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EP PODCASTSXML

March 23, 2007

Urbi et Orbi

Colosseum RuinsThere's always been the sandwich-board crowd, telling us to repent as the end of the world is upon us. Beyond them, my sense is that human beings tend to have a deep-seated fear of planetary scale catastrophe (indeed, I'd love to find a good history of catastrophe thinking); why, I don't know. But we do now seem to have arrived at something new: a humanity induced set of simultaneous crises that is on the verge of critically stressing civilization. Since I've picked up this theme in bits and pieces in many conversations thus far, I thought it would be useful and interesting to talk with somebody who's done outstanding work in putting the big picture together. Thomas Homer-Dixon is a respectable, intelligent fellow, and though he speaks about impending catastrophe in a low-key way the message gets through loud and clear: there's going to be serious cleaning up to do. Which is more or less the point of his latest book, The Upside of Down. Total runtime here of an hour and five minutes. Listen carefully. Think!

Listen

« The Sky Is Falling (Or Not) | Main | Midwestern Common Sense »



Comments


Excellent interview. Schumpeter was just as esteemed as Keynes in his day — his concept of creative destruction where major changes cluster into tight time frames based substantially on the prior work of the Russian economist Kondratyev... Schumpeter always said capitalism would fail because the wealthy would forget what made them successful and bring on their own undoing by failing to support the very system that made them successful in the first place. Underlying this is the concept of values. We have lost the values that created the successful system: even Marx said that capital and labor would race each other to the bottom, until labor eventually was compelled to take control.

Shumpeter's creative destruction is now applying itself to the "nation state" and new forms of organisation will be adaptively forced upon us.


Great interview. You might consider two interviews to complement it:

1. Michael Hudson (michael-hudson.com) — a laser-sharp economist with great experience and insight; also an expert not only in modern economics, but also in ancient economics.

2. Stephen Zarlenga (http://www.monetary.org/) — author of the huge volume, "The Lost Science of Money." Also offers remarkable insights into the modern and ancient worlds.

As someone has noted, there is no reform of the society without first the underlying reform of the way money is conceived and how it works, money being a claim on the products of the energy of men and their tools, or directly on the lives — the labor time — of the men themselves.

Very best wishes

Lisa Ming

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