Dear friends, tomorrow, #5 in my new series. This particular issue will be entitled – believe it or not – To Brexit or not to Brexit?
[It will be delivered by a former Cambridge don and will hence be worth carefully listening to]
First free access, then getting rid of money altogether
How do civilisations commit suicide?
The New York Times: One Giant Step for a Chess-Playing Machine, by Steven Strogatz, December 26th 2018
My comment :
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
I had a wonderful surprise when I registered for the international TransVision conference of the Transhumanist movement, that I would be invited to give a talk. Here it is.
How do we respond to the very real threat of the extinction of humankind? In Le dernier qui s’en va éteint la lumière (2016), I characterized this way of “soft”, at the limit of pure and simple denial, accompanied by the embarrassing requirement of its childish request that any attempt at a solution must, in order to be considered, prove that it will make a profit.
Guest post. The French version is here.
The generalisation of unemployment insurance to all entrepreneurs is a break with ordo-liberalism and a practical and paradigmatic entry into the universal knowledge-based economy. Work recognized as such by labour law is no longer defined as a subordination to an employer who is the sole owner of the surplus value, but as an investment by the individual entrepreneur in a production of potential surplus value for society as a whole. Continue reading Where is the French revolution on the move heading? by Pierre Sarton du Jonchay
Published here in French.
For ten years now, we have been hearing the same refrain from other European leaders to justify their procrastination towards the German authorities: “After the elections, things will be clearer”! However, from German election to German election, things are not clearer once the vote has been completed, but more turbulent and, from this point of view, we’ve hit the jackpot today. Let us draw the right conclusions: let us explain to Germany what we expect of it TODAY. That would be impossible because there is no government? nor a coalition? nor maybe even a chancellor? Let us take advantage of this: let us explain to each of the German parties what we expect from its nation, and from itself in particular, TODAY.
Comments can be made here.
José d’Acosta, a Jesuit, was a missionary in Peru and Mexico in the second half of the 16th century. His contact with the Aztec culture was the cause of his profound disarray. “What is the meaning of the abominable cruelty taking place every day in front of me?”, he wondered. One day, his enlightenment took place:”God, he said to himself, staged such a theater so that we could imagine what a world without him would be”.
Similarly, Mr. Donald Trump was given to us to prove the horror of a nation leader lacking all statesmanship. On the contrary, China for the past five years, and Saudi Arabia for a few hours now, show us the return of statesmanship at the head of the nation. Corruption causes a disruption to the functioning of human institutions and it is good practice to start their recovery by eradicating it.
Someone in the shade whispers to us:”These are but autocrats strengthening their power. Let’s give them a hard time! »
What’s the answer? José d’Acosta knew it no doubt:”Vade retro Satanas! »
Guest post. Also on his own blog.
China’s 19th Communist Party Congress ended Tuesday, marking the start of a new era led by President Xi Jinping that was catalyzed, in part, by President Donald Trump, Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University, told The New York Times. Trump’s “negative attitude toward liberal world trade and climate change” encouraged Xi to take the reins of world leadership, Shi said.
Guest post. Open to comments here.
Disloyalty or Dissent?
Political dissent is still evidently constitutionally defined as disloyalty in some instances in Spain. Is this a sound basis for the rule of law in a democracy? Discuss with reference to the Spanish constitution of 1978 and the founding principles of the European Union.
(Published in French on October 18th 2017 in Le Monde as Qu’est-ce qui met les Chinois de si bonne humeur ? and in L’Écho as L’exception chinoise)
It is hard to imagine that there would be today a people somewhere approving without any soul-searching the policy pursued by its government or the economic circumstances of the nation. We are thus stunned to hear that since 2010 over 80% of the Chinese people express the view that they are satisfied with the direction taken by their country. And here is not a statement more or less tinged with government propaganda as it shows in investigations carried out by the American think tank Pew Research Centre.
As may be readily gathered from the cartoon on the front page of today’s issue of The New European, which is what Brexiteers refer to as a Remoaning rag, the notion of halting the Brexit process appears to be gaining traction, at least among the chattering classes. How realistic might this prospect be, particularly in view of the fact that the talk in Blighty is actually overwhelmingly of softening Brexit rather than abandoning it?
Improbable though it may now seem, the supreme leader of the British was only recently reckoned by many of her (mostly southern) subjects to be a political magician who might well contrive to deliver what was conceived of in the heart of darkest England as a successful hard Brexit and thereby miraculously bring about the dawning of a new age of wondrous economic opportunity in a fondly imagined land of broad sunlit uplands, from the majestic summits of which the British would contemplate the impending ruin of the European empire from the oppressive bonds of which they had sagely managed to escape.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already declared that she is determined that there will be a further Scottish independence referendum and at a time chosen by the Scottish Parliament. Continue reading Where There’s a Will (Part 2), by Duncan Sutherland
Improbable though it may seem, it happens that Guy Verhofstadt, who is lead Brexit negotiator for the European Parliament, envisaged immediately after the UK EU referendum result that Scotland would be able to hold an independence referendum before Brexit took effect (such as the Scottish First Minister is proposing) so that that country might apply to remain within the EU if that was what its population wanted. Continue reading Where There’s a Will (Part 1), by Duncan Sutherland
On Sunday evening, when it had been fairly confidently expected that UK Prime Minister Theresa May would be invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon on Tuesday, thus initiating negotiations for the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union yesterday, news suddenly began to trickle in to the effect that there was to be a press conference at the official residence of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday, when an important announcement would be made.