Sunday , September 19 2021
Home / Naked Capitalism / 2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

Summary:
By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Bird Song of the Day An extended aria! * * * #COVID19 At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching…. We already start to an instant rebound from Labor Day, I assume because reporting is returning to normal. Nevertheless, Labor Day, as the end of summer, also signals life changes for Americans, so those changes will affect the numbers too. We shall see! Vaccination by region: 53.2% of the US is fully vaccinated, a big moment, bursting through the psychological 53% barrier (mediocre by world standards, being just below Ecuador, and just above Switzerland and Malaysia). Every day, a tenth of a percentage point upward. However, as

Topics:
Lambert Strether considers the following as important: ,

This could be interesting, too:

Lambert Strether writes 2:00PM Water Cooler 9/16/2021

Jerri-Lynn Scofield writes Links 9/16/2021

Jerri-Lynn Scofield writes New York Bans Sale of Fossil Fuel Vehicles From 2034 Onward

Jerri-Lynn Scofield writes Wolf Richter: Business Travel, Conventions, Office Occupancy Stuck in Collapse: Been so Long, People Forgot What Old Normal Was

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

An extended aria!

* * *

#COVID19

At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching….

We already start to an instant rebound from Labor Day, I assume because reporting is returning to normal. Nevertheless, Labor Day, as the end of summer, also signals life changes for Americans, so those changes will affect the numbers too. We shall see!

Vaccination by region:

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

53.2% of the US is fully vaccinated, a big moment, bursting through the psychological 53% barrier (mediocre by world standards, being just below Ecuador, and just above Switzerland and Malaysia). Every day, a tenth of a percentage point upward. However, as readers point out, every day those vaccinated become less protected, especially the earliest. So we are trying to outrun the virus… (I have also not said, because it’s too obvious, that if by Bubba we mean The South, then Bubba has done pretty well.)

Case count by United States regions:

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

Covid cases top ten states for the last four weeks:

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

Fresh-squeezed numbers from Florida.

NEW From CDC: “Community Profile Report September 7, 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties, this release:

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

It would be nice if all that lovely green were not a reporting artifact, but…. This map, too, blows the “Blame Bubba” narrative out of the water. Not a (Deliverance-style) banjo to be heard. Previous release:

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

(Red means getting worse, green means bad but getting better. This chart updates Tuesdays and Fridays, presumbly by end-of-day.)

Test positivity:

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

Hospitalization (CDC):

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

NEW Here the CDC’s hospitalization visualization, from the source above:

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

Deaths (Our World in Data):

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

We are now well past the peak of last year at this time. Which I am finding more than a little disturbing. (Adding: I know the data is bad. This is the United States. But according to The Narrative, deaths shouldn’t have been going up at all. Directionally, this is quite concerning. Needless to see, this is a public health debacle. It’s the public health establishment to take care of public health, not the health of certain favored political factions.)

Covid cases worldwide:

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

* * *

Politics

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Biden Administration

“An infrastructure plan in Congress could spur states to rethink how they allocate scarce transportation dollars. Separate provisions in the bill before the House seek to address controversies over spending on roads and bridges” [Wall Street Journal]. “The programs would seek to build better processes to direct funding and to provide data to help set priorities. The proposals show that lawmakers are still wrestling with how to scale up infrastructure spending while coping with criticism over earmarked funding for projects favored by politicians. One plan would offer $2 million grants to help planners determine funding in a more transparent way. The proposal is modeled on a program used in Virginia dubbed ‘Smart Scale’ that shows how the system can work—and how it can generate controversy. Backers say that having officials justify the reasoning behind their choices can allay concerns over the direction of spending.” • Hmm.

“The Health 202: Senate Democrats eye vouchers to speed up potential new Medicare benefits” [WaPo]. “Senate Democrats are toying with the idea of then sending some form of financial help for hearing, vision and dental services to Medicare enrollees, four people with knowledge of the situation tell Jeff and me. Discussions range from roughly $600 to $1,000, though sources cautioned details are still very much in flux…. The House Ways and Means Committee released its Medicare expansion bill yesterday — and it doesn’t include a mechanism to give all three benefits to millions of seniors next year. Instead, the legislation starts vision coverage in 2022, then hearing in 2023 and phases in dental care beginning in 2028.” • Idea: Tax credits!

Trump Legacy

“The Jolt: Fulton County investigation into Donald Trump moving forward” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. “The DA’s office is focusing on the Jan. 2 phone call Trump placed to [Secretary of State Brad] Raffensperger, in which he urged his fellow Republican to ‘find’ the votes to reverse Joe Biden’s win in Georgia. But the investigation also could extend to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who promoted lies about election fraud in a state legislative hearing; and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who was accused by Raffensperger of urging him to toss mail-in ballots in certain counties. Graham and Giuliani have denied any wrongdoing. It’s not clear how quickly the investigation is proceeding, but we’re told to expect significant developments within months.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Into the Fairy Castle: The Persistence of Victorian Liberalism” [American Affairs]. A Danish “West Wing,” Borgen. “Borgen, in sum, forms a set piece in the continuing liberal project of constructing a hyperreal world in which political identities serve only as props of self-construction. Integrity is obsolete: the viewers, like [Prime Minister] Birgitte [Nyborg], must have their cake and eat it too, casting themselves as moral exemplars who have simply grown too savvy and “realistic” to bother with actual morals. Why, after all, as some perspicacious viewers have asked, does Birgitte form a coalition with the parties of the Left, rather than with the center-right bloc with whom she seems to share more common ground? Why would a moderate leader reach out only in one ideological direction, rather than the more natural course of building outward from her own party’s middle position? The answer is the same reason that contemporary American ‘liber­als,’ though clearly in line with traditional middle-class thinking, still place themselves on the ideological left—namely, it enables one to identify with reformist causes while refusing to take any position inimical to middle-class interests…. Those who have endured this long examination of Borgen will hopefully recognize that we have considered the series not because it is socially impactful, but because it shines a light on a mentality and self-image that pervade the upper-middle classes in the modern West. Indeed, we must note that the currently growing “progressive” and “democratic socialist” Left shares most of the same fixations and proclivities as their liberal counterparts (many of whom are their own parents and teachers): obsessive cultivation of self-image and ‘identi­ty’; punctilious policing of ‘representation’ and the boundaries of polite speech; ecstatic identification with celebrity politicians; and enthusiasm for short-lived moral causes-célèbres. (Indeed, even the perverse projection of mother-daughter relations onto the screen of factional politics is so persistent that the most outspoken leftists in Congress can call the Speaker of the House their “mama bear.”) Nonetheless, certain salient differences emerge as well. Contemporary leftists by and large perceive society as an arena of contending material interests, and accept as a premise of electoral politics that parties and politicians ought to deliver tangible material benefits in return for votes. Even this most basic acknowledgment is anathema to the liberal center, threatening as it does the understanding of politics as a theater of pure self-actualization. …. A political structure is usually most inflexible when its foundations are under stress. The defenders of the liberal center-left persist—through victories and defeats alike—because success on the battlefield is less important to them than holding the center ground. Only from this position can the educated middle class defend its social position in the West, which it has taken centuries to attain. Liberalism’s con­tinuing tenacity, as it suppresses the tensions and contradictions at its base, can be understood only in light of the history of the social class whose haunted conscience it protects, and whose demons it attempts to keep at bay.” • Lengthy as the article is, it’s hard to cut…

“Democrats, Abortion and Phony Politics” [Margaret Kimberly, Black Agenda Report]. “Neither she nor anyone else in Democratic party leadership will ever acknowledge how badly they failed their people. They haven’t changed since 2016. They still hope to win by doing as little as they possibly can. The Texas law spawned hand wringing and foolish deification of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But like Clinton she bore responsibility for the makeup of the current Supreme Court. In 2013 Barack Obama asked the 80-year old, two-time cancer patient to step down, just in case Democrats lost control of the senate the following year. That is precisely what happened but truth telling doesn’t suit the political image makers. Even worse, the Democrats lie about their ability to protect abortion rights. They could pass the Women’s Health Protection Act which would make Roe v. Wade federal law and do away with all abortion restrictions across the country. They could have done this when Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had democratic control of both houses of congress and they can still do it now. Democrats have been lying about their ability to protect abortion rights for the past 30 years. The Democrats constantly treat their members as suckers. They raise millions of dollars claiming that they will stop the Republican onslaught against abortions or some other issue that is important to their voters.. The Women’s Health Protection Act could be passed now but any expectation of that happening is for the suckers to believe. The Democrats claim that it would be too hard to pass because of the filibuster, which they also do nothing about. Round and round they go, with nothing to show except excuses for their inaction. Meanwhile their paid mouth pieces in corporate media use every trick in their worn out playbook to keep the rank and file from noticing they have been conned yet again.” • I think this and the piece above translate to about the same thing….

“Your ‘personal choice’ not to get COVID vaccine is putting our ‘healthcare heroes’ at risk” [Miami Herald]. “On Friday, Gov. DeSantis actually uttered these incredible — and incorrect — words about the vaccine: ‘It’s about your health and whether you want that protection or not. It really doesn’t impact me or anyone else.'” • DeSantis is wrong, but I want to use this to pose a lateral question: Why can’t we reclassify greed as a sin? More to the point, for today’s social justice crowd, why don’t we classify greed as a micro-aggression?

Stats Watch

Economic Optimism: “United States IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index” [Trading Economics]. “The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index in the US plunged by 5.1 points to 48.5 in September 2021, the lowest since September last year and falling into pessimistic territory for the first time since December. Concerns about near-term prospects for the US economy mounted as the latest Covid wave pushes back the jobs recovery amid ebbing federal income supports…. The federal policies subindex, which reflect views of how well government economic policies are working, dropped 3.8 points to 49.1, turning negative for the first time since February.”

Employment Situation: “United States Job Openings” [Trading Economics]. “The number of job openings in the US rose by 749,000 from a month earlier to a new series high of 10.934 million in July 2021, and well above market expectations of 10.0 million, adding to signs of labor supply constraints. Job openings increased in several industries, with the largest gains in health care and social assistance [I’ll bet] (+294,000); finance and insurance (+116,000); and accommodation and food services (+115,000).”

* * *

Shipping: “Shipping industry proposes levy to speed up zero carbon future” [Reuters]. “With about 90% of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions and the sector is under growing pressure to get cleaner. For the first time, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Intercargo jointly proposed a levy based on mandatory contributions for each tonne of CO2 emitted from ships exceeding 5,000 gross tonnes and trading globally. The money collected would go into a climate fund that would be used to deploy bunkering infrastructure in ports around the world to supply cleaner fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia, according to the proposal.”

Manufacturing: “The world’s auto makers are moving to take greater control of a critical part of electric-vehicle supply chains. Toyota says it will spend $9 billion over the next decade to build factories for electric-car batteries…. making the Japanese manufacturer the latest in a growing field of car makers aiming to supply their own batteries” [Wall Street Journal]. “The investments by Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen are part of the high-stakes, high-cost efforts to build new supply chains for the raw materials and components that will go into a new generation of tech-heavy, emissions-slashing cars. Toyota has lagged behind its rivals on EVs, but the factory plan is part of significant new research and investment.”

Manufacturing: “Intel is investing heavily in efforts to expand and reset global semiconductor supply chains. The technology giant, which already has a fabrication site in Ireland, plans to spend $95 billion to build factories at an undisclosed site in Europe and will court auto makers among its customers. … [Wall Street Journal]. “[T]he company is responding to an international race to add manufacturing capacity during a global chip-supply crunch, and that the investment could expand still further. The factories would cater to meteoric demand for semiconductors as computers, cars and electronics become more dependent on chips. The expansion in Europe is part of Intel’s push to become a major contract chip maker, an effort that includes plans for a plant in Arizona. Asian manufacturers have their own aggressive expansion plans that include tens of billions of dollars over the next three years.”

Supply Chain: “How the pandemic turned humble shipping containers into the hottest items on the planet” [CNN]. “Roughly 18 months into the Covid-19 pandemic, global shipping is still in crisis, with backlogs looming over the peak holiday shopping period. One look at the market for steel shipping containers, and it’s clear that a return to normal won’t happen any time soon. Before the coronavirus hit, companies could rent a humble 20-foot or 40-foot box with relative ease, allowing them to move goods at a low cost. Containers have a lifespan of about 15 years before they’re recycled into low-cost storage or building solutions. But empty boxes remain scattered across Europe and North America, while supply chain delays mean even more are needed to fulfill orders. Demand for goods, meanwhile, has soared — giving the network of ships, containers and trucks that deliver merchandise around the world little time to catch up. It’s been a nightmare. As a result, containers have become incredibly scarce and extremely expensive. One year ago, companies would pay roughly $1,920 to book a 40-foot steel container on a standard route between China and Europe, according to data from Drewry, a maritime research consultancy. Now, firms are spending more than $14,000, an increase of more than 600%. Meanwhile, the cost of buying a container outright has effectively doubled.”

Supply Chain: “Consumer demand must ease to end supply chain crisis, says Maersk executive” [Financial Times]. “Morten Engelstoft, chief executive of Maersk-owned APM Terminals, said a ‘vicious circle’ had been created by surging demand putting strain on container groups, suppliers and logistics companies as they struggled to deliver goods. ‘We need to work out how we break this vicious circle,’ said the boss of APM, the ports and terminal division of the world’s biggest shipping group, in an interview with the Financial Times. ‘We need lower [consumer demand] growth to give the supply chain time to catch up, or differently spread out growth. Over a long period of time, we will need to recover efficiency.'” • Well, the United States can’t have a recession ’til after the midterms, at least.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 50 Neutral (previous close: 53 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 57 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 8 at 12:33pm.

The Biosphere

“20 meat and dairy firms emit more greenhouse gas than Germany, Britain or France” [Guardian (drumlin woodchuckles)]. “Twenty livestock companies are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than either Germany, Britain or France – and are receiving billions of dollars in financial backing to do so, according to a new report by environmental campaigners [Friends of the Earth]. “Between 2015 and 2020, global meat and dairy companies received more than US$478bn in backing from 2,500 investment firms, banks, and pension funds, most of them based in North America or Europe, according to the Meat Atlas, which was compiled by Friends of the Earth and the European political foundation, Heinrich Böll Stiftung. With that level of financial support, the report estimates that meat production could increase by a further 40m tonnes by 2029, to hit 366m tonnes of meat a year. Although the vast majority of growth was likely to take place in the global south, the biggest producers will continue to be China, Brazil, the USA and the members of the European Union. By 2029 these countries may still produce 60% of worldwide meat output. Across the world, the report says, three-quarters of all agricultural land is used to raise animals or the crops to feed them.” • Meat should be a condiment….

Health Care

“The Plan to Stop Every Respiratory Virus at Once” [The Atlantic]. “The scientists who recognized the threat of airborne coronavirus early did so because they spent years studying evidence that—contrary to conventional wisdom—common respiratory illnesses such as the flu and colds can also spread through the air. We’ve long accepted colds and flus as inevitable facts of life, but are they? Why not redesign the airflow in our buildings to prevent them, too? What’s more, says Raymond Tellier, a microbiologist at McGill University, SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely to be the last airborne pandemic. The same measures that protect us from common viruses might also protect us from the next unknown pathogen…. The challenge ahead is cost. Piping more outdoor air into a building or adding air filters both require more energy and money to run the HVAC system. (Outdoor air needs to be cooled, heated, humidified, or dehumidified based on the system; adding filters is less energy intensive but it could still require more powerful fans to push the air through.) For decades, engineers have focused on making buildings more energy efficient, and it’s “hard to find a lot of professionals who are really pushing indoor air quality,” Bahnfleth said. He has been helping set COVID-19 ventilation guidelines as chair of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force. The pushback based on energy usage, he said, was immediate. In addition to energy costs, retrofitting existing buildings might require significant modifications. For example, if you add air filters but your fans aren’t powerful enough, you’re on the hook for replacing the fans too.” • This is a must-read.

“Kids and COVID: why young immune systems are still on top” [Nature]. “Data collected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from hospitals across the country suggest that people under the age of 18 have accounted for less than 2% of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 — a total of 3,649 children between March 2020 and late August 2021. Some children do get very sick, and more than 420 have died in the United States, but the majority of those with severe illness have been adults — a trend that has been borne out in many parts of the world. This makes SARS-CoV-2 somewhat anomalous. For most other viruses, from influenza to respiratory syncytial virus, young children and older adults are typically the most vulnerable; the risk of bad outcomes by age can be represented by a U-shaped curve. But with COVID-19, the younger end of that curve is largely chopped off. It’s ‘absolutely remarkable’, says Kawsar Talaat, an infectious-disease physician at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. ‘One of the few silver linings of this pandemic is that children are relatively spared.’ … Research is beginning to reveal that the reason children have fared well against COVID-19 could lie in the innate immune response — the body’s crude but swift reaction to pathogens. Kids seem to have an innate response that’s ‘revved up and ready to go’, says Herold. But she adds that more studies are needed to fully support that hypothesis. The emergence of the Delta variant has made finding answers more urgent. Reports suggest that in the United States and elsewhere, children are starting to make up a larger proportion of reported infections and hospitalizations. These trends might be due to Delta’s high transmission rate and the fact that many adults are now protected by vaccines.” • I dunno. The transition from the happy talk in the headline to “has made finding answers more urgent” seems a little rough to me.

“Hospitalisation among vaccine breakthrough COVID-19 infections” [The Lancet]. A Comment: “Vaccination for SARS-CoV-2 is highly effective against infection with SARS-CoV-2 or hospitalisation with COVID-19. In our real-world assessment of patients admitted to hospital with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test, we found that nearly a fifth of patients had received at least one dose of the vaccine, and we observed that many patients had not completed the full vaccine course. The finding that more than a quarter of fully vaccinated patients admitted to hospital with SARS-CoV-2 were severely or critically ill with COVID-19 could be reflective of numerous factors, including the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants that might confer decreased vaccine effectiveness and an ineffective immune response mounted against vaccines among those with comorbidities—eg, older age, overweight, and use of immunosuppressive agents.” • Hmm.

“Efficacy of Portable Air Cleaners and Masking for Reducing Indoor Exposure to Simulated Exhaled SARS-CoV-2 Aerosols — United States, 2021” [Morbidity and Mortality Report, CDC]. “A simulated infected meeting participant who was exhaling aerosols was placed in a room with two simulated uninfected participants and a simulated uninfected speaker. Using two HEPA air cleaners close to the aerosol source reduced the aerosol exposure of the uninfected participants and speaker by up to 65%. A combination of HEPA air cleaners and universal masking reduced exposure by up to 90%.”

“Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?” [International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health]. A meta-study. From the Abstract: “Up until now, there has been no comprehensive investigation as to the adverse health effects masks can cause. The aim was to find, test, evaluate and compile scientifically proven related side effects of wearing masks. For a quantitative evaluation, 44 mostly experimental studies were referenced, and for a substantive evaluation, 65 publications were found. The literature revealed relevant adverse effects of masks in numerous disciplines. In this paper, we refer to the psychological and physical deterioration as well as multiple symptoms described because of their consistent, recurrent and uniform presentation from different disciplines as a Mask-Induced Exhaustion Syndrome (MIES). We objectified evaluation evidenced changes in respiratory physiology of mask wearers with significant correlation of O2 drop and fatigue (p NPR]. • Interesting on grant-making.

Naked Capitalism Cooking Community™

“Dumpling Digest: Tasting the Rainbow, Part 1” [Above the Fold]. Part 2. “This series will take a look at the modern rainbow dumpling landscape, from the major restaurants that have parlayed multi-hued parcels into ultra-successful businesses, to the bloggers and small businesses working magic with everything from black carrot powder to beet puree. I’ll also share recommended recipes for making your own at home.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“The Poetic Justice of Amanda Gorman’s Estée Lauder Contract” [New York Times]. “Ms. Gorman will become the first Estée Lauder “Global Changemaker” — as opposed to, say, spokeswoman or ambassador or “face,” though she will also be all of the above. That’s not just a semantic shift, but one that reflects a different balance of power in the current consumer reality, in which the influence of real people can carry more weight than the purely transactional nature of the celebrity model relationship, and where substance is particularly prized, as for-profit companies feel an imperative to prove they stand for something more than simply — well, profit. For at least the next three years, she will represent Estée Lauder’s flagship brand in ad campaigns and speaking events, just like, say, Liz Hurley (the global ambassador of The Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Campaign) and Carolyn Murphy (an Estée Lauder brand Global Brand Ambassador). But she will also work with the company on the corporate level to create Writing Change, a set of grants worth $3 million to promote literacy among girls and women — and with it access to equity and social change. The first recipients will be announced later this year. If all goes well, the relationship could be renewed again and again. (Estée Lauder declined to say how much it is paying Ms. Gorman, though her salary is on top of the philanthropic investment.)” • This fits so closely with Adolph Reeds examination of the figure of “the black ‘voice'” so closely it hurts. (See 2018’s “The Trouble with Uplift,” always worth a reading.)

Class Warfare

“Who’s Raking Off All Your Awful Office Meetings?” [Inequality.org]. ” Information Age theorists tend to see corporate hierarchies as anachronistic, easily disposable hangovers from bygone days of Industrial Age command-and-control. But corporate hierarchies still serve a real purpose in our new Information Age. They amount, in essence, to income-maintenance programs for top executives. Peter Drucker, the father of modern management theory, understood this income-maintenance dynamic years before anyone else. In any hierarchy, Drucker noted in 1982, every level of bureaucracy must be compensated at a higher rate than the level below. The more levels, the higher the pay at the top. Hierarchies would remain appealing to executives, he argued, so long as they prop up and push up executive pay. His solution? To make hierarchies less appealing to executives, Drucker suggested, limit executive pay. No corporate executives, Drucker wrote, should be allowed to make more than 20 times their worker compensation. In 2005, upon Drucker’s death at age 95, obituaries hailed his enormous contribution to modern management science. His ideas, one analyst told the Financial Times, “have become part and parcel of today’s commonsense understanding of business.” But corporations before and since have studiously ignored Drucker’s wisdom on limiting the gap between chief executive and worker pay.”

“Anarchism Shaped David Graeber. Then He Shaped Anarchism” [Novara Media]. “Central to [Graeber’s] interpretation [of anarchism] – and also to the antiglobalisation movement itself – were two concepts: direct democracy and prefigurative politics. Direct democracy is a mode of social organisation in which every citizen votes on all important decisions. As Graeber himself puts it: ‘It is about creating and enacting horizontal networks instead of top-down structures like states, parties or corporations; networks based on principles of decentralized, non-hierarchical consensus democracy.’ While prefigurative politics is the act of behaving in a way that reflects your political values…. Prefigurative politics was at the core of Graeber’s anarchism – he believed that it was “something you do not an identity”. His politics was rooted in practice; it was about demonstrating the viability of anarchist principles, not through theory, but through living them out in your daily life. For Graeber, there was no particular set of social conditions needed for social revolution; we just had to start and dare the state to stop us. Rather than struggling for some far-off anarchist future, he argued that we should be creating the kind of anarchist spaces we wanted to see in the present. Perhaps the best example of this can be found in Graeber’s participation in, and influence on the Occupy Wall Street movement, which adopted several modes of organisation he had written about, including direct democracy and prefigurative politics. Spokescouncils, consensus decision-making and affinity groups – all anarchist modes of organising – were key organisational structures in the movement; while the camps themselves, which Graeber helped to organise, were essentially anarchist spaces established and operated without a centralised authority.”

“Karl Kautsky as Architect of the October Revolution” [Jacobin]. “In the aftermath of the February Revolution, the Bolshevik party as a whole emerged from the underground with Kautsky’s tactical advice in their political DNA: enlist the peasantry as a revolutionary ally, and do not deviate from militant anti-agreementism. From the very beginning of the revolution, the Bolsheviks acted on this advice and as a result they were accurately perceived as distinctive by all actors on the political scene. (Many people want to believe that the Bolsheviks were not anti-agreementist until Lenin presented his April Theses upon his return to Russia. I have documented the problems with this view elsewhere, but the issue has no bearing on the present discussion. Date Bolshevik anti-agreementism from early April if you wish!)” • The word “agreementism” is new to me: “Of particular interest to the Bolsheviks was Kautsky’s condemnation of any kind of political “agreements” (soglasheniia) with liberal or democrat reformers. I give the Russian translation of “agreement,” because in 1917 the rejection of “agreementism” (soglashatelstvo) became central to the Bolshevik message, as we shall see. Zinoviev (undoubtedly speaking for Lenin in this instance) cited Kautsky as an authority on this issue.”

Good question:

The same way the “Friends” could afford theirs, I would say.

News of the Wired

No:

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (GlennF):

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

GlennF writes: “This bull thistle (see attached) popped up after heavy rains here in AZ. It is pretty but is considered dangerously invasive in our area. If you look carefully to the right of the central bud/flower, there is a green preying mantis.” I am here for most invasive plants, but definitely not thistles.

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated.

2:00PM Water Cooler 9/8/2021

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!2:00PM Water Cooler 6/8/2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.