Archive for November, 2009

Slavoj Žižek, a radical Slovenian philosopher, is one of a tiny number of prominent contemporary thinkers who rejects the idea of a natural balance between humanity and nature. The New Statesman has an article summarising his talk on the subject at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London last week. However, Žižek recoils from following […]

Apocalyptic fiction is one way that the pervasive sense of limits in contemporary society is expressed. Two prominent examples discussed in this New York Times article are 2012 (directed by Roland Emmerich) and The Road, based on the Cormac McCarthy book of the same name, which opens this coming week in America. Emmerich was also […]

The Economist has an article on poverty reduction which suggests there is no correlation between economic growth rates and eradicating hunger. It is based on studies by ActionAid and by Martin Ravallion of the World Bank. Such studies can lead to naïve conclusions. No doubt there is no simple correlation between economic growth and poverty […]

Josie Appleton has written a review for the spiked review of books which examines the creation of an artificial “carbon market”. She argues it involves the redistribution of resources to more stagnant economies and the creation of a vast green bureaucracy. The article focuses on the latest book by Nicholas Stern while also discussing work […]

I have never been in America at Thanksgiving time but it seems to me that celebrating prosperity is an excellent idea. In that context this article from the Washington Post by Ezra Klein probably qualifies as the saddest article of the year. He argues for people to follow economic principles so they can limit their […]

The Wall Street Journal has run a piece by Melinda Beck giving lots of examples of how the health of Americans is generally improving. I do not agree with all of her points – for example I oppose bans on public smoking – but the piece is worth reading.

John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, had a comment in yesterday’s Sun entitled “recession is bringing out the best in us”. In it he argues that: “out of these hard times I believe we are seeing a renewed sense of togetherness in communities, with many people carrying out selfless acts to support those in difficulty”. […]

Robert Killick has written a response to Robert Skidelsky’s recent Guardian article (see 24 November post) on his Postrecession blog. The comments are worth reading too.

William Easterly brilliantly parodies U2’s support for western intervention in Africa. Many of the comments are worth reading too.

Robert Skidelsky, an academic best known for his mammoth biography of John Maynard Keynes. Reiterates his support for the notion of natural and moral limits in an article on the Guardian comment is free site. Skidelsky is particular keen to rehabilitate Keynes’ argument about moral limits: “Here I think Keynes comes closest to answering the […]