Sunday, March 17, 2013

Beyond these achievements, the social democratic moment provided space for various kinds of utopian thinking.
Note the past tense. And the "utopian thinking" was either not very utopian, or bullshit.
I hope he's not referring to the hippies.

John Quiggin dreams of Shangri-La/ Ecotopia with images of city planning for the People's Republic of China, designed by architects from Singapore. It would be beyond him to recognize the irony. We're back to Shalizi, remembering previous examples of Quiggin's genius. If "Art" is "an enemy of the people", then Henning Mankell has nothing to tell us about social democracy or asocial technocracy: neither Mankell, nor Steig Larsson nor Tim Parks, nor history.
They're all such fucking idiots: white men talking about the white man's experience.  There's no mention of the Arab spring. They haven't experienced it, and don't accept that experience as constitutive of thought.

The Guardian: "World poverty is shrinking rapidly, new index reveals."
Some of the poorest people in the world are becoming significantly less poor, according to a groundbreaking academic study which has taken a new approach to measuring deprivation. The report, by Oxford University's poverty and human development initiative, predicts that countries among the most impoverished in the world could see acute poverty eradicated within 20 years if they continue at present rates. 
It identifies "star performer" nations such as Rwanda, Nepal and Bangladesh as places where deprivation could disappear within the lifetime of present generations. Close on their heels with reductions in poverty levels were Ghana, Tanzania, Cambodia and Bolivia. 
The study comes after the UN's latest development report published last week which stated that poverty reduction drives in the developing world were exceeding all expectations. It says: "The world is witnessing a epochal 'global rebalancing' with higher growth in at least 40 poor countries helping lift hundreds of millions out of poverty and into a new 'global middle class'. Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast."
UN 2013 Human Development Report 
For the first time in 150 years, the combined output of the developing world’s three leading economies — Brazil, China and India — is about equal to the combined GDP of the long-standing industrial powers of the North.
The fight for social democracy is on more than ever. Again: Shalizi contra Mankell.

Corey Robin links to a petition in support of non-academic employees of the academy that only academics can sign. Almost all the recent post are just as bad.

Robin again. "The US Senate: Where Democracy Goes to Die"
I linked to this again a few days ago. The US began as a confederation and is now a federation, but the tension is still there. This fits here an also above. Technocratic liberals are earnest believers in their own best intentions. The narcissism is disgusting.

Farrell: "Dani Rodrik published a piece arguing that economists needed to pay less attention to interests, and more to ideas."

Dani Rodrik defends his interests.
Çetin Dogan, a retired four-star Turkish Army general, was detained and subsequently imprisoned by Turkish prosecutors, accused of masterminding an elaborate plot in 2002 and 2003 to topple the country's newly elected conservative Islamist government. 
...For us, however, this particular arrest comes very close to home: We are Çetin Dogan's daughter and son-in-law.
Ideas follow experience: they come last.

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