. They don’t care that he is in all likelihood a criminal, because he is one of them doing their work – making sure things remain ‘stable’ so that the wealth and power of the top 5% is maintained. You and I obey the laws, they do not. They are a self assembling super elite for whom laws are a laughable formality.

    They are above the law, and they are deciding who else, which senior executive positions in which global businesses are likewise above the laws, all laws .

    Welcome to your future.

    http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2013/07/the-too-big-to-fail-insurers-the-next-bail-outs-another-nail-in-democracys-coffin/

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When they achieve 100% control on what laws to pass, they will never have to be above the law again…except to put on a good show or just to display their omnipotence.

      Maybe they already have that and this is just a show.

  11. skippy

    todays happy thoughts…

    Multi national Coal Seam Gas company British Gas, with it’s shelf company QGC have been dumping contaminated product water on Australian roads, in our rivers and into our drink water supplies for many years now. With scientific evidence condemning this industry now gathering pace, Australian politicians are now feeling the heat. Maybe some product water to cool them off may be in order.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=K04taMEqIac

  12. Walter Map

    A couple of hundred thousand? Halliburton spends more than that on greens fees for the executive country clubs.

    Halliburton will simply scam a little more out of their government contracts. It won’t cost them anything. And then they’ll scam a lot more, as payback for messing with them.

    A couple of hundred thousand? Even the nasty old neocon Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon couldn’t account for trillions.

  13. skippy

    More lead in the old ideological balloons…. methinks…

    In 1930, when thinking about the future, liberal economist J.M.Keynes believed that;

    “man [sic] will be faced with his real, his permanent problem – how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.”

    Despite continually improving production rates the problem of work has not vanished.

    Whenever the crisis is discussed in the media we hear the same demands for work or jobs, and the same tired promises spouted out by politicians, think tanks and trade unions. Whilst some critics focus on the activities of politicians or “banksters” as being the cause of the crisis, we think that the root cause is, actually, a crisis of work.

    Soaring production hasn’t liberated us from work but has made our lives more precarious. Automation and globalisation have altered the global economy and fundamentally changed the way that work looks. Here in the Global North we have witnessed rising unemployment figures and stagnating wages. The government’s “Plan A” has been to “make work pay” by attacking state welfare programmes and trying to make workers more “flexible”. Whilst those of us without work struggle, under fear of punishment, to find any kind of work, those “lucky” enough to be employed struggle to make ends meet. We only need to look at how many payday loan companies exist on our high streets or to how many of us are claiming in-work benefits for proof that having a job is no guarantee of being able to ‘get by’. It’s clear that work isn’t working. Five years into the crisis, and with few signs of even the potential for recovery it is time for us to revisit the politics and critique of work. Things need to change, and to change fundamentally.

    So what are the alternatives? Despite the increasingly desperate cries of some commentators we can’t go backwards to a nostalgic “Plan B” of full employment and a strong state. We cannot work our way out of this crisis, because even if we wanted to, changes in production and geo-politics have made this impossible. We need to make plans that move us beyond the dominance of work and the false dreams of ‘full employment’.

    The failure of Plan A and Plan B demand that we begin to construct Plan C; or, much better, several Plan Cs. We want to be part of processes that move from an ethics against work (which is at times very problematic – think ‘drop out’ culture) and towards an actual politics against, and beyond, work. We’ll happily admit we don’t have a blueprint, but we do see struggles around shortening the working week, implementing a universal wage regardless of employment, and fighting to defend and improve our social wage (the payments and services we receive from the state) as, whilst potentially problematic, also able to provide ways to move beyond the current domination of the so-called ‘world of work’. We want to develop and amplify politics which are not simply reactive to capitalism but also challenge the logic that dictates its own solutions in the form of economic growth, or the creation of unnecessary, underpaid and more recently unpaid work. For us, the position of anti-work challenges the dead rhetoric of both the right and a part of the left that calls for a return to full employment, along with the idea of any ‘recovery’ of this system.

    An anti-work position is not necessarily a rejection of productive activity. Rather, we view it as a position from which we can begin to rethink our lives and imagine how they might function when not subordinate to capitalism or the wage-labour relation. It is the possibility to both refuse and transform the system of work as it is presently understood, rather than to simply win a few concessions, it is both a means of resistance and also a struggle for a different relation between life and work.

    We live in an increasingly post-employment society which is stratified with other forms of oppresion; ours is a society split not just along class line but also upon gender, race and nationality. A viable anti-work politics needs to engage with struggles over the existing wage, whilst also seeking to connect with broader society and argue for a transformation of our relationship to work entirely. We see many fellow travelers already working on these ideas; some are familiar and within the radical Left whilst others are in more unusual places.

    http://www.weareplanc.org/manchester-plan-c-launches-new-working-group-workers-against-work/#.UfMTeW1TuZI

    skippy… what got us here was ignorance, some manufactured (cortex injected product TM) and some due to ideological rigidity. Yet… this orb is in a condition unlike ever before, as is our species… cough… WE.

    SO… just maybe, we need a totally different approach from jobs = human validity = demand + good times for *some* – then you die and its someone else problem.

Comments are closed.