23 Things: There is No Such Thing as a Free Market

GODS & RADICALS

"Door Number One" by George Hodan. Public domain image courtesy Publicdomainpictures.net “Door Number One” by George Hodan. Public domain image courtesy Publicdomainpictures.net

23 Things is a series that examines and explores the theories presented in Oxford-trained economist Ha-Joon Chang’s 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism.  I will examine each of his 23 Things by taking some of the material from his book, and breaking it down through the application of my own lens.  For more information, I recommend his excellent book!

What They Tell You:  Markets need to be free.  When the government interferes to dictate what market participants can or cannot do, resources cannot flow to their most efficient use.  If people cannot do the things that they find most profitable, they lose the incentive to invest and innovate.”

As Chang points out, no market is actually a free market.  There are always regulations and rules that change the market considerably, and we just unconditionally accept a lot of the…

View original post 1,194 more words

Advertisements

Book Review: 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

GODS & RADICALS

23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Capitalism! The American Dream! Except that what we believe about capitalism, and how it actually works, are two different things. We’ve been told that the essence of preserving the economy involves making things better for the wealthy, so that they will make bigger companies and hire more people for more jobs, and thus the crumbs of their good fortune will “trickle down” to the rest of us. Except that it’s not true; wealthy people won’t part with their wealth unless regulations force them to.

We are told that the American Dream rewards the hard-working and the worthy, and that anyone can succeed if they try hard enough. Except that it’s not true; people in poorer countries are more entrepreneurial than people in wealthier countries, and good infrastructure is the key to building the…

View original post 496 more words

Millennials & the Revolution of Politics

GODS & RADICALS

Right now in the United States, Super Tuesday is just a couple of days away.  It’s pretty amazing that I know that.  I have never paid such close attention to American politics before.  I never cared that much; not until it came down to the actual Republican vs. Democrat.  In general we, your neighbours to the North, breathe more easily when it’s the latter.

But right now there’s a political revolution going on that has broad implications in both of our countries.  There’s a huge generational divide.  It’s the generation we call the Millennials.  They’re changing how everything works.  In current North American politics, both in the recent Canadian federal election and in the upcoming American Presidential election, there has been a visible, undeniable generational split in opinions at the polls, and it has made, and is making, a significant difference.  Millennials are the reason that the Conservative Harper regime in Canadian government…

View original post 2,737 more words

Until The Forest Becomes The World

A few tidbits from Gods & Radicals; also, a print journal coming out!

GODS & RADICALS

G&R announce-page-001 (click on the image for larger view)

The Gods&Radicals Journal!

We’re utterly excited to announce our call-for-contributions to the Gods&Radicals Journal!  Deadline is September 15th, and contributions will be paid.

We’ll announce subscription and ordering information soon!

News&Links

Are you going to Many Gods West?  Several of our writers will be presenting there (including Anthony Rella, Sean Donahue, and Rhyd Wildermuth), and many other writers will be in attendance.  Come say hi!  We’re mostly on the side of good. 🙂

What comes after Capitalism?  Maybe it’s already here.

Ever thought about all the things Nature provides for ‘free?’

And coming up this week: Druid heartthrob Jonathan Woolley on Heresies, the next installment Fjothr Odinsdottir Lokakvan‘s hope-inspiring monthly column “Things With Feathers,George Caffentzis with a report back from Greece, and James Lindenschmidt‘s essay on the effects of Capital through Ancestral Displacement.  Also, we’re excited to…

View original post 205 more words

Capitalist Leveling and the Problem of Pagan Values

GODS & RADICALS

By Kadmus

In my essay from April 27th, “Towards a Pagan Politics”, I claimed that capitalism levels all values while paganism is committed to a pluralism of irreducibly different values. I lacked time and space then to fully flesh out this point, but I would like to dedicate myself here to clarifying and expanding upon the claim.

What is Value?

IMAG0432

I think that my claim could have been made even stronger, specifically that while capitalism starts out as the dominance of one value over all others it becomes a complete loss of all sense of value. Capitalism is a nihilism of the most banal sort. Paganism, on the other hand, is dedicated to the rich complexity, vibrancy and value-laden nature of life. To see how and why this is the case we need to investigate the concept of value rather closely.

Today we have a highly subjective concept…

View original post 3,294 more words

Social Darwinism; Detachment from Community Accountability in Modern Pagan Culture

GODS & RADICALS

breadline-great-depression

“ Social Darwinism characterizes a variety of past and present social policies and theories, from attempts to reduce the power of government to theories exploring the biological causes of human behavior. Many people believe that the concept of social Darwinism explains the philosophical rationalization behind racism, imperialism, and capitalism. The term has negative implications for most people because they consider it a rejection of compassion and social responsibility.” – Robert C. Bannister, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

“The core idea of Social Darwinism is that the wealthy and powerful enjoy the privileges they do because they are more fit in terms of the traits favored by natural selection. The poor and powerless have less fit traits and therefore it is best to let them perish since their elimination will represent natural selection favoring fitter traits and the spread of fitter traits is a form of progress. This line of…

View original post 2,058 more words

“Twenty Things You Can Do to Address the Climate Crisis!” by Patrick Robbins

Humanistic Paganism

From the Managing Editor: We continue with our April theme, Nature, with a discussion of climate change activism. Talking about climate change can leave a person feeling hopeless and powerless. I know I have felt that way at times. This list has helped me to remember both my limits and my power to help effect change. Feel free to add more suggestions in the comments.

This essay originally appeared at thischangeseverything.org.

Getting your mind around climate change is hard. Confronting it requires us to deal with the ways that coal, oil, and gas have shaped nearly every aspect of our world, from our built environments to our economic systems — even our ideologies and patterns of thought. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t concrete actions each of us can take, right now. Here are 20 examples of things YOU can do (some details are US-specific).

1. Reorganize the…

View original post 847 more words