Erasmus: I Want YOU to Support Our Online Treasure

By Erasmus, an academic in the humanities

Naked Capitalism is among the best sites for a daily dose of interesting, well-researched articles and incisive discussion covering an astonishingly broad range of topics, from finance to current events, politics, international affairs, history, culture and philosophy, as well as random bits of knowledge … like what to do if a hippo chases you.

This extraordinary independent publication, devoted to economics and so much more, has been part of my intellectual life for more than a decade, and I hope it has become part of yours. I have learned so much from it over the years. This marvelous anomaly stands in proud contrast to the bleak, corporate-controlled, pandering neoliberal mainstream media landscape. If you can contribute, please give generously to support Naked Capitalism…via the Tip Jar…right now!

The humanistic ideal of the much-criticized literary and philosophical “canon” (now essentially dismantled in academic programs) sought to embody this principle of the open forum for ideas. In order to judge merit and quality, one must use reason and good sense and strive to be objective. This approach runs counter to the postmodernist notion that there is no truth. Even when we are uncertain of the truth in the world, that does not mean it does not exist, nor should we abandon the noble search for it. Just because some people act in unethical ways with impunity, it does not mean ethics are a philosophical fiction.

Naked Capitalism seeks truth, deploys skepticism, and valorizes ethics and justice in a world full of elite looting and grifting, fraud, censorship, indoctrination, wrongheaded policies, incompetence, misleading ideologies, and rampant deception. The site presents a broad diversity of ideas and views, reflected by the diversity of views and backgrounds in the online commentariat. Figuring out what to think is up to you, and good luck with that. Top-down control is imposed on bullshit, rather than on inconvenient information and ideas under scrutiny in discussion threads. How else are we to figure out what is happening around us, other than by using reason and good sense in the assessment of competing claims to the best of our ability? There is no magic instant solution (sorry, TikTok influencers). Please donate to support a righteous cause: the slaying of bullshit!  Proceed to the Tip  Jar and chip in!

Yves Smith, Lambert Strether, Nick Corbishley, Conor Gallagher, and KLG work diligently to bring readers thoughtfully curated news and analysis every day, including copious original reporting.

Yves, Lambert, and their tireless moderation team maintain a dynamic and civilized commenting environment that excludes  agents provocateurs who would seek to derail discussion threads by inserting fear, uncertainty, doubt, distortions and distractions. In a perverse way, it’s a testament to the vigor and attractiveness of these discussions that some seem so determined to undermine them. But online trolls are relentlessly chased away and their falsehoods denounced and ruthlessly crushed. Commenters recognize that their views will be scrutinized and given careful consideration, even if their arguments are challenged.

But the goals are higher than just having civil and often entertaining conversations. Thanks to the wide-ranging interests and experiences of Naked Capitalism’s international commentariat, the site authors and the readers build on and seek out the expertise that operates as a collective resource on political economy and beyond: medicine, science, engineering, history, law, finance, military matters, and many other subjects.

Here are a few highlights from my engagement with Naked Capitalism over the years:

  • I learned about the X/Twitter mirror site, to view Twitter accounts and posts anonymously without a login and invasive tracking.
  • I learned more about Covid and Long Covid than I ever imagined possible. Lambert has been valiantly covering Covid news.
  • I learned about Corsi-Rosenthal boxes, to filter and ventilate indoor air for healthier breathing.
  • My firm belief that the likes of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Craig Murray, and others have done courageous and worthwhile work has been validated on this site.
  • I had the great honor of meeting Professor Michael Hudson in person at one of the New York City meetups (pre-covid). (I was tongue-tied and felt like I squandered the felicitous encounter, for which my apologies to him.)
  • I have been inspired again and again by commenters such as IM Doc, Aurelien (David), PlutoniumKun, Flora, Amfortas the Hippie, and many others. The site hosts and commentariat are capable of great compassion in response to suffering and misfortune, and this reveals one of the finest virtues of Naked Capitalism: It reminds us to be human, reminds us of what is most important in life, reminds us to care.

There is wonderful humor to be found on Naked Capitalism, and delightful irony and gallows humor of the highest order (looking at you, Lambert). And every so often, when I least expect it, someone posts a comment that is hilarious. For example, recently there was some good-natured joking about Mike Pence (“Mike had fun once, but now regrets it”). Humor is essential to cope in a mad world, as the real Erasmus demonstrated in the Praise of Folly (Moriae encomium, or Stultitiae laus) of 1511. Satire is awesome.

And speaking of the original Erasmus, let us not forget he was on to class warfare long before The Bearded One branded it:

The most foolish and the meanest profession of all is that of merchants, since they seek the meanest goal by the meanest methods; even though they tell all manner of lies, perjure themselves, steal, cheat, deceive, still they think they outshine everyone else just because they wear gold rings on their fingers.

Naturally there is no lack of flattering friars who stand in awe of them and openly call them “venerable”– clearly for no other reason than to get a little share of their ill-gotten gain. (Erasmus, Praise of Folly, trans. Clarence H. Miller)

Please dig deep to support Naked Capitalism, be it $10 or $1,000, or a monthly subscription, so that we may continue to be reminded that things are serious, and yet we should not take ourselves too seriously. Thank you.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


    1. lambert strether

      I just clicked the Subscribe button on the Tip Jar page and it works as expected [lambert wipes brow].

      When you try again, I suggest you clear your cache and cookies. Thank you!

  1. Wukchumni

    I like my humor served blackened-the darker the better, and what better measure to counter the dark forces of neoliberalism aligned along the bulwark of freedom of the press.

    Give generously, how many other locations on this here couple of orange cans and string allow us to mock & roll?

Comments are closed.