The Browser
Cecily Cecily

Writing Worth Reading

Bailing Out Banks

Excellent interview, clear and intelligent, with Cornelia Woll, author of The Power of Inaction, comparing how different countries bailed out their banks in the 2008 financial crisis. The American policy of cheap money for everyone was better for stabilising the industry right away. The British policy of expensive money for those in dire need was better for changing future behaviour, and so improving future stability (1,970 words)

The Tech Intellectuals

New media has produced a new generation of public intellectuals to debate issues of privacy, security, political power and social change; think of Clay Shirky, Chris Anderson, Jeff Jarvis, Evgeny Morozov. But the debate is sadly circumscribed, and polarised between utopian and dystopian: “It ignores the social conflicts and inequalities that shape American politics and the American economy” (4,600 words)

America’s Senseless Spying On Europe

Disclosures that America has been spying on European Union citizens and institutions puts in jeopardy a transatlantic security relationship that had been growing markedly closer and more trusting in the past decade. “If European governments now decide to curtail that cooperation, Washington will have only itself to blame”. European regulators could also fine American companies for sharing data with the NSA (1,260 words)

We Are Squatters In The Ruins Of Democracy

Reflections on Western government inspired by Colin Crouch’s book, Post-Democracy. Political parties and business have fused into a self-serving ruling class. “People still vote. Political parties vie in elections, circulate in and out of government. Yet these acts of apparent choice have had their meaning hollowed out. The real decisions are taken elsewhere. We have become squatters in the ruins of the great democratic societies of the past” (3,300 words)

State Of Statelessness

Political scientist reviews books on anarchism and the state. Interesting throughout. Nation-states have become too strong to destroy. Anarchists have lowered their sights, from revolution to agitation

Winner-Take-All Politics

Impressive review of new book about how political decisions shape markets, widen inequalities. “If it has the impact it deserves, it will transform American public arguments about politics and policy making”

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