Category: Society

Where Are Today’s Misemployment Figures?

When unemployment figures start to decrease in many countries, economists and governments congratulate themselves on their ability to ‘stimulate’ demand. This week, one London-based school that is devoted to teaching emotional intelligence responded by releasing a video that explores the distinction between good and bad demand, and ‘employment and misemployment’. They have uploaded the full script of the video on their website. I found this passage particularly inspiring.

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The Plastic Society – Moving Towards Plastic Independence

We all know about society’s over-consumption of plastic. We’ve heard again and again that it takes up to a millennia for plastics to bio-degrade (1), and consumers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year (2). And the issue of micro-plastic in our oceans in the past few years have gained awareness via social media. With all this data perpetually smothering our faces on a regular basis, […]

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“Cleansing the Stock”

How our governments now talk about human beings. To blot people out of existence first you must blot them from your mind. Then you can persuade yourself that what you are doing is moral and necessary. Today, this isn’t difficult. Those who act without compassion can draw upon a system of thought and language whose purpose is to shield them – and blind us – to the consequences.

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Melissa Fleming: Let’s Help Refugees Thrive, Not Just Survive (TED video)

50 million people in the world today have been forcefully displaced from their homes — a level not seen since WWII. Right now, more than 3 million Syrian refugees are seeking shelter in neighboring countries. In Lebanon, half of these refugees are children; only 20% are in school. Melissa Fleming of the UN’s refugee agency calls on all of us to make sure that refugee camps are healing places where […]

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Falling Apart

Competition and individualism are forcing us into a devastating Age of Loneliness. What do we call this time? It’s not the information age: the collapse of popular education movements left a void now filled by marketing and conspiracy theories(1). Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on […]

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The Conservative Lorax

The Lorax, published in video form on our site here, is a much-loved children’s tale by Dr. Seuss — one with a strong environmental message (the original book version was banned in some schools and libraries in the US due to pressure by the forestry lobbies). Now, above, you can watch an updated version, where, I’m very sorry to say, you’ll discover that the Lorax, who formerly spoke for the […]

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The Toll-Booth Economy

Corporate power is the real enemy within, but none of the major parties will confront it. The more power you possess, the more insecure you feel. The paranoia of power drives people towards absolutism. But far from curing them of the conviction that they are threatened and beleaguered, it becomes only stronger. On Friday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, claimed that business is under political attack on a […]

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A Little Knowledge Can Be a Dangerous Thing

I had a conversation with my eldest son, Michael, some time ago. We discussed: “Why can’t knowledge be used to make things in society work better?” This question of my son’s got me to thinking about what is knowledge and what is the difference between knowledge of nature and knowledge of human affairs. In philosophy, this is called epistemology — the study of knowledge. I was very gratified that Michael […]

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Eradicating Ecocide – Sounding the Horn

Ecocide law, unlike any other law, has the capacity to disrupt what we perceive to be immoveable. How can we possibly decouple from fossil fuels, from economies based on making money out of heavy extractive industries, from businesses that are threatening to sue governments that refuse to allow them to destroy their lands? This is a question that is voiced in many different ways but the essence of it is […]

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The Kink in the Human Brain

Pointless, joyless consumption is destroying our world of wonders. This is a moment at which anyone with the capacity for reflection should stop and wonder what we are doing. If the news that in the past 40 years the world has lost over 50% its vertebrate wildlife (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) fails to tell us that there is something wrong with the way we live, it’s hard to […]

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Life in a ‘Degrowth’ Economy, and Why You Might Actually Enjoy It

by Samuel Alexander, originally published on The Conversation Time to get off the economic growth train? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever. This week’s Addicted to Growth conference in Sydney is exploring how to move beyond […]

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