Morality & the Meaning of Money

Dreams of individual accomplishment and desires to contribute to the common good become firmly attached to waged work, where they can be hijacked to rather different ends: to produce neither individual riches nor social wealth, but privately appropriately surplus value. Kathi Weeks, “The Problem with Work” Capitalism lures us onward like the mechanical hare before the greyhounds, insisting that the economy is infinite and sharing … Continue reading Morality & the Meaning of Money

Does the Debt Ceiling Matter? Yes and No (and probably not the way you’re thinking)

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones. John Maynard Keynes New House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been engaged in talks with the White House over the past couple weeks, in an effort to prevent the US government from ‘defaulting’ on its debt later this year. As has happened many times over the last few decades, the … Continue reading Does the Debt Ceiling Matter? Yes and No (and probably not the way you’re thinking)

Three C-Words We Need to Embrace: Contraction, Community & Cleanup

Like all creatures, humans have made their way in the world so far by trial and error; unlike other creatures, we have a presence so colossal that error is a luxury we can no longer afford. The world has grown too small to forgive us any big mistakes. Ronald Wright Because the future has no image, the utopian imagination must reclaim, must resurrect, past ruins … Continue reading Three C-Words We Need to Embrace: Contraction, Community & Cleanup

Recapitulation: How to Save the World

The order which has been taken for granted suddenly appears queer and contingent. There is an appearance of the contingency of order. This is the main value of utopias. At a time when everything is blocked by systems which have failed but which cannot be beaten…utopia is our resource. The utopia seems to say something plausible, but it also says something that is crazy. By … Continue reading Recapitulation: How to Save the World

The Great Interregnum

To allow the market mechanism to be the sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment….would result in the demolition of society. Karl Polanyi The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying but the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. Antonio Gramsci As the planet flounders and fails under … Continue reading The Great Interregnum

Polarization triggers the abortion bomb

Therefore the Lord said, “These people draw near to me with their mouths, and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is but rules taught by men.” Isaiah 29:13 Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst. C.S. Lewis As anticipated, the SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade this week, bravely on a Friday afternoon … Continue reading Polarization triggers the abortion bomb

The Big Lie vs. The Big Steal: Of Insurrection and Polarization

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution. John Adams, 1780 People like you are still living in what we call the reality-based community. You … Continue reading The Big Lie vs. The Big Steal: Of Insurrection and Polarization

Avoiding Armageddon: (2) Cracking the utopia code

The development of new, alternative perspectives define utopia‚Äôs most basic function. May we not say then that imagination itself – through its utopian function – has a constitutive role in helping us to rethink the nature of our social life? Is not utopia – this leap outside – the way in which we radically rethink what is family, what is consumption, what is authority, what is religion and so … Continue reading Avoiding Armageddon: (2) Cracking the utopia code

Avoiding Armageddon: (1) How to circumvent the Polarization Industrial Complex

If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. Abraham Lincoln In a pair of earlier posts about Rescuing the Future, we looked at the competing delusions on offer from our mainstream political camps, and how Covid has laid waste to these fantasies, leaving us floundering and exhausted. We are mired in an almost cosmic sense of “stuckness,” a foreboding that … Continue reading Avoiding Armageddon: (1) How to circumvent the Polarization Industrial Complex

Season of Schmaltz (or… how I learned to stop worrying and love Hallmark Christmas movies)

We are homesick most for the places we have never known. Carson McCullers Something strange happened to me a few years ago. I’m not sure what triggered it, probably nothing specific. And I’m not even sure exactly when it happened. It was definitely pre-Covid, and likely just a tick before I hit the half-century birthday marker. What happened to me? Well, for some reason, I … Continue reading Season of Schmaltz (or… how I learned to stop worrying and love Hallmark Christmas movies)