Aid payments are dwarfed by what’s lost to spurious debts, profit extraction, and dodgy invoicing, but help to feed a narrative of the industriousness and benevolence of developed countries.

“What this means is that the usual development narrative has it backwards. Aid is effectively flowing in reverse. Rich countries aren’t developing poor countries; poor countries are developing rich ones.”

In other words, for every $1 of aid that developing countries receive, they lose $24 in net outflows

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/jan/14/aid-in-reverse-how-poor-countries-develop-rich-countries

Quoted Flying Blind (Logic Magazine)
Techno-utopianism isn’t the answer, in other words. Neither is techno-dystopianism. The internet once embodied our hopes for a harmonious future. Now it offers a convenient punching bag for our despair about the present. But technology doesn’t automatically generate justice or injustice. The outcomes it generates depend on who owns the machines, and how they’re engineered. Utopia may never arrive. But technology can make the world more just—if we find the right ways to organize and operate it.

Right on.

Quoted An economy that works by Tim Jackson (CUSP)
Prosperity itself transcends material concerns. It isn’t just about earning more and having more. It has vital social and psychological dimensions. To do well is in part about our ability to give and receive love, to enjoy the respect of our peers, to contribute useful work, to feel secure, to have a sense of belonging and trust in our community. Prosperity consists in our ability to participate meaningfully in the life of society. All the things, in short, that had gone missing for ordinary people over recent decades.

the ‘increasing role of financial motives, financial markets, financial actors and financial institutions in the operation of the domestic and international economies’

http://www.ippr.org/publications/definancialisation-a-democratic-reformation-of-finance

“One of the most worrying long-term consequences of financialisation is the reduction in the capacity of democratic states to meet the demands of their citizens over the demands imposed on them by financial and corporate institutions, institutions which are increasingly free from the responsibilities that were imposed upon them by confident social democracies in the middle of the last century.”

http://www.ippr.org/publications/definancialisation-a-democratic-reformation-of-finance

 

 

Bookmarked 'Progressive Alliance' is now the only alternative to the Tories
Thanks to the UK's crazy 'first past the post' electoral system, there's only way the UK can end austerity and neoliberal government in the next general election, writes Rupert Read: if centre and left parties join in a Progressive Alliance that represents the majority of voters.

Progressive alliance seems like the best hope of averting another 5 years of the Conservatives on June 8th.  Is it feasible?

The Green Party election broadcast for the upcoming local government elections flags the refugee crisis, NHS, inequality, climate change, lack of investment in renewables, as key issues.  Important issues, but not really issues that local government has much say over?  I also would like the video to focus a little more on the very positive and progressive policies that the Greens have, rather than just saying what is currently wrong.  But maybe that doesn’t fit so well into a short election broadcast.

Bookmarked On Algorithmic Communism
Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’s Inventing the Future argues that the contemporary left must revive its historically central mission of imaginative engagement with futurity. It must refuse the all-too-easy trap of dismissing visions of technological and social progress as neoliberal fantasies. It must seize the contemporary moment of increasing technological sophistication to demand a post-scarcity future where people are no longer obliged to be workers; where production and distribution are democratically delegated to a largely automated infrastructure; where people are free to fish in the afternoon and criticize after dinner. It must combine a utopian imagination with the patient organizational work necessary to wrest the future from the clutches of hegemonic neoliberalism.

Good review of Inventing the Future.