Lefty Resource Library

Posting articles as I go

Month: June, 2014

The impossibility of growth

Monbiot article.

‘To succeed is to destroy ourselves. To fail is to destroy ourselves. That is the bind we have created. Ignore if you must climate change, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, oil; even if all these issues were miraculously to vanish, the mathematics of compound growth make continuity impossible.

As the philosopher Michael Rowan points out, the inevitabilities of compound growth mean that if last year’s predicted global growth rate for 2014 (3.1%) is sustained, even if we were miraculously to reduce the consumption of raw materials by 90% we delay the inevitable by just 75 years(15). Efficiency solves nothing while growth continues.’


Neoliberalism and the lie of small government

‘Loïc Wacquant, for instance, has described the “centaur state” of neoliberalism, in which a humanist liberalism reigns for the upper classes, while the lower classes face the punitive state apparatus in all its bestiality. But Mirowski shows us that the world of the rich under neoliberalism in no way corresponds to the laissez-faire of classical liberalism. The state does not so much leave the rich alone as actively work to reshape the world in their interests, helping to create markets for the derivatives and securities that made (and then destroyed) so many of the fortunes of the recent past. The neoliberal state is an eminently interventionist one, and those mistaking it for the austere nightwatchman of libertarian utopianism have little hope of combating it.’


Intro to illegitimate public debt (as neoliberal ploy)

‘The crucial point is to demonstrate, as the French audit did, that debt is a political construction, that it doesn’t just happen to societies when they supposedly live above their means. This is what justifies calling it illegitimate, and may lead to cancellation procedures.

‘while the living conditions of the majority are worsening, a small group of individuals and financial institutions has consistently taken advantage of high levels of public indebtedness…the political nature of debt’


Russell Brand’s New Statesman article on revolution

Has a lot of energy, and I still get something out of it every time I revisit it. Plus, it was a turning point for me – it was what made me realise that we literally outsource suffering to the Global South so that we can build ourselves up and quell revolution.