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Archive for December 3rd, 2010

oikonomeia

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Despite the massive increases in productivity that have come of computerization and roboticization, the massive efficiencies that come of the continuous rerevolution in transportation and thus the globalization of markets, despite the possibility of “just in time production” and its low over-heads, despite the development of the internet and vaccines that render horrific diseases a thing of the past in much of the world, despite the end of the cold war and the necessity of massive state spending on armaments, despite incredible advances in the sciences of agriculture and mineralogy, despite labor saving advances in informational technology which render the necessity of expensive bureaucracy obsolete, despite steps forward in cheap and sometimes green energy and the introduction of the ethos of recycling and a general social campaign against waste, and despite the fact that nearly all of what would have been single-earner households have now been turned into dual-earner households, somehow we’ve run out of money and all of those mid-century advances, like cheap or free education, cheap or free medical care, cheap or free mass transit, welfare benefits for those who need them, the possibility of a reasonable state or private pension, the probability of a job for life, and affordable housing must now be phased out as they are no longer affordable. Sorry. Despite the fact that the future was supposed to be better than the past, and that capitalism is most tremendous engine for economic growth and social development that the world has ever known, we’ve discovered that the standard of living we’re accustomed to as citizens of modernity has to change profoundly and the free ride is now over. We’ve apparently run out of money.

Except for things like this:

It’s a funny old world, but that’s simply the case. And everybody knows, right, that a national economy is exactly like a household wherein when things are tight, you have to cancel the satellite tv subscription, put off the renovation of the kitchen or… end the public funding of universities altogether.

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December 3, 2010 at 3:33 am

Posted in crisis, rationalization

ye are many – they are few

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The big banner, which I saw them making today in the department common room and which may or may not have made the tears well up in my now outrageously bloodshot eyes, quotes the last five lines of this. Absolutely brilliant.

'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.'

Starting to write a talk for a TBD appearance at another occupation. Something having to do with the often very, very complex relationship between what we study and our political commitments. Inspired to take up that topic by this vigil tonight. Will continue my new highly exciting, if life-shortening and blog-informed, habit of writing at speed and think about it between essay marking, teaching sessions, union meetings, kid mindings, and of course occupation visitings tomorrow with an aim of writing it all down on the train.

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December 3, 2010 at 2:15 am

Posted in occupations