Debtors’ Prison: The Politics of Austerity versus Possibility by Robert Kuttner (2013)
This book is by one of my new favorite authors. He and the book are described on the jacket flap in a very well written piece, so I have started this post with it in its entirety. Highly recommend this author and all he has written.
One of our foremost economic thinkers challenges a cherished tenet of today’s financial orthodoxy: that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking government — austerity — is the solution to a persisting economic crisis like ours or Europe’s, now in its fifth year.
Since the collapse of September 2008, the conversation about economic recovery has centered on whose debt to forgive, and how to cut the deficit. These questions dominated the sound bites of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, the fiscal-cliff debates, and the perverse policies of the European Union.
Continue reading Debtors’ Prison by Robert Kuttner
Empire of Illusion: The end of literacy and the triumph of spectacle (2009)
The book chapters are divided into 5 sections of type of illusions:
- The Illusion of Literacy
- The Illusion of Love
- The Illusion of Wisdom
- The Illusion of happiness
- The Illusion of America
- xplus notes, bibliography, and index
There are so many thoughtful and well written passages I have opted to mostly quote.
“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books, ” Neil postman wrote: “what Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book for there would be no one who wanted to read one. ” p 39
“Totalitarian systems begin as propagandistic movements that ostensibly teach people to “believe what they want” but that is a ruse. The Christian Right, for example, argues that it wants intelligent design, or creationism, to be offered as an alternative to evolution in public school biology classes. But once you allow creationism, which no reputable biologist or paleontologist accepts as legitimate science, to be considered as an alternative to real science, you begin the deadly assault against dispassionate, honest, intellectual inquiry. Step into the hermetic world of many Christian schools or colleges and there are no alternatives to creationism offered to students. Once the systems have control, the Christian advocates’ purported love of alternative viewpoints and debate is replaced by an iron and irrational conformity to illusion.” P. 52
(From the chapter on the illusion of literacy)
Continue reading Empire oI Illusion by Chris Hedges