Thursday, December 12, 2013

Misery to Unhappiness

Corey Robin at his blog on the topic of Obamacare and more broadly about the welfare state:
Aside from the numbers, what I’m always struck by in these discussions is just how complicated Obamacare is. Even if we accept all the premises of its defenders, the number of steps, details, caveats, and qualifications that are required to defend it, is in itself a massive political problem. As we’re now seeing.
More important than the politics, that byzantine complexity is a symptom of what the ordinary citizen has to confront when she tries to get health insurance for herself or her family. As anyone who has even good insurance knows, navigating that world of numbers and forms and phone calls can be a daunting proposition. It requires inordinate time, doggedness, savvy, intelligence, and manipulative charm (lest you find yourself on the wrong end of a disgruntled telephone operator). Obamacare fits right in with that world and multiplies it.
I’m not interested in arguing here over what was possible with health care reform and what wasn’t; we’ve had that debate a thousand times. But I thought it might be useful to re-up part of this post I did, when I first started blogging, on how much time and energy our capitalist world requires us to waste, and what a left approach to the economy might have to say about all that. It is this world of everyday experience—what it’s like to try and get basic goods for yourself and/or your family—that I wish the left (both liberals and leftists) was more in touch with.
The post is in keeping with an idea I’ve had about socialism and the welfare state for several years now. Cribbing from Freud, and drawing from my own anti-utopian utopianism, I think the point of socialism is to convert hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness. God, that would be so great.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vibracathedral Orchestra - Versatile Arab Chord Chart LP

Yma Sumac- "Amor Indio"

Transforming Finance

From Ian Fraser's blog about the video:
Transforming Finance, a 23-minute documentary film produced by the Finance Innovation Lab, features interviews with a number of the most prominent advocates of change in the world of finance. The film seeks to identify policy interventions to reform the financial system – both through incentives to persuade existing players to mend their ways, and through the promotion of alternative business models (such as peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding). The Finance Innovation Lab describes the film as both a “manifesto for action” and as a campaign tool, that will act as a catalyst for change.

Tiger Hatchery- "Chieftain"