Letter to our first grandchild…

Corporations run governments. That seems to be a truth pretty much universal. Corporations determine policies; the chief democratic will of most nations at present is one which does not want to divest itself of the making of profits and greenhouse gases. Our economies are well oiled. Coal seamed. Denial of our climate emergency is a well-funded industry.

Thoughts on the climate deniers

Have recently chosen to engage with the deniers. You do not, of course, need ask which deniers I refer to.  So here is a list of my replies to some of their unreasoning; names have been changed to protect the approximately ignorant. I've used headings to cluster my replies. Greens started/promote bush fires: Duane, I … Continue reading Thoughts on the climate deniers

On the alleged death of homo economicus

If I am to take Nick Hanauer’s[1] advice and kill off homo economicus then what I fear I’ll be left with is – all that someone of a liberal-humanist bent can ask, I suppose – homo impotenticus. A person unpurposed: because I am not alone, because I am not reified individual, because I am part … Continue reading On the alleged death of homo economicus

Our economic selves; the real enemy?

A question for any reader: does the argument below [introductory paragraph] make sense to you - as proposition, obviously, not fully reasoned essay...    Naomi Klein argues in her 2017 No is not enough—among other things— that the Trump presidency is 'a naked corporate takeover' of the democratic process; corporations are 'doing what all top … Continue reading Our economic selves; the real enemy?

Why a steady state economy might be a good thing

Economic growth – doesn’t it sound lovely? But is sustained, continual economic growth really possible? Really, the whole to’ing and fro’ing over budgets needed for economic growth and austerity measures and just who is paying for it all has been about this fundamental question. It underpins all sorts of debates about not only Australia’s contentious 2014 … Continue reading Why a steady state economy might be a good thing

Extract from ‘The beguiling sins of industrial capitalism’

Ch 2:  A Haves and Have Nots World A much greater hunger In 1800 the world’s population was about 1.36 billion. If we are to believe statistical analysis, most people lived, in income terms, relatively similar lives.  According to Gapminder statistical analysis (admittedly conjectural, given that data before 1900 is ‘highly uncertain’) the world’s poorest … Continue reading Extract from ‘The beguiling sins of industrial capitalism’

Ch 5: Human nature — The hierarchy of needs

A bit from the chapter I'm writing: Capitalism plays to what is most insidious in human ‘nature’: competitiveness, acquisitiveness, instant gratification, tribalism. It’s fundamental mandates, the profit motive; economies of scale; the price mechanism; inelasticity of demand… allow this game. The game derives from its character. Capitalism is not programmed for altruism. It is, and … Continue reading Ch 5: Human nature — The hierarchy of needs

The beguiling sins of Industrial Capitalism

It seems to me that Industrial Capitalism deserves a tome (popular in style and tone) cataloguing its beguiling sins. By Industrial Capitalism I mean that invidious, factory-based, technologically-innovative, profit-driven, labour-exploiting form which grew up in Europe (first in the United Kingdom) and later the USA, out of  various Industrial Revolutions. And this catalogue of sins? … Continue reading The beguiling sins of Industrial Capitalism

Gapminder – what a great resource

Many an IDEAS FESTIVAL wants people to think about 'the way we think, eat, move, build, care, communicate and share information'. Gapminder.org is a phenomenally useful site and resource, particularly for Years 9- 12, though with opportunities to be employed even in the upper primary Years. Gapminder's primary focus is on using statistics to explore developmental … Continue reading Gapminder – what a great resource