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By Philip Pilkington, a journalist and writer living in Dublin, Ireland
We live at a strange moment in history. Everything has changed. The old ideologies have been disgraced and the old institutions lie in ruins. But the mainstream media and educational institutions have not yet come to terms with this. They continue to frame everything within the old ideas and narratives.
The result is confusion on a mass scale. Perhaps the key word that sums up our historical moment is ‘uncertainty’. Today there is uncertainty everywhere; from the employment prospects of the young to the medias feeble attempts to come to terms with our new reality. In short, it has become very difficult to get a good understanding of what the hell is going on right now.
The problem is that the old ideologies run deep – very deep. From the foulest propagandistic op-ed ‘discussing’ budget deficits right up to the latest winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, all these institutions and media cast a hazy veil over our reality.
In order to properly pierce this veil one must engage it on any number of levels. One must be able to both pinpoint vulgar propaganda and have a cursory understanding of debates from within the obscure depths of finance and economics; one must be able to properly track and contextualise current events and understand the often malignant powers pulling the strings.
I put to you, the reader, that Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism blog is perhaps the most effective means to see behind this veil in existence today.
Naked Capitalism is a strange creature, to be sure. A short essay on flaws in a particular slice of macroeconomic theory might run next to the latest weapons being used by riot police at an #OWS demonstration. While this may appear strange at first it is, in fact, simply comprehensive. Because, although it may not appear so at first sight, these seemingly disparate phenomena are intimately related: they are both marks of a power structure in crisis.
Of course, such comprehensiveness requires a readership able and willing to engage. And Naked Capitalism has nothing if not a committed and intelligent readership; a varied readership constantly engaged in debate. (Indeed, some people have commented to me that they enjoy the debate Naked Capitalism generates as much as they do the posts).
From a personal perspective Naked Capitalism offers me a platform to publish pieces that I would almost certainly not be able to publish elsewhere. Newspaper editors would seek to dumb them down while academic editors would seek to jargon them up. Yves does neither. Her ‘hands off’ approach is every writer’s dream. Which is not to say that she does not give feedback – she does; but it is never excessive and it is always open.
With its grand scope, its unique readership and its fine editor Naked Capitalism is a rare bird indeed. But it is clearly not as commodifiable as other media outlets or publications. No one, after all, ever made a fortune by attacking the powerful and the privileged.
Yves has abandoned the murky halls of big finance and shares her expertise with you. The financial media reports regularly on the handsome sums that even junior people in the major firms make, as well as the lawyers and other facilitators in a largely criminogenic environment. So you are getting her skills (and her fierce dedication) at a considerable discount from the market would bear.
You, readers, know well what you get from this site. And I can assure you that Yves works hard – too hard – to bring it to you. So, I ask you – nay, I implore you – to support Yves and support Naked Capitalism by donating whatever you can afford and think appropriate.