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Rumba under Fire: The Arts of Survival from West Point to Delhi

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ISBN: 9780692655832 Year: Pages: 264 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0134.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:36
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A professor of poetry uses a deck of playing cards to measure the time until her lover returns from Afghanistan. Congolese soldiers find their loneliness reflected in the lyrics of rumba songs. Survivors of the siege of Sarajevo discuss which book they would have never burned for fuel. A Romanian political prisoner writes her memoir in her head, a book no one will ever read. These are the arts of survival in times of crisis. Rumba Under Fire proposes we think differently about what it means for the arts and liberal arts to be “in crisis.” In prose and poetry, the contributors to Rumba Under Fire explore what it means to do art in hard times. How do people teach, create, study, and rehearse in situations of political crisis? Can art and intellectual work really function as resistance to power? What relationship do scholars, journalists, or even memoirists have to the crises they describe and explain? How do works created in crisis, especially at the extremes of human endurance, fit into our theories of knowledge and creativity?

There's No Such Thing as "The Economy": Essays on Capitalist Value

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ISBN: 9781947447899 9781947447905 Year: Pages: 166 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0236.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Economics
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-26 11:21:03
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Every Economics textbook today teaches that questions of values and morality lie outside of, are in fact excluded from, the field of Economics and its proper domain of study, “the economy.” Yet the dominant cultural and media narrative in response to major economic crisis is almost always one of moral outrage. How do we reconcile this tension or explain this paradox by which Economics seems to have both everything and nothing to do with values? The discipline of modern economics hypostatizes and continually reifies a domain it calls “the economy”; only this epistemic practice makes it possible to falsely separate the question of value from the broader inquiry into the economic. And only if we have first eliminated value from the domain of economics can we then transform stories of financial crisis or massive corporate corruption into simple tales of ethics. But if economic forces establish, transform, and maintain relations of value then it proves impossible to separate economics from questions of value, because value relations only come to be in the world by way of economic logics. This means that the “positive economics” spoken of so fondly in the textbooks is nothing more than a contradiction in terms, and as this book demonstrates, there’s no such thing as “the economy.” To grasp the basic logic of capital is to bring into view the unbreakable link between economics and value.

Rescuing Democracy

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ISBN: 9780998237503 Year: Pages: 518 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0153.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:35
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This book proposes a new institution — the ‘People’s Forum’ — to enable democratic governments to effectively address long-running issues like global warming and inequality. It would help citizens decide what strategic problems their government must fix, especially where this requires them to suffer some inconvenience or cost. The People’s Forum is first based on a new diagnosis of government failure in democracies. The book tests its own analyses of government failure by seeing whether these might help us to explain the failures of particular democracies to address (and in some cases, to even recognize) several crucial environmental problems. The essential features of a new design for democracy are described and then compared with those of previous institutional designs that were also intended to improve the quality of democratic government. In that comparison, the People’s Forum turns out to be not only the most effective design for developing and implementing competent policy, but also the easiest to establish and run. The latter advantage is crucial as there has been no success in getting previous designs into actual trial practice. It is hoped that this book may inspire a small group to raise the money to set up and run the People’s Forum. Then, as citizens see it operating and engage with it, they may come to regard the new Forum as essential in helping them to deliberate long-running issues and to get their resulting initiatives implemented by government. Smith also discusses how the People’s Forum must be managed and how groups with different political ideologies may react to it. An Afterword sets out the method by which this design was produced, to help those who might want to devise an institution themselves. The new concepts in environmental science that the book develops to test its diagnosis are applied in an Appendix to outline crucial options for the future of Tasmania. Similar options apply to many countries, states and provinces. As indicated above, those choices are currently beyond the capacity of democratic governments to address and in some cases, even to recognize. But the People’s Forum may lift them out of that morass.

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