A new series on We Have Never Been Modern by Bruno Latour
Author Archive for: masaccio
About Ed Walker
Notre Dame undergrad (math); JD, Indiana University at Bloomington; 1st Lieutenant, US Army.; private practice in corporate and securities law; Assistant AG in Tennessee for consumer protection and securities; Blue Sky Securities Commissioner, Tennessee; private practice, bankruptcy and corporate law.
I have had a lifelong interest in economics. For most of my career, that interest was practical, focused on the problems in front of me. Lately I have been more interested in economics as a theory, especially its impact on the lives of people like those I met in my bankruptcy practice, and on the politics of money in the US. I also enjoy reading philosophers, starting in college and steadily expanding my reading ever since. I wrote at FireDogLake for a number of years.
Generally, I think the problem facing the US is the dominance of neoliberal discourse. I think it clouds the vision, and limits the kinds of problems that can be identified and solved. For example, the existence and danger of climate change can easily be identified in a scientific discussion. However, the problem does not fit the neoliberal discourse because science insists that the pursuit of individual and corporate self-interest will lead to devastation. In neoliberal discourse, the pursuit of self-interest always leads to Eden.
The neoliberal project has two prongs. One is the police function of crushing dissent and alternative views. The police function is provided by government agencies and private and institutional actors. The counterpart is the economic system , which is operated by government and by private and institutional actors. Some of these actors operate in both spheres. I focus on the second prong.
Entries by Ed Walker
It gets ugly when there is too much inequality.
The wealthy dominate us in the major social hierarchies.
Right-wing ideologues create facts and history that cement their power; then claim the left is destroying morality by calling out those fabrications.
The richer one is, the more negative freedom, positive freedom and freedom from domination one has.
Corporations as Communist Dictatorships: great for masters but infringes on freedom of workers.
Why is the mudsill ideology dominant in the US?
Pragmatism has real world implications.
True ideas are useful tools.
Pragmatism adopts the approach of the scientific method as a tool for working out whether our opinions conform to reality.