George vs Harbinger

rather, georgism vs harbinger tax, that latter, read in Radical Markets, struck as market nerdy (name your own price and pay taxes on it, but not too low or you’ll risk being bought out of your home) in principle has some advantages, encted in a world of great financial disparity, recurrent real estates bubbles, what can possibly go wrong ?

Why I thought about Harbinger ? I read Vitalik here on Bulldozers and Vetocracies, while I am not convinced this dimension he introduces is profound, fundamental and close to the basic mechanism, I got intrigued by his preference for Harbinger Tax and Quadratic Voting. QV was in Radical Markets but I have much recollections, it markets nerdy, introduces prices ion political decisions and the same doubts apply.

While we are not talking the same thing, lottery seems better solution to get out of dysfunctional prestige and charisma politics which attracts the wrong people. But then, quadratic voting would apply also fo lottery politicians, so better have a second look

Anarchy and Democracy

for no particular reason, a Google Ngram Viewer with etherogeneous terms

actually there is a reason, I am reading David Graber “There Never Was a West” and a few quotes:

“The word “democracy” has meant any number of different things over the course of its history. When first coined, it referred to a system in which the citizens of a community made decisions by equal vote in a collective assembly. For most of its history, it referred to political disorder, rioting, lynching, and factional violence (in fact, the word had much the same associations as “anarchy” does today).”

and the thing is, once people started thinking about making without kings they found inspiration in Athen’s democracy, notwithstanding that Athen is a “a militaristic, slave-owning society founded on the systematic repression of women” and rather there could be other living example of people participating in taking political decisions.

So democracy is a way of organizing human relationships toward governamce, or simplay a manner of state government ? And it is difficult to be critical of democracy becuase the terms is popular and appeals to everybody. And Graebebr says a propos of the anti-globalization movement he took part in, “The problem is what to call it. Many of the key principles of the movement (self-organization, voluntary association, mutual aid, the refusal of state power) derive from the anarchist tradition. Still, many who embrace these ideas are reluctant, or flat-out refuse, to call themselves “anarchists.” Similarly with democracy. My own approach has normally been to openly embrace both terms, to argue, in fact, that anarchism and democracy are—or should be—largely identical”

Anyway I go back to reading, the piece is farily long and I am stuck to the second page, go read it yourself

reading december 2, 2021

St.Andrewism on Maslow, the pyramid which was not a pyramid, and the Siksika (Blackfoot) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRzejkbeH5s taken from this medium post https://gatherfor.medium.com/maslow-got-it-wrong-ae45d6217a8c

minute 8:00 of Graeber-Thiel debate “Where Did the Future Go?” David Graeber gives a perfect defintion of what acdemia would need to foster creativity again: give money to creative intellectuals instead of trapping them in competition, publish or perish and stuff https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF0cz9OmCGw&t=1s

Now Progress Studies, Collison and Cowen, it started a couple of days back from the this 3d on ethics of Progress Studies, Collison offers they are catholic small c (universal maybe) start here https://twitter.com/MatthewJBar/status/1464689069401780226

today I was reading this post from Applied Divinity Studies which introduced Stubborn Attachement, the book by Tyler Cowen, which I read but can’t remember much. Here the post https://applieddivinitystudies.com/exegesis/ he also wrote the Moral Foundation of Progress, to read https://applieddivinitystudies.com/moral-progress/

Climate crisis, private capital, socialized risk

GFANZ: “The Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) was launched in April and chaired by the UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, Mark Carney, a former governor of the Bank of England and the Finance Adviser of the United Kingdom Prime Minister for COP26. Now consisting of more than 450 banks, insurers and investment managers from 45 countries (..) “It includes such familiar names as BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Bank of America, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, and the like. The total assets of the GFANG members is about $130 trillion, with $63 trillion coming from banks, $57 trillion from investment managers and $10 trillion from asset owners such as pension funds “

clarification “the Lex team of the Financial Times intervened and clarified that $130 trillion is not ready funds but the total assets managed by member financial institutions of the GFANZ”

so much boasting, little less substantial committments, it is clearly a bait for governments who do not want to pay the polical costs of decarbonization at home, so would accept a “helping hand” from investors. Quotes from this great article Climate crisis, global debt, and the Fermi paradox – a proposal to the IMF

So, where is the catch ? Private investors in GFANZ want to get government guarantees in order to “derisk” their own investments, so social risk and private gain, something we have already heard of, think global crisis in 2008. Derisking is punt under the spotlight by economist Daniela Gabor as the new Washingotn Consensus, the guiding idea on internation monetary institutions in tackling the climate emergency, without tackling the inequality behind it. Here on the Guardian: Private finance won’t decarbonise our economies – but the ‘big green state’ can

Post scriptum: I think it is relevant to add here Policy Tensor’s post on funding the transition with public money, it has a lot of data on the cost of risky green projects in less developed countries, rightly say that we are back to the development themes of the 60’s of the 20th century, he offers a stark analysis of the geopolitical situations and calls for US to “securitize” the transition issue, which isn’t per se a good thing, sorta calling for a war posture.

BTW he sort of dissent with Gabor, derisking might be needed but the process should not be left in the hands of the blackrocks

Is it feasible to publicly fund the global energy transition?

and the older FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE HOCKEY STICK OF DOOM

one definition of climate justice

the top 1% should reduce emissions by a factor of 30 (to 1/30th of current level) in order to have the bottom 50% treble their emissions (the numbers behind this are well explained here https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20211025-climate-how-to-make-the-rich-pay-for-their-carbon-emissions)

Johan Rockstrom at COP26 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW4fPXzX1S0&list=LL&index=3&t=16s

Johan presents 10 takeouts from the IPCC report which negotiators should keep in mind in Glasgow

Linear cuts of 2 billion Gton a year to have some chance to meet the 1.5 degrees target, 4 billions Gton a year to be fairly sure to meet it

Global warming is human-made, some global warming gases are camuoflaging as beneficial aerosol but in the end are contributing to the co2 balance, this is a critical situation.

Megafires will be the new normal, and so marine life and habitat destruction

Risk of tipping points decrease at 1.5 degrees, increases at higher temps, beware of possible cascading of tipping points: cold water from the arctic into the atlantic, the amazon burns due to failing monsoons, warmer seas disintegrate the antartica shel, sea level rise. This is just one of many.

Btw, carbon markets now cover 20% of emissions but prices are high enough only in Europe

expanding on the concept of climate justice, there is a great substack by adam tooze which delves into the theme of inequality, there s great inequality between countries in emissions, but there is a bigger emissions inequality within countries, so tackling climate change requires also tackling income and wealth inequality. Case in point, emission growth in Far East is led by China, and China has higher Gini than the US; funny enough for a “communist” country https://adamtooze.substack.com/p/chartbook-newsletter-24

So, the problem is the top 10% who commands half of the world income and prodice half of the world emissions, a curve showing this dubbed the Dinosaur curve

Branko Milanovic, who is a scholar in economic inequality, focus on the 10% habit of flying arond the world and does a thought experiment: in 2020, due to coronavirus, flights were only 60% of 2019, so there is a way to keep people from flying, taxes, permits, whatever is doable. Unemployemnt in the industry, slump in tourism revenues worldwide, holidays flow will rearrange and with some govermnet money, things can smoothly become more green. Decarbonizing and averting the worst of global warming requires bold step, limiting air travel should be tried. Read here https://branko2f7.substack.com/p/climate-change-covid-and-global-inequality

out of Glasgow

150 trillion public/private committment to climate crisis, while the paltry 100 billion promised to less developed countries hasn’t been paid out yet. Promesse da marinaio

Daniela Gabor notes that IMF paper on climate crisis quotes 23 time “carbon pricing” and only once “industrial policy”. So imagine IMF finance conditional to setting a price on carbon, imposed on poor countries, reminiscent of stabilization policies in the 80s. Will it work ? Gabor and PolicyTensor doubt it

Daniela Gabor https://www.ft.com/content/1d2dcdc4-4de2-4e87-ab1f-574a32c5e0e2

IMF report https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/Policy-Papers/Issues/2021/07/30/IMF-Strategy-to-Help-Members-Address-Climate-Change-Related-Policy-Challenges-Priorities-463093

Policy Tensor ESG and Carbon Pricing La La Lands

Meanwhile Tooze reviews Andrea Malm and notes: Green New Deal appeals to economic mobilization in WW2 USA, Malm rather prefers lenin’s mobilization in 1919-21 russia. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Green Leninism https://adamtooze.substack.com/p/chartbook-50-andreas-malm-and-ecological

LRB has a second review of Malm’s book, this one is less theoretical and more historical and facts “Malm and the Zetkin Collective’s claim is not that far-right parties happen to exploit voter prejudice against both migration and climate mitigation, but that these two things are necessarily linked. They see ‘fossil fascism’ as an emergent political formation, linking ‘primitive’ fossil capital – direct extractors, which can’t survive divestment – with racist politics.” https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v43/n22/james-butler/a-coal-mine-for-every-wildfire

Elite ideologies and ground realities

Greta Thunberg to politicians “Iask you to listen to science and act”

Great cartoon summing up Greta’s thinking in darkish mood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2axbxYbWLmk

Policy Tensor, great read how elite ideologies ignoring ground realities have led to countless disasters from WWI all the way to the great monetarist austerity, and carbon pricing, as we comes to climate change again https://policytensor.substack.com/p/esg-and-carbon-pricing-la-la-lands

Modern slavery, according to ancient philosophers

click here and get to listen to David Graeber saying that Aristotle would not find much a distinction between the situation where you are so indebted that you sell yourself into slavery to work 12 hours a day, isn’t very different from the contemporary situation where you rent yourself to work 12 hours a day because you are indebted https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZIINXhGDcs

It’s Graeber talking about his book Debt the first 5,000 years

Facebook, change name or hands ?

“Facebook has become synonymous with hate speech, disinformation, election interference, and even genocide” Vice said it https://www.vice.com/en/article/k7wewy/facebook-new-name-zuckerberg

But, given FB governance it is really Mark Zuckerberg name that is associated to “hate speech, disinformation, election interference, and even genocide”. So nae change ? No, change CEO, Zuck should resign

But even better, Zeckerberg should be taxed and forced out of his control of Facebook in light of his manifest incapacity to manage the company on a civil course. Communism? Authoritarian move ?

It was done in post-war Japan in a democratic conetxt and it led to the Japanese economic miracle: What eating the rich made for Japan on Youtube, the of Zaibastsu conquest of Japanese economy and their undoing at the hands of the Japanese government with forced sales, taxes and hyperinflation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_-Ac68FKG4

Well, I am not in US and not in a position to ask my gorvernment to undo Facebook, the US should do it, its doable, its perfectly democratic, it will do great for the future

Where Im a citizen, I am arther in the position to ask that my use of facebook is protected with adversary interoperability