This short book really hits home hard for me that the answer to "do you earn enough?" should always, in fact must always, be no. It's not possible toThis short book really hits home hard for me that the answer to "do you earn enough?" should always, in fact must always, be no. It's not possible to earn as much as we need to in a capitalist system, that is if you happen to have to sell your labor; if you're buying the labor you should be fine. Fine that is unless you have competitors because Marx very clearly sets out why capitalists have to behave in the way they do, in fact they are as much a slave to the system as we are.
The logical conclusion of this, apart from the obvious fact that capitalism leads inevitably to monopolies, is that the system is beyond reform because reform will never deal with the core problem that capitalists ultimately have to play a part in destroying their own system in order to keep moving forward with profit in the present.
Competition, efficiency developments and wage depression must increase over time in a capitalistic system in order for profits to be realized, which points to Marx's contention that the present monetary system contains the seeds of it's own destruction. In fact when competition and technology have destroyed every last job we'll all be Marxists!
I had a moment of satori while reading this; I finally understood that Marx had proved beyond reasonable doubt that technological development is driven by the ever increasing need for new markets and profit and certainly not by the common good, or by a sense of human endeavor. The next time someone asks you if A. mission drives progress or if B. progress drives mission say "A"....more
I'm not sure if it's the cumulative effect but the exposition in these books is starting to frustrate me. I've been aware of it in past titles but itI'm not sure if it's the cumulative effect but the exposition in these books is starting to frustrate me. I've been aware of it in past titles but it does seem a lot worse in this one. Plus this story was not nearly as convincing and exciting as the few previous titles, in fact it reminded me of the earlier, weaker adventures. This was one of Peter Jackson's favorite Tintin books so I guess the story must have something decent about it; I can't find it though....more
One of the reasons I loved 2000AD the first time around was that the story lines seemed to have some sort of planned arc, whatever the relative meritsOne of the reasons I loved 2000AD the first time around was that the story lines seemed to have some sort of planned arc, whatever the relative merits of that storyline. This volume is no exception and I delighted in the fact that the 9 episode arc of the Block Mania story was simply a scene setter for the 25 story Apocalypse War.
The Apocalypse War mirrors the other early epics in the Dredd series, in that I never got round to reading the whole thing before; I missed a lot of progs in the early years until my awesome father decided he was going to bring 2000AD home every Monday regardless of my waxing and waning tastes! So it's great to be able to catch up like this.
The Apocalypse War is, of course, melodrama in the extreme but it's also a science fiction opera crying out for a movie treatment. It deals with big political issues but also tries to get at the human aspects of survival. I think it does a great job of showing the fate of the masses (the 99%?) when two competing forces lose their minds; because, let's not pretend, the law in Mega City One and its favorite Judge are at best Conservtive in tone and so the citizens are not likely to be leading happy lives regardless of who wins the war. This story also predicts quite nicely what may happen should rogue, or not so rogue, leaders get their hands on destructive weaponry.
The reason that 2000AD works so well is that there is no pandering - even as a 10 year old I remember being blown away by some of the story lines, in fact I remember not understanding some of what I read. As an adult I'm able to appreciate the nuances a lot more and it's made me a bigger fan....more
I liked this book for two reasons. One, the author placed his argument within both economic and cultural philosophy, which I found to be unusual but sI liked this book for two reasons. One, the author placed his argument within both economic and cultural philosophy, which I found to be unusual but stimulating. Two, he had a lot of great things to say (and was consistent in saying them) about the blame of our present predicament lying wholly within the means of production and not with the individual. Along the same lines I appreciated his chapter on the pointlessness of the "switch your fridge light off" approach to the attempted individualization of the environmental movement by governments - I've been thinking that for years so it was great see it articulated at last.
If you want to read a book that wont blame you for being a consumer or for being powerless to stop the ecological disaster we face but will offer an alternative then this is for you....more
It is maybe a stretch to give this five stars, it is a slight book after all, but it is a very accessible, clear-language assessment of the evolutionIt is maybe a stretch to give this five stars, it is a slight book after all, but it is a very accessible, clear-language assessment of the evolution of the Tories from the mid-seventies toward running the Friedmanian nightmare that we find ourselves in today, and of "Dave's" place in it.
I've read a lot of political books and have never truly grasped the reasons behind Tory policy planning, yes we all know they stand for greed and selfishness but how exactly do they pull it off? Well Seymour gives a breathtaking three page summary near the start of this book that finally helped me to understand Tory economics in all its gory detail - that has to be worth five stars right?
Well, if not for that alone I give it five stars because Seymour rightly analyses not only the links between "Dave" and Thatcher (don't let the softly, softly approach fool you Cameron is a Thatcherite) but also the links between Blair and Thatcher, less obvious to some but unfortunately for the Labour Party, and Britain, Blair was also a Thatcherite. Seymour nails this concept with some vigor and I appreciate the clarity of thought.
If you want a quick read that gives some analysis of just where society really started to go wrong in the last 40 years or so, but one that gives you genuine insight, then I can't think of better book. ...more
This is a terrible, ugly book, just chaotic and poorly written. The last two chapters will tell you everything you need to know about the delusional lThis is a terrible, ugly book, just chaotic and poorly written. The last two chapters will tell you everything you need to know about the delusional life of the author; they are both packed full of inconsistencies and contradictions. It led me to think that politicians and football thugs have something in common after all - the ability to believe in two competing ideas at one time.
The cover says "In his explosive first book, Tanner is brutally honest..." and the author himself suggests that "a good book is...confessional" but this book is neither honest nor a confessional, but rather a straight and deluded justification of anti-social behavior on a large scale. It's a shame because I was hoping that the story may lead to his final acceptance of the uselessness of violence but I ended up thinking that this guy would make a great UKIP candidate. ...more
I remember now why I liked Paul Morley so much back in the day. Simon Reynolds is so negative about every band that I loved and still love today thatI remember now why I liked Paul Morley so much back in the day. Simon Reynolds is so negative about every band that I loved and still love today that I can't help but be put off by his ever so smug analysis of popular music. He seems to forget that many, many people don't select music based on the genre pushing darlings of a few insular music journos but on the basis of what speaks to them personally. I find sentences like "you should be listening to x" highly irritating, especially if x happens to be music that makes my skin crawl, (country and western anyone?)
I also had a hard time with the many contradictions that Reynolds falls foul of, but perhaps that is a result of reading so many disparate essays collected together. One example that rankled in particular was his repeated accusation that The Smiths and other similar bands were racist because they had the effrontery to make music that reflected their own cultural backgrounds and did not rely on "black music" as a base to work from. Of course Reynolds then castigates bands that do rely on black music and accuses them of "appropriation" so no-one can win in his world.
A very disappointing, and dispiriting read from a man who seems to bring so much personal baggage to his writing. Don't we all I guess is the obvious retort. Well yeah, but to be fair I don't have the luxury of a large and gullible audience toward which I can air my views. Now where did I put those Simon Goddard and Mark Blake books?...more
Four stars for The Haunted Life, the other writings weren't overly inspiring. I'm starting to think that if Kerouac could have produced the books he dFour stars for The Haunted Life, the other writings weren't overly inspiring. I'm starting to think that if Kerouac could have produced the books he discussed in his synopses he would have been the greatest American writer of the twentieth century, he's packed full of ideas. In the end I'm not sure he conveyed everything he wanted to....more