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<nettime> stiglitz is not the third digest [jett|moretti|geer]
nettime's_trigestive_system on Tue, 9 Jul 2002 13:00:50 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> stiglitz is not the third digest [jett|moretti|geer]


Re: <nettime> Stiglitz is not the Answer
     "N Jett" <njett {AT} hotmail.com>
Re: <nettime> stiglitz is not the second digest [geer, hart]
     "ben moretti" <bmoretti {AT} chariot.net.au>
     Benjamin Geer <ben {AT} beroul.uklinux.net>

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From: "N Jett" <njett {AT} hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Stiglitz is not the Answer
Date: Mon, 08 Jul 2002 21:53:11 +0000

Stiglitz is not the answer to the question of what replaces the market. But 
he is the answer, or at least part of the answer, to the question of how the 
market can be upgraded (i.e. What is wrong with the market system, and what 
can we do to repair market-based economics).
Perhaps I am being dense or need to reread your essay but I don't quite get 
why you say Stiglitz is not the answer? Is it because you reject the market 
outright? Or is it because you don't think his criticisms are accurate?
You see Stiglitz as the harbinger of (global?) Neo-Keynesian? I am confused. 
What was the question again?


>Stiglitz is not the Answer
>by Soenke Zehle
>
>Joseph Stiglitz, nobel laureate and ex-World Bank economist, has become one
 <...>

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From: "ben moretti" <bmoretti {AT} chariot.net.au>
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 09:03:31 +0950
Subject: Re: <nettime> stiglitz is not the second digest [geer, hart]

Hi Ben

You wrote:

>It would be a pity if the European political avant-garde fragmented without

>leaving any useful impression on the majority of people.

I have been thinking about this very issue, namely the "action" vs "talk"
camps.


Naively I believe that the progressives in countries with much to struggle
against, Brazil etc, are more easily able to achieve constructive things.
For example setting up a food or housing co-op, printing presses, etc.
These things are very directly helpful to the people and can be done in a
fairly straightforward way. 

The progressives in Western countries, who have a much easier life, seem to
have larger things to struggle against at the immediate level - such as
control of the media, banks, etc. I guess this is because their lives are
generally better off than those in Brazil, say, and so they move the object
of their objection to "higher" or state-corporate based institutions. That
does however mean they get more frustrated as they are unable to achieve
effective change against these things, and do not generally do very much
that is constructive (this does not apply to everyone). Sorry, this is a
bit of a ramble. 

Anyway, I think if the progressives in the West stopped talking so much
about "stuff" and did some simple things, such as teaching computers to
refugees or working at a women's shelter, then they would feel like they
had more integration, as you say, with their theoretical chit chat. By
their works shall they be known and all that.

Sorry again about the ramble.

Cheers

Ben

-- 
ben moretti 
mailto:bmoretti {AT} chariot.net.au
http://www.chariot.net.au/~bmoretti

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From: Benjamin Geer <ben {AT} beroul.uklinux.net>
Subject: Re: <nettime> stiglitz is not the second digest [geer, hart]
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 01:43:07 +0100

On Tuesday 09 Jul 2002 00:13, ben moretti wrote:
> Naively I believe that the progressives in countries with much to
> struggle against, Brazil etc, are more easily able to achieve
> constructive things.

I think the Sem Terra movement has chosen an issue on which direct action 
can really work.  Poor farmers need land.  There's lots of unused land 
going to waste.  So they occupy it.  Of course there's a lot more to it 
than that (good planning and organisation, popular education, legal 
battles, alliances with other movements, etc.), but in essence, that's 
how direct action is supposed to work: the action itself contributes 
directly to solving the problem; its value isn't merely symbolic or 
rhetorical.

It's not too hard to see how to do that with land.  It's harder to see 
how to do it with financial markets, trade, or public services.

> Anyway, I think if the progressives in the West stopped talking so much
> about "stuff" and did some simple things, such as teaching computers to
> refugees or working at a women's shelter, then they would feel like
> they had more integration, as you say, with their theoretical chit
> chat.

OK, but how do you integrate the two?  In addition to helping organise 
public political chit-chat events, I could spend time teaching computers 
to refugees, etc.  I would learn more about the problems faced by 
refugees, and the refugees would learn about computers.  But how do you 
build a political movement out of that?  The Sem Terra movement isn't 
just obtaining land for farmers; it's also building political 
consciousness.  By carrying out these collective actions, the farmers 
learn how to size up the balance of forces in a particular situation, 
challenge their government, and win.  Surely that's a far cry from the 
individual refugee learning to use Microsoft Word (horrors!) in order to 
get a job.

So how, in the West, do you integrate small-scale work, meant to remedy 
immediate individual problems, with a political project?  I'm not saying 
it can't be done; but it needs a strategy.  Is there anyone who is doing 
this effectively?

Ben

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