Berfrois

‘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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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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Menachem Feuer: Body

While Sarah Silverman jokingly tells us that her Jewish identity has more to do with her body than with the “responsibilities and limitations” that...

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Jeremy Fernando: Pink

An offering that might well remain in its being offered.

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Rosie Clarke Chats to Amelia Gray

I get the impulse to look to the canon, but I think we should try and challenge and squash the canon, too.

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Mario Carpo: Voice, Words, Memory

It all started with cellphones, a long time ago. No student, and few teachers, would make voice calls from class, but in the early...

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Remembrance of Translations Past

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

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Colin Dickey: Time’s Resistless Stream

By now, we are all of us more or less apocalyptic. Our calendar is itself based on the apocalyptic return of Jesus Christ, counting...

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Mark Mordue: Curate. Content. Click.

Not that ‘the critic’ has ever been a greatly appreciated or understood figure. Some fat toad with a feather in his hat who thinks...

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Russell Bennetts
Street Fighter: Berfrois Interviews Tariq Ali

The extreme centre is a form of government that arose out of neoliberal economics and exists today in virtually the whole of Europe, North...

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John Crutchfield: Go West

Perhaps this is what finally draws me back to the Western. It is a fundamentally serious genre. It deals with serious questions, and it...

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Joel Gn on Henri Lefebvre

How may we speak of that which goes off the record in an age of digital colonisation?

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Volker M. Welter on Michael Graves

The designer Michael Graves, who passed away at the age of 80 on March 12th, was widely considered to be one of the founding...

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