Tuesday, November 29, 2016

“Bernie Sanders may be a White Supremacist”

Mr Quentin James weighs in and gives his expert opinion here.

Also at length here:
Quentin James, “The Left has a White Supremacy Problem, Too,” November 22, 2016.
First, there is the vicious drive-by smear of Steve Bannon as a “white supremacist,” a slander for which the evidence is essentially zero.

But what, exactly, was poor old Bernie’s crime? He had the temerity to question the cult of cultural leftist identity politics:



Bernie’s comments were actually very mild, and the whole speech still filled with cultural leftist virtue signalling. He even went out of his way to proclaim that diversity is the best thing ever (which is not; see here), and we need even more of it (which is dubious, to put it mildly).

Bernie’s point was that diversity isn’t enough: a political candidate needs the right policies, and you should not vote for somebody just because she is a woman, or because he or she is from minority x.

For this crime, Bernie stands accused of having a “white supremacy” problem. Or to be accurate, Quentin James accused Bernie of making comments that “come from a place of political thinking that is awash in white supremacy.”

The arguments offered by Mr James for why Bernie has this horrendous “white supremacy” problem make no sense:
(1) the principal implication is that the presence of white people in the elite as a majority group is inherently wrong, and the whole society inherently racist because of this. This is absurd. America *is* a majority white society, and it is only natural that a nation where most people are white is going to have an elite that is mostly white.

(2) a more serious claim is that the percentage of minority people in government and amongst politicians does not reflect their percentage of the population as a whole. James points out (and I assume he is correct) that “90% of all elected officials in the United States are white, while people of color make up over 30% of the population.” But once again we have an obvious response: the legal and civil barriers to people of colour running for office have been removed, and the demand that 30% of all elected officials be people of colour is worthless, if these people are just as incompetent, corrupt, stupid and incapable as white people. Why would you want more Latino and African American politicians if they just privatise social security and run the country into the ground? And the secondary problem is that – with the regressive left – even if 30% of all elected US officials were non-white, it still wouldn’t be enough for these fanatics. Immediately there would be demands that, say, because of historical injustices, white people should be reduced to 50% of the elite, or 30%. Or even removed entirely.

(3) James laughably claims that he is “not aware of many (if any) people who have demanded to be elected, promoted, hired or appointed solely on the basis of their skin color, gender or sexual orientation.” However, this is either implicitly or explicitly a major demand of the modern cultural left, and you can see examples everywhere. E.g., the BBC advertises certain jobs which are for non-whites only.
Finally, here is another hit piece on Bernie in the Guardian.

In this article, the author ends with the angry cry that Bernie “should have mentioned how identity politics matter because one’s identity in this country can very much play into economic status.” Well, indeed, and not just for African Americans – what about poor white working class people?

At this point, the logical outcome of cultural leftism – with its militant demand for endless Third World mass immigration, diversity and identity politics – will be the revival of identity politics for white people, whether it is a mild type of implicit white identity through civic nationalism, or explicit ethno-nationalism, or the more extreme forms of racial ethno-nationalism on the Alt Right. In short, there should be no mystery about why identitarian movements for white people are on the rise.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

How American Libertarians are Turning into Socialists

As crazy as that sounds, there seems to be some evidence for it. In essence, some American libertarians are morphing into Alt Right “National Socialists.”

We can see the direct evidence for this in one of the most popular Alt Right podcasts (with a rather distasteful name) where the speakers are former libertarians:



Did you hear the astonishing confession here?:



It is startlingly indeed to see libertarians suddenly see the merits of protectionism and some kind of left-wing economics (however ill-defined).

Given the rise of the Alt Right, I am very curious indeed to know how common this kind of political transformation is in America, because it is so obviously similar to the way in which working class Democrats have switched to Donald Trump, because Trump suddenly offered them protectionism and a kind of Big Government conservatism.

We are living in historic times with massive political shifts on both the right and left, and both these developments prove it.

An Alt Left Narrative

From Agent Commie’s YouTube channel:



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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Noam Chomsky on Trump’s Victory

Here:



Sad to say, but he’s losing it.

Some criticisms:

(1) Chomsky’s view that Trump has no coherent positions and no fixed ideas is nonsense. For many years, Trump was consistently warning of the dangers of free trade and de-industrialisation in America. For many years, Trump was a supporter of some kind of universal health care system and as recently as last year was saying that the government needs to increase its role in provision of healthcare:



Trump has of course retreated from this position now, so if there is any criticism to be made, it is not that he never had any coherent positions, it is that he has retreated from some of his decent liberal positions.

(2) although the interviewer said it and Chomsky seemed to tacitly agree, Steve Bannon isn’t a “white nationalist.” This is a lie.

(3) notice how Chomsky admits that Trump was in favour of reducing tensions with Russia. Why doesn’t Chomsky condemn the warmongering insanity of Hillary Clinton and her plans for more confrontation with Russia? Why doesn’t he condemn Hillary’s mad plans for a no-fly-zone in Syria? Why was Hillary a better candidate on this issue, the most important of all? Notably, Chomsky does have a sensible position on Putin that he sees past the anti-Putin lies and propaganda, but Chomsky can’t bring himself to give Trump any credit for similar views.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Some Interviews with Steve Bannon and his Association with the Alt Right

Here are some interviews with Steve Bannon, the man who is probably going to be Trump’s chief strategist at the White House:
(1) Michael Wolff, “Ringside with Steve Bannon at Trump Tower as the President-Elect’s Strategist Plots ‘An Entirely New Political Movement’ (Exclusive),” Hollywoodreporter.com, 18 November, 2016.

(2) J. Lester Feder, “This is how Steve Bannon sees the Entire World,” Buzzfeed.com, 16 November, 2016.
These interviews are very interesting indeed, because it is clear that Bannon is an economic nationalist and *not* your standard Republican libertarian crackpot and free trader.

A fascinating excerpt from the first article:
“‘I’m an economic nationalist,’ [Bannon]… tells me. ‘The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over. If we deliver’ — by ‘we’ he means the Trump White House — ‘we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years. That’s what the Democrats missed. They were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It’s not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about.’ …

‘Like [Andrew] Jackson’s populism, we’re going to build an entirely new political movement,’ he says. ‘It’s everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything.”

“Ringside with Steve Bannon at Trump Tower as the President-Elect’s Strategist Plots ‘An Entirely New Political Movement’ (Exclusive),” Hollywoodreporter.com, 18 November, 2016.
It seems that Stephen Moore (Trump’s economic adviser) has recently delivered a similar message to top Republicans as well. Apparently, they weren’t happy to be told that they are now part of “Trump’s populist working-class party.”

We can see that Bannon is essentially an anti-neoliberal conservative, but a confused one, and the terminology he uses to refer to neoliberalism is “globalism” and “crony capitalism.”

Regrettably, he also falls for the “unfunded liabilities” nonsense about social security, but – on the whole – he is obviously superior to standard Republicans and doctrinaire free market conservative fanatics.

As is common to many populist conservatives, Bannon seems to imply that there is a pure “authentic, free-market capitalism” that fundamentally works and has only been corrupted by corporatism and crony capitalism.

But this is a delusion. The populist conservatives will never fully understand economics unless they understand that laissez faire capitalism is inherently flawed: the more laissez faire capitalism becomes, the more it becomes unstable, inefficient, and dysfunctional.

It is a well-designed state capitalism, guided by macroeconomic management and regulation, that is the form that truly “works.”

Bannon has also been subject to hysterical demonisation in the media, but, as far as I can see, almost all of this is lies and slanders.

For example, take a central allegation against Bannon: that his news site Breitbart is “white supremacist” or “anti-Semitic.”

I have been reading Breitbart for nearly a year now, and Breitbart is essentially a conservative cultural nationalist news site, which is critical of Islamism, regressive leftism, and mass immigration. It also plainly has a massive pro-Israel and pro-Jewish point of view. The idea (as seen all over the media) that Breitbart is “anti-Semitic” or “white supremacist” is a contemptible lie. If anything, Breitbart’s intense pro-Israel line is one of the most obvious biases.

This is also bound up with the issue of the “Alt Right.” Breitbart stands accused of being Alt Right, but whether they have at one time or another claimed that label it is very clear that Breitbart is different from the hardcore of the Alt Right, and the indeed the latter refer to Breitbart as the “Alt Lite” because they see it as being too soft and moderate.

Of the people who are usually labelled “Alt Right” (whether accurately or not) there is a crucial division as follows:
(1) The Alt Lite
All the Alt Lite conservatives I have seen tend to be militantly pro-Israel and pro-Jewish. They are not purveyors of anti-Semitism or explicit white nationalism. The Alt Lite includes Breitbart, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Gavin McInnes.

(2) The Alt Right
The hardcore Alt Right mostly hates and despises many of the “Alt Lite” personalities. The hardcore Alt Right is neither pro-Israel nor pro-Jewish.

The core principles that seem to unite the hardcore Alt Right are as follows:
(1) race realism, as pointed out by Jared Taylor in the Guardian, which is the view that race is real and the different races have different genotypic average IQs and personality traits.

(2) anti-Semitism and the idea that Jewish people form a hostile elite in Western gentile societies because of their high average IQ, greater wealth, ethno-tribalism and support for Israel.

(3) white ethno-nationalism and ethnic and racial separation.

(4) more and more, the Alt Right seems to be anti-free market capitalism.

(5) the hardcore Alt Right seems to have a hostile view of democracy, and supports a limited franchise or authoritarianism.
Anyone who reads Breitbart can plainly see that Breitbart is not a supporter of the ideas held by the Alt Right in sense (2) above, and I do not see any hard evidence that Steve Bannon supports any one of the ideas.

Conclusion: I think Steve Bannon is being smeared in the media by hysterical liberals and leftists using the guilt-by-association fallacy to slander both him and Donald Trump.

Furthermore, even if we take someone like Milo Yiannopoulos, who does write for Breitbart, he was always (I think) careful to distinguish himself from the hardcore Alt Right and rejected the label himself as we see here:





Admittedly, Milo Yiannopoulos also lied about the hardcore Alt Right, and downplayed their race realism, anti-capitalism, and anti-Semitism.

Moreover, the hardcore Alt Right deeply hates Milo as we can absolutely see here:



Finally, we can see a recent development. The hardcore Alt Right held a conference in Washington at which they have probably essentially destroyed themselves in the eyes of the American public when this video emerged.

I think their “brand” is fatally tarred by that video. Curiously, some of the YouTube Alt Right personalities seem to have realised this, and one such Alt Righter even goes so far as to give up the label:



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Thursday, November 24, 2016

He’s President Now!!




Don’t pretend you didn’t crack up!

Meet the Renegades with Michael Hudson

Michael Hudson is interviewed below in this Meet the Renegades video:



Check out his website here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Taxing Corporations is Fascism!

And the caricature libertarian Jeffrey Tucker tells us why Trump is a “fascist” for wanting to do so:



I mean, really, if you go back and listen to some of these libertarians on Trump, you can see that some of their rhetoric was as crazy as that of the unhinged left. It doesn’t matter whether conservatives, liberals or leftists depart from the failed laissez faire program of free markets and free trade, to these half-baked libertarian crackpots, everybody who does so is a fascist.

For the unhinged left, anybody who departs from their failed program of open borders, mass immigration and multiculturalism is a fascist. Tucker probably agrees. These people should just join forces at this point.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bob Murphy’s Worst Nightmare Comes True

Trump’s victory has unleashed a tidal of hysterical nonsense from free traders, Neoconservatives, the mainstream left, the regressive left and liberals, but libertarians aren’t that happy either, so it seems.

Think about it. Most probably, Trump is about to implement:
(1) hostility to free trade agreements of the past 30 years;
(2) protectionism and tariffs;
(3) some kind of industrial policy;
(4) a wall with Mexico and a restrictive immigration policy that will lead to labour market protectionism in the US;
(5) massive infrastructure and military spending with tax cuts, which will lead to
(6) massive, massive government deficits and Keynesian stimulus.
As Trump’s policies are implemented, I predict US libertarians will go into meltdown.

Take the prominent libertarian blogger Bob Murphy. Remember Bob Murphy’s intense conspiracy theories about a proposed wall with Mexico?:



But, strangely, Bob seems to have forgotten his dire predictions of doom above and taken a weirdly agnostic view of Trump (correct me if I am wrong).

Come on, Bob. Where are your vitriolic tirades against Trump? Why aren’t you venting your spleen about the “evil” of Trump’s protectionism, Keynesian economics and the wall?

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Bill Mitchell on Free Trade

Bill Mitchell has just published the third in his series of posts on free trade:
Bill Mitchell, “The Case against Free Trade – Part 1,” Billy Blog, 27 October, 2016.
Bill Mitchell, “The Case against Free Trade – Part 2,” Billy Blog, 8 November, 2016.
Bill Mitchell, “The Case against Free Trade – Part 3,” Billy Blog, 22 November, 2016.
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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Interview with Fred Lee

The following is an interview with Frederic S. Lee, a Post Keynesian economist and author of Post Keynesian Price Theory (Cambridge and New York, 1998):



A short bibliography of Lee’s major works:
Lee, Frederic S. 1985. “‘Kalecki’s Pricing Theory’: Two Comments,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 8.1: 145–148.

Lee, Frederic S. 1986. “Post Keynesian View of Average Direct Costs: A Critical Evaluation of the Theory and the Empirical Evidence,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 8.3: 400–424.

Lee, Frederic S. 1990–1991. “Marginalist Controversy and Post Keynesian Price Theory,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 13.2: 252–263.

Lee, Frederic S. 1998. Post Keynesian Price Theory. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York.

Lee, Frederic S. 2000. “The Organizational History of Post Keynesian Economics in America, 1971–1995,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 23.1: 141–162.

Downward, Paul and Frederic Lee. 2001. “Post Keynesian Pricing Theory ‘Reconfirmed’? A Critical Review of Asking about Prices,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 23.3: 465–483.

Tymoigne, Eric and Frederic S. Lee. 2003–2004. “Post Keynesian Economics since 1936: A History of a Promise That Bounced?,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 26.2: 273–287.

Lee, Frederic S. 2004. “To Be a Heterodox Economist: The Contested Landscape of American Economics, 1960s and 1970s,” Journal of Economic Issues 38.3: 747–763.

Lee, Frederic S. and Steve Keen. 2004. “The Incoherent Emperor: A Heterodox Critique of Neoclassical Microeconomic Theory,” Review of Social Economy 62.2: 169–199.

Lee, Frederic S. 2004. “History and Identity: The Case of Radical Economics and Radical Economists, 1945–70,” Review of Radical Political Economics 36.2: 177–195.

Lee, Frederic S. 2007. “Making History by Making Identity and Institutions: The Emergence of Post Keynesian-Heterodox Economics in Britain, 1974–1996,” History of Economics Review 46: 62–87.

Lee, Frederic S. 2009. A History of Heterodox Economics: Challenging the Mainstream in the Twentieth Century. Routledge, London and New York.

Lee, Frederic S. 2012. “Heterodox Economics and its Critics,” Review of Political Economy 24.2: 337–351.

Lee, Frederic S. and Marc Lavoie (eds.). 2013. In Defense of Post-Keynesian and Heterodox Economics: Responses to their Critics. Routledge, London.
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Let me Explain a Major Reason why Trump Won

Carrier Air Conditioner announces its offshoring of production to Monterrey, Mexico, a move which will throw 1,400 people out of work:



Trump told workers he won’t let things like this happen, and threatened the treasonous corporations with tariffs:





By some accident (lol…), he also won Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, the rust belt states savagely hit by deindustrialisation and free trade.

Trump had the balls to stand up for working class people, even in view of all his other faults. Virtually no other major American politician (except Bernie) was capable of doing the same thing.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

An Analysis of Why the Polls were Wrong on Trump

Here:
Philip Pilkington, “Why the Pollsters totally failed to call a Trump Victory, Why I (sort of) succeeded – and Why you should listen to neither of us,” Fixing the Economists, 14 November, 2016.
A good discussion.

Probabilities can be categorised into the following types:
(1) a priori probabilities (which are analytic a priori and necessarily true), and

(2) a posteriori probabilities (which are contingent and empirical), further divided into:
(a) relative frequency probabilities;

(b) epistemic probabilities.
To cut a long story short, even if the media have well sampled polls (not biased or oversampled), the numerical probability estimates they create from these polls for the probability of an outcome on election day are not objective probability scores in the way that a priori probabilities are objective. The numerical probability estimates that the media and pollsters give us are subjective, even if when they are based on good poll data.

And they certainly aren’t proper relative frequency probabilities of Type 1.a either.

Our estimate of how probable an outcome on election day is likely to be is essentially an epistemic probability.

A more technical discussion of probability here.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Turns out Michael Moore was Right

In a laughably paradoxical way, because this clip is taken from a *pro-Hillary* documentary he made before the election actually urging people to vote for her:



So one reason Trump won?: he threatened corporate America with the imposition of tariffs on their treasonous free trade outsourcing of American production, and working people in the rust belt were overjoyed.

And, incidentally, the title of that documentary of Michael Moore? Most brutally ironic one ever, Mike:


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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Leftist Meltdowns over Trump

There are everywhere, and mostly worthless.

But this one actually has some good points:



The regressive left strategy of social constructivism, identity politics, mass immigration, multiculturalism, and political correctness is dead. It is a death sentence for the Left. But, then, I have been saying this for over a year now, and it is nice to see the truth slowly dawning.

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Some Reaction to the Trump Victory

And most of it unhinged or just wretchedly stupid:

(1) Michael Moore on CNN:



(2) Paul Mason in the Guardian here is simply deranged.

(3) Simon Schama on BBC Newsnight seems to think Trump is literally Hitler:



(4) Nigel Farage and others on a panel:



(5) Pepe Escobar at Counterpunch actually has something insightful to say about Trump’s protectionism here.

(6) the libertarian Justin Raimondo has an interesting discussion of Trump here from the perspective of his libertarian views on foreign policy.

(7) Bernie Sanders is interviewed here:



(8) Finally, and most important of all: Sergei Glazyev – a top Putin aide – has said, as reported here in the UK Independent, that Donald Trump’s victory averted World War 3, given how the corrupt, vicious witch Hillary was braying for conflict with Russia over Syria.

That may actually be true, and, if true, we should all be extremely grateful to Donald Trump.

So don’t f*ck it up, Donald.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Tom Ferguson on Trump’s Victory and the Democrats’ Collapse

An interesting discussion here on the TheRealNews:



To perform an economic miracle and revive the US economy, Trump needs to:
(1) implement protectionist policies to re-industrialise America;

(2) increase government spending on a massive infrastructure program and cut taxes (preferably for the working and middle class) in order to run huge Keynesian deficits, and

(3) radically reduce legal and illegal immigration, and indeed – as hostile as the Left is to this – start to deport illegal immigrants, so that US workers can enjoy labour market protectionism and a return to rising wages.
This is, more or less, what he has promised or what will be the consequences of what he has promised, even if Trump himself does not understand Keynesian economics.

So can he do it? He will need to throw aside the deficit hysteria and smash the Republican Congressional opposition. In essence, Trump needs to tell the Republican libertarians and fiscal hawks in Congress to shut the hell up and support huge deficits. If he is smart, and given the mandate he has, he might just be able to do it too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Trump Victory is a Historic Moment

His victory speech, which was very gracious indeed:



As we can see here, Trump won the key states of Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, the last four of which form part of that area of the country badly hit by deindustrialisation and free trade.

Unlike other people on the left who are hysterical over this (I have people on my Facebook feed telling me fascism has come to the US), I am cautiously optimistic, since this is quite clearly a massive blow against neoliberal globalisation.

If Trump does even half of what he promised on economic issues, our current neoliberal order is at an end, and this is a very good thing indeed.

In the next few days, lots of questions need to be asked:
(1) how was it that the polls used by the mainstream media were so wrong?

(2) how can people take the mainstream US media seriously given how outrageously biased and corrupt they were in colluding with the Clinton campaign?

(3) will the left finally accept the disaster of mass immigration and the danger of the Islamisation of the Western world?

(4) will the left finally accept that the regressive left is insane and that the vicious left-wing culture of political correctness is dangerous and a major reason for this?
Over the next few days and weeks, the left will pretend that this stunning victory by Trump only had to do with working class anger over austerity, or globalisation, or free trade.

Now these issues are certainly part of the explanation, but unless the left accepts and deals with the reality of (3) and (4), the left is finished. It will implode all over the West, especially in Europe.

This populist right-wing surge will spread to Europe next and it is far from over.

But to return to Trump. Think of it: Trump was opposed by
1. The GOP elite in favour of globalisation
2. the warmongering Neoconservative elite in favour of globalisation and endless war
3. the corporate neoliberal elite in favour of free trade and globalisation
4. Wall Street in favour of globalisation
5. the media in favour of globalisation
6. vast numbers of pundits and intellectuals in favour of globalisation
7. the Democratic party elite in favour of globalisation
8. the mainstream left in favour of globalisation, and
9. the regressive left.
And yet he still won. WOW.

Already, the hysteria and meltdown of the pro-free trade neoliberal elite that I’ve seen is just a joy to watch.

As far as I am concerned – even if Trump is massively disappointing as president – at this moment in time Donald J. Trump is magnificent.

As I have already said, I am cautiously optimistic, and – if you are left-wing and capable of thinking rationally – you should be too, because this is a death sentence for neoliberalism and a tremendous opportunity for the left to reform itself and purge itself of neoliberalism, multiculturalism, and regressive left insanity. And whatever harm a Republican US Congress may do can eventually be reversed if the American Left gets its act together and purges these grotesque, corrupt, corporate shills and criminals like Hillary Clinton from its leadership.

Finally, this is why we need an Alternative Left now more than ever:
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Will Trump’s Anti-Globalisation Agenda Win him the Election?

I don’t know, but his latest powerful “Argument for America” ad – apart from the anti-Federal Reserve nonsense (which seems quasi-libertarian) – is absolutely a message of anti-globalisation and anti-free trade:



That ad is, more or less, a masterpiece. This man, whether he wins or loses, deserves huge credit for having raised economic issues that the left has been talking about for years and years: namely, the disaster of free trade, the disaster of de-industrialisation and the catastrophe of globalisation.

Make no mistake, our current neoliberal system of globalisation has failed, and it will be a paradox of history if a populist Republican will be the one to break it. Crucially, as Trump points out, massive Third World immigration (whether legal or illegal) is also part of this catastrophic program of neoliberal globalisation, and the mainstream left, to its shame, is fully on board with this aspect of globalisation.

Will this be Brexit all over again? Again, I don’t know, and people are endlessly telling me that Hillary will win, so the next day will be very interesting indeed.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Julian Assange on the US Election

The recent interview with Julian Assange on the US election and Wikileaks:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Biographies of Great Left Heterodox Economists

I limit myself to the great, older figures below.

Good short biographies can be found in these works:
Arestis, Philip and Malcolm Sawyer (eds.). 1991. A Biographical Dictionary of Dissenting Economists. Elgar, Aldershot.

Harcourt, G. C. 1993. Post-Keynesian Essays in Biography: Portraits of Twentieth-Century Political Economists. Macmillan, Basingstoke.
Here is a list of biographies, and other relevant works:
John Maynard Keynes
Skidelsky, R. J. A. 1983. John Maynard Keynes: Hopes Betrayed 1883–1920 (vol. 1), Macmillan, London.

Skidelsky, Robert. 1992. John Maynard Keynes. Volume Two. The Economist as Saviour 1920–1937. Macmillan, London.

Skidelsky, R. J. A. 2000. John Maynard Keynes: Fighting for Britain 1937–1946 (vol. 3), Macmillan, London.

Moggridge, D. E. 1992. Maynard Keynes: An Economist’s Biography. Routledge, London and New York.

Dostaler, Gilles. 2007. Keynes and his Battles. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.

Tily, Geoff. 2007. Keynes Betrayed: Keynes’s General Theory, The Rate of Interest and Keynesian Economics. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

Ambrosi, Gerhard Michael. 2003. Keynes, Pigou and Cambridge Keynesians: Authenticity and Analytical Perspective in the Keynes-Classics Debate. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Pasinetti, Luigi L. 2007. Keynes and the Cambridge Keynesians: A ‘Revolution in Economics’ to be Accomplished. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Nicholas Kaldor
King, J. E. 2009. Nicholas Kaldor. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York.

Thirlwall, A. P. 1987. Nicholas Kaldor. Wheatsheaf, Brighton.

Joan Robinson
Harcourt, G. C. 1995. “Obituary: Joan Robinson 1903–1983,” Economic Journal 105.432: (September): 1228–1243.

Harcourt, G. C. and Prue Kerr. 2009. Joan Robinson. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK and New York.

Harcourt, Geoff and Prue Kerr. 2002. Joan Robinson. Routledge, London.

Aslanbeigui, Nahid and Guy Oakes. 2009. The Provocative Joan Robinson: The Making of a Cambridge Economist. Duke University Press, Durham NC.

Cicarelli, James and Julianne Cicarelli. 1996. Joan Robinson: A Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn.

Rima, Ingrid H. 1991. The Joan Robinson Legacy. M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, N.Y.

Turner, Marjorie S. 1989. Joan Robinson and the Americans. M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, N.Y. and London.

George L. S. Shackle
Ford, J. L. 1985. “G. L. S. Shackle: A Brief Bio‐Bibliographical Portrait,” Journal of Economic Studies 12.1–2: 3–12.

Ford, J. L. 1994. G. L. S. Shackle: The Dissenting Economist’s Economist. E. Elgar, Aldershot, UK and Brookfield, Vt. 543 p.

Frowen, Stephen F. 2003. Economists in Discussion: The Correspondence between G.L.S. Shackle and S.F. Frowen 1951–1992. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Earl, Peter E. and Bruce Littleboy. 2014. G. L. S. Shackle. Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke.

Perlman, Mark. 2005. “Memorialising George L. S. Shackle: A Centennial Tribute,” Cambridge Journal of Economics 29.2: 171–178.

Michał Kalecki
Toporowski, Jan. 2013. Michał Kalecki: An Intellectual Biography. Volume I: Rendezvous in Cambridge 1899–1939. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

King, J. E. 2003. “An Economist from Poland,” in A History of Post Keynesian Economics since 1936. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. 35–55.

Piero Sraffa
Potier, Jean-Pierre. 1991. Piero Sraffa: Unorthodox Economist (1898–1983): A Biographical Essay. Routledge, London.

Roncaglia, Alessandro. 2009. Piero Sraffa: His Life, Thought and Cultural Heritage. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
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Friday, November 4, 2016

Julian Assange on the Saudi and Qatari Governments’ Funding of Extremism

Clinton in one of the Podesta emails dated to 2014 that can be read here admitted privately that the Saudi and Qatari governments fund ISIS:
“While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”
https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3774
These governments also fund Clinton and various media in the Western world:

Steve Keen: Brexit is Needed to Bring Down the EU

Listen here.

A fascinating discussion.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Foucault’s View of Truth leads directly to Conspiracy Theories

Here is Foucault’s view on the nature of truth:
“The important thing here, I believe, is that truth isn’t outside power, or lacking in power: contrary to a myth whose history and functions would repay further study, truth isn’t the reward of free spirits, the child of protracted solitude, nor the privilege of those who have succeeded in liberating themselves. Truth is a thing of this world: it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint. And it induces regular effects of power. Each society has its regime of truth, its ‘general politics’ of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true; the mechanisms and instances which e n able one to distinguish true and false statements, the means by which each is sanctioned; the techniques and procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those who are charged with saying what counts as true.” (Foucault 1984: 72–73).

“‘Truth’ is to be understood as a system of ordered procedures for the production, regulation, distribution, circulation, and operation of statements.

‘Truth’ is linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which it induces and which extends it. A ‘regime’ of truth.

This regime is not merely ideological or superstructural; it was a condition of the formation and development of capitalism. And it’s this same regime which, subject to certain modifications, operates in the socialist countries (I leave open here the question of China, about which I know little). The essential political problem for the intellectual is not to criticize the ideological contents supposedly linked to science, or to ensure that his own scientific practice is accompanied by a correct ideology, but that of ascertaining the possibility of constituting a new politics of truth. The problem is not changing people’s consciousnesses—or what’s in their heads—but the political, economic, institutional regime of the production of truth.

It’s not a matter of emancipating truth from every system of power (which would be a chimera, for truth is already power), but of detaching the power of truth from the forms of hegemony, social, economic, and cultural, within which it operates at the present time.” (Foucault 1984: 74–75).
Oh, really?

Is the assertion that the earth has oceans also “produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint”?

And, if I assert the truth that I (namely, a particular individual person on a particular time and date) am wearing socks on my feet right now, or that I had Subway for dinner last night, are these empirical truths “produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint”?

If so, how exactly does our power system brainwash me into thinking that I am wearing socks right now?

By contrast, isn’t it obvious that we believe these assertions because we have massive empirical evidence and direct personal experience demonstrating that they are true?

I don’t think people on the left realise how stupid Foucault’s theories were. In order to believe his nonsensical theories about truth, you’d have to invent multiple conspiracy theories to explain how power systems have supposedly produced thousands upon thousands of every day and prosaic empirical truths we obviously believe are true.

We can see the kind of insanity to which Foucault’s truth relativism leads in an actual conversation between Paul Veyne and Foucault in the last year of Foucault’s life, when the latter had AIDS and was displaying the symptoms of this disease.

Paul Veyne tells the story, as it happened in 1984:
“‘By the way,’ I [viz., Paul Veyne] asked him out of simple curiosity (for the history of medicine is not my dominant passion), ‘does AIDS really exist, or is it a moralizing medical myth?’ ‘Well,’ he [viz., Foucault] replied calmly and after a moment’s reflection, ‘listen. I’ve studied the question closely, I’ve read quite a bit on the subject. Yes, it exists, it’s not a myth. The Americans have studied it very carefully’;” (Veyne 1993: 8).
So here Foucault declared to his friend that AIDS existed and was not a myth. That entails that he thought it was a real disease, not some culturally-constructed “truth” made by medical power. And that in turn entails some objective reality in which diseases really do affect human beings.

Foucault’s statement is an objective truth claim. If it was not an objective truth claim, then it was either a meaningless statement or outrageously dishonest. If Foucault really maintained his view that truth is only made by power, he should have said:
“Well, it is true that it is a disease, but only because doctors and their power systems say it is and make it true, and because they use their power to force us to think it is true! But really there is no objective truth about the matter and truth is not made by any objective reality! Therefore AIDS is just another ‘truth’ made by power.”
If we read the original anecdote again, we get the impression that the idiot Paul Veyne was actually expecting Foucault to give such an answer: in other words, a barking mad conspiracy theory.

But, if Foucault sincerely meant what he said, we can see how quickly Foucault’s claim that truth can only be made by power, not by objective reality, utterly collapses if he really thought that AIDS existed and was a real disease.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Foucault, Michel. 1984. The Foucault Reader (ed. Paul Rabinow). Pantheon, New York.

Veyne, Paul. 1993. “The Final Foucault and his Ethics” (trans. C. Porter and A. Davidson), Critical Inquiry 20.1: 1–9.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Peter Navarro’s “Death by China” Documentary

I don’t agree with everything here (sure, there are some hysterical bits here and there), but this documentary by Peter Navarro called “Death by China” (2012) is food for thought:



Curiously, Peter Navarro is now an economic adviser to Trump, and you can see why there is massive corporate hostility to Trump, who clearly wishes to end this corporate outsourcing of jobs and manufacturing to China.

My discussion of Chinese mercantilism is here.

Also, my own posts against free trade are below:
“Ian Fletcher on Free Trade,” September 10, 2016.

“Robert Murphy’s Debate on Free Trade,” August 7, 2016.

“The Cult of Free Trade in a Nutshell,” July 4, 2016.

“Ricardo’s Argument for Free Trade by Comparative Advantage,” July 5, 2016.

“Erik Reinert versus Ricardo on Free Trade,” July 5, 2016.

“Ha-Joon Chang on Wage Determination in First World Nations,” July 6, 2016.

“A Heterodox and Post Keynesian Bibliography on Trade Theory,” July 7, 2016.

“Erik S. Reinert on Heterodox Development Economics,” July 9, 2016.

“Britain’s Protectionism against Indian Cotton Textiles,” July 12, 2016.

“Those Free Trading British Cotton Textile Manufacturers,” July 13, 2016.

“Friedrich List on English Free Trade and the Colonisation of Germany,” July 22, 2016.

“Mises on the Ricardian Law of Association: The Flaws of Praxeology,” January 25, 2011.

“The Early British Industrial Revolution and Infant Industry Protectionism: The Case of Cotton Textiles,” June 22, 2010.

“Protectionism and US Economic History,” June 8, 2014.

“A Short Bibliography on Protectionism and Industrial Policy,” April 30, 2016.
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