1. [aside] This war has reached its zenith. I can ascend politics using my historical materialist outlook and bring this to a close

    — 

    HOMER

    (Source: scribd.com)

  2. I have never been more conscious of my womanhood than right now in Jerusalem →

  3. Something Awful - Who is John Galt? →

  4. What we have been emphasizing is that the socialist sees no special magic in the “worker” as an atomized individual. The special “advantage” of the working class springs from inherent drives of its class position in society, its ineradicable interests as a group, its conditions of life; and its “advantage” comes into play only insofar as this class organizes itself (as it is inevitably driven to do) and transforms the thinking of its individual components in the course of class experiences.

    — Hal Draper

    (Source: socialistworker.org)

  5. As the output of the economy recovers to its pre-recession levels, continued attempts to make the labour market more flexible – a business-friendly weakening of workers’ rights and power – has created a quality vs. quantity trade-off. These new symptoms of high employment but low wages and productivity growth actually pre-date the recession. Prior to 2008 we were already seeing a declining wage share, a stagnating median wage and growing numbers on zero hour contracts. These trends have been propelled further and faster in the aftermath of the financial crash with governments placing even less pressure on employers to provide decent wages and employment conditions.

    — http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/latest-labour-market-stats-works-still-not-paying

  6. But for all that, is the elimination of debt the solution, as Graeber writes? I have nothing against this, but I am more favorable to a progressive tax on inherited wealth along with high tax rates for the upper brackets. Why? The question is: What about the day after? What do we do once debt has been eliminated? What is the plan? Eliminating debt implies treating the last creditor, the ultimate holder of debt, as the responsible party. But the system of financial transactions as it actually operates allows the most important players to dispose of letters of credit well before debt is forgiven. The ultimate creditor, thanks to the system of intermediaries, may not be especially rich. Thus canceling debt does not necessarily mean that the richest will lose money in the process.

    — ibid

    (Source: thebaffler.com)

  7. That is an interesting question. I loved your book, by the way. The only criticism I would have is that capital cannot be reduced to debt. It is true that more debt for some, public or private, is bound to increase the resources of others. But you do not directly address possible differences between debt and capital. You argue as if the history of capital were indistinguishable from that of debt. I think you are right to say that debt plays a much more significant historical part than has been assumed—especially when you dismiss the fairy tales retailed by economists concerning capital accumulation, barter, the invention of money, or monetary exchange. The way you redirect our attention by stressing the relationships of power and domination that underlie relationships of indebtedness is admirable. The fact remains that capital is useful in itself. The inequalities associated with it are problematic, but not capital per se. And there is much more capital today than formerly.

    — Piketty laying the smack down on Graeber.

    (Source: thebaffler.com)