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Dilettantes like to use breezy rhetoric of the type “we all know what happened under communism” to cover up the lack of actual knowledge, but their carefully constructed world view quickly collapses under the slightest prodding. Because of my dislike of ignorant arrogant people, I rarely leave this opportunity alone. The following check-mate in three steps never fails: I ask them to give a single example — they will say something like Russia or China, but it doesn’t really matter — then I point out they were never communist. If they resist, I clarify the definition (something like “a system…


Normally, it is governments that are tasked to look out for the common good and battling the general societal ills, but that is increasingly less true. The philanthrocapitalists, people who would lose the most from genuine social change have, using the weight of their extreme wealth, placed themselves in charge of social change, altering how we think about everything concerning our personal and societal well-being.

Andrew Carnegie’s 1889 seminal essay on the topic called “Wealth” (popularly called “Gospel of Wealth”) has provided the intellectual fuel, which can be summarised as “The rich need freedom as they are the best at…


Even arch-libertarian John Stuart Mill concedes that “opinions lose their immunity if expressing them instigates a violent act”. An example cited in his main work “On Liberty” (1859) takes us back in time: an opinion that corn-dealers are starvers of the poor…may justly incur punishment when delivered orally to an excited mob assembled before the house of a corn dealer (although, according to Mill, same opinion would be ok to be circulated in the press. Not the sharpest bunch, these libertarians).

Violence had (and still has for many) a simple meaning: a direct action causing physical damage, like a knuckle…


Kings used to assert their authority as “divine”, and therefore not challengeable. Today, a bodiless idea called The Market rules the same way. We are subtly conditioned to think of this perfection existing somewhere in the universe, undetectable yet all pervasive. By now, we all instinctively “know”, don’t we, that whenever a government tries to interfere with it (say, aiming to reducing inequality or insecurity), we pay through “distortions” and “lower efficiencies”. This worldview changes everything. For example, if not with the program, you may think that in the US during the great depression there were appalling, long breadlines and…


About 90 years ago, British economist Keynes already knew that at times when demand for real resources (land, labour, physical capital) compared to supply is low, the economy can be stimulated by creating more money and spending it (thereby creating demand) without causing inflation. This is all-important, because if there is no demand, there is no economy — no matter how much supply-side stimulus is provided, the great depression was not going to be ended by giving investors tax breaks. This episode of economic history became intensely political because the key to demand-stimulus is to do it in ways that…


Old world’s approach: managing differences down or up

I grew up in a made-up container-country in the west-Balkans populated by patchwork of nations that often differ only in tiny, microscopic ways. Their languages ranging from similar to practically same, the religions for most just various flavours of Christianity. Post WWII leadership played down hard the ethnic and religious differences, and as a result, the historically divided, poor but newly united place undertook rapid economic growth. Growth was so rapid that in short 35 years after WWII living standards approximated the then average level of today’s EU block. …

10AM Jam

Lifelong learning in technology, economics, sociology, music and travel

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