Berfrois

European Community? Pah!

European Community? Pah!

The imposition of German demands on Greece, without consideration for its democracy, sovereignty or interests, is one of those moments that changes everything.

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‘The Troika are not acting in the long term interests of those they represent’

‘The Troika are not acting in the long term interests of those they represent’

At first sight the negotiations between Greece and the Troika seem to be simply a battle about resources: how much of the pie that is Greek national income their creditors should receive.

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Why do so many graduates end up in pointless and destructive jobs?

Why do so many graduates end up in pointless and destructive jobs?

To seek enlightenment, intellectual or spiritual; to do good; to love and be loved; to create and to teach: these are the highest purposes of humankind. If there is meaning in life, it lies here.

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Mediamacro are very good at pretending…

Mediamacro are very good at pretending…

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with David Cameron. Well, almost - we were at the same restaurant but on tables at the opposite sides of the room.

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Information Over Muskets

Information Over Muskets

Kim Jong-un, Vasily Galaktionov, 2013 by Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman The changing dictatorships Dictatorships are not what they used to be. The totalitarian tyrants of the past – such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot – employed terror, indoctrination, and isolation to monopolise power. Although less ideological, many 20th-century...

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Rise of the Robots

Rise of the Robots

In the next two decades, 47 per cent of employment is ‘in the high-risk category’, meaning it is ‘potentially automatable’.

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Greece Rejects Austerity!

Greece Rejects Austerity!

In one week I had seen plenty of misery in Greece’s train of misfortune. Apart from protest slogans covering public and private walls, the homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks, and the soup kitchens, it is the generalized distress that has struck me.

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Divestment is both moral and economically wise…

Divestment is both moral and economically wise…

When the fossil-fuel divestment movement first stirred on college campuses three years ago, you could almost hear Big Oil and Wall Street laughing.

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No-one ever got rich outside of social relations between people…

No-one ever got rich outside of social relations between people…

The rich get rich through wealth extraction, not wealth creation. It’s time that was put to an end.

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Dissenting Economics

Dissenting Economics

The dissent of students to the dominance of neoclassical economics in the curriculum is not new. As early as 2000, a group of French students organized under the name ‘Post-Autistic Economics’.

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Watching, Trading

Watching, Trading

So all is well, then? Certainly not. This is only the mandate for the EU negotiators. In any international agreement, it takes at least two to tango.

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Piketty’s Response

Piketty’s Response

This is a response to the criticisms - which I interpret as requests for additional information – that were published in the Financial Times on May 23 2014. These criticisms only refer to the series reported in chapter 10 of my book Capital in the 21st century, and not...

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Modern finance is human and intellectual waste…

Modern finance is human and intellectual waste…

Mammon and His Slave, Johann Jacob Weber, 1896 From London Review of Books: One of the most adroit things about Flash Boys is the size of its frame: Lewis tells his story and then lets the reader draw her own conclusions about its meaning and consequences. He keeps the...

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A Second Belle Époque

A Second Belle Époque

From The New York Review of Books: Thomas Piketty, professor at the Paris School of Economics, isn’t a household name, although that may change with the English-language publication of his magnificent, sweeping meditation on inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Yet his influence runs deep. It has become a...

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Is work about doing what you hate?

Is work about doing what you hate?

The focus of conventional employment policy is on creating ‘more work’. People without work and in receipt of benefits are viewed as a drain on the state and in need of assistance or direct coercion to get them into work. There is the belief that work is the best...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: LGBT Struggles in Albania

This morning I woke up to a rather surprising headline: "first gay marriage in Tirana." The article referred to the marriage ceremony recently held...

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Feroz Rather in Srinagar

Though the war was still going on, it was not a terribly sad time in my life; at least, I had the consolation of...

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Foucault’s Politics of Truth by Stuart Elden

The key figures are Cardinal Richelieu and Chancellor Séguier, and Foucault thinks it is important that he can discern the “first great deployment of...

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Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

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Mediamacro are very good at pretending…

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with David Cameron. Well, almost - we were at the same restaurant but on tables at...

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Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: One Little Room

A room with graffitied walls. Inside this room the dogs bark. A room cluttered with porcelain figurines. A room decorated with binary numbers.

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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David Beer
David Beer: Make Happy, Happy, Happy

As I read through William Davies’ engaging new book, I can’t help but wonder what Mad Men’s Don Draper would have made of John...

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Russell Bennetts: Coffee for 8 More

I might be the last person you should ask about St. Paul coffee in general. On an ordinary day I make do with drip...

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Emeline Edgewood
In X the Promise

X seems to want to be both the equivalent of The Giant and of Laura Palmer’s mother in Twin Peaks.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Municipal

Although there are also some independent candidates who may take a few votes here and there, the general opinion of the Tirana public and...

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En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

The cross-dressing Qiu Jin was emblematic of a revolutionary feminist current at the end of the Qing era, writing urgently on women’s emancipation: “While...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

They had obviously taken the pictures of the whale, and the group of people carrying it, out of curiosity. But still the images failed...

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Oscillation

We recognise oscillation to be the natural order of the world.

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