Naked Capitalism: A Personal Legacy

By ChiGal, a regular reader and now commentor

I don’t know how many other members of the commentariat were turned onto Naked Capitalism by their 80 year-old mothers, but I was, around 2010, and it wasn’t long before I was sharing posts with everyone I knew, friends and colleagues both. I was working as a hospice social worker at an inpatient unit at that time and there was a great deal of conversation about the ACA vs Medicare for All here then (and of course again in 2016). I am pretty sure that I made the acquaintance of PNHP, Wendell Potter, and Health Care Renewal through Naked Capitalism. The links and comments about health care were so incredibly relevant to all of our lives and Naked Capitalism was the place to find them. So please help support Naked Capitalism via the donations page.

It took me a few years of being a regular “lurker” to screw up my courage to pipe up, but whether or not I have time to participate, the ongoing discussion at Naked Capitalism is an absolute lifeline for me. My mom died last year at 90 and I can count on the fingers of one hand the people I can talk to who haven’t been lulled into a sort of stupor (“comfortably numb”) by the steady diet of MSM pablum we are fed. The commentariat provides something I really miss about her that none of the other people I know have, which is the ability to put things in context, thanks to her retention of the history, philosophy, and economics she learned in school so long ago.

The erudition and links provided by members of the commentariat on top of the regular posts is nothing short of astounding. I start my day, every day, with Naked Capitalism, and with the brilliant innovation of Water Cooler some years back, I check back in again later. I am beyond grateful for Lambert’s curation of the zeitgeist. His dry wit and innate skepticism belie a profound compassion as well as a sense of justice.

There are so many in the commentariat who have deep knowledge—both book-learning and real-world experience—and frankly leave me in the dust, and yet Naked Capitalism welcomes everyone, whatever their contribution. Even when I go against the grain, so long as I express myself sans logical fallacy and incivility, I feel my voice is heard.

Well, not whatever their contribution actually. Last year’s suspension of comments really hurt—ouch! – who knew January 6 would happen right then? It was just plain awful not to be in touch with the Naked Capitalism community at that time. I don’t think it’s putting it too strongly to say many of us went through withdrawal despite understanding the necessity (hint: the Tip Jar is calling…).

So in addition to depth and breadth, the encouragement of critical thinking, the iron hand of Yves enforcing good faith argumentation, and the tolerance of a wide range of points of view, Naked Capitalism provides a sense of community, a solidarity of the sane in the face of collective insanity. For example: I absolutely cannot bear to watch the TV “debates” anymore without the open thread hosted by Lambert. It is grounding to know that others see and hear what is plainly there but somehow never makes the spin.

Another thing Naked Capitalism excels at is exploring the vexed issue of race; prior to the current debasement of critical race theory for use as a weapon by the PMC there were many profound exchanges: Albion’s Seed was a revelation, as was Adolph Reed, the Black Socialists, and so many others that really moved my thinking. And what more can you ask than to grow? It is probably the best ROI ever and I know I will give what I can and encourage others to do the same.

A final note about Naked Capitalism : it is a place of compassion, and this I think is down to Yves. Despite suffering no fools and not hesitating to provide tongue lashings when deemed necessary, by sharing her own personal trials and tribulations she created an environment in which others felt they could do the same, and much is the sharing and many the responses of understanding and encouragement. Thank you to Yves, Lambert, Jerri-Lynn, Nick, Jules, and all the rest for demonstrating that there is yet a flicker of humanity in the land.

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  1. William Hunter Duncan

    Very well said.

    I gave $50. That is the best I can do. I just took a job making $18.41/hr, I take home about $2200 per month, and my liabilities are about $2000. But for the occasional side job I would be destitute. But if I can do it….

  2. Tom Stone

    I found NC through the comments at “Calculated Risk” when Tanta was still among us and it has been my first stop in the morning for well over a decade.
    Times have been rough lately and like ChiGal there are very few people I can discuss current events with who have the intellectual and moral courage to face our current reality, even when they have critical thinking skills they are too frightened and too heavily propagandized to use them.
    NC is a refuge from the madness that I value greatly.
    My entertainment budget is $10 a week,this week it will go to NC.
    If you are wondering what the heck I’m doing up at 3:30AM…

    1. Arizona Slim

      Tom, look into the McKenzie method, which features an exercise called the press-up. I used this exercise to get rid of my sciatica pain in just 6 days.

      1. Leftcoastindie

        And if that doesn’t work you might want someone to look at your spine. I had the same issue last year (it had been going on for a year or two prior), went to a spine surgeon and found out I have congenital spinal stenosis. Had a four level spinal fusion done in December and have been able to do 3 mile walks with no pain since July.
        Hopefully your situation is similar to Slims. Good Luck!

      2. sj

        Going a completely different route, I was dealing with sciatica for months earlier this year. I finally got a Tibetan Singing Bowl in the key of C (root chakra). It took me a couple of days to actually make it sing. But once I did, I got relief in a couple of days by using it 2 or 3 times a day for just a couple of minutes each time.

        Just saying.

  3. Eclair

    Thanks for your great comment, ChiGal. You elucidate what so many of us have gone, are going, through.

    NC has been like a Great Books on-line course for the intellectually curious. Downside of this is that it has left me pretty much isolated among friends and family. It’s been a time of, “I can’t believe you are still watching MSNBC, or listening to (and believing), NPR (although they still do some great reporting.)

    However, my critical debating skills have been improved by the NC commentariat, as have my databanks of reliable, and often arcane, information on economics, finance, and politics. And, more importantly, encouraged by Amfortas, I have been attempting to hone my ‘listening’ skills, as he does, down at the Feed Store. Trying to curb my tendency to ‘spread the Truth,’ and listen to the Truth as understood by others.

    1. ChiGal

      Totally with you on the listening piece, and Great Books was my favorite class in high school! And before that my aforementioned mother facilitated a Junior Great Books program at the local public library ;-)

  4. Futility

    I don’t know anymore how I found NC, but I am tremendously grateful that I did sometime after the GFC the beginnings of which I experienced after being laid off from a really great job in R&D at a large hard disk manufacturer in the US (GFC created a cash flow problem for the company and R&D is always the first to go) and decided to return to my native country Germany. Still waiting for the crooks at the banks to be thrown in jail… not holding my breath, though.
    I learned a lot here at NC about MMT, the endless political and economic propaganda around us, unbiased information about the Corona virus, Uber, the ‘gig-economy’ and a plethora of other topics I didn’t know anything about before. Checking out the daily link section is one of the first things I do in the morning (lately the sheer number of them is getting a little overwhelming, though) and reading the comments is always enlightening and I often find other tangential information about poetry, songs, good books to add to the (already much too long) list of books to get, or links to other worthwhile articles on other websites.
    Just finished my donation! Many thanks to the great team at NC, one of the few sane places on the web!

  5. Steve from CT

    I came to NC some years ago when I saw Yves being interviewed on the Charlie Rose Show. Yes that Charlie Rose. I immediately was intrigued by her responses to the questions asked by Rose and found the NC web site and signed up. I too go to NC first thing in the morning. I enjoy scrolling down all of the articles and read the ones I am interested in and send some to my friends and relative.

    I can’t say enough good things about the morning NC. Just as good is the Water Cooler by Lambert with much about the politics of the day and the way our Democratic party has let us down and consistently fails to learn anything but does remember who to undercut. I really enjoy Lambert’s take on the political scene. I am happy to be able to contribute my share to support this amazing site.

    Chigal your remarks above are excellent and well written and I agree with your take. Thanks to all of the NC contributors and Yves for their dedicated work. Lets keep it going!

  6. Eudora Welty

    Yes, I recall that comments were disabled around 1/6. That was actually very observant and prescient of the NC team. I have no idea how you keep your finger on the pulse of the Internet, but Yves and the team are, well, what is a word beyond excellent? I sense a caring of the long-term viability of NC & its commentariat/ writers, and this is another draw of the blog.

    1. Mantid

      That’s right, I remember that quite well. I would mention to my cohorts, friends, etc. that NC actually has the temerity to halt the comments until people calmed down. I teach middle school teens and it’s a clever way to get people’s attention and bring polite discourse back in. When I go to a link suggestion from a fellow commenter, I’ll often read a few of the link’s comments. Quelle difference. “Libtards” and “right wingers” spouting bé ess without really saying much. So different here. Speaking of here, here’s a link today regarding talking yet saying nothing….. ‘Bout 9 minutes of dancable funk.

  7. SouthSideGT

    I really can’t recall when I discovered NC but I know I was moved to send 60 bux when it appeared that the comments section might be shut down some time ago. I always found the comments section as educational as the posts themselves. One of my guilty pleasures has become watching Yves take some hapless commenter to task when they cross the line. Schadenfreude, I know I know.

    Just sent in another donation and I am glad I did. Many many thanks to Yves and the bloggers and the commentariat that makes this site so valuably informative.

  8. Dave in Austin

    Interesting. Most comments mention how NC protects them from too much MSNBC and NPR, both on the left.

    Don’t forget it also protects us from FOX, the NYT, the little fascist napping in our limbic region and believing that Trump’s occasionally correct insights indicate competence.

    Send NC your love… and, if you can, your money.

  9. camelotkidd

    NC allows us to engage in the revolutionary act of community in a milieu that promotes rugged individualism
    I’m re-reading Econned and am blown-away by Yves’s knowledge of the history and perversion of the dismal science
    I can’t imagine life without NC and encourage everyone to give till it hurts

  10. juno mas

    ChiGal, what a wonderful herstory. It is amazing to learn about the broad experience of NC readers.

    It is through reading NC that one learns how to be Righteous, learns to be Kool, and learns to think before becoming a Fool.

    Praise your Lord.

  11. Rio

    In “The Naked Capitalist” , Dr. Skousen reviews the book “Tragedy and Hope” by Carroll Quigley. It reveals how some of the richest people in the world have supported communism and socialism. Why would they support what appears to be the pathway to their own destruction? Dr. Quigley has been associated with many of these dynastic families of the super-rich. Dr. Skousen therefore writes as an authority on the world’s secret power structure. His answers to the above question will astonish you.

  12. BeliTsari

    Guess, it was through Taibbi & leaving a foreclosed $42K house in Frackistan for a $720K apartment in NYC (while watching coworkers lose their homes, equity… everything, while driving around red state pipe mills?) Yves’ posts & links were posted right as I’d be the first sucker into the mill at 4:12 AM, & sardonic, astute & frequently prescient comments were the closest thing I’d had, as a news source?

  13. Sonoma John

    Found NC when it made the internet banned list along with several blogs I already followed. Banned lists are often a good place to find aspects of truth.

  14. rivegauche

    Well-said, ChiGal. I hate to imagine the things I wouldn’t know if it weren’t for NC… everyone here. Just made a $50 donation via PayPal around 10:14 EST p.m.

  15. The Rev Kev

    Very well said, ChiGal. It’s always nice to see what you have to say when you put in a comment as they are well thought out. Like yourself, NC has become a sort of refuge for me as the regular media, as you have noted, tends to put you to sleep. My condolences about your mother but if she was sharp enough to put you on to NC when she was 80, she must have been an extraordinary person indeed.

  16. Carla

    Loved your testimonial, ChiGal — especially that your mother introduced you to the site — WOW! My own dear mother left us several years before I found Naked Capitalism, but she was my greatest teacher. Without her lessons, I never would have been ready for Yves, Lambert and the commentariat.

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