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Among the Gilets Jaunes

Jeremy Harding, 21 March 2019

... why humiliate low-wage earners, they asked, by rewarding the wealthy with a tax break? Neither was Thomas Piketty. On his blog for Le Monde he rejected Macron’s assertions about capital flight – ‘totally false’ – and showed that receipts from the tax on global wealth had increased fourfold during the previous three decades, even though the ...

What’s Missing

Katrina Navickas: Tawney, Polanyi, Thompson, 11 October 2018

The Moral Economists: R.H. Tawney, Karl Polanyi, E.P. Thompson and the Critique of Capitalism 
by Tim Rogan.
Princeton, 263 pp., £30, December 2017, 978 0 691 17300 9
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... Widespread anxiety produces phenomena unthinkable in more prosperous times: for example, Thomas Piketty’s seven hundred-page volume of economic theory, Capital in the 21st Century, joining the bestseller lists. During crises of capitalism in the 20th century, the equivalent bestsellers were narratives of social history. R.H. Tawney’s ...

Bristling Ermine

Jeremy Harding: R.W. Johnson, 4 May 2017

Look Back in Laughter: Oxford’s Postwar Golden Age 
by R.W. Johnson.
Threshold, 272 pp., £14.50, May 2015, 978 1 903152 35 5
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How Long Will South Africa Survive? The Looming Crisis 
by R.W. Johnson.
Hurst, 288 pp., £12.99, July 2016, 978 1 84904 723 4
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... in his model of decency and upstandingness. Even if he doesn’t mind a Marxist scholar such as Thomas Hodgkin (in fact, he loved Hodgkin and supplies a strong, sympathetic portrait), contradiction is by and large a failing, hard to distinguish from dishonesty, or moral blindness. What drives this failing? Mostly high-mindedness; a wish for the world to be ...

Somerdale to Skarbimierz

James Meek, 20 April 2017

... Since his mother died he lives alone, with his cat Fiona, leaving him plenty of time to read Thomas Piketty and Carl Schmitt. He always wears black, in mourning for his twin brother, killed in a plane crash near Smolensk in 2010 that Kaczyński variously blames, without any evidence, on Russia and the then Polish prime minister, Donald ...

Against Responsibility

William Davies, 8 November 2018

Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism 
by Melinda Cooper.
Zone, 447 pp., £24, March 2017, 978 1 935408 84 0
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... but none has ever acknowledged the indispensable role once played by the dole in seed-funding it.) Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century (2014) was a wake-up call in this regard, showing that existential luck – what you inherit or are gifted with, as well as when you are born – plays a far more decisive role than work or talent in shaping ...

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