Debt Collectors: The Economics, Politics, and Morality of Debt

Any philosophical consideration of the politics of debt must perhaps begin with the fact that the entire rhetoric of debt, owing and paying one’s debts, is at once a moral and an economic vocabulary. This point is related to, but opposed to, Nietzsche’s well-known argument in the Genealogy of Morals. Whereas Nietzsche argued that morality, guilt, was simply debt, a payment in suffering for those who could not pay the price, an examination of debt reveals how much paying ones debts, paying one’s bills, is a moral imperative as much as an economic relation.
As David Graeber argues even from the standpoint of standard economic theory the positing of debt as some kind of moral duty, as something which can never be dispensed with, runs counter to not only the justification of interest, which is supposedly a compensation based on risk, but the immense apparatus dedicated to the assessment of risk, discerning good and bad risk.The idea of paying one’s debts is nothing other than a moral idea, and idea of an absolute moral obligation transposed into the realm of economy. One could consider this morality to be a slavish one, in that keeps everyone paying their mortgage for a house that is underwater, and paying their student loans without ever getting the job promised by such an education. It would seem then that the political task is a matter of simply separating the morality of obligation Συνέχεια

Oxford Professors: Robots And Computers Could Take Half Our Jobs Within The Next 20 Years Michael Snyder

Activist Post

What are human workers going to do when super-intelligent robots and computers are better than us at doing everything?  That is one of the questions that a new study by Dr. Carl Frey and Dr. Michael Osborne of Oxford University sought to address, and what they concluded was that 47 percent of all U.S. jobs could be automated within the next 20 years.  Considering the fact that the percentage of the U.S. population that is employed is already far lower than it was a decade ago, it is frightening to think that tens of millions more jobs could disappear due to technological advances over the next couple of decades. Συνέχεια

Η Ακροδεξιά στην Ευρώπη: Τα ζόμπι δεν είναι χορτοφάγα

Γιάμαλη Αναστασία|

Συνηθίζουμε να λέμε ότι η Ευρώπη και ιδίως ο χώρος της Ε.Ε. είναι η περιοχή της Δημοκρατίας, της ανεκτικότητας των ελευθεριών. Προφανώς αυτό ισχύει. Όμως μέσα σε αυτήν τη δημοκρατία υπάρχουν και οι αντίρροπες δυνάμεις και οι ίδιοι οι θεσμοί της επιτρέπουν την εμφάνιση και την ισχυροποίηση τέτοιων δυνάμεων. Ιδίως σήμερα στην κρίση, ο φασισμός χτυπάει και πάλι την πόρτα. Αλλού με τη στολή και τα σύμβολα των νοσταλγών του Χίτλερ, αλλού ως ισλαμοφοβία και ως «άμυνα» των μικροαστών ενάντια στους μετανάστες «που έχουν καταλάβει τις πόλεις μας». Αυτού του είδους οι τοποθετήσεις, όπως η γνωστή ατακα Σαμαρά δείχνουν και τις διόδους επανεμφάνισης της Ακροδεξιάς αλλά και τις εκλεκτικές τους συγγένειες.

«Η ενίσχυση της επιρροής λαϊκιστικών, ακροδεξιών και νεοφασιστικών δυνάμεων, εν καιρώ κρίσης, αποτυπώνει τις καταστροφικές συνέπειες της κυρίαρχης πολιτικής του δημοσιονομικού αυταρχισμού, που υλοποιείται από τις εθνικές κυβερνήσεις και την πολιτική ηγεσία της Ε.Ε. «στο όνομα της ευρωπαϊκής οικοδόμησης», αλλά, λόγω του αντιδραστικού της χαρακτήρα, οδηγεί στο ακριβώς αντίθετο: στη στροφή τμημάτων των ευρωπαϊκών κοινωνιών στον εθνολαϊκισμό, τον σοβινισμό, τον ρατσισμό και την ξενοφοβία», εκτιμά ο Γιάννης Μπουρνους της Εκτελεστικής Επιτροπής του ΚΕΑ. Συνέχεια

Noam Chomsky Spells Out the Purpose of Education



E + ducere: “To lead or draw out.” The etymological Latin roots of “education.” According to a former Jesuit professor of mine, the fundamental sense of the word is to draw others out of “darkness,” into a “more magnanimous view” (he’d say, his arms spread wide). As inspirational as this speech was to a seminar group of budding higher educators, it failed to specify the means by which this might be done, or the reason. Lacking a Jesuit sense of mission, I had to figure out for myself what the “darkness” was, what to lead people towards, and why. It turned out to be simpler than I thought, in some respects, since I concluded that it wasn’t my job to decide these things, but rather to present points of view, a collection of methods—an intellectual toolkit, so to speak—and an enthusiastic model. Then get out of the way. That’s all an educator can, and should do, in my humble opinion. Anything more is not education, it’s indoctrination. Seemed simple enough to me at first. If only it were so. Few things, in fact, are more contentious (Google the term “assault on education,” for example).





Status of the Resistance Movement: Growing, Deepening, Succeeding


Occupy.A protester during Occupy Oakland’s «Move In Day» aimed at reclaiming a vacant building, January 28, 2012. (Photo: Glenn Halog / Flickr)

So much has been accomplished by Occupy and other social justice movements in the past two years that it is incredible the corporate media and their pundits do not report on what is happening around them. Despite the lack of corporate media coverage, the movement is deepening, creating democratic institutions, stopping some of the worst policies from being pushed by the corporate duopoly and building a broad-based diverse movement.

This is not to say things are getting better for the 99%; in fact, quite the opposite is happening. Big business government continues to funnel money to the top while robbing most Americans of the little wealth they had. More Americans are being impacted by the unfair economy and realize that their struggle is not their fault but is the reality of living in a system with deep corruption and dysfunction. Economic injustice is the compost creating fertile ground for the movement to grow.

Too many commentators focus on the lack of encampments and think Occupy is dead. Camping out in public parks was a tactic – it was not the movement or the only tactic of the movement. Too many fail to look at what members of the Occupy community are doing along with other social justice, environmental and peace activists. We report on the movement every day at Popular Resistance so we see lots of activity all over the country on a wide range of issues and using a variety of tactics. And we see a growing movement having a bigger impact.

On the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street (OWS), these writers captured the essence of Occupy. David Callahan, in Seven Ways Occupy Changed America And Is Still Changing It, correctly noted how we changed the debate, revived progressive populism, spurred worker revolts and challenged capitalism. Rebecca Solnit, who has been active in Occupy and other movements, also made important points. She writes, “Those who doubt that these moments matter should note how terrified the authorities and elites are when they erupt. That fear is a sign of their recognition that real power doesn’t only lie with them.” Συνέχεια

Όταν οι φασίστες στέκονται προσοχή στα αφεντικά τους αποδείξεις για την ”συστημικότητα” της Χρυσής Αυγής

Ο φασισμός στηρίζεται και αναπτύσσεται σε περιόδους κρίσης του καπιταλισμού και επίθεσης στα δικαιώματα και τις κατακτήσεις του λαού, με έναν πολύ συγκεκριμένο στόχο: να βάλει “στο γύψο” τους εργαζόμενους, τους άνεργους, τους καταστρεφόμενους μικρέμπορους και αυτοαπασχολούμενους, την νεολαία. Να θάψει την αντίσταση στην πολιτική που ασκείται από τις κυβερνήσεις του κεφαλαίου κάτω από τις μαύρες στολές και τα άρβυλα, να τσακίσει τα εργατικά συνδικάτα, να υποδείξει ως ένοχο για την κατάσταση τον διπλανό, εμπλέκοντας σε μια ενδοταξική διαμάχη όλους τους πληττόμενους από τις εφαρμοζόμενες πολιτικές, με μόνο κερδισμένο το μεγάλο κεφάλαιο που βγαίνει “λάδι” από τον εμφύλιο των φτωχών.


Η Χρυσή Αυγή, ως γνήσιο νεοναζιστικό μόρφωμα, υπηρετεί αυτόν ακριβώς τον σκοπό: αποπροσανατολίζει το λαό από το πραγματικό πρόβλημα, που είναι η πολιτική συγκυβέρνησης – ΕΕ – ΔΝΤ – κεφαλαίου και υποδεικνύει ως υπεύθυνους για την κατάσταση τους μετανάστες, τους δημόσιους υπάλληλους, τους εργαζόμενους που αμείβονται λίγο καλύτερα. Συνέχεια

How Higher Education in the US Was Destroyed in 5 Basic Steps

Higher education is not what it used to be, and that’s no accident.
A few years back, Paul E. Lingenfelter began his report on the defunding of public education by saying,
“In 1920 H.G. Wells wrote, ‘History is becoming more and more a race between education and catastrophe.’ I think he got it right. Nothing is more important to the future of the United States and the world than the breadth and effectiveness of education, especially of higher education. I say especially higher education, but not because pre- school, elementary, and secondary education are less important. Success at every level of education obviously depends on what has gone before. But for better or worse, the quality of postsecondary education and research affects the quality and effectiveness of education at every level.” Συνέχεια
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