petej + worldwarii   40

Free Markets Don't Create Free People: Bitcoin's Tech Success Masks Its Failure - CoinDesk
A future where every transaction, financial or social, public or private, is irrevocably encoded in a public ledger which is utterly transparent to those in power is the very opposite of a democratic, egalitarian crypto utopia. Rather, it is the reinstatement of the divine right of kings, transposed to an elevated elite class where those with the money, whether they be state actors, central bankers, winner-takes-all libertarians or property-absolutist anarcho-capitalists, have total power over those who do not.
cryptography  encryption  communication  security  WorldWarII  PGP  government  ZimmermannPhil  Clipper  privacy  policing  distribution  money  KublaiKhan  authority  centralisation  creditCards  ChaumDavid  Cypherpunks  surveillance  control  technoUtopianism  blockchain  ledger  NakamotoSatoshi  identity  sacrifice  names  nyms  pseudonymity  Bitcoin  energy  sustainability  trust  politics  community  dctagged  dc:creator=BridleJames 
january 2019 by petej
Dunkirk reveals the spirit that has driven Brexit: humiliation | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
I fear we are about to rehearse the cycle of shame and resentment all over again. There are two routes ahead, neither free of humiliation. The enactment of Brexit will complete an economic, diplomatic and strategic devaluation that is prefigured already in sterling’s post-referendum slide. Britain will be measurably smaller on the world stage. The reversal of Brexit, or its dilution into some pale simulation of the status quo, requires a plea in Brussels for more time and a fresh start. That will be hard to distinguish from a grovel.

Either way, there is disappointment in store for many leave voters who anticipate a national renaissance. If they don’t get Brexit, their democratic will is denied; if they do, and it makes them poorer, their faith is betrayed. Each path risks incubating more bitterness.

The case for pressing on, in deference to the verdict of the ballot box, has undeniable political and emotional urgency. And once that course is set, a kind of dogged British stoicism sets in even among many Brexit-sceptics. It is not quite optimism, but a determination not to be defeatist. Surely there is some muddle-through solution, some Dunkirk-spirited, make-do-and-mend compromise that gets us all to the other side of Brexit with national dignity still afloat. I certainly hope so. But it is a risky business, seeking comfort in history’s miraculous escapes. They are, by definition, exceptional.

Also, we are not at war. In the national story Britain tells about itself, Dunkirk is a preamble to heroic isolation followed by magnificent military redemption. It is a powerful tale but a rare one. It masks a more banal lesson from the evacuation: retreat is no one’s favourite manoeuvre, but sometimes it is the best one available. Sometimes, when a plan goes wrong and disaster is visible on the horizon, it is time to swallow pride, and turn around.
UK  Dunkirk  defeat  history  humiliation  nationalIdentity  WorldWarII  France  Germany  DeGaulle  EEC  EU  Brexit  trade  economy  negotiations  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
july 2017 by petej
The Political Economy of David Bowie - Political Economy Research Centre
"I wonder if what we find most alluring about Bowie today is his apparent lack of debt, in the constrictive, guilty sense of an obligation to honour one’s past promises. The contemporary financialisation of everyday life involves a fixing of individuals in certain life trajectories. Whatever we do, we have to stick to the path that guarantees a steady, predictable income, as calculated by past creditors. The past devours the future. Digital technology and social media assists with this, helping to fix our identities in place and render them transparent to credit-raters. In that sense, the cliched claim that we love Bowie because we’re all now engaged in self-invention seems to me the opposite of the truth: we mourn him because, short of another war or a truly destructive financial crisis, the idea of such freedom now seems impossible to envisage ever again."
BowieDavid  music  art  economy  UK  inequality  welfare  financialisation  capitalism  Piketty  WorldWarII  modernism  FisherMark  identity  authenticity  invention  creativity  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
august 2016 by petej
Europe Forged in Crisis: The Emergence and Development of the EU
"Europe is at an impasse. Economic regulation now takes place at a European level, but the social contestation of economic issues is contained at an impotent national level. It seems most likely that European integration will continue to follow the path mapped out in this article for the foreseeable future. Despite this, one fact remains: all structures of governance rely on the passive consent of the governed. It is hard to see much hope for socialist change in Europe. But it is equally hard to see European’s passive consent lasting indefinitely."
Europe  history  economics  politics  EuropeanUnion  EU  WorldWarII  BrettonWoods  crisis  neoliberalism  Maastricht 
august 2015 by petej

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