Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Waiting for the Green Light Links

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* Oakland Mayor backs down, says she supports 99% movement and will minimize police presence.

* Greetings from Zuccotti Park.

* One of the best things about Occupy Wall Street is the way it confuses and ignores the shrill pundit class.

* Business Week profiles David Graeber.

At the end of his book, Graeber does make one policy recommendation: a Biblical-style “jubilee,” a forgiveness of all international and consumer debt. Jubilees are rare in the modern world, but in ancient Babylon, Assyria, and Egypt under the Ptolemies they were a regular occurrence. The alternative, rulers learned, was rioting and chaos in years when poor crop yields left lots of peasants in debt. The very first use in a political document of the word freedom was in a Sumerian king’s debt-cancellation edict. “It would be salutary,” Graeber writes, “not just because it would relieve so much genuine human suffering, but also because it would be our way of reminding ourselves that money is not ineffable, that paying one’s debts is not the essence of morality, that all these things are human arrangements and that if democracy is to mean anything it is the ability to all agree to arrange things in a different way.”

* Žižek on Charlie Rose.

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