Stephen King

The death throws of neo-liberalism… or else?

 The StandEthical Capitalism?

“Capital, wrote David Harvey, is not a thing but a process in which money is perpetually sent in search of more money”. It is in this context that the unctuous words of politicians – in Europe and, more occasionally, the US – as to “ethical” capitalism have to be placed. There is no ethical capitalism. Processes have no moral behaviours. Yet the actors of the economy may or may not act ethically. This blogger believes Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, in their own sphere of influence (which is not negligible!), probably act ethically. Fat cats CEOs and their bonuses and share options do not. Neoliberal ideology, based on the disembodiment of the economy from the life of society, denounced  by Karl Polanyi some 60 years ago, is the real culprit, enabling the little greedy CEOs and elite managers to prey with impunity on shareholders and workers alike.

e-Voting in London

French nationals living outside French departments will this year, for the first time, vote to elect their deputies (15 in total?) to the Assemblée nationale. The situation of people like me – permanent residents elsewhere be it in the Union –  has been so far not to be able to vote for national assemblies anywhere, neither where they live and pay taxes, nor in France. Now this is changing. Moreover Internet voting is being tested! WOW! In London I hope our candidate Axelle Lemaire will trump the usual bunch of reactionaries when we vote in June. Longue vie à la democracie française!

In the meantime…

Mostly I despair of the level of the current political debates in the US. Yes, as an “old European” I must be biased. We – old Europeans – hoped that the demise of the bush-ites and their fellow “astronauts” would lead to some form of recovery (din’t we?) Indeed the SOTU was a clear statement of intent, and positively delivered with conviction. But as to the GOP, despair creeps back in: Newt has pledged a permanent US base on the Moon by his second mandate. One wonders. The US no longer have a launcher since the demise of the Shuttle program. NASA’s budget is at rock bottom. Dream on Newt. Maybe the EU, India or the Chinese will let you use a little corner of their rockets for a price (of course collaboration will enable progress, if collaboration is what the US administration wants)? It will take more than a withdraw of the mighty US military from Iraq and Afghanistan to enable a renewal of the US Space program. This blogger regrets it deeply. Savings indeed…

The Stand: we must!

Stephen King‘s story of a 20th century “made in the USA” global disaster and its aftermath, may well turn out to be a metaphor for the current “crisis”: there are villains and there is hope for people of goodwill. But the journey may well prove horrendous for some of us…