Summary: None of our problems are unique. Even the problems of Empire, and the distorting effect of global power on our minds. Today we have some insights from George Orwell, examining the effect of cancerous nationalism on a nation’s thinking. Change the names and it could have been written today. If you cannot see this, please at once broaden your sources of information and open your eyes!
Excerpt from “Notes on Nationalism” by George Orwell (May 1945)
The following are the principal characteristics of nationalist thought …
by Ellen Brown, Web of Debt
The Wall Street Journal reported on January 19th that the Obama Administration was pushing heavily to get the 50 state attorneys general to agree to a settlement with five major banks in the “robo-signing” scandal. The scandal involves employees signing names not their own, under titles they did not really have, attesting to the veracity of documents they had not really reviewed. Investigation reveals that it did not just happen occasionally but was an industry-wide practice, dating back to the late 1990s; and that it may have clouded the titles of millions of homes. If the settlement is agreed to, it will let Wall Street bankers off the hook for crimes that would land the rest of us in jail – fraud, forgery, securities violations and tax evasion.
by Frank Li
After listening to Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan, it’s only natural that we listen to Abraham Lincoln, right? Here you go …
“Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure.”
He meant: President George W. Bush, it was reckless for you to launch the Iraq War in 2003!
by Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate
This year will mark the 100th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s birth. Friedman was one of the twentieth century’s leading economists, a Nobel Prize winner who made notable contributions to monetary policy and consumption theory. But he will be remembered primarily as the visionary who provided the intellectual firepower for free-market enthusiasts during the second half of the century, and as the éminence grise behind the dramatic shift in the economic policies that took place after 1980.
by Dirk Ehnts
Editor's note: This is the second in a series of essays where Dr. Ehnts is discussing aspects of Karl Popper's epic “The Open Society and Its Enemies” (1945) in a series of essays. Previously we posted the Introduction followed by the first essay Sociological Laws and the ECB as a single article.
In the previous post we have followed Popper’s argument that the understanding of sociological laws can help us build institutions for the better. If the sociological laws are not understood, institutions can be damaging, if the erroneous assumptions are not corrected. I invoked the European Central Bank as an example.
As many institutions, it was well-meant, but nevertheless its design has been flawed. The subject of norms and natural laws stands at the center of debate a little later. The Ancient Greeks were confusing norms with natural laws, thus arguing that some things were ‘natural’ when in fact they were not. Popper summarizes the discussion of this section (p. 75):