Lost Generation Philosopher | On Philosophy, Political Economy, The Meltdown of Modern Academia

June 13, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Is higher education in the U.S., and almost surely in the West generally, undergoing a long-term structural collapse?

The question sounds histrionic, perhaps even hysterical and would be treated as such in many (most?) mainstream academic circles. But if we see collapse as a long-term process rather than a singular catastrophic event, then there is much we can point to that tells us that, Yes, higher education is undergoing collapse and has been for a long time … for at least four decades, in fact.

Source: Lost Generation Philosopher | On Philosophy, Political Economy, The Meltdown of Modern Academia, a Little Music, & More

Why Marx Now? Part 2 | Lost Generation Philosopher

May 24, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

For Part 1, go here.

At this point, let’s pass the reins of the conversation into the hands of Yanis Varoufakis, surely one of the more interesting voices to surface over the last few years. Varoufakis’s work is essential reading for anyone curious about the recent interest in Karl Marx. There are several authors and/or activists we could consult, but this being an overview and not a comprehensive treatise, I will stick with Varoufakis to keep the discussion manageable.

Who is he? Best known for his role as former Finance Minister of Greece’s Syriza Party which was elected back in 2014 to end that country’s debt crisis. The Syrizas soon found themselves on collision course with the European Central Bank. Varoufakis resigned in frustration in the face of divisions within the new government as well as ECB power-playing, as Greece became a nationwide debtors prison.

In a 2015 essay, Varoufakis described himself as an “erratic Marxist,” more recently penning a searching introduction to the new edition of Marx’s and Engel’s The Communist Manifesto issued on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth (short version here).

Source: Why Marx Now? Part 2 | Lost Generation Philosopher

 Why Marx Now? Part 1 | Lost Generation Philosopher

May 19, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Recent years have seen a surge of renewed interest in Karl Marx’s political-economic thought. For those not living in a cave somewhere, this has been hard to miss. This interest is not coming primarily from the “cultural Marxists” of academic humanities, obsessed with identity politics and likely to be viewed, once this new tendency is understood, as pseudo-Marxists. It is coming from careful and astute observers who have looked backward from the financial crisis of 2008 and charted the basic trajectory of global political economy since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Chinese Communist Party’s embrace of state-capitalism, and the range of irrational policies that led to the aforementioned crisis. The attention paid to Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014) is telling, but barely scratches the surface. One guide to a few recent works, and a few older ones, can be perused here.

Source: Lost Generation Philosopher | On Philosophy, Political Economy, The Meltdown of Modern Academia, a Little Music, & More

The Latest in Academic Malfeasance (at Least She’s Not in Academic Philosophy) | Lost Generation Philosopher

April 27, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Most people would claim, commonsensically I think, that a wrong has been done by insulting someone recently deceased, unless that person did something truly heinous during her life.

In that case, what are we to make of the Twitter attacks on the late Barbara Bush by Randa Jarrar, English professor at California State University at Fresno, or Fresno State. What Jarrar tweeted: “Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal.” She added she was “happy the witch is dead” and hoped the rest of the family would soon follow.

Source: The Latest in Academic Malfeasance (at Least She’s Not in Academic Philosophy) | Lost Generation Philosopher

Truth Teller’s Dilemma, Part 1 | Lost Generation Philosopher

April 25, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

I have tried to tell the truth — on this site, on others where I post or have written articles (e.g., here and here), and long ago at places where I am no longer welcome (here; archive butchered into unrecognizability). I’ve not done this for myself. My gains have been negligible. I’ve done it for you — readers — out of a sense, often distressing, that truth should be told and writers have an obligation to tell it. I don’t always get everything right, or cover every topic out there. No one does. But given my limitations — no staff, no income from this worth speaking of (needing outside work, therefore), and being outside the U.S. — I don’t think I do badly. I’ve had occasional help from boots-on-the-ground sources, to whom I am profoundly grateful.

Source: Truth Teller’s Dilemma, Part 1 | Lost Generation Philosopher

Lost Generation Philosopher | On Philosophy, Political Economy, The Meltdown of Modern Academia, a Little Music, & More

April 22, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

For Part 1, click here.

For Part 2, click here.

Most so-called journalists today, moneyed “professionals” whom Paul Craig Roberts bitterly calls presstitutes, would not know the truth if it walked up and hit them. Roberts, who served as Assistant Treasury Secretary under Ronald Reagan and afterwards as an assistant editor with the Wall Street Journal, was excommunicated from the mainstream in 2004 for questioning free trade orthodoxy, on the grounds that changed technology has exacted corresponding changes in how corporations operate since the days of David Ricardo. Comparative advantage, he argued, has been replaced with absolute advantagedue to the present-day mobility of capital and its capacity to shift operations to third-world nations where labor is cheap and environmental regulations virtually nonexistent.

Source: Lost Generation Philosopher | On Philosophy, Political Economy, The Meltdown of Modern Academia, a Little Music, & More

Truth-Teller’s Dilemma, Part 2 | Lost Generation Philosopher

April 20, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Facebook, as I noted in passing in Part 1, has gained a reputation for censoring unwanted speech. The site puts users in “Facebook jail”: a ban which can last from three to 30 days. Even before the Cambridge Analytics data mining fiasco blew up in their faces, Zuckerberg & Co. were smarting from revelations that Russian operatives set up fake accounts on the site to promote Donald Trump and bash Hillary Clinton. Even making the tall assumption that such efforts changed anyone’s votes, this is blamed on the masses’ growing proclivities towards believing “fake news,” i.e., on corporate media’s loss of credibility over the years, a loss that accelerated during 2016 as their pro-Clinton bias came through loud and clear.

Source: Truth-Teller’s Dilemma, Part 2 | Lost Generation Philosopher

News With Views | Truth-Tellers’ Dilemma, Part 1

April 3, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

I have tried to tell the truth — on this site, on others where I post or have written articles (e.g., here and here), and long ago at places where I am no longer welcome (here; archive butchered into unrecognizability). I’ve not done this for myself. My gains have been negligible. I’ve done it for you — readers — out of a sense, often distressing, that truth should be told and writers have an obligation to tell it. I don’t always get everything right, or cover every topic out there. No one does. But given my limitations — no staff, no income from this worth speaking of (needing outside work, therefore), and being outside the U.S. — I don’t think I do badly. I’ve had occasional help from boots-on-the-ground sources, to whom I am profoundly grateful.

Source: News With Views | Truth-Tellers’ Dilemma, Part 1

News With Views | Guns, Culture, And The Last Century’s Seismic Shift

February 28, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Obviously, Anglo-American popular culture underwent a long-term seismic shift during the last century. A single article can’t begin to cover all its effects, from music to film and television to technology and its effects.

The materialist worldview had dominated the scientific-philosophical world for at least three decades by the time of the Depression, of course. Leading British philosopher Bertrand Russell had penned this classic defense of science-based atheism back in 1903. He was not the first to announce that ethically, we were essentially on our own with our “ideals.”

Philosophies such as French existentialism (major exemplars: Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus) were responses in a broad sense to materialist atheism. They focused not on “ideals” so much as on the condition of the human person in a world rendered meaningless and absurd — where we have (as Johnny Rotten would “sing” years later) “no future” except the grave.

Source: News With Views | Guns, Culture, And The Last Century’s Seismic Shift

News With Views | To Save America And The West, Get Rid Of Identity Politics

February 16, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The responses / reactions to President Trump’s State of the Union address reflect a divided nation. Trump’s supporters loved the speech — and in all honesty, while it contained claims I found dubious, it was the most riveting State of the Union address I’ve seen in years.

On the other hand, the usual suspects hated everything about it, finding in it all manner of “racist” red flags, evidence of “xenophobia,” “white supremacy,” etc., etc., ad nauseam.

Source: News With Views | To Save America And The West, Get Rid Of Identity Politics

News With Views | “Sh*thole Countries” The Fate Of Modernity And The Case For Localization, Part 2

February 3, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Modernity, like Schumpeterian capitalism, must grow or fall into crisis. Hence the global obsession with growth as a sign of economic health. As the (Western-centered) “global economy” grows, it overwhelms cultures some of whose members may welcome the promise of a high standard of living but become uneasy and then rebellious when it costs them their traditional beliefs and practices, their land, and their autonomy. They see their traditions becoming little more than curiosities that inspire trinkets sold t

Source: News With Views | “Sh*thole Countries” The Fate Of Modernity And The Case For Localization, Part 2

News With Views | “Sh*thole Countries,” The Fate Of Modernity, And The Case For Localization, Part 1

January 27, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Donald Trump’s supposed remark about “sh*thole countries” created outrage around the world and at home. I should begin by noting three important points: (1) Trump denies using the phrase, (2) there is no hard evidence that he said it (e.g., a video or audio recording), and (3) what those with him at the meeting in question claim to recall depends on whether they are his friends or his enemies.

Source: News With Views | “Sh*thole Countries,” The Fate Of Modernity, And The Case For Localization, Part 1

News With Views | Why Donald Trump Won – Brief Review Of The Past Quarter Century

January 20, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

One does not need any special prognostication skills to know that 2018 will see even more intense attacks on Donald Trump and his administration, even given the growing happy talk about the economy. After all, the kinds of numbers that impress mainstream economists — Dow hitting new highs regularly, very low (official) unemployment, low inflation, rising consumer spending, etc. — are all manifest.

Source: News With Views | Why Donald Trump Won – Brief Review Of The Past Quarter Century


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