Mark Blyth, post-Brexit vote

Mark Blyth at 17:00 on Sam Seder’s Majority Report:

When 80 percent of the time 80 percent of the people are told by the top 20 percent that everything that they want is what they should want too, but 80 percent of their lived experience tells them they’ve been sold a bill of goods, don’t be surprised when they say No.

Mark Blyth segment from 13:13 to 49:24 above; excerpt in tweet below starts at 38:22

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the 24-second clip Mark Blyth refers to in Sam Seder’s Majority Report interview:

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Mark Blyth, pre-Brexit vote


the Atlantic slave trade

from The Independent:

The shocking scale of British slave ownership has been revealed in scores of official records which have found that thousands of modern-day Britons are related to owners who received huge sums in compensation when the trade was abolished.

A five-year project by University College London has compiled the identities of 46,000 Britons who owned slaves, mainly in the West Indies, on the day slavery was abolished in 1833.

David Cameron, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Affleck and George Orwell are just some of the high profile descendants of the slave owners revealed in the files.

Records from the Slave Compensation Commission show that some 800,000 Africans were freed upon abolition after being kept as legal property.

Upon their liberation the Commission paid out the modern equivalent of £17 billion in compensation to the UK’s tens of thousands of owners – the largest government pay-out prior to the bailout of the banks in 2009.

The colossal sum represented 40 per cent of government expenditure in 1834.

compensation: equivalent today of $30,000 (US) per formerly enslaved person

so on average each former owner received 800/46 times that: $520,000 (US)


Hayek on the need for a universal basic income (UBI)

quote - Hayek via JimRose69872629 CjVswj3UgAAHi5o

the post Jim Rose links to in his tweet links to this Hayek interview transcript as his source

Advertising: Are We Happy Yet?

Advertising makes you unhappy. By design. That’s how it works.

Advertising makes who you are, what you have, or how you live seem inadequate, incomplete – lacking (wanting) a fix.

Advertising makes you unhappy with life as it is. You buy what you think resolves the issue. Rinse and repeat.

Advertising brings dukkha to life.

Advertising consumes the consumer … while the consumer consumes the planet.


The Big Disconnect


A few weeks ago I read and enjoyed The Big Disconnect. So it was good to catch the interview with the author on Tuesday morning – well done by both parties, by the way.

Following the trail that led to our present hyperindividualism is fascinating enough. But I’d like to see (and hear) Giles Slade spend more time on why we are no longer the way we were.

I suspect the answer is that there is/was no money in it. After all, how do you make money out of people simply enjoying being together?

There are hints in the book: “Competitive and financial values intruded into all aspects of human interaction, and, oddly, we became poorer for it. … As we adapted, we learned how to compete better and how to cooperate and to commit to each other less.” (pp. 176–77)

Karl Polanyi in The Great Transformation made it very clear that insisting on what is thought of as a free market economy actually requires the breakdown of society. And the champions of this economic policy – come on down, Margaret Thatcher – have even maintained that “there is no such thing as society.”

related: the etymology of conversation
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Faith Can Save the Planet

letter to the Vancouver Sun:

Faith Can Save the Planet

Thank you for publishing that upbeat piece by Brian Lee Crowley (December 19). As he says, human progress is inescapably a matter of faith. While It may be true that doing what we have been doing has got us into this mess, doing more of the same will get us out of it. We don’t have to change our ways to save the planet – just keep on trusting in business as usual. That is such good news. Thanks again for spreading the word.