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Articles by Sandwichman

Happy 155th Birthday to volume one of Capital

9 days ago

Happy 155th Birthday to volume one of Capital!

In his 1965 farewell lecture at Brandeis University, Herbert Marcuse read a long passage from the Grundrisse’s “fragment on machines” and then observed: “But Marx himself has repressed this vision, which now appears as his most realistic, his most amazing insight!”

In Time, Labor and Social Domination, published 28 years later, Moishe Postone addressed the same section from the Grundrisse and commented:

These passages do not represent utopian visions that later were excluded from Marx’s more “sober” analysis in Capital but are a key to understanding that analysis; they provide the point of departure for a reinterpretation of the basic categories of Marx’ s mature critique that can overcome the

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Happy 155th Birthday to volume one of Capital!

10 days ago

In his 1965 farewell lecture at Brandeis University, Herbert Marcuse read a long passage from the Grundrisse’s "fragment on machines" and then observed: “But Marx himself has repressed this vision, which now appears as his most realistic, his most amazing insight!"In Time Labor and Social Domination, published 28 years later, Moishe Postone addressed the same section from the Grundrisse and commented:These passages do not represent utopian visions that later were excluded from Marx’s more "sober" analysis in Capital but are a key to understanding that analysis; they provide the point of departure for a reinterpretation of the basic categories of Marx’ s mature critique that can overcome the limits of the traditional Marxist paradigm.Who was right? Did Marx repress his most amazing insight

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Abraham Lincoln quoting Thomas Jefferson on judicial despotism and oligarchy

July 8, 2022

Abraham Lincoln quoting Thomas Jefferson on judicial despotism and oligarchy

At Springfield, Illinois, July 17, 1858

Now, as to the Dred Scott decision; for upon that he [Douglas] makes his last point at me. He boldly takes ground in favor of that decision.

This is one-half the onslaught, and one-third of the entire plan of the campaign. I am opposed to that decision in a certain sense, but not in the sense which he puts on it. I say that in so far as it decided in favor of Dred Scott’s master and against Dred Scott and his family, I do not propose to disturb or resist the decision.

I never have proposed to do any such thing. I think, that in respect for judicial authority, my humble history would not suffer in a comparison with that of

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Abraham Lincoln quoting Thomas Jefferson on judicial despotism and oligarchy

July 6, 2022

At Springfield, Illinois, July 17, 1858Now, as to the Dred Scott decision; for upon that he [Douglas] makes his last point at me. He boldly takes ground in favor of that decision.This is one-half the onslaught, and one-third of the entire plan of the campaign. I am opposed to that decision in a certain sense, but not in the sense which he puts on it. I say that in so far as it decided in favor of Dred Scott’s master and against Dred Scott and his family, I do not propose to disturb or resist the decision.I never have proposed to do any such thing. I think, that in respect for judicial authority, my humble history would not suffer in a comparison with that of Judge Douglas. He would have the citizen conform his vote to that decision; the Member of Congress, his; the President, his use of

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There is so little real friendship in the world!

June 1, 2022

On April 27 a bot began viewing one post on EconoSpeak every five minutes. It continued to do so until yesterday when I reverted the post to draft. That’s 288 fake views every day for a little over a month. Looking back at overall EconoSpeak traffic there are unexplained spikes that occur every two months or so. Tens of thousands of "views" suddenly appear out of the blue. There is so little real friendship in the world.

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The Cultural Marxism – Conservative Christian Consensus on America’s Culture of Violence

May 31, 2022

The Cultural Marxism – Conservative Christian Consensus on America’s Culture of Violence

Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence by Henry Giroux, January 10, 2016:

Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of violence cannot be abstracted from either the culture of business or the corruption of politics. Violence runs through US society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all cultural sources, whether it be the nightly news or a television

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The “Red” Roots of the U.S. National Security State

May 31, 2022

During the time he was drafting collective bargaining legislation for the National Industrial Recovery Act in July 1933, Leon Keyserling wrote to his father: Under a capitalistic society, the same people who profited by the anarchy are likely to work most of the controls, and in the same stupidly selfish and self-destructive manner. Without revolution which transfers power to the workers and sets up a socialized state, little will be gained. But the establishment of controls and the centralization of authority make the revolution more likely, because the excesses of the capitalists will become so great and their abuses so violent that the reaction will be terrific.In February 1934, he wrote the following in a letter to his father:I am very much afraid that the country is recovering too

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An Army of All-American Paramilitary Death-Squad Soloists

May 30, 2022

An Army of All-American Paramilitary Death-Squad Soloists

In their 2014 Super Bowl ad (declined by the NFL), Daniel Defense, the AR-15 merchants of death, EXPLICITLY tied a ‘paramilitary army-of-one’ motif to its role as a military-industrial complex supplier. A man arrives home — presumably from a tour of duty — and enters the house past a conspicuously displayed, framed photo of him in his Marine uniform. Behind that photo is another photo with a wide frame labeled “FAMILY… they are always…” the last words are hidden behind the photo of the Marine. 

He walks into the next room where his wife is folding baby clothes and they hug. His voice over narrative: “And my family’s safety is my highest priority. I am responsible for their

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The Cultural Marxism – Conservative Christian Consensus on America’s Culture of Violence

May 28, 2022

Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence by Henry Giroux, January 10, 2016:Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of violence cannot be abstracted from either the culture of business or the corruption of politics. Violence runs through US society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all cultural sources, whether it be the nightly news or a television series that glorifies serial killers.Mass Shootings: The Vicious Cycle Fueled By America’s Toxic Cult of Violence by John W. and Nisha

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And Babies?

May 28, 2022

And Babies?

Uvalde = My Lai. This is not hyperbole. War crimes are an inevitable byproduct of war. Mass shootings are an inevitable byproduct of militarism and a militarized culture. 

The same political process that led to and perpetuated the war in Vietnam continues to perpetuate the slaughter of innocents in American schools, supermarkets, nightclubs, subways, and synagogues.

It is not just the “extreme right” doing this. It is the cultural consequence of the political aspects of full employment. It is the result of the pursuit of full employment through a perpetual war economy, as Michal Kalecki warned about 80 years ago. I posted Kalecki’s Political Aspects of Full Employment to EconoSpeak in 14 installments 13 years ago. If anybody wants

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An Army of All-American Paramilitary Death-Squad Soloists

May 27, 2022

In their 2014 Super Bowl ad (declined by the NFL), Daniel Defense, the AR-15 merchants of death, EXPLICITLY tied a ‘paramilitary army-of-one’ motif to its role as a military-industrial complex supplier. A man arrives home — presumably from a tour of duty — and enters the house past a conspicuously displayed, framed photo of him in his Marine uniform. Behind that photo is another photo with a wide frame labeled "FAMILY… they are always…" the last words are hidden behind the photo of the Marine. He walks into the next room where his wife is folding baby clothes and they hug. His voice over narrative: "And my family’s safety is my highest priority. I am responsible for their protection."  [embedded content]The two of them then walk over and peek into the baby’s room. Baby is awake so

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And Babies?

May 26, 2022

Uvalde = My Lai. This is not hyperbole. War crimes are an inevitable byproduct of war. Mass shootings are an inevitable byproduct of militarism and a militarized culture. The same political process that led to and perpetuated the war in Vietnam continues to perpetuate the slaughter of innocents in American schools, supermarkets, nightclubs, subways, and synagogues.It is not just the "extreme right" doing this. It is the cultural consequence of the political aspects of full employment. It is the result of the pursuit of full employment through a perpetual war economy, as Michal Kalecki warned about 80 years ago. I posted Kalecki’s Political Aspects of Full Employment to EconoSpeak in 14 installments 13 years ago. If anybody wants to argue "we’re not really doing that," please explain to me

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American Impotence

May 25, 2022

"The evenly-divided Senate approved the legislation – formally known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – on Wednesday in an 88-11 vote, garnering strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. The House of Representatives passed it by 363-70 last week."Do Americans really think politicians who eagerly approved a $777 billion military industrial complex bill by an 8-1 margin in the Senate and a 5-1 margin in the House will "do something" about civilian gun violence? Democrats and Republicans have their priorities on which they are unequivocally "bipartisan."

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Goats and Dogs: Eco-Fascism and Liberal Taboos

May 15, 2022

UPDATE (May 15, 2022):I started reading Buffalo shooter’s manifesto expecting the same eco-fascism/green nationalism type language we saw in the El Paso and Christchurch shooters’ manifestos and sure enough: “green nationalism is the only true nationalism” pic.twitter.com/Pbb81Y6EMj— Tad DeLay (@taddelay) May 15, 2022When remembered at all, Edward Abbey is mostly thought of as an environmentalist and anarchist but there is no gainsaying the racism and xenophobia on display in his 1983 essay, "Immigration and Liberal Taboos." The opinion piece was originally solicited by the New York Times, which ultimately declined to publish it — or to pay him the customary kill fee. It was subsequently rejected by Harper’s, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Mother Jones and

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Remember the Sabbath Day…

May 6, 2022

…to keep it holy.In The Big Lebowski, Walter Sobchak does not f***ing roll on Shabbos. Why not? The Old Testament gave two rationales for observing the Sabbath. The first, in Exodus, was that God created the earth in six days and on the seventh, He rested. Deuteronomy gave a different rational: And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord your God took you out from there with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm; therefore, the Lord, your God, commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.Reading Sigmund Freud’s Moses and Monotheism in the early 1980s, I became convinced that the story about the golden calf and Moses’s two forays up Mount Sinai suggested that the second set of tablets could not have contained the same text as the first. Thus the

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Channeling Great Grandfather Mayer May

April 27, 2022

Channeling Great Grandfather Mayer May

Mayer May was born in Bavaria in 1848 and immigrated to the United States in 1869 when he was 21 years old. Bavaria had universal military conscription at age 21. I was born in 1948 and immigrated to Canada in 1967 to resist the draft.

Over the years, I have experienced intense fascination regarding certain topics. For example, in the early eighties, I was intrigued by the story of Moses at Mount Sinai and was convinced that the second set of stone tablets must not have contained the same text as the first because there were abundant clues in the book of Exodus that they weren’t the same.

I was very attracted to the writings of Walter Benjamin, whose “Program for a Proletarian Children’s Theater” was the

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Channeling Great Grandfather Mayer May

April 26, 2022

Mayer May was born in Bavaria in 1848 and immigrated to the United States in 1869 when he was 21 years old. Bavaria had universal military conscription at age 21. I was born in 1948 and immigrated to Canada in 1967 to resist the draft.Over the years, I have experienced intense fascination regarding certain topics. For example, in the early eighties, I was intrigued by the story of Moses at Mount Sinai and was convinced that the second set of stone tablets must not have contained the same text as the first because there were abundant clues in the book of Exodus that they weren’t the same.I was very attracted to the writings of Walter Benjamin, whose "Program for a Proletarian Children’s Theater" was the focus of the last chapter of my Master’s thesis. The last numbered paragraph of the

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The Legend of Rabbi “Moses” May

April 20, 2022

Rabbi Mayer MaySandwichman’s maternal great-grandfather, Rabbi Mayer May, was rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon from 1872 to 1880. According to newspaper reports, on October 1, 1880, Rabbi M. May was involved in an altercation with A. Waldman, during which he fired two shots from a pistol, neither of which struck his assailant.The incident occurred on Front Street, near the Esmond Hotel where U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes was staying during his historic 71-day tour of the West. For some years, Rabbi May had been embroiled in doctrinal disputes with some members of his congregation as he tried to introduce the Reform Jewish prayer book, which several Orthodox members resisted. Waldman was one of the dissidents and had leveled charges of impropriety and immorality

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The Obsolescence of Nostalgia

April 11, 2022

The Obsolescence of Nostalgia

As the crow flies, it is around 200 kilometers from Michilimakinac, where Kandiaronk’s Wyandot people settled in 1671, when he was around twenty years old, to Tehkummah on Manitoulin Island where Isabel Paterson was born 215 years later. 

It gets even cozier because the Wyandot had been displaced from the south shore of Georgian Bay by the Iroquois Five Nations, who around the same time also displaced the Oddawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi people from Manitoulin Island. The latter three tribes formed the Council of Three Fires, which also relocated to Michilimakinac and formed alliances with the Wyandot and other tribes.

One of the threads that I am weaving derives from David Graeber’s and David Wengrow’s account of

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The Obsolescence of Nostalgia

April 9, 2022

As the crow flies, it is around 200 kilometers from Michilimakinac, where Kandiaronk’s Wyandot people settled in 1671, when he was around twenty years old, to Tehkummah on Manitoulin Island where Isabel Paterson was born 215 years later. It gets even cozier because the Wyandot had been displaced from the south shore of Georgian Bay by the Iroquois Five Nations, who around the same time also displaced the Oddawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi people from Manitoulin Island. The latter three tribes formed the Council of Three Fires, which also relocated to Michilimakinac and formed alliances with the Wyandot and other tribes.One of the threads that I am weaving derives from David Graeber’s and David Wengrow’s account of how Kandiaronk’s (or Kondiaronk’s) criticisms of European customs became the

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The Elixir of Commerce

April 4, 2022

The Elixir of Commerce

McCulloch, J. R. (John Ramsay). Outlines of political economy: being a republication of the article upon that subject contained in the Edinburgh Supplement to the Encyclopedia Britannica: together with notes explanatory and critical, and a summary of the science / by John M’Vickar. New York, 1825. The Making Of The Modern World. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.

Rasbotham, Dorning. Thoughts on the Use of Machines in the Cotton Manufacture. Addressed to the working people in that manufacture, and to the poor in general. Manchester. 1780. The Making Of The Modern World. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.Wennerlind, Carl. “Credit-Money as the Philosopher’s Stone: Alchemy and the Coinage Problem in Seventeenth-Century England.” History of Political Economy,

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‘A Certain Quantity of Labour to be Performed’

April 3, 2022

The Moral Philosophers’ Stone: A Compleat History of ‘A Certain Quantity of Labour to be Performed’

Two weeks ago Back in 2011 a hunch about Charles Dickens and Edward Carleton Tufnell led me to the discovery of what I surmised might be the prototype of the idea that has come to be known to economists as “the lump of labor.” To my surprise, it was a subtle and articulate defense by a fairly prominent early 19th-century political economist of the proposition that “…there is a certain quantity of work to be done; and this quantity, generally speaking, does not admit of being much extended, merely on the temptation of labour being offered at a cheaper rate…”

The author was the Scottish church leader, Thomas Chalmers, whose neglected 1808 treatise

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The Road to Serfdom and Rand

April 2, 2022

The Road to SerfRanddom

I have always enjoyed chapter 10 of Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom — “Why the worst get on top.” Always referring to the last quarter century or so since I first read it. Hayek’s argument struck me immediately as  watertight but I was puzzled that he seemed to exempt his own preferred collective from his argument. Maybe he just wanted to slip it past the unwary?

Individuals may be individuals but individualists are a collective. Harold Rosenberg coined a fine phrase for such collectives: “the herd of independent minds.” Whether we call it capitalism or free enterprise, the individualist’s Utopia meets Hayek’s definition of collectivism: “The ‘social goal,’ or ‘common purpose,’ for which society is to be organized is

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The Road to SerfRanddom

April 1, 2022

I have always enjoyed chapter 10 of Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom — "Why the worst get on top." Always referring to the last quarter century or so since I first read it. Hayek’s argument struck me immediately as  watertight but I was puzzled that he seemed to exempt his own preferred collective from his argument. Maybe he just wanted to slip it past the unwary?Individuals may be individuals but individualists are a collective. Harold Rosenberg coined a fine phrase for such collectives: "the herd of independent minds." Whether we call it capitalism or free enterprise, the individualist’s Utopia meets Hayek’s definition of collectivism: "The ‘social goal,’ or ‘common purpose,’ for which society is to be organized is usually vaguely described as the ‘common good,’ the ‘general welfare,’

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The Elixir of Commerce

April 1, 2022

McCulloch, J. R. (John Ramsay). Outlines of political economy : being a republication of the article upon that subject contained in the Edinburgh Supplement to the Encyclopedia Britannica : together with notes explanatory and critical, and a summary of the science / by John M’Vickar. New-York, 1825. The Making Of The Modern World. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.Rasbotham, Dorning. Thoughts on the Use of Machines in the Cotton Manufacture. Addressed to the working people in that manufacture, and to the poor in general. Manchester. 1780. The Making Of The Modern World. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.Wennerlind, Carl. "Credit-Money as the Philosopher’s Stone: Alchemy and the Coinage Problem in Seventeenth-Century England." History of Political Economy, Volume 35, Annual Supplement, 2003, pp. 234-261.Dorning

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The Moral Philosophers’ Stone: A Compleat History of ‘A Certain Quantity of Labour to be Performed’

April 1, 2022

Two weeks ago Back in 2011 a hunch about Charles Dickens and Edward Carleton Tufnell led me to the discovery of what I surmised might be the prototype of the idea that has come to be known to economists as "the lump of labor." To my surprise, it was a subtle and articulate defense by a fairly prominent early 19th century political economist of the proposition that "…there is a certain quantity of work to be done; and this quantity, generally speaking, does not admit of being much extended, merely on the temptation of labour being offered at a cheaper rate…" The author was the Scottish church leader, Thomas Chalmers, whose neglected 1808 treatise on "the Extent and Stability of Natural Resources" has been described by A. M. C. Waterman as a "missing link" between T. R. Malthus and

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The Most Evil Rant in Aynkind’s History

March 31, 2022

The Most Evil Rant in Aynkind’s History

n previous posts, I discussed the Senate confirmation hearings plagiarism by Keisha Russell of a Washington Post column by Marc Thiessen and the shoddy scholarship of the former history professor, Allen C. Guelzo that underwrote the bizarre claim that “critical race theory is a subset of critical theory that began with Immanuel Kant.” 

In the latter post, I stuck to the source that Guelzo cited in his published writings. There is much speculation that Guelzo’s Kant to critical race theory pipeline owes its inspiration to Ayn Rand’s attacks on Kant and I would like to present evidence that supports that thesis here.

Alissa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum, aka Alice O’Connor, aka Ayn Rand once called Immanuel Kant

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The Most Evil Rant in Aynkind’s History

March 29, 2022

In previous posts, I discussed the Senate confirmation hearings plagiarism by Keisha Russell of a Washington Post column by Marc Thiessen and the shoddy scholarship of the former history professor, Allen C. Guelzo that underwrote the bizarre claim that "critical race theory is a subset of critical theory that began with Immanuel Kant." In the latter post, I stuck to source that Guelzo cited in his published writings. There is much speculation that Guelzo’s Kant to critical race theory pipeline owes its inspiration to Ayn Rand’s attacks on Kant and I would like to present evidence that supports that thesis here.Alissa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum, aka Alice O’Connor, aka Ayn Rand once called Immanuel Kant "the most evil man in mankind’s history." The claim appeared in a "brief summary" in the

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