Culture War Futility, Why Self Expression Beats Action (Distributism 5-Audio)

In this concluding segment from the 2021 Summer Seminar on Distributism, I discuss why it is so hard to imagine actually changing the economy in any meaningful way. Our capacity for collective action has been hollowed out and replaced by an expressive identity politics that cannot satisfy but works wonders to keep us all working and buying. It very effectively stops any real change from happening. The seemingly radical idea that contemporary protests are largely ineffectual and should be replaced by direct action is introduced. … More Culture War Futility, Why Self Expression Beats Action (Distributism 5-Audio)

Culture War Futility: Why Self Expression Beats Action (Distributism 5-Video)

In this concluding segment from the 2021 Summer Seminar on Distributism, I discuss why it is so hard to imagine actually changing the economy in any meaningful way. Our capacity for collective action has been hollowed out and replaced by an expressive identity politics that cannot satisfy but works wonders to keep us all working and buying. It very effectively stops any real change from happening. The seemingly radical idea that contemporary protests are largely ineffectual and should be replaced by direct action is introduced. … More Culture War Futility: Why Self Expression Beats Action (Distributism 5-Video)

Migrants and Underemployment in Context: What’s Really Going On? (Precariat 5-Audio)

In this video, I discuss Ch. 4 of Guy Standing’s The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, which is on migration. Many in developed countries with large numbers of migrant laborers blame these laborers for taking jobs and reducing their economic prospects. Looking deeper, though, we see that they are there because globalized economic interests want the ultimate flexible and vulnerable labor pool and governments make sure they get them. Many leaders and parties talk about wanting their citizens to have good jobs but their actions and the results of their policies say otherwise. Ultimately no one wins in the current system, certainly not illegal migrants living in serfdom to survive. To get to the heart of the problem, we have to look at who/what benefits from large numbers of legal and illegal migrants. … More Migrants and Underemployment in Context: What’s Really Going On? (Precariat 5-Audio)

Migrants and Underemployment in Context: What’s Really Going On? (Precariat 5-video)

In this video, I discuss Ch. 4 of Guy Standing’s The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, which is on migration. Many in developed countries with large numbers of migrant laborers blame these laborers for taking jobs and reducing their economic prospects. Looking deeper, though, we see that they are there because globalized economic interests want the ultimate flexible and vulnerable labor pool and governments make sure they get them. Many leaders and parties talk about wanting their citizens to have good jobs but their actions and the results of their policies say otherwise. Ultimately no one wins in the current system, certainly not illegal migrants living in serfdom to survive. To get to the heart of the problem, we have to look at who/what benefits from large numbers of legal and illegal migrants. … More Migrants and Underemployment in Context: What’s Really Going On? (Precariat 5-video)

Why is My University Degree Not Enough? (4-Audio)

Guy Standing, author of The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class answers this question this way: because there just aren’t enough stable, well paying jobs in the new economy. In this video I discuss some of the realities of university education today, especially the trend towards trying to sell education as a commodity with a promise of being qualified for specific jobs. The watering down of education is a serious concern of Standing. This education saddles students with debt, can’t necessarily deliver the job they were trained for, and meantime has not encouraged them to think critically and creatively but to keep their heads down and do what’s required, even if it’s not at all what they wanted. The Precariat is therefore deprived of a key element in achieving some sort of political influence and the ability to push back–a good education. … More Why is My University Degree Not Enough? (4-Audio)

Why is My University Degree Not Enough? (4-Video)

Guy Standing, author of The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class answers this question this way: because there just aren’t enough stable, well paying jobs in the new economy. In this video I discuss some of the realities of university education today, especially the trend towards trying to sell education as a commodity with a promise of being qualified for specific jobs. The watering down of education is a serious concern of Standing. This education saddles students with debt, can’t necessarily deliver the job they were trained for, and meantime has not encouraged them to think critically and creatively but to keep their heads down and do what’s required, even if it’s not at all what they wanted. The Precariat is therefore deprived of a key element in achieving some sort of political influence and the ability to push back–a good education. … More Why is My University Degree Not Enough? (4-Video)

‘Just in Time’ Humans? The Precariat (Guy Standing, 2-Audio)

In the first chapter of Guy Standing’s The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, we learn his definition of the precariat and how this class fits into the overall class picture. Flexibility (any time, anywhere, any job, for any length of time) turns out to be a prominent feature of the precariat experience. With no incentive to identify with their work, they are anxious and alienated, and especially since they are not a unified class, they are susceptible to propaganda that seeks to point the finger at other vulnerable groups, blaming them rather than the economic system that is using them as “human capital.” … More ‘Just in Time’ Humans? The Precariat (Guy Standing, 2-Audio)

‘Just in Time’ Humans? The Precariat (Guy Standing, 2)

In the first chapter of Guy Standing’s The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, we learn his definition of the precariat and how this class fits into the overall class picture. Flexibility (any time, anywhere, any job, for any length of time) turns out to be a prominent feature of the precariat experience. With no incentive to identify with their work, they are anxious and alienated, and especially since they are not a unified class, they are susceptible to propaganda that seeks to point the finger at other vulnerable groups, blaming them rather than the economic system that is using them as “human capital.” … More ‘Just in Time’ Humans? The Precariat (Guy Standing, 2)

Mises, Hayek, Rand, Friedman: Prophets of Another Faith (McCarraher 9-Audio)

Inspired by Chapter 26 of Eugene McCarraher’s The Enchantments of Mammon entitled “The New Testament of Capitalism,” I focus on the intellectuals whose ideas undergird the faith in the “free market.” Taking both the concept of faith and what these thinkers said seriously, it’s hard to miss that their perspective runs counter to the faith of people of the book (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) because it enchants the market with godlike and irresistible “laws of nature” and promises to solve all the world’s problems. Neoliberal capitalism is another ideology that, because it is ultimately a human invention, cannot deliver the grandiose benefits it promises, and yet requires of its believers more unquestioning reverence than any truly transcendent power asks of them. … More Mises, Hayek, Rand, Friedman: Prophets of Another Faith (McCarraher 9-Audio)

What’s Wrong–Election Crisis 2020 (Premier tomorrow at 1 pm CT)

Weaving insights from Eugene McCarraher (The Enchantments of Mammon), my interview with Chris Cutrone, and another authors I’ve covered over the last couple of years, along with my understanding of the history of political thought and rudimentary economics, I try to take the long view of the current impasse between “conservatives” and “liberals” in the US which has led to yet another very close and deeply divided presidential election, made worse by escalating resentments, tensions and paranoia. Why are we here? What’s wrong? The answer is way deeper than even “the democrats don’t get it” (although they don’t). … More What’s Wrong–Election Crisis 2020 (Premier tomorrow at 1 pm CT)