[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International



I have a problem with this notion of humanism being thrown around.  How is your humanism any different from althusser's "humanism"?  Althusser, for me, represents an aspect of our being in the world which highlights our unreflective acceptance of rules and ideas as the nature of our being in the world...Whereas the humanist claim Andy and rauno point to speaks to a sort of cartesian rational or self-conscious individual being.  The latter two want to establish society based on such an individual, I.e., subject...whereas, althusser is suggesting that not only is there no such individual, but "there is no subject but by and for their subjection.."   So it appears as though you humanists are attempting to do what capitalists have done, manufacture subjects...will your humanist subjects be better than the laborers and consumers of capitalism?  In what sense?  How will you reproduce them?  How will they be defined?


Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
President
The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
www.mocombeian.com 
www.readingroomcurriculum.com 

<div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: Rauno Huttunen <rakahu@utu.fi> </div><div>Date:01/22/2014  5:13 AM  (GMT-05:00) </div><div>To: ablunden@mira.net,"eXtended Mind, Culture,	Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> </div><div>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International </div><div>
</div>Hello,

I am also a humanist but I still like to read Althusser. Althusser's theory of science and social theory are very interesting (generalization I-III, intransitive causality [generative causality?], ideological state apparatus etc.). With the help of Giddens is possible to make kind of humanistic interpretation on Althusser's social theory.

Althusser's former student (many famous French thinker were Althusser's students; Foucault, Derrida, Bourdieu, Badiou, Debray...) Jacques Ranciere is also very interesting. He break away from Althusser's school in 1970th and started his own kind of humanistic critical social theory. In his book "The Nights of Labor: The Workers' Dream in Nineteenth-Century France" Ranciere claims that Althusserians really don't care about working class, their intentions, their feelings, their thought, their dreams etc.. Althusserians say that they represents the objective interests of working class but actually they are telling to working class how workers should think and feel. For Ranciere Alhusserianism is just another form of ruling elite's ideology; ruling class ideology is just replaced with Althusserian party ideology.

Rauno Huttunen

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
Sent: 22. tammikuuta 2014 4:34
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International

I don't know how you claim to be an optimist, Paul. For my part, I am 
deeply hostile to Althusser's entire project. Structuralism is itself 
the paradigm of the ideology of modern capitalism. I am a humanist. "Who 
will take that self-conscious act?" you ask. Obviously the answer is 
that the agent will be a collaborative project, itself the product of 
many collaborative projects, and yes, organic intellectuals have a role 
to play it that project. But "a gramscian organic intellectual" is not a 
serious answer, as if it were a case of one person. But "The majority" 
(or intellectuals I presume you mean) is an empirical abstraction. So 
what? Who is counting? As if intellectual act as a unity according to 
majority votes of all intellectuals? Abstractions!

Andy
------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.mira.net/~andy/


Dr. Paul C. Mocombe wrote:
> But your position, andy, begs the question who will take that 
> self-conscious act...a gramscian organic intellectual?  Where are 
> they?  They are not in africa for instance...evo morales in latin 
> america?  I am with althusser on this one.  The majority have been 
> interpellated by and through ideological apparatuses that present 
> capitalism as the nature of reality as such.  The masses think they 
> can all be and live like Mike (michael jordan), the atlanta 
> housewives, and basketball wives.  They love capitalism more than the 
> capitalists....
>
>
> Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> President
> The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
> www.mocombeian.com 
> www.readingroomcurriculum.com 
>
>
>
> -------- Original message --------
> From: Andy Blunden
> Date:01/21/2014 9:00 PM (GMT-05:00)
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International
>
> Which brings us back to what on Earth is meant by "mind," Paul, but no,
> it is not my understanding at all that capitalism exists irrespective of
> the armed bodies of men and their political off-shoots which protect
> those relations. Unlike you though, Paul, I do not ascribe a personality
> to "the Earth," or "humanity," "the poor," or "us academics." What I am
> saying however is that the overthrow of capitalist social relations and
> thus the state which protects it, is a self-conscious act, a
> collaborative project, not something which emerges mindlessly out of the
> social process.
>
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>
>
> Dr. Paul C. Mocombe wrote:
> > Bill,
> >
> > You speak of capitalism as though it has a mind of its own, I.e., the
> > free market.  No such thing as  Karl polanyi demonstrates in "the
> > great transformation...The state has kept capitalism alive and going
> > amidst it's crises.  The question becomes can we have a humanist
> > capitalism somewhere between adam smith's "theory of moral sentiments"
> > and his "wealth of nations." Revisionist Marxists such as Bernstein
> > grappled with this question, and it continues to plague twenty first
> > century socialists.
> >
> >
> > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> > President
> > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
> > www.mocombeian.com
> > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
> >
> >
> > -------- Original message --------
> > From: Bill Kerr
> > Date:01/21/2014 8:15 PM (GMT-05:00)
> > To: Andy Blunden ,"eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International
> >
> > My contention is that capitalism has these economic characteristics:
> >
> > 1) General increase in standard of living
> > 2) Increasing gap b/w rich and poor
> > 3) Instability: periodic economic crises
> >
> > If you only talk about (2) without mentioning (1) then it is hard to 
> grasp
> > why people put up with capitalism. Bill and Melinda Gates just talk 
> about
> > (1) and ignore the other aspects. See
> > 
> http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304149404579324530112590864
> >
> > If you can't stomach Bill and Melinda there are other version of this
> > narrative. This video (Hans Rosling, GapMinder) is interesting:
> > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo
> >
> > The historical record suggests to me that provided (1) is maintained 
> then
> > people will continue to tolerate capitalism. Whether capitalism can
> > maintain (1) depends on (3). The crisis of 2008 and the Occupy Wall 
> Street
> > movement suggested to me that it was time to do some serious study of
> > Marx's unfinished project or alternatively other economic theories 
> such as
> > Post Keynesian (Hyman Minsky, Steve Keen et al) which recognise the
> > inherent instability of capitalism. My tentative conclusion is that we
> > just
> > don't understand capitalism and it is very hard to understand. eg. if
> > capitalists can muddle through the downturns by printing more money
> > and the
> > very serious economic downturns can be delayed by 70 years (Great
> > Depression to 2008) then that might be a formula for survival (?) Absurd
> > simplification on my part.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> 
> wrote:
> >
> > > Which means, does it not Huw, propagating a counter-ethic, so to 
> speak,
> > > since arguments against an ethic are just words, and the maxim is 
> always
> > > "do as I do not as I say." But an ethic is meaningful, I believe only
> > > within some collaborative endeavour. My relationship to you is
> > meaningful
> > > only in connection of what we do, as we, together. I believe that
> > "Do unto
> > > others as you would have them do unto you," is fine as far as it
> > goes, but
> > > is inadequate to this mtulicultural, fragmented world.
> > >
> > > Andy
> > > 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > *Andy Blunden*
> > > http://home.mira.net/~andy/
> > >
> > >
> > > Huw Lloyd wrote:
> > >
> > >> Going back to reference to the bubble and social psychology, it
> > seems to
> > >> me that the "super rich" are to be pitied too.  I am not sure
> > living in a
> > >> bubble is such a nice thing, especially given the immaturity
> > required to
> > >> sustain it.
> > >>
> > >> I don't think it is the super rich which are to be combatted, 
> rather it
> > >> is the inane notion that this is something to be admired or
> > desired.  This,
> > >> it seems to me, is a more obtainable and more rewarding exercise.
> > >>
> > >> Best,
> > >> Huw
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> On 22 January 2014 00:07, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
> > >> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>     But your foundation is active in combatting inequality through
> > >>     literacy. "Every step of real movement is more important than a
> > >>     dozen programmes," as one very serious theorist said.
> > >>     Andy
> > >>    
> > http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/letters/75_05_05.htm
> > >>
> > >>     ------------------------------------------------------------
> > >> ------------
> > >>     *Andy Blunden*
> > >>     http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>     Dr. Paul C. Mocombe wrote:
> > >>
> > >>         At 38 I am differing to my elders on this one...albeit, I
> > >>         agree with Andy...too young to be pessimistic, but what I 
> have
> > >>         seen happen to black america has really disappointed me.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>         Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> > >>         President
> > >>         The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
> > >>         www.mocombeian.com <http://www.mocombeian.com>
> > >>         www.readingroomcurriculum.com
> > >>         <http://www.readingroomcurriculum.com>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>         -------- Original message --------
> > >>         From: Andy Blunden
> > >>         Date:01/21/2014 6:36 PM (GMT-05:00)
> > >>         To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
> > >>         Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam 
> International
> > >>
> > >>         David, you are quite correct that agreement on 
> fundamentals of
> > >>         theory is
> > >>         by no means necessary for collaboration (though on the xmca
> > >>         list this is
> > >>         feasible). In a sense, the very meaning of "collaboration" is
> > >>         that such
> > >>         disagreement on fundamentals is suspended. Nonetheless, in
> > >>         raising the
> > >>         proposal on this list your are inviting collaboration on
> > >>         formation of
> > >>         the concept of this project, and I have accepted the
> > invitation by
> > >>         criticising your concept of the proposal. You have 
> propsed the
> > >>         writing
> > >>         of an article countering the narrative of Ayn Rand that "the
> > >>         ultra-wealthy are the engines of advancement and prosperity
> > >>         and the
> > >>         saviors of society" and to argue instead that "the gradual
> > >>         shift in
> > >>         political control of the economy over the past 50 years 
> by the
> > >>         ultra-wealthy has reached a kind of tipping point in 
> which the
> > >>         gains in
> > >>         disparity are so dramatic as to overwhelm any sense of actual
> > >>         self-interest." My response is "Well, hello!" This is
> > hardly news,
> > >>         David. This has been argued (correctly) for several
> > centuries. The
> > >>         wealthy have always been a class of parasites; social
> > progress has
> > >>         always been only in the teeth of opposition from all but 
> a few
> > >>         of that
> > >>         class. I would argue that it is better to enter some actual
> > >>         project
> > >>         aimed against capitalism and ineqaulity and participate 
> in the
> > >>         argument
> > >>         about strategy and tactics. Being 68, after 50 years of such
> > >>         participation, I accept a somewhat arm's length 
> participation,
> > >>         but the
> > >>         protagonists (wether real or imagined) are those actually
> > >>         engaged in
> > >>         that struggle in any formm about how best to further that
> > >>         struggle. Not
> > >>         the *generalities*, in my view. But I am pleased that you are
> > >>         taking up
> > >>         the battle and I wish you well. All I can do is offer my
> > >>         reflections on
> > >>         your object-concept, as others have and will.
> > >>
> > >>         Andy
> > >>         ------------------------------------------------------------
> > >> ------------
> > >>         *Andy Blunden*
> > >>         http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>         David H Kirshner wrote:
> > >>         >> It would appear ...
> > >>         >>    >
> > >>         > Doesn't appear that way to me.
> > >>         > In fact, it's not clear to me, contrary to Andy and Paul,
> > >>         that in a practical endeavor one has to come to terms with
> > >>         foundational issues, at all.
> > >>         > The fact that social psychology may not have the 
> foundations
> > >>         right doesn't imply that it has no insight to offer, or 
> that a
> > >>         make-shift frame of reference can't provide a stable enough
> > >>         foundation to move people forward (collectively and
> > >>         individually). Indeed, isn't that the necessary way 
> forward in
> > >>         any practical endeavor, given the absence of fully worked out
> > >>         foundational perspectives (and given the need to address the
> > >>         world as we find it, without the theorist's option of
> > >>         restricting the domain of inquiry within tractable 
> parameters)?
> > >>         > David
> > >>         >
> > >>         >
> > >>         > -----Original Message-----
> > >>         > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > >>         [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of Dr.
> > >>         Paul C. Mocombe
> > >>         > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 6:12 AM
> > >>         > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; ablunden@mira.net
> > >>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
> > >>         > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
> > International
> > >>         >
> > >>         > Andy and david,
> > >>         >
> > >>         > It would appear that any counter - narrative would have to
> > >>         be anti-dialectical and counter-hegemonic, I.e.,
> > >>         anti-individual, anti-capitalist, anti-humanity...  Can 
> such a
> > >>         counter - narrative come from a humanity, including us
> > >>         academics, subjectified to reproduce individual wealth, 
> upward
> > >>         mobility, and status at the expense of the masses of poor
> > >>         around the world, paradoxically, seeking our bourgeois
> > >>         lifestyle? >
> > >>         > I ask because,  it would appear that the earth,in marxian
> > >>         terms, as a class for itself, has been begging for 
> humanity to
> > >>         change the way it recursively reorganize and reproduce it's
> > >>         being-in-it over the last 100 years, but we consistently
> > >>         refuse.  Instead, turning to dialectical measures, fracking,
> > >>         carbon credits, neoliberalism, etc., to attempt to 
> resolve our
> > >>         problems and maintain the protestant ethic and the spirit of
> > >>         capitalism as an "enframing" (heidegger's term) ontology.
> > >>         >
> > >>         > I am not a pessimistic person, but it appears that in this
> > >>         case we are all dead we just do not know it yet.
> > >>         >
> > >>         >
> > >>         > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> > >>         > President
> > >>         > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
> > >>         > www.mocombeian.com <http://www.mocombeian.com>
> > >>         > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
> > >>         <http://www.readingroomcurriculum.com>
> > >>
> > >>         >
> > >>         > <div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From:
> > >>         David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>>
> > >>
> > >>         </div><div>Date:01/21/2014  2:50 AM  (GMT-05:00)
> > >>         </div><div>To: ablunden@mira.net
> > >>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>,"eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
> > >>         <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
> > >>
> > >>         </div><div>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
> > >>         International </div><div>
> > >>         > </div>Andy,
> > >>         > I suppose social psychology's unitary and a-historical
> > >>         ascription of the human sense of material well-being as
> > >>         relative to other people (rather than as relative to 
> one's own
> > >>         past) gets it wrong from the start. Still, I think it 
> provides
> > >>         a way to understand the individual pursuit of wealth, carried
> > >>         to its limits, as anti-social and destructive; an effective
> > >>         counter-narrative to the libertarian ideal of the individual
> > >>         unfettered by societal constraints. We badly need a
> > >>         counter-narrative to regain some kind of political leverage
> > >>         for ordinary citizens.
> > >>         > If anyone would like to help pull that together in the form
> > >>         of a paper, please reply, on-line or off-.
> > >>         > Thanks.
> > >>         > David
> > >>         > dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>
> > >>
> > >>         >
> > >>         >
> > >>         > -----Original Message-----
> > >>         > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > >>         [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of Andy
> > >>         Blunden
> > >>         > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:13 AM
> > >>         > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > >>         > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
> > International
> > >>         >
> > >>         > I certainly hope so, David, or at least, I hope to read and
> > >>         participate in acting out the opening chapter of that
> > narrative.
> > >>         >
> > >>         > I do think that the "99%/1%" narrative was a project doomed
> > >>         to failure however, as it conceived of itself as a linear
> > >>         expansion which would somehow bypass social and ideological
> > >>         differences. It did not conceive of itselfr as a project at
> > >>         all. Just a mesage about the one true world which 
> everyone had
> > >>         to come to. Truly magical realism. The plot lies implicit in
> > >>         the opening chapter, but it is always far from easy to 
> see how
> > >>         the plot will unfold itself though the multiple story-lines
> > >>         entailed in this conundrum, Andy
> > >>         >
> > >>         ------------------------------------------------------------
> > >> ------------
> > >>         > *Andy Blunden*
> > >>         > http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
> > >>
> > >>         >
> > >>         >
> > >>         > David H Kirshner wrote:
> > >>         >  >> The operative narrative, at least in the U.S. context,
> > >>         dictated by Ayn Rand, is that the ultra-wealthy are the
> > >>         engines of advancement and prosperity and the saviors of
> > >>         society. What is in their best interest is in all of our best
> > >>         interests. We very badly need a counter-narrative.
> > >>         >> Andy, is this practical project something that can be
> > >>         undertaken and completed in real-time as a theoretical 
> project?
> > >>         >> David
> > >>         >>
> > >>         >>
> > >>         >> -----Original Message-----
> > >>         >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > >>         >> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of Andy
> > >>         Blunden
> > >>         >> Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 11:06 PM
> > >>         >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > >>         >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
> > International
> > >>         >>
> > >>         >> David I have plenty of experience with desparate measures
> > >>         over teh
> > >>         >> past
> > >>         >> 50 years, and I have come very late to "the broader
> > >>         theoretical project." It is absolutely essential that the
> > >>         practical project and the theoretical project are one and the
> > >>         same.
> > >>         >>
> > >>         >> Andy
> > >>         >>
> > >>         ------------------------------------------------------------
> > >> ----------
> > >>         >> --
> > >>         >> *Andy Blunden*
> > >>         >> http://home.mira.net/~andy/ 
> <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
> > >>
> > >>         >>
> > >>         >>
> > >>         >> David H Kirshner wrote:
> > >>         >>   >>    >>> Andy,
> > >>         >>> Sometimes, in order to create a counter-narrative 
> that can
> > >>         be effective in the here and now, one has to step outside of
> > >>         the broader theoretical project. I guess, for some, this 
> would
> > >>         constitute a distraction from the real work, perhaps a
> > >>         violation of the true mission of that scholarly endeavor. For
> > >>         others, it might be a legitimate (even if imperfect) 
> effort to
> > >>         apply what one has come to understand from the larger 
> project.
> > >>         For others, still, perhaps simply a political activity
> > >>         undertaken with theoretical tools, but with little actual
> > >>         relation to the theoretical project.
> > >>         >>> Perhaps these are desperate measures that these desperate
> > >>         times call for.
> > >>         >>> David
> > >>         >>>
> > >>         >>>
> > >>         >>> -----Original Message-----
> > >>         >>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > >>         >>> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of Andy
> > >>         Blunden
> > >>         >>> Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 10:29 PM
> > >>         >>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > >>         >>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
> > >>         International
> > >>         >>>
> > >>         >>> Well, that's the project I have been collaborating in
> > >>         since I was a teenager, David, but it has its challenges, 
> too,
> > >>         you know.
> > >>         >>>
> > >>         >>> First off, these observations about social psychology and
> > >>         well-being:
> > >>         >>> The point is to have a unit of analysis and one which is
> > >>         as valid for making observations about psychology as it 
> is for
> > >>         social theory. And in general, this is lacking for what goes
> > >>         by the name of "social psychology." People do not of course
> > >>         govern their behaviour by evidence-based investigations 
> of the
> > >>         likely results of their behaviour.
> > >>         >>> People don't set out to "grow a bigger economy" or "have
> > >>         more wealth than someone else". The thinking of an individual
> > >>         has to be understood (I would contend) within the contexts of
> > >>         the projects to which they are committed. That is the reason
> > >>         for the relativity in the enjoyment of wealth (which is 
> itself
> > >>         of course relative). People make judgments according to the
> > >>         norms of the project in which they are participating, and 
> that
> > >>         means semantic, theoretical and practical norms. 
> Understanding
> > >>         the psychology of political economy is as of one task with
> > >>         that of building a project to overthrow the existing 
> political
> > >>         economic arrangements and build sustainable arrangements. 
> That
> > >>         requires a multitude of projects all willikng and able to
> > >>         collaborate with one another.
> > >>         >>>
> > >>         >>> That's what I think.
> > >>         >>> Andy
> > >>         >>>
> > >>         ------------------------------------------------------------
> > >> ---------
> > >>         >>> -
> > >>         >>> --
> > >>         >>> *Andy Blunden*
> > >>         >>> http://home.mira.net/~andy/ 
> <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
> > >>
> > >>         >>>
> > >>         >>>
> > >>         >>> David H Kirshner wrote:
> > >>         >>>   >>>     >>>      >>>> I've been sketching out in my
> > >>         mind, but not yet had time to research and write, a paper
> > >>         tentatively titled:
> > >>         >>>> The Psychology of Greed: Why the Ultra-wealthy are
> > >>         Despoiling the
> > >>         >>>> Planet, Tanking the Economy, and Gutting our Culture In
> > >>         the Quest
> > >>         >>>> for More
> > >>         >>>>
> > >>         >>>> The premise is that the psychological metric of our 
> sense
> > >>         of material well-being is not accumulation, relative to our
> > >>         own past wealth, but the comparative measure of our own 
> wealth
> > >>         in relation to that of others. (I believe this is a
> > >>         well-established principle of social psychology.) So, for
> > >>         example, instead of trying to grow a bigger economy which
> > >>         requires a large and healthy middle-class (this is what would
> > >>         provide more actual wealth for the ultra-wealthy), they are
> > >>         eroding the middle-class as quickly as they can--a strategy
> > >>         that maximizes disparity.
> > >>         >>>>
> > >>         >>>> The major thesis (in the U.S. context) is that the
> > >>         gradual shift in political control of the economy over the
> > >>         past 50 years by the ultra-wealthy has reached a kind of
> > >>         tipping point in which the gains in disparity are so dramatic
> > >>         as to overwhelm any sense of actual self-interest. Hence, we
> > >>         see increasingly irrational and self-destructive behavior by
> > >>         the ultra-wealthy (e.g., the fraudulent housing bubble that
> > >>         created what U.S. economists refer to as The Great 
> Recession).
> > >>         The conclusion, of course, is a call to action to take back
> > >>         control of our political systems so we can set more rational
> > >>         policies for the economy.
> > >>         >>>>
> > >>         >>>> I don't know if this thesis extends so easily beyond the
> > >>         U.S. situation to the world, but if this project appeals, I
> > >>         would welcome a collaborative effort--perhaps even one that
> > >>         somehow encompasses the whole XMCA listserv as co-authors.
> > >>         >>>>
> > >>         >>>> David
> > >>         >>>>   >>>>
> > >>         >>>>     >>>>       >>>>        >>>   >>>     >>>      >>
> > >>         >>   >>    >
> > >>         >
> > >>         >
> > >>         >
> > >>         >
> > >>         >
> > >>         >
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >
> >
>
>