Writing, listening but not blogging (much) today

Today is Wednesday (my newly declared blog free (almost) day this year) and I am writing up material relating to the neoliberal trend to replace jobs with volunteers and then extol the virtues of the same. Hideous. I am also listening to some post-minimalist orchestral music. Fun day even if the subject matter is rather bleak.


This is what I am listening to today as I write.

It is of the 2002 album – Memoryhouse – by German (now living in Britain) pianist/composer Max Richter.

This is track 9 called November (6 minutes 21).

The whole album is worth listening to.

Back tomorrow.

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2018 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I have become increasingly disturbed and appalled by volunteering and neoliberalism.

    It taps into the genuine wish for people who volunteer to work without pay to gain recognition and to feel good about themselves. Problem the difference they make is often no more than a drop in the bucket (eg assisting the homeless, charities, op shops Fire brigade etc).

    This allows the system to avoid responsibility for the deeper economic and social factors that have led to the problems in the first place. Its nauseating when CEO’s do token acts such spending a night in the open to experience being homeless but they never advocate for policies that will make a real difference.

  2. I would like to register a complaint about this so called “almost blog free Wednesday”. It just is not working for me. Um, I mean its not working for society.

    Look Professor, you have been providing through your blog what economists call a ‘public good’. For many years now. And even mainstream neoliberal economists tell us that public goods get underprovided. So I think it is everyone’s duty to point out and complain when those public goods are threatened by private interests, even if those interests happen to be your interests in this case.

    So it should be clear that this complaint is being made solely in regards to the best interests of society as a whole and not because I personally have come to expect free education at your expense of time and effort.

    And yes, I realize this is not the usual insightful, thoughtful, well argued comment you have come to expect from me- but darn it, this is the best I could come up with given the circumstances.

  3. Paradigms, new or old, are not a “tempest in a teapot”. MMT is small as is Disequilibrium theory, Minsky’s Instability Hypothesis or any other mere theory by comparison. Ego, ideology and orthodoxy hide, even in the alleged “clean” corners of heterodoxy.

  4. Dear Professor,
    Sure, Max Richter is great, but do not be seduced into listening to his 8 hour “sleep”, we need your attention. Philip Glass may be safer. Incidentally, I think Jerry Brown is really a fan.

  5. Stephen Poloz comments on unpaid work raise ire of youth …

    “Advocates for young workers are not too happy about some statements by Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz.
    Claire Seaborn said the comments mischaracterize existing employment laws, devalue the abilities of young people and show no sympathy for the socioeconomic issues related to unpaid internships.

    She added that people from more modest backgrounds are less likely to be in a position where they can work for free.”

  6. Hey Jerry – you’ve just proven that Americans do irony! very funny as well! Thanks for your post it put a smile on my face this bleak morning in the UK.

  7. In the UK from 2010 we’ve had a lot of bullsh*t about the ‘Big Society’ which is a ploy to get everybody to do volunteer and charity work while the neo-libs catheter the public and siphon wealth to themselves-it’s a giant piss take. I think that term has fallen into desuetude now as it became too transparent it was a mickey take. But Tories still extol food banks as if the public are helping to pay off the national Debt by a supreme sacrifice-take this from 2013 by a particularly nasty piece of work who is now Work and Pensions Secretary:

    “In the UK, it is right to say that more people are visiting food banks, as we would expect,” she said.

    “Times are tough and we all have to pay back the £1.5 trillion of personal debt, which spiralled under Labour. We are all trying to live within our means, change the gear, and ensure we are paying back all the debt that we saw under Labour. ”

    It’s all crap and bull -and there was a Tory behavioural psychology unit behind the propagation of this stuff that was very successful. The latest manifestation of the volunteer culture is to manipulate basic human needs for fellowship and meaning using what has been referred to as ‘weaponised positive psychology’ so that the cynical manipulation isn’t noticed.

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