Of Reading

  People read for different reasons.  Some people read in order to appraise what they read in terms of what they imagine they already know.  Some people read with a view to learn.  

Of Capitalism and Depressions

  “The capitalist world has not seen a major depression for more than a half century.” —Michael Perelman,The Natural Instability of Markets: Expectations, Increasing Returns, and the Collapse of Capitalism, 1999  

Of Markets

  “Markets have an inherent tendency to fall into crises.” —Michael Perelman,The Natural Instability of Markets: Expectations, Increasing Returns, and the Collapse of Capitalism, 1999  

Of the Price System

  “The price system is intrinsically limited in scope by our inability to make factual distinctions needed for optimal pricing under uncertainty.  Non-market controls, whether internalized as moral principles or externally imposed are to some...

Of True Happiness

  “Our proper goal, as individuals and as citizens, is not just to be happy but to have reason to be happy.  To have the good things of life—health, respect, friendship, leisure—is to have reason to be happy.  To be happy without these things is to...

Of the Global Market and Alienation

  “We should strive to ensure that cities are not entirely alienated from their rural surroundings.  For millennia, local food markets served as the main point of contact between town and country.  These are now largely gone, and with them all...

Of a Basic Income

  According to Frithjof Bergmann, Austro-American social philosopher, a basic income would “liberate work from the tyranny of the job.”  

Of Exploitation

  “Economists faced a serious theoretical challenge.  In 1867, Karl Marx published a powerful case for workers’ rights, Capital.  Marx followed traditional economics in using an analysis of value based on labor, but he argued that the economists...

Of GDP and the Welfare of Society

  “Even if economists could perfectly measure the nation’s GDP, welfare would depend upon its distribution.  If the bulk of the economy belonged to a single individual and the rest of society lived in misery, an increasing GDP might simply improve...

Of Making a Better World

  “Look at healthcare, education, fire services, and the police and you’ll find lots of people who go home every day knowing, despite their modest paychecks, they’ve made the world a better place.” —Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists: How We...

Of Slavery

  “We are nearly all agreed now that slavery is bad and incompatible with human dignity, and that the ownership of slaves is a very corrupting form of power.” —Richard Robinson, An Atheist’s Values, 1964  

Of Obstructing Evil and Misery

  “We may interfere with an evil where we have good reason to believe that our interference will greatly lessen human misery on the whole.” —Richard Robinson, An Atheist’s Values, 1964  

Of Religious Beliefs and Civil Crimes

  “Murder is still murder if someone holds a religion of human sacrifice.  No civil crime becomes legal by being done out of religious beliefs or sentiments.” —Richard Robinson, An Atheist’s Values, 1964  

Of Morals and Tolerance

  “The moral decisions of others should be treated with respect, as long as such decisions do not conflict with the principle of tolerance.” —Karl Raimund Popper, The Open Society(1902-07-28)  

Of Socialist Assumptions and Beliefs

What socialists believe concerning issues of freedom, of anarchism, of democracy, of equality, of justice, of persons, of politics, and of community are based upon some very radically different assumptions concerning the freedom of individual persons,...

Of Poverty

  It is not enough to manage poverty; we need to solve the problem of poverty.  We need to know the problem can be solved.     

Of Ideas

  “We know that ideas have changed over time.  Yesterday’s avant-garde is today’s common sense.” —Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World, 2016  

Of Scientific Thought

  “Scientific human thought lives and develops through discovering problems and seeking solutions to them.  Any system of thought that is problem-free cannot be scientific; indeed it cannot be genuine thought.” —Scott Meikle, Essentialism in the...

Of Emancipatory Theories: Reason, Knowledge and Freedom

  “Certain kinds of theory—emancipatory theories, as they are generally known—can act as a political force within the world, not just as a way of interpreting it.  And this lends them a peculiar sort of feature.  It means that they form a link...

Of Capitalism amd the Degradation of Goods

  “We are excessively familiar today with the commercially inspired adulteration of use values: foods lacking in nutrition or actually being poisonous, consumer durables with obsolescence and decay built into their design specification, unnecessary...

Of Trump's Presidency

  “Donald Trump won the presidency with the solid backing of the white, Republican, evangelical lower-middle class, as well as other Reublican middle-class constituencies in the Midwest and the South.” —Michael Joseph Roberto, The Origins of...

Of Socialism

  “Today, if socialism finds any mention at all in social theory, it is taken for granted that it has outlived its day.  It is considered unthinkable that socialism could ever again move the masses or be a viable alternative to contemporary...

Of Truth

  “Let us seek what is probably true rather than what is certainly true, since certainty is unobtainable outside mathematics.” —Richard Robinson, An Atheist’s Values, 1964