Posts related to 3. Economy and Finance
It aims to attempt deciphering economic and financial questions – we’ll definitely need your help on this one…
17 November 2015 - It’s not IS we should fight against – it’s obscurantism
After having published a post yesterday (No more bombs) arguing that the West won’t win peace by dropping more bombs and should instead fight against inequality and injustice, Chris, a follower of Making Sense of Things on Facebook asked if we had “any advice for what people should do to counter [the Islamic State]? Or should it just be allowed to continue? They won’t allow a diplomatic solution, as they believe any negotiation is sacrilegious, let alone voting?” This question is very relevant indeed. How can we negotiate with IS if we can’t even talk with them?
I understand that throwing 20 bombs at the Islamic State, like the French warplanes reportedly did two days after the Paris attacks, sounds the right thing to do. It feels good, we get … Read the rest
16 November 2015 - No more bombs
I now live in Australia but I’m French. I’ve lived several years in Paris where many of my friends and family members still live. Two of the attacks occurred in the same street where by my best friend lives. His partner’s sister was enjoying drinks with her friends in one of the restaurants were so many people got killed on this tragic Friday the 13th. Luckily she survived.I was touched by the outpour of solidarity I have received, my warmest thanks to you all. I read lots of articles and watched heaps of media about the Paris attacks. Yet, I started quite rapidly to feel uncomfortable at the world’s focus on this latest wave of terrorist attacks. I’ve lived and worked in countries where such violence is a daily fact of life, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Kenya and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. … Read the rest
11 February 2011 - Is the world as we know it going to collapse?
It seems that the closer we get to 2012 and the more we hear of ‘end-of-the-times’ related cataclysmic stories. Since the 2012 Hollywood blockbuster released in 2009, the belief in the end of our ‘age’ and subsequent birth of a new one as conceived by the Mayan calendar, has become mainstreamed. Personally, we don’t believe in the so-called Mayan prophecy and 2012 does not worry us more than 2011 or 2013. Having said that, one cannot ignore the frenzy around the idea of the collapse of the world as we know it. We’ve decided to look into the subject and see if there is any susbtance behind these warnings – and whether we should worry or not. Please note that this post is a follow-up to this one, where we argued that rather than viewing ‘collapse’ through the lens of conspiracy theories, we could understand it in a historical … Read the rest
20 November 2010 - What ‘Peak Oil’ means, and how you can benefit
We don’t know how you feel about it, but personally, we struggle with the concept of Peak Oil. The concept itself is easy to understand – basically, Peak Oil refers to the maximum extraction rate of oil after which, oil being a finite resource, the rate of extraction declines.
What we struggle with then, is not the concept itself, but the consequences it implies for me, for you, for us all. As we’ll see below, our industrialised societies are oil-junkies. But try preventing an addict to get his drug by dramatically decreasing his supply in a short amount of time and you’ll rapidly see the effect: tensions at best, hostility at worst.
As we said, the concept of Peak Oil is easy to understand, but the dramatic effects it carries with it are just too daunting to be able to fully comprehend them. The first problem is that major … Read the rest
18 September 2010 - Enough already!
Yesterday, I was emphasising the need for a systemic economic change. There is nothing original about that, as it seems that an increasing number of people understand the limitations and self-destruction of our current social and economic models. As a matter of fact, the Chronicle.com has asked scholars’ views on what will be the defining question of the coming decade and why. It offers a variety of worthwhile reading answers, and one in particular has struck me. According to Professor Pat Shipman, “the defining idea of the next decade is ‘enough.’ […] The day of ‘enough’ is coming. “Enough” is part of a reaction against the overwhelming greed, violence, dishonesty, and petty meanness of the last decades. I believe that people in America, perhaps in all of Western culture, are tired of the adversarial system of law, government, and behavior that has held sway for so long. … Read the rest
16 September 2010 - Neoliberalism? I’m tired of this shit. Let’s push for a systemic economic change
A friend of mine sent me yesterday a very very interesting document, titled Manifesto on Global Economic Transitions. Published in September 2007 by the International Forum on Globalization, it had foreseen the need for a systemic change even before the (latest) GFC (global financial crisis). In opposition to the current unsustainable neoliberal dogma, it rightly argues that “less and local” are the way forward. Indeed, in light of the current resource depletion and destruction, climate change, financial crisis, socio-economic inequalities, and societies which overarching values are driven by profit rather than well-being, we need a systemic economic change – along a systemic change in our values, but that’s another story. So, if you too understand all too well that the neoliberal doctrine is in its deathbed, you’ll be thrilled to read that the authors of the Manifesto push for “Economies of Ecological Sustainability, Equity, Sufficiency and Peace”. Sustainability, what … Read the rest