Ode to the Commentariat: Why Naked Capitalism Matters

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

Our other fundraising posts tell you what Naked Capitalism gives to you.

This one is a bit different.  I’m going to tell you what the commentariat – the feistiest, best-informed critical thinkers on the internet – gives to me.

I was a reader and admirer of Naked Capitalism – and a cash contributor to the annual fund-raiser (hint: the Tip Jar is over there!) –  long before Yves invited me to write regularly for the site.

A little secret here: One thing no one tells you when you sign up for the writer gig is how lonely this way of spending one’s time can be. Feedback is infrequent, and often confusing. One throws out one’s thoughts, but is anyone listening?

That’s not the case with my Naked Capitalism posts. Not only do you critique what I’ve written – in the comments section, and occasionally, via personal emails – but often, astute comments from the commentariat tell me things I didn’t know. You inspire me, and push me, and make me a better writer. And for that, I am grateful.

Really, really grateful – especially when someone posts a comment that repeats points I made in a post long ago – without knowing where their arguments came from. I am so thrilled! Mind you, I’m not looking for “credit” for my thoughts. What I crave is to know that the hours I spend writing reach – and persuade – an audience. Through your visits to this site and your comments, you affirm the contributions of all those who write for this site.

So I ask you, please visit our Tip Jar to support our efforts. Whatever you can give, whether $10 or $1000, helps us provide you with your daily diet of incisive commentary, analysis, news, and at least whenever I compile Links – amazing bird photos, as well as a place to hang out with the like-minded.

Initially, most of my posts were on regulatory, legal, or Indian topics. Yet over the past two years of writing for the site, I’ve widened my range to include more posts on the right to repair – originally inspired by my concerns about waste that arose from my writing about textiles and fashion – and the war against plastics. Readers have responded positively to these posts, and I appreciate your interest – as it means I can continue to write about things I think are important. The range of the site has expanded beyond Yves’s original emphasis on finance and economics, to Lambert’s interest in politics, health care, and permaculture, to include other crucial topics ignored by the mainstream media – climate change, environmental degradation – and which the dominant neoliberal paradigm exacerbates.

And you, dear readers, are not following, but leading us to take on more challenges – at least with respect to this humble contributor. So, I post this shameless request to you to help fund the site. Without your contributions, Naked Capitalism would not exist. If it didn’t exist, my life would be much poorer – as I would not have the benefit of your thoughts and insights.

So, give what you can. Dispel MY ignorance. Correct MY mistakes and MY all-too-frequent typos! Please continue to educate me – and everyone else who benefits from the thoughts and insights of Yves, Lambert, and the other writers who write for Naked Capitalism – by sharing your thoughts and comments. Without this marvelous, unique site – there would be no forum for your views. Whether it’s $1 or $10,000, it all matters.  I say that as a longstanding fan of the site – and not as a contributor.

Please visit our Tip Jar to support our efforts. We MUST each do our individual bit, to keep the site going. I post my scribbles. You can send us a contribution – whatever you think you can afford. From each according to his/her means, to each according to his/her needs.


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  1. Mucho

    I just wanted to say I enjoy your contributions immensely, especially the ones on the idea of a right of repair. I have to admit I had never really thought about this, but it makes so much sense. Thank you!

    1. Webstir

      I agree with your right to repair sentiments. I came across the John Deere right to repair article on here and have been following it since. As a small town rural lawyer, I represent a bunch of farmers/ranchers. I shove little tidbits their way on a regular basis — such as the John Deere piece. I’ve spoken with at least 5 or 6 about the issue since you brought it to my attention. Most are pretty conservative, so I don’t reveal HOW I’ve come to learn these things. But, every one of them was grateful for the info.

      So Jerri, your work is being disseminated to, and helping, folks of all stripes.
      Thank you :)

      1. Louis Fyne

        >>>Most are pretty conservative, so I don’t reveal HOW I’ve come to learn these things. But, every one of them was grateful for the info.

        this is how the cultural wars are destroying the political/civic discourse on economic issues. It seems that in the past despite some big cultural divides, like Catholic v. Protestant, bottom 99% Americans managed to come together on economic issues. Not anymore.

        In an era of rising income inequality, why aren’t bottom 99% urban Democrats and bottom 99% rural Republicans coming together to roll back regressive sales/use (utilities) taxes? divide and conquer from the culture wars.

        That’s why NC is great…..for the most part, despite individual politics, people are trans-identity and see the big picture.

        Now if only more of you can be convinced to at least consider and be less dogmatic about nuclear fission, CO2 and climate change. I don’t own a uranium mine, it’s more like fission is all that’s left after process of elimination after looking at emissions and energy density.

  2. Jonathan Holland Becnel


    Id say Horace is right up our alley!

    Love -or hate – ur posts on Plastics.

    Louisiana is trying to build a monstrosity of a plastics factory in St. James Parish for 10 billion.

    Cant we all agree not to go back to the past for greatness. Instead we should look ahead.

    1. RBHoughton

      My heart aches and a drowsy numbness pains my sense
      as though of WaPo I had read or NYtimes from front to back
      and lethewards had sunk.

  3. The Rev Kev

    For what it is worth, I always pay attention to your contributions. They are the sort that brings up subjects that do not always come to your attention. Hope to see a lot more of your work.

  4. Ignacio


    I very much appreciate your effort, that I think is badly needed, on topics about sustainability. Rigth to repair, plastics, fast fashion, recycling, etc. You are also my best source on India. Then, we have these issues with laws. I am a science man so I appreciate very much that stuff. If you wish some day we could try to do something in the field of home construction and how to save energy on your house, on everyone’s house.

    Thanks a lot!!!

  5. Carla

    I’m a monthly subscriber, but I couldn’t resist making an extra contribution to this fundraiser in support of the Comments section. Many thanks to all of the Commentariat — you truly add to the quality of my life!

  6. Bugs Bunny

    Bravo on your India posts and especially your work during the insane 2016-17 banknote demonetisation period.

    I was there as well during part of it and no one in the Western press has given such a thorough treatment to what was a truly idiotic decision on the part of the Hindu Nationalists and moreover caused actual deaths and physical harm to many poor Indians.

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Just to add to the thank yous for your articles – such detail on India provides yet more amazing breadth to the site. I’m just starting to work through William Dalrymples Return of the King on your recommendation.

  8. Scott1

    I’ve noticed a trend. It is the 5 dollar a month trend, most clearly represented by Matt Taibbi’s new offer.
    I recommend it to Yves, as I bought that.
    Mostly I am ashamed about money. I have subscriptions to NYTs & Washington Post, and will cancel the WaPo subscription & apply it
    to Naked Capitalism.
    I admit to admiration for Matt Taibbi for he went from ignorance to
    awareness in a quest. I have had to do that myself.
    Naked Capitalism is important to me. Every dollar I spend I have to talk with my wife about. I can convince her to cancel my Wapo subscription & apply it to Naked Capitalism.
    P.S. Excellent appeal for money there Jerri-Lynn. I did read the article about John Deere. Reminded me of when the
    small town sheriff for the town of my youth was discovered to have been
    running a tractor stealing ring.

    1. wilroncanada

      To Scott1
      Cancelling WaPo is easy. Just send them a John Deere letter.
      A tractor theft ring? That’s really mega-horse rustling.

  9. drumlin woodchuckles

    If one doesn’t have money to send, what else can one do? Well . . . if the advertisers have a way of telling how often their advertisements here were clicked on . . . . and if the platform is able to charge more for advertisements if the advertisements are clicked on more. . . . then clicking on the advertisements helps NaCap earn more money by being able to charge advertisers more for the privilege of advertising here.

    And if the platform is able to measure the amount of time a clicker-onner spends reading the advertisement or listening to it after clicking on it, then spending that measurable time reading or hearing the advertisement
    might also permit charging more for advertising based on advertising being read or heard more.

    If indeed clicks and time-spent-per-advertisement are both measurable and measured, time-value calculable and time-value calculated, and chargeable-for and charged-for, then clicking and reading/hearing the advertisments becomes a donation of time . . . the time which makes more money possible.

    Things have to be paid for.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If more visiting readers would increase the price advertising could be sold for, one wonders if there are value-adding and values-respecting ways to attract those more readers at rates higher and faster than now.

      A thought occurred to me which might be re-expressed in a more refined and thought-out way. If a post were written once a week on the very same day of the week every week on plants, gardening, farming and related issues . . . . and if word of it started spreading, would plantpeople and gardeners and such begin coming specifically for that in measurably large numbers? If they did, would the higher visitorship on that feature be measurable? And if it were, could it result in even higher prices for advertising on that day? Or within that feature?

      Would a “Friday Garden Report” every Friday afternoon by whichever of our blog-hosts felt like writing it any particular Friday afternoon begin to attract rafts and shoals of gardeners after a time? Flocks? Herds? If none of our blog-hosts felt able or up-to writing a “Friday Garden Report” on any particular Friday, would a “Friday Garden Report Open Thread” attract all those gardeny readers anyway so they could read from and maybe report to eachOTHer what THEY are doing in their gardens?

      Not a brazenly effronterous assignment, just an offered thought.

  10. Wukchumni

    It’s fun in a way, in keeping up an ad hoc diary of things while they’re fresh and current, and i’m not sure if I could do it w/o the stimulation of others prodding me to peck away on this keyboard.

    Thanks for letting me play…

  11. Phemfrog

    Thank you. I love to read the comments here. They are my dose of sanity. I make only a few comments myself, but i hope they are useful to others.

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