Sunday, February 20, 2005

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD


Wanted to welcome a neophyte blogger to the blogosphere (are we calling our "left" nook Blogovia or Blogistan these days, I forget: Freiheit Und Wissen. For those of you who don't speak German, this translates to Freedom and Wisdom (I'm guessing here, I don't speak German either). C.N. Todd is a philosophy grad student and, from what I can gather, an armchair political junkie ranging from left to left of left on the spectrum. His postings are a combination of blog syntheses and keen, original insights that can only be mustered by someone who spends his time thinking about the interstitial logic between our shared linguistics. (Please don't deconstruct me).

I also wanted to highligh a couple of additions to the Beyond Economic Globalization reading list (see "IDEAS" heading to the right):

Fred Block's book, Origins of the International Economic Disorder, is old and apparently out of print (though available used for quite cheap). But it is one of the best works on the collapse (or perhaps torpedoing by the Nixon administration) of the post-war Bretton Woods international monetary order. It should be no surprise to anyone, save the most devout Hayekian, that a given international financial system is the outcome of strategic economic statecraft and competition among national governments to maximize their exercise of power vis a vis one another. Yes, the liberalized global economy we all know and love is a product of state power. Thus, the outcome achieved by this contest of power imposes an "order" upon the world financial system. Or in this case, engineered disorder that promotes the global projection of American capital and military force. Block's study--actually derived from his doctoral dissertation--lends valuable insight to the political economy of international monetary relations.

The other notable addition to the list (by which I mean the other addition to the list) is Paul Sweezy's Theory of Capitalist Development. So you want to learn about classical Marxist economic theory without slogging through antiquated nineteenth century texts? This is your book. It's all here: historical materialism, labor theory of value, crisis theory, imperialism, and so on. In three words, lucid and thorough.

P.S. Don't forget to rate the reading list. I'm told by inside sources that ratings are one of the criteria used by Amazon's algorithm to determine which listmania lists pop up when people search for keywords at Amazon. Better people see this than (retch) Cato's free trade circle jerk reading list.

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