Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

30

Defined by the market, defined as a market, human society should be run in every respect as if it were a business, its social relations reimagined as commercial transactions, people redesignated as human capital. The aim and purpose of society is to maximise profits.

Attempts to limit competition are treated as hostile to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised; public services should be privatised or reconstructed in the image of the market. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that prevent the natural winners and losers from being discovered. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for usefulness and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive.

on neoliberalism

A Captive Audience (29) default author 3 months, 1 week ago

Defined by the market, defined as a market, human society should be run in every respect as if it were a business, its social relations reimagined as commercial transactions, people redesignated as human capital. The aim and purpose of society is to maximise profits.

Attempts to limit competition are treated as hostile to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised; public services should be privatised or reconstructed in the image of the market. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that prevent the natural winners and losers from being discovered. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for usefulness and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive.

on neoliberalism

—p.30 A Captive Audience (29) default author 3 months, 1 week ago
34

According to party folklore, in 1975, a few months after Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservatives in the United Kingdom, she was chairing a meeting at which one of her colleagues explained what he saw as the core beliefs of Conservativism. She snapped open her handbag, pulled out a dog-eared copy of The Constitution of Liberty, and slammed it on the table. 'This is what we believe,' she said. A political revolution had begun that would sweep the world.

A Captive Audience (29) default author 3 months, 1 week ago

According to party folklore, in 1975, a few months after Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservatives in the United Kingdom, she was chairing a meeting at which one of her colleagues explained what he saw as the core beliefs of Conservativism. She snapped open her handbag, pulled out a dog-eared copy of The Constitution of Liberty, and slammed it on the table. 'This is what we believe,' she said. A political revolution had begun that would sweep the world.

—p.34 A Captive Audience (29) default author 3 months, 1 week ago
44

In 2009, in the hope of boosting the economy in the wake of the financial crash, the British government spent £300 million on stimulating sales of new cars. Under its scrappage scheme, if car owners traded in their old vehicles for new ones, the government, with the help of manufacturers, knocked £2,000 off the price. This lavish programme was partly justified as an environmental measure, though it was clear from the outset that it would lead to a rise in environmental impacts, as the materials and energy used in manufacturing new cars outweighted any likely savings from better fuel economy. Its primary purpose was to boost British car assembly plants and protect the jobs of their workers.

just another marketing tactic innit, unplanned obsolescence

like sending people coupons or wholesale lowering the price after people have been somehow deprived of the ability to use their existing cars

Don't Look Back (42) default author 3 months, 1 week ago

In 2009, in the hope of boosting the economy in the wake of the financial crash, the British government spent £300 million on stimulating sales of new cars. Under its scrappage scheme, if car owners traded in their old vehicles for new ones, the government, with the help of manufacturers, knocked £2,000 off the price. This lavish programme was partly justified as an environmental measure, though it was clear from the outset that it would lead to a rise in environmental impacts, as the materials and energy used in manufacturing new cars outweighted any likely savings from better fuel economy. Its primary purpose was to boost British car assembly plants and protect the jobs of their workers.

just another marketing tactic innit, unplanned obsolescence

like sending people coupons or wholesale lowering the price after people have been somehow deprived of the ability to use their existing cars

—p.44 Don't Look Back (42) default author 3 months, 1 week ago
45

Another issue is that the troubles that beset the Keynesian model in the 1970s have not disappeared. While the oil embargo in 1973 was the immediate trigger for the lethal combination of high inflation and high unemployment ('stagflation') that Keynesian policies were almost powerless to counteract, problems with the system had been mounting for years. Falling productivity and rising cost-push inflation (wages and prices pursuing each other upwards) were already beginning to erode support for Keynesian economics. Most importantly, perhaps, the programme had buckled in response to the political demands of capital.

Strong financial regulations and controls on the movement of money began to weaken in the 1950s, as governments started to liberalise financial markets. Richard Nixon's decision in 1971 to suspend the convertibility of dollars into gold destroyed the success of fixed exchange rates on which much of the success of Keynes's policies depended. The capital controls introduced to prevent financiers and speculators from sucking money out of balanced, Keynesian economies collapsed. [...]

Don't Look Back (42) default author 3 months, 1 week ago

Another issue is that the troubles that beset the Keynesian model in the 1970s have not disappeared. While the oil embargo in 1973 was the immediate trigger for the lethal combination of high inflation and high unemployment ('stagflation') that Keynesian policies were almost powerless to counteract, problems with the system had been mounting for years. Falling productivity and rising cost-push inflation (wages and prices pursuing each other upwards) were already beginning to erode support for Keynesian economics. Most importantly, perhaps, the programme had buckled in response to the political demands of capital.

Strong financial regulations and controls on the movement of money began to weaken in the 1950s, as governments started to liberalise financial markets. Richard Nixon's decision in 1971 to suspend the convertibility of dollars into gold destroyed the success of fixed exchange rates on which much of the success of Keynes's policies depended. The capital controls introduced to prevent financiers and speculators from sucking money out of balanced, Keynesian economies collapsed. [...]

—p.45 Don't Look Back (42) default author 3 months, 1 week ago
61

The philosopher Byung-Chul Han argues:

Neoliberalism turns the oppressed worker into a free contractor, an entrepreneur of the self. Today, everyone is a self-exploiting worker in their own enterprise. Every individual is master and slave in one. This also means that class struggle has become an internal struggle with oneself. Today, anyone who fails to succeed blames themselves and feels ashamed. People see themselves, not society, as the problem.

good quote

Alienation (54) default author 3 months, 1 week ago

The philosopher Byung-Chul Han argues:

Neoliberalism turns the oppressed worker into a free contractor, an entrepreneur of the self. Today, everyone is a self-exploiting worker in their own enterprise. Every individual is master and slave in one. This also means that class struggle has become an internal struggle with oneself. Today, anyone who fails to succeed blames themselves and feels ashamed. People see themselves, not society, as the problem.

good quote

—p.61 Alienation (54) default author 3 months, 1 week ago
100

[...] Some authors claim that the free content being exploited commercially by platforms such as Facebook and Google could be monetised with the help of verification technologies (such as the blockchain ledger) and the profits currently monopolised by these behemoths distributed to the people who provide the content.

This seems unlikely to me. The tendency in many cases is surely towards free use and free access, rather than towards the distribution of commercial benefits. [...]

this is exactly the sort of myth I want to dispel with my adtech piece. value creation doesn't come from the users of Facebook and Google; it's nothing other than the surplus extracted from the actual producers of commodities primarily in the global south!!

Our Economy (93) default author 3 months, 1 week ago

[...] Some authors claim that the free content being exploited commercially by platforms such as Facebook and Google could be monetised with the help of verification technologies (such as the blockchain ledger) and the profits currently monopolised by these behemoths distributed to the people who provide the content.

This seems unlikely to me. The tendency in many cases is surely towards free use and free access, rather than towards the distribution of commercial benefits. [...]

this is exactly the sort of myth I want to dispel with my adtech piece. value creation doesn't come from the users of Facebook and Google; it's nothing other than the surplus extracted from the actual producers of commodities primarily in the global south!!

—p.100 Our Economy (93) default author 3 months, 1 week ago
126

We might also need new money. As the New Economics Foundation explains in its report 'Energising Money', monetary design helps determine the form that commerce takes. Developing new currencies could encourage both the protection of the gifts of nature and the distribution of the wealth arising from them. Were money to be tied to resources, such as energy (one proposal is for a currency backed by kilowatt hours), it could help stimulate a transition to a low-use economy. Money anchored to productive value--such as a basket of commodities--would reduce the incentive to exhaust those commodities to boost financial returns. The virtual wealth on which the financial sector feeds could no longer be detached from the real wealth on which all of us survive and thrive.

think about this more

Framing the Economy (113) default author 3 months, 1 week ago

We might also need new money. As the New Economics Foundation explains in its report 'Energising Money', monetary design helps determine the form that commerce takes. Developing new currencies could encourage both the protection of the gifts of nature and the distribution of the wealth arising from them. Were money to be tied to resources, such as energy (one proposal is for a currency backed by kilowatt hours), it could help stimulate a transition to a low-use economy. Money anchored to productive value--such as a basket of commodities--would reduce the incentive to exhaust those commodities to boost financial returns. The virtual wealth on which the financial sector feeds could no longer be detached from the real wealth on which all of us survive and thrive.

think about this more

—p.126 Framing the Economy (113) default author 3 months, 1 week ago
157

The blockchain ledger [...] could be used to confirm online identities, and potentially votes [...] Its potential to transform democracy has been wildly exaggerated by some people, however, who see it as a means of dispensing with government altogether, replacing neoliberal fantasy taken to its ultimate conclusion. Even lesser roles for the blockchain ledger might potentially be co-opted, as those with the most computing power could come to control the verification process. [...]

Our Politics (132) default author 3 months, 1 week ago

The blockchain ledger [...] could be used to confirm online identities, and potentially votes [...] Its potential to transform democracy has been wildly exaggerated by some people, however, who see it as a means of dispensing with government altogether, replacing neoliberal fantasy taken to its ultimate conclusion. Even lesser roles for the blockchain ledger might potentially be co-opted, as those with the most computing power could come to control the verification process. [...]

—p.157 Our Politics (132) default author 3 months, 1 week ago
162

To what extent do we still need nation-states? We tend to imagine that they have always existed and always will, but they are a recent phenomenon, and could be a temporary one. A study by the journalist Debora MacKenzie explains that, before the late eighteenth century, there were no clear national boundaries, and no border checks. Even in the nineteenth century, many Europeans could not name the nation to which they belonged. The locus of attachment for most people was their village or town. The discrete nation-state developed in response to rising industrial and social complexity. [...]

Our Politics (132) default author 3 months, 1 week ago

To what extent do we still need nation-states? We tend to imagine that they have always existed and always will, but they are a recent phenomenon, and could be a temporary one. A study by the journalist Debora MacKenzie explains that, before the late eighteenth century, there were no clear national boundaries, and no border checks. Even in the nineteenth century, many Europeans could not name the nation to which they belonged. The locus of attachment for most people was their village or town. The discrete nation-state developed in response to rising industrial and social complexity. [...]

—p.162 Our Politics (132) default author 3 months, 1 week ago