Links

Our Presidential Roundtable, Pod Save the People

Barbara Ehrenreich on UBI, class conflict, and collective joy, Ezra Klein Show:
I don’t know if there has ever been such a self-centered culture as as emerged in the United States in the 20th century….looking out for yourself…. We are very unusual, compared to prehistoric societies for sure, and even compared to ones that are quite recent in the last few hundred years……  I don’t think we started that way…. This comes from a little intellectual excursion into the Paleolithic Era, the Stone Age, when there were modern humans….. We do our best to try to figure things out for ourselves, which is a good thing, but we also don’t have a clear sense of what is a job for all of us, or groups of us, and what is a job for just an individual. I think we’d get a lot more done if we chose to work together…. The professional middle-class only existed as a class in the late 19th century. And it’s a class that defied the Marxist notion that there were just two main classes in society…. That’s the way things were thought of until some time in the early 20th century when the professions as we know them took form…. They organized themselves…., and very important to that was distinguishing themselves from workers. The managerial class had the ambition to rise higher in the class structure, even if it did not mean becoming part of the bourgeoisie if it meant earning more, having more authority over other people…. We expect to be listened to in our professional middle-class lives, whereas if you are a person who cleans the office that night you don’t expect to have any effect on the people you’re working for or the enterprise you’re supposedly a part of. We have this idea built into us as professional middle-class people that we are worth more, that our views are worth more, than those of other people who drive trucks and clean bedpans and do so many of the obviously necessary jobs in our society…. Is what we do really more worthy [worth more compensation] than what a nurse’s aide does? I don’t think so. I think we need a little more humility here…. [Being a professional involves] seeing yourself as better than other people, which I don’t think is helpful in any way.

 

 

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Joaquin Phoenix 2020 Oscar Acceptance Speech

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This Is How Scandinavia Got Great
The power of educating the whole person.
By David Brooks

“…the complete moral, emotional, intellectual and civic transformation of the person…. ever bigger personal responsibility towards family, friends, fellow citizens, society, humanity, our globe, and the global heritage of our species, …”

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The Future of Democracy, a New Yorker series

Recommended Links

On September 19, 1983, during Lebanon’s long civil war, the Reagan Administration ordered Marine PEACEKEEPERS in Beirut to open fire on Muslim militias in the mountains overlooking the city. The marines had been deployed for more than a year, after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, to help hold together one of the world’s most fractured states. Colonel Tim Geraghty, their commander, warned that an attack would cost the United States its NEUTRALITY and its mission; nevertheless, U.S. ships fired more than three hundred rounds of seventy-pound shells. Geraghty later wrote, “As the sun set at the end of a tumultuous day, I remarked to members of my staff that my gut instinct tells me the Corps is going to pay in blood for this decision.”…(emphases added)

DONALD TRUMP’S IRAN PROBLEM
By Robin Wright
January 12, 2020
The New Yorker

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Gil Scott-Heron’s Legacy Is a Work in Progress
By Giovanni Russonello

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If Bernie Wins, Where Will He Take the Democratic Party?
By Thomas B. Edsall

You Are Now Remotely Controlled

For the Sunday print edition.
 
“Cambridge Analytica’s real innovation was to pivot the whole undertaking from commercial to political objectives.
 
In other words, Cambridge Analytica was the parasite, and surveillance capitalism was the host. …
 
They have the knowledge, the machines, the science and the scientists, the secrets and the lies. All privacy now rests with them, leaving us with few means of defense from these marauding data invaders….
 
Surveillance capitalism threatens to remake society as it unmakes democracy…. They have the means to know everything about us, but we can know little about them. Their knowledge of us is not for us. Instead, our futures are sold for others’ profits…. furiously dedicated to the lucrative science and economics of human prediction for profit.”

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Why Trump Persists
Voters are less tolerant, less empathetic and less interested in integrity than many political analysts thought.
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Ten Political Podcasts For The Savvy Citizen
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NOTE: Feminista Jones, from the excellent Pod Save the People podcast, is now a regular on MSNBC.

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The Myth of Middle-Class Liberalism
The bourgeois are supposed to ensure open, democratic societies. In fact, they rarely have.
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The war on Muslims (with Mehdi Hasan)
Ezra Klein Show