Category: BOURGEOIS VALUES

The Root Problem

ERIC SCHECHTER—leftymathprof on Oct 23, 2018— For 200,000 years we were hunter-gatherers. We shared everything of importance, and cooperated without hierarchy, and we’re still capable of that. But 12,000 years ago, when we started farming, we also began separateness, hierarchy, and property, which I’ll discuss. Those have caused all our problems — alienation, inequality, externalities, war, poverty, plutocracy, racism, sexism, bullying, ecocide. The first step in fixing all this is to get more people talking about it. Transcript and related links at Eric’s Rants and Videos blog.

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The Pieties of the Liberal Class

JASON HIRTHLER—As Chris Hedges remarks, we still have the “iconography and language” of democracy, but we are made to “kneel before the dictates of the marketplace” and “structure our society around the primacy of profit.” We are left with an institutional “facade.” Which is why it is so proper to treat with derision the reeling hysteria of politicians who claim, in comical hand-wringing interviews, that “our democracy” is under attack.

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Leading US House Democrat demands that Ecuador’s president “hand over” Julian Assange

MIKE HEAD—Last Friday, under the guise of partially restoring Assange’s right to access the internet and receive visitors, Moreno’s government sought to impose a new “special protocol” that provides a pretext for terminating the asylum that the previous Ecuadorian government of Rafael Correa granted him in 2012. Anyone seeking to visit Assange would have to give the Ecuadorian embassy three days’ notice and wait for written authorisation by the head of the embassy, which could be arbitrarily refused or cancelled without any reason being given. Visitors would have to provide the Ecuadorian authorities with full ID details and either hand over or clear all mobile phones and other communications devices.

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• Gianni Agnelli—The Grand Contradiction


GAITHER STEWART—Twenty years later, in the year 2000, another of many family tragedies struck the Agnellis: Gianni’s only male son, Edoardo, committed suicide at age 46. Born in New York, schooled in Turin and university studies at Princeton, Edoardo was the natural male heir to FIAT leadership, as per tradition passing from father to son. Yet he was both inept and disinterested in the business world. Edoardo’s interests were mysticism, Buddhism and Islam, defense of the poor … and furthermore he was allegedly anti-capitalist. His life was solitude and unhappiness, caught in the trap between what he wanted to do with his life and what his loving family expected of him: Edoardo was both the love and the desperation of his adoring parents. Yet no more than bourgeois capitalism can be compatible with the authentic interests of the working class, Edoardo Agnelli and the capitalism of which FIAT was the symbol were incompatible. Leadership of the Agnelli empire had no place in Edoardo’s world.

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