Before Doug Henwood announced yesterday that his venerable mailing list described as a "forum for the discussion of economics, politics, and culture from a broad left perspective" was shutting down, I admit that I was unsure whether lbo-talk was still going, with so few messages hitting my inbox that I was genuinely unsure whether or not it had quietly vanished. (The website for the Left Business Observer it was named after tersely notes that periodical ceasing its increasingly erratic publication seven years ago, and the actual content hasn't been updated since Barack Obama's candidacy.) Yet while he insists that "lbo-talk has said enough" and is enough of a Marxist to quote Karl that "Last words are for fools who haven't said enough" I am enough of a foolish Bakuninist to note that, as moribund as it was in its later years, its extensive archives offer a lively chronicle of the early-Internet left through the Battle of Seattle, 9/11 and beyond.
Both the content and the style offer many lessons for younger comrades who only know a slicker but inhibited Internet dominated by corporate social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. And that includes comrades far outside the realm of stereotypical hard leftists and their fellow travelers, given that the old threads even contain some kind words for Reason magazine's Nick Gillespie and Jesse Walker, Ayn Rand scholar Chris Matthew Sciabarra, or Lew Rockwell of The Mises Institute (who was even on Henwood's radio show back in the days when George W. Bush provided a common enemy). To quote another sort-of-Marxist leftist's famous last words, "Don't waste any time mourning," but some time spent in lbo-talk's archives may lay ground for its successors (well, besides the one it already has).
Thursday, January 16, 2020
|The Russians were going to have come in 2010!|
|This image is a rerun, but so is the content it's illustrating.|
"Reducing costs" in the Queens Examiner (and the other outlets in the Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star Newspaper Group) asks free-market advocates to stop brushing aside concerns about "materialism, social inequality and economic instability" and instead start pointing out how economic freedom can address them. If you've wondered why your local paper doesn't have quotes from 19th century left-populist free market economists, it may be because you aren't writing them in! (And yes, this letter is basically an abridgment of one of my old C4SS pieces, but since they haven't bothered to try to get newspapers to run their stuff since 2016, I may as well follow the wisdom of Abbott and Costello: "If there's anything else I want you to do, I'll do it myself!")
Thursday, January 02, 2020
|"THE YEAR IS 2019. America's finest men don't run for President."|
... my troubles definitely weren't far away, but it was a day of several significant milestones:
- all of the events of Akira, Blade Runner and The Running Man were finally all definitively set in the past of 2019 and before;
- it was the 9th anniversary of me joining Twitter;
- it was the 10th anniversary of my blog comrades Darian Worden and Tom Knapp getting hired/promoted to do good work at the Center for the Stateless Society (Darian wound up penning around 100 commentaries while I've only managed about a third as many, let alone Tom's 250+);
- the belated growth of the public domain that began (after a twenty-year hiatus imposed by retroactive copyright extensions) with the lapsing of 1923 copyrights a year ago continued for works published in 1924.