Everyday HybridityDr Paul O'Connor
"If there are connections everywhere, why do we persist in turning dynamic, interconnected phenomena into static, disconnected things?"
Eric Wolf - Europe and the People Without History. pg 4
Revisiting this text for next week’s Globalization class. So many great and powerful points within the first few pages.
"Anyone with the capacity to own in an era when the returns exceed those of wages and output will quickly become disproportionately and progressively richer. The incentive is to be a rentier rather than a risk-taker: witness the explosion of buy-to-let. Our companies and our rich don’t need to back frontier innovation or even invest to produce: they just need to harvest their returns and tax breaks, tax shelters and compound interest will do the rest."
"The profit interests of the owners of neoliberal capital are served by the shrinkage of the social welfare state, the privatisation of what had once been publicly held utilities and institutions, the increase in stae, banking, and corporate pension insecurity, and the ever more “flexible” practices of contractual reciprocity between owners and workers, which ostensibly keep business nimble and more capable of responding to market demand."
Laruen Berlant - Cruel Optimisim, pg 192.
On precocity and the flaws of desiring a ‘good life’ not longer feasible for the majority.
"If you spent US$1 every second, you would spend US$1 million in about twelve days. At the same rate, it would take you approximately thirty-two years to spend US$ 1 billion. Taking this to the next level, US$ 1 trillion would take you 31,546 years to spend!"
(from Manfred B. Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction)
A thought provoking quote…
Ever considered that the terms million, billion, and trillion seem too similar to make much of an impact? Well the above explanation goes some way to distinguishing the enormity of the differences between them all.
Around US $3.98 trillion is the turnover each day in foreign exchange currency markets.
In 2012 US$17.3 trillion dollars worth of merchandise was exported by WTO countries.
"The messages addressed from the sites of political power to the resourceful and the hapless alike present ‘more flexibility’ as the sole cure for an already unbearable insecurity - and so paint the prospect of yet more uncertainty, yet more privatization of troubles, yet more loneliness and impotence, and indeed more uncertainty still. They preclude the possibility of existential security which rests on collective foundations and so offer no inducement to solidary actions; instead, they encourage their listeners to focus on their individual survival in the style of ‘everyone for himself, and the devil take the hindmost’ - in an incurably fragmented and atomized, and so increasingly uncertain and unpredictable world."
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