Posts Tagged: capitalism
Poverty may have been beloved of St. Francis, but not so much by the rest of us. Nobody likes to look at advanced poverty, toothless and drooling, clutching the hands of children who have running sores on their filthy legs. Poverty is a crackhead who pisses on the pavement, and sleeps with fleas and stray dogs....more
My affective response is not appropriate to the questionnaire. I drop tears on it. My face is hot and red above it. My body is full of the wrong kind of information. Not data. Not paper print out. The typed questions before me should not elicit this much sadness.
“Novels about psychically and sexually burdened paintings have a rich literary pedigree,” writes UNC Professor of Art History Maggie Cao for Public Books. Cao’s essay tackles the subject of forgery, which puts “the intimate, almost magical role that works of art play in people’s emotional and erotic lives” into conversation with modern market forces that have, as of late, transformed art collectors from neurotic worshippers of art to high-tech investors....more
At Electric Literature, Nick Politan reports on a new study that suggests that reading in childhood has a link to financial success in adulthood. Politan, however, is critical of the study, which he argues reduces books to their “capitalist value”:
Can “books” not be something(s) — at least for a reader — positively stripped of their economic jackets?
What can the medium of the video game tell us about our collective desires as a society? According to Alfie Brown’s essay for The New Inquiry, a lot actually. The author details how our fascinations with apocalypse gaming and pastoral farming simulations reflect two distinct responses to the hopelessness of capitalism:
Their picture of a lost era of tightly knit villages where humans lived in organic harmony with nature complements prophesies of a dystopic future in which humans are regimented components of a remorseless capitalistic machine.
Although it marks a turn away from the hit-heavy model of a record industry money-maker, Rihanna’s Anti is still a calculated capitalist move, and the Atlantic explains how. In an editorial examination of record release strategies, the Atlantic connects the dots between Samsung’s sponsorship of the new record and how Rihanna is making money by giving the new album away for free....more
Last week, author and Star Trek actor Wil Wheaton wrote an essay about the seven things he did to reboot his life. The Huffington Post, a publisher recently purchased by Verizon Communications for $4.4 billion, offered Wheaton the opportunity to republish the essay in exchange for the “unique platform and reach our site provides.” Wheaton declined....more
Universities have spent the last several decades expanding the number of adjunct professors they hire, reducing full-time faculty and paying pauper’s wages to these part-time employees. Samuel Hazo explains how cutting full-time faculty is a disservice to academics in the pursuit of profits:
However, the recent trend toward hiring adjunct teachers and professors, competent though they may be, is part of the problem, as universities save and accrue money by not hiring full-time faculty.
…we should return to the pages of Dickens and Trollope to remind ourselves that there were wrong ’uns at every level and turn of 19th-century commerce, from crooked agents, clerks, brokers and jobbers to ‘lords on the take, knights on the make’ — and that ‘the thieves were often difficult to distinguish from the legitimate’, to the cost of the ill-informed and gullible investor and customer.
Salon has published an excerpt from Edward E. Baptist’s new book about the relationship between slavery and the development of capitalism in America. In it, he identifies the ways in which the American master narrative has written slavery out of our nation’s history and denied the system of mass murder and suffering on whose back the land of the free was conceived:
It would have to avoid the old platitudes, such as the easy temptation to tell the story as a collection of topics—here a chapter on slave resistance, there one on women and slavery, and so on.
Njong Emmanuel Tohnain, imprisoned in a Chinese factory that produced shopping bags for Saks Fifth Avenue, wrote notes (some in English and others in French) inside five bags pleading for help from the wealthy consumers on the other side of the world....more