Assorted Articles

I tend to tuck away articles on politics that interest me with a plan to share them once I have a chance to read again. They’ll pile up and become a gnarly backlog. Here are some that stood out from my current pile.

I tend to tuck away articles on politics that interest me with a plan to share them once I have a chance to read again. They’ll pile up and become a gnarly backlog. Here are some that stood out from my current pile.

It’s hard to shake the notion that it is impossible to be both a good person and a rich person. Diarmuid Pepper goes down a similar path in “Why do rich people lie, cheat and steal more than those on low incomes?

Far from being aware of the advantages they have had in life – they think that they succeed because they are the smartest, the hardest working or the most determined.

But why are they more likely to cheat, lie and to cut off pedestrians? And why are they less likely to give to charity?

It may be in part because they are cut off from the reality of poverty – living in an upper-class bubble. But primarily the researchers found that greed is actually viewed more favourably in upper-class communities.

Why do rich people lie, cheat and steal more than those on low incomes?

George Orwell was a complicated figure, but his insistance on pushing a more global view of social justice is worth remembering. In “How Orwell used wartime rationing to argue for global justice” Bruce Robbins looks at how Orwell was able to position wartime rationing as a way to forge common ground between the British and Indian peoples to rally work against Fascism.

There could be no anti-fascist solidarity unless the exploited Indians could believe that a more just distribution of the world’s resources was possible – that global inequality could be changed. The popularity of rationing proved that, with the right incentive, the citizens of the more prosperous countries were willing to live on less. If this had happened in wartime, it might also happen in peacetime. There were other ways to divide the pie. No law of nature or economics pegged British consumption and Indian consumption at a 12-to-one ratio forever.

How Orwell used wartime rationing to argue for global justice

For a last, light, bit of news, I was reminded that Trier has installed delightful cartoon Marx traffic lights. In “German city installs Karl Marx traffic lights” the BBC reported on the absolutely charming lights.

The philosopher and author of The Communist Manifesto was born in Trier in western Germany on 5 May 1818, and spent his first 17 years in the city.

The new set of traffic lights were unveiled on Monday and see Marx lit up in green and red.

“Trier is showing its colours for Marx,” Mayor Wolfram Leibe said.

German city installs Karl Marx traffic lights

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