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).

xii

[...] Today's Establishment, in my view, is bound together by common economic interests and a shared set of mentalities: in particular a mentality that holds that those at the top deserve ever greater power and wealth. Unaccountable power could become more representative, but it would still be unaccountable. There could be women, working-class and ethnic minority people involved in institutions and systems that threaten democracy, but those institutions and systems would still threaten democracy.

systems thinking! maybe i need a tag for this

Foreword to the Paperback Edition (xi) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] Today's Establishment, in my view, is bound together by common economic interests and a shared set of mentalities: in particular a mentality that holds that those at the top deserve ever greater power and wealth. Unaccountable power could become more representative, but it would still be unaccountable. There could be women, working-class and ethnic minority people involved in institutions and systems that threaten democracy, but those institutions and systems would still threaten democracy.

systems thinking! maybe i need a tag for this

—p.xii Foreword to the Paperback Edition (xi) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
xiv

Nor are all police officers 'class warriors' who wish to defend a grotesquely unequal distribution of wealth and power. They do so because they are tasked with enforcing the law, and the law is often rigged in favour of the powerful. [...]

Foreword to the Paperback Edition (xi) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Nor are all police officers 'class warriors' who wish to defend a grotesquely unequal distribution of wealth and power. They do so because they are tasked with enforcing the law, and the law is often rigged in favour of the powerful. [...]

—p.xiv Foreword to the Paperback Edition (xi) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
xvii

Here, it's worth reiterating that the book is an explicit rejection of the idea that the Establishment represents a conscious, organized conspiracy. Sure, there are undoubtedly specific conspiracies, from police cover-ups to tax avoidance on an industrial scale. Yet the whole premise of the book is that the Establishment is bound by shared economic interests and common mentalities. There is no need for any overarching planned conspiracy against democracy. The Establishment is an organic, dynamic system.

Foreword to the Paperback Edition (xi) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Here, it's worth reiterating that the book is an explicit rejection of the idea that the Establishment represents a conscious, organized conspiracy. Sure, there are undoubtedly specific conspiracies, from police cover-ups to tax avoidance on an industrial scale. Yet the whole premise of the book is that the Establishment is bound by shared economic interests and common mentalities. There is no need for any overarching planned conspiracy against democracy. The Establishment is an organic, dynamic system.

—p.xvii Foreword to the Paperback Edition (xi) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
14

Nor is this a book about individual 'villains'. The Establishment is a system and a set of mentalities that cannot be reduced to a politician here or a media magnate there. Little can be understood simply by castigating individuals for being greedy or lacking in compassion. That is not to absolve people of personal responsibility or agency, to argue that individuals are just cogs in a machine or robots, blindly following a pre-written script. But it is to argue against any notion that Britain is ruled by 'bad' people, and that if they were replaced by 'good' people, then the problems facing democracy would be solved. [...] Personal decency can happily coexist with the most inimical of systems. [...] It is the behaviour that a system tends towards and encourages that needs to be understood.

Introduction (1) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Nor is this a book about individual 'villains'. The Establishment is a system and a set of mentalities that cannot be reduced to a politician here or a media magnate there. Little can be understood simply by castigating individuals for being greedy or lacking in compassion. That is not to absolve people of personal responsibility or agency, to argue that individuals are just cogs in a machine or robots, blindly following a pre-written script. But it is to argue against any notion that Britain is ruled by 'bad' people, and that if they were replaced by 'good' people, then the problems facing democracy would be solved. [...] Personal decency can happily coexist with the most inimical of systems. [...] It is the behaviour that a system tends towards and encourages that needs to be understood.

—p.14 Introduction (1) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
204

[...] 'Ah, but the difference between tax avoidance and benefit fraud is that the former is legal while the latter is not.' But such a reply in itself inadvertently underscores how the law is rigged in favour of the wealthiest, even when their behaviour is far more socially destructive. [...]

Tycoons and Tax-Dodgers (202) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] 'Ah, but the difference between tax avoidance and benefit fraud is that the former is legal while the latter is not.' But such a reply in itself inadvertently underscores how the law is rigged in favour of the wealthiest, even when their behaviour is far more socially destructive. [...]

—p.204 Tycoons and Tax-Dodgers (202) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
220

Nonetheless, Ernst & Young's Steve Varley is insistent that tax avoidance is effectively a necessity: that companies are practically compelled to engage in the practice by law. Directors of companies have a 'fiduciary legal responsibility' to have a strategy that increases the 'financial position' of their businesses, he says. 'Then it starts to get blurred, nowadays, doesn't it? Because you've got the whole thing about what's moral, what's fair, what's equitable in society. I think it's really difficult to respond to. How do you really work what's a moral and fair tax? You have a fiduciary responsibility as a company director to make sure you do the right thing for the company and there's nothing in company law about doing the right thing for society.'

he goes on to say that the Companies Act 2006 does actually compel directors to care about local communities etc but this mindset is very widespread (afaik) and thus worth noting

Tycoons and Tax-Dodgers (202) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Nonetheless, Ernst & Young's Steve Varley is insistent that tax avoidance is effectively a necessity: that companies are practically compelled to engage in the practice by law. Directors of companies have a 'fiduciary legal responsibility' to have a strategy that increases the 'financial position' of their businesses, he says. 'Then it starts to get blurred, nowadays, doesn't it? Because you've got the whole thing about what's moral, what's fair, what's equitable in society. I think it's really difficult to respond to. How do you really work what's a moral and fair tax? You have a fiduciary responsibility as a company director to make sure you do the right thing for the company and there's nothing in company law about doing the right thing for society.'

he goes on to say that the Companies Act 2006 does actually compel directors to care about local communities etc but this mindset is very widespread (afaik) and thus worth noting

—p.220 Tycoons and Tax-Dodgers (202) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
238

But for Simon Walker, Directory General of the Institute of Directors [...] He advocates rolling back all remaining workers' protection laws, because he does not believe it is possible to 'regulate for bad bosses'. His view is that the market will simply decide. 'I think that if a company is known to be a rotten employer, it will get a reputation for that, and people will be much less keen to work there,' he argues. Walker apparently labours under the illusion that millions of workers are spoilt for choice about where they can work, or are able to judge the relative benevolence of employers, and to make a choice about their place of work based on such knowledge. It is a fantastical view that says much more about how insulated are the lives of those at the top rather than the reality of the situation for the vast majority of working Britons.

Tycoons and Tax-Dodgers (202) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

But for Simon Walker, Directory General of the Institute of Directors [...] He advocates rolling back all remaining workers' protection laws, because he does not believe it is possible to 'regulate for bad bosses'. His view is that the market will simply decide. 'I think that if a company is known to be a rotten employer, it will get a reputation for that, and people will be much less keen to work there,' he argues. Walker apparently labours under the illusion that millions of workers are spoilt for choice about where they can work, or are able to judge the relative benevolence of employers, and to make a choice about their place of work based on such knowledge. It is a fantastical view that says much more about how insulated are the lives of those at the top rather than the reality of the situation for the vast majority of working Britons.

—p.238 Tycoons and Tax-Dodgers (202) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
262

[...] 'I think the City is a convenient whipping boy, because everybody loves having a scapegoat,' he says. 'Everybody was more than happy to get a zero per cent interest rate on their credit card, everybody's happy to spend, consume, and spend money that ultimately they don't have.' In truth, workers who had been experiencing real-term falls in their living standards long before the crash had been forced to top up their increasingly meagre income with cheap credit.

if they were happy, it's prob cus they didn't realise the consequences? cus economics (as in, real, non-delusional economics) is something that most people aren't taught? kids are happy to eat candy all the time too, but ...

need to analyse this train of thought a little more cus it's prob pretty common

Masters of the Universe (241) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] 'I think the City is a convenient whipping boy, because everybody loves having a scapegoat,' he says. 'Everybody was more than happy to get a zero per cent interest rate on their credit card, everybody's happy to spend, consume, and spend money that ultimately they don't have.' In truth, workers who had been experiencing real-term falls in their living standards long before the crash had been forced to top up their increasingly meagre income with cheap credit.

if they were happy, it's prob cus they didn't realise the consequences? cus economics (as in, real, non-delusional economics) is something that most people aren't taught? kids are happy to eat candy all the time too, but ...

need to analyse this train of thought a little more cus it's prob pretty common

—p.262 Masters of the Universe (241) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
299

[...] on many issues, UKIP voters are more radical than then British public as a whole. One YouGov poll found that 78 per cent of UKIP voters supported public ownership of energy companies (compared to 68 per cent of all voters); 73 per cent wanted the railways renationalized (as against 66 per cent); 50 per cent advocated rent controls (the wider figure was 45 per cent); and an astounding 40 per cent believed in price controls on food and groceries, compared to 35 per cent of all Britons.

whoa

Conclusion: A Democratic Revolution (294) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] on many issues, UKIP voters are more radical than then British public as a whole. One YouGov poll found that 78 per cent of UKIP voters supported public ownership of energy companies (compared to 68 per cent of all voters); 73 per cent wanted the railways renationalized (as against 66 per cent); 50 per cent advocated rent controls (the wider figure was 45 per cent); and an astounding 40 per cent believed in price controls on food and groceries, compared to 35 per cent of all Britons.

whoa

—p.299 Conclusion: A Democratic Revolution (294) default author 7 months, 2 weeks ago