Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Rescued from Oblivion!

Rescued from Oblivion! I was sure that the English translation of Friedrich Engels’s Preface to volume 2 of Capital had used the expression “rescued from oblivion” in referring to the 1821 pamphlet, The Source and Remedy of the National Difficulties. But the only translations I could find didn’t agree: “In this pamphlet, the importance of which should have […]

Ethic of leisure

William Godwin’s ethic of leisure and the riddle of social justice In An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793) William Godwin declared, “the object, in the present state of society, is to multiply labour; in another state, it will be to simplify it.” In The Enquirer (1797), he affirmed, “[t]he genuine wealth of man is leisure, when it meets with […]

Disposable People

Disposable People Disposable people are indispensable. Who else would fight the wars? Who would preach? Who would short derivatives? Who would go to court and argue both sides? Who would legislate? Who would sell red hots at the old ball game? For too long disposable people have been misrepresented as destitute, homeless, unemployed, or at […]

Disposable People

Disposable people are indispensable. Who else would fight the wars? Who would preach? Who would short derivatives? Who would go to court and argue both sides? Who would legislate? Who would sell red hots at the old ball game? For too long disposable people have been misrepresented as destitute, homeless, unemployed, or at best precariously […]

Karl Marx/Benjamin Franklin Mashup

Karl Marx/Benjamin Franklin Mashup Capital itself is the moving contradiction, in that it presses to reduce labour time to a minimum, while it posits labour time, on the other side, as sole measure and source of wealth. Remember that time is money. Hence it diminishes labour time in the necessary form so as to increase […]

Doing the world a favor. For Michael.

Doing the world a favor. For Michael. I did indeed post Dilke’s work. Then I reposted it. Then, ten years later, Contributions to Political Economy reprinted Dilke’s pamphlet, along with an essay about it by Giancarlo de Vivo. And forthcoming in the next issue of CPE is my article on the “Ambivalence of Disposable Time.” Thank you, Michael, for asking me to […]

Rescuing Disposable Time from Oblivion

Two hundred years ago this February, Charles Wentworth Dilke anonymously published a pamphlet titled The Source and Remedy of the National Difficulties, deduced from principles of political economy. Four decades later, Karl Marx would describe the pamphlet in his notes as an “important advance on Ricardo.” In his preface to volume two of Capital, Friedrich […]

You’ve Already Seen These Questions

You’ve Already Seen These Questions Why is it that no existing society, nor society that ever existed, has arrived at universal prosperity, considering that in all times, and in all societies, excepting only the very barbarous, a few years would naturally have led to it? How is it that notwithstanding the unbounded extent of capital, […]

A Few Questions

A Few Questions What constitutes the wealth of a nation? What is the source of all wealth and revenue? Does the method by which one receives income — whether wage, rent, profit or interest — indicate the ultimate source of the value represented by it?  Do stores of money, machinery, manufactured goods or produce represent […]