Friday, January 05, 2018

When the logic of communism and capitalism means universities are run as businesses

“Totalitarian propaganda perfects the techniques of mass propaganda, but it neither invents them nor originates their themes. These were prepared for them by fifty years of imperialism and disintegration of the nation-state, when the mob entered the scene of European politics. Like the earlier mob leaders, the spokesmen for totalitarian movements possessed an unerring instinct for anything that ordinary party propaganda or public opinion did not care or dare to touch. Everything hidden, everything passed over in silence, became of major significance, regardless of its own intrinsic importance. The mob really believed that truth was whatever respectable society had hypocritically passed over, or covered up with corruption.” 
~Hannah ArendtThe Origins of Totalitarianism
 (two years before Aga died - 1973)

Dodgy childcare centres on shame file

New ‘Feminist Business School’ to Fight ‘Masculine’ Capitalism.. “Understanding feminist theory before starting a business is crucial, since it will give you a ‘huge leg-up on established entrepreneurs’ and help you ‘avoid the frustrations and pitfalls of outdated masculine business models,’ according to the program’s website.”
Anthropic Capitalism And The New Gimmick EconomyEdge. Interesting post, from the managing director of Thiel Capital.

Meanwhile, in Canada:

Democratization vs. Liberalism in Canada Zero Anthropology (E. Mayer).
GIMPS Project Discovers Largest Known Prime Number: 277,232,917-1 (E. Mayer). E. Mayer writes:

Who was Jozef, the Roman god of beginnings and endings? The Conversation

Trump shifts gears on Afghanistan The Hill. An empire of graveyards…

More Power to the Workers: The Political Economy of Seymour Melman Counterpunch

What’s Theatre Like In Right-Wing Hungary After A Cultural Crackdown?…

Frankly, it's a bit more boring - and less dangerous in an overt sense, though it's certainly dangerous for some of the theatre-makers. "Independent-minded leaders of scores of theatres and other cultural organizations across the nation have been replaced by apparatchiks—including at the emblematic National Theatre, where popular actor-director Robert Alfoldi was sacked in 2013 after being outed as gay and decried for 'treason' and 'inciting and discrediting Hungarians.'" … [Read More]
Goldman Sachs Trying to Kill Initiative Requiring More Lobbying Disclosure International Business Times. David Sirota

Why Inequality Predicts Homicide Rates Better Than Any Other Variable

Why increases in inequality lead to increases in the rate of homicide.

It’s disturbingly ironic, THAT WOULD SEEM SOMEWHAT OF A MINIMUM STEP TO TAKE:  China’s ‘Love Hospital’ saves marriages by getting rid of mistresses

Read Lord Adonis’ letter to PM in full as Labour peer quits as Govt’s infrastructure tsar Sky News

Pilot shortage: Chinese-owned airport in Australia looks to increase its flights by 1000%

A Chinese government backed training airport in northern NSW will increase its number of flights by 1000 per cent under a development proposal as Australia struggles to avoid a local pilot shortage

Matt Stoller: “Monopoly is a Form of Lawlessness”

A high-level talk of the ebb and flow of monopoly power over the past century and what to do about them now.

If the best solutions to social problems are generally governmental or political, then in a democratic society, doing the work of a wordsmith intellectual is a way of making an essential contribution to addressing those problems. If the best solutions are generally private, then this is true to a far lesser extent: The most important ways of doing one’s civic duty, in this case, are more likely to encompass more direct forms of participation, like donating money, volunteering, working on technological or medical innovations that improve quality of life, and various kinds of socially conscious entrepreneurial activity.
You might, therefore, expect a natural selection effect: Those who feel strongly morally motivated to contribute to the amelioration of social ills will naturally gravitate toward careers that reflect their view about how this is best achieved. The choice of a career as a wordsmith intellectual may, in itself, be the result of a prior belief that social problems are best addressed via mechanisms that are most dependent on public advocacy, argument and persuasion—which is to say, political mechanisms.
…If the world is primarily made better through private action, then the most morally praiseworthy course available to a highly intelligent person of moderate material tastes might be to pursue a far less inherently interesting career in business or finance, live a middle-class lifestyle, and devote one’s wealth to various good causes. In this scenario, after all, the intellectual who could make millions for charity as a financier or high-powered attorney, but prefers to take his compensation in the form of leisure time and interesting work, is not obviously morally better than the actual financier or attorney who uses his monetary compensation to purchase material pleasures.

One unusual piece of exposure journalism was the pamphlet, “Facts Behind the Liquor Commission”, printed by the Communist Party of Australia at its underground printery which set out to expose capitalism in the shape of the ‘brewery barons’. Written by a journalist (probably Rex Chiplin) who had a racy turn of phrase (‘Bottled beer was as rare as a bankrupt Vice Squad sergeant’) the pamphlet incidentally exposed corruption in the labour movement…

Ayn Rand Helped the FBI Identify It’s A Wonderful Life as Communist Propaganda Open Culture. From 2014, still germane.


HE 19th century classics: the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Charles Dickens. Some – a very few, and almost always men – have read 20th century science fiction (Asimov and his ilk), and some of the Beats and their offspring: Kerouac, Bukowski, Burroughs. 

A Soviet soldier took a very special souvenir in the aftermath of World War II – the head of Hitler himself. Well, the head of a statue, but still.

How Can Universities Convince Students That, In Reading Hard Texts, The Difficulty Is The Point?…

Yu Guangzhong, An Exiled Poet Who Longed For His Homeland Of China, Dies In Taiwan At 89

He was "a prominent poet, essayist and translator whose best-known work, 'Nostalgia,' came to symbolize the aching separation, displacement and longing for cultural unity felt by many in mainland China and in the Chinese diaspora." Generations have memorized 'Nostalgia,' and it's even been used in high levels to argue for the reunification of Taiwan with the mainland. … [Read More]