Thursday, September 12, 2019

There's No Evidence of a Robot Takeover–This Is a Bad Thing

Noah Smith wrote a pretty compelling op ed in Bloomberg on Tuesday demonstrating that worries about a robot apocalypse–the eclipse of human labor by machine labor–are unfounded. He points to the rather steady employment-to-population ratio, the positive correlation between IT investment and jobs, and low productivity growth as proof that robots do not, in fact, cost at least the macroeconomy jobs. (We can't necessarily make assertions microeconomically.)

This is a bad thing.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Fascist Economic Anxiety

The "economic anxiety" narrative of the Trumpian moment is back under the microscope this week thanks to a NYT op-ed that cited some new research in Politics & Society.. The article and the op-ed alike are riddled with the sort of neoclassical assumptions that have hampered the discussion of fascist political economy and its role in elevating Trump to the White House.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Media Eating Up "Ex-Antifa" Who Wants Use Designated Domestic Terrorists

Some jackoff from the Leadership Institute is making the rounds on right wing media (and Newsweek) claiming to have been antifa from 2010-2013 before making a hard right turn with the Leadership Institute.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Why Is the Right So Goddamn Gullible?

Last week, there were two hoaxes circulated on the right wing Twitterverse, and one of them might have some really stupid consequences. First, Quillette published a fabricated account of an infiltration of a DSA meeting. Second, idiots have been circulating a fabricated false flag antifa event.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Review of My Correspondence with Gretchen

Iona Italia has written a wonderful review of my letters with Gretchen. It does a great job of summarizing what's been discussed and delves deep into a few of the more contentious issues that have come up:

Monday, July 8, 2019

Conversation with Gretchen Mullen

I have been having a stimulating conversation with Gretchen Mullen of Skeptic Review about neo-fascism and anti-fascism. We're currently on the fifth round of letters (my last one was a two-parter). Check out our exchange here!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Socialized Medicine Is the Most Efficient Outcome

In Mutual Aid, Peter Kropotkin describes how non-capitalist societies managed disasters:

As to the social characters of the mediæval guild, any guild-statute may illustrate them. Taking, for instance, the skraa of some early Danish guild, we read in it, first, a statemet of the general brotherly feelings which must reign in the guild; next come the regulations relative to self-jurisdiction in cases of quarrels arising between two brothers, or a brother and a stranger; and then, the social duties of the brethren are enumerated. If a brother's house is burned, or he has lost his ship, or has suffered on a pilgrim's voyage, all brethren must come to his aid. If a brother falls dangerously ill, two brethren must keep watch by his bed till he is out of danger, and if he dies, the brethren must bury him–a great affair in those times of pestilences–and follow him to the church and the grave. After his death they must provide for his children, if necessary; very often the widow becomes a sister to the guild. (141, Dover Books edition, emphasis added)
As we can see, non-capitalist societies had very different ways of managing disasters. Here, Kropotkin describes five, perhaps six, different events that capitalism would handle with insurance. Fire insurance, boat insurance, health insurance, and life insurance would be the capitalist alternative to the duties described here.