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Should Aid Money be Used as a Tool for Expanding Free Markets?


Should Aid Money be Used as a Tool for Expanding Free Markets?

Nick Dearden

Ask a particularly extreme proponent of the free market how they see the future, and they might conjure up schools run by Coca-Cola and education programmes administered by Price Waterhouse Coopers. Or they might see hospitals operated as companies by nurse-entrepreneurs who compete for private equity funds.

To the rest of us, this sounds like a nightmare. But it is a vision of society which is not far off in parts of Africa and Asia, brought to hundreds of thousands of people thanks to British aid money.


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By hook, crook, and stealth, the old imperial powers are designing “free” trade deals that will allot them control of their former colonies. In so many ways, it’s as if TIME and human progress are being forcibly rolled backwards.


The era we’ve “entered” - the Anthropocene and how we wrestle with it is an excellent example of how institutionalized knowledge codified in power has become dissociated from spheres of life in ‘western civilization’.
A cross disciplinary conference in 2014 that addresses the challenge of breaking through the biases toward thinking collectively - BEING IN the anthropocene

Opening Talk:


andoarike, we also have to update that oft-parodied phrase, “religion is the opium of the masses.” Hollywood-Washington-Wall Street manufactured entertainment is the new “opium.” Heck, mass-distributed film/TV melodrama is the mescaline of the masses. You view it. You feel good, with a strong emotional sense of accomplishment and achievement–albeit vicariously and unearned-but for the time invested. Why take action, why march, why demonstrate, why vote, why electioneer for authentically populist, third-party candidates?
We can simply turn on the Blu-ray and/or television or enter a cinema and all the real world anxiety and stress gets released as the hero of the imaginary narrative with whom one identifies wipes the streets clean of feared and disturbing strawmen villains, be they from Main Street or Wall Street. A sense of satisfaction floods the viewers’ neurons with the reassuring belief that real world villains have been dealt with. “I have exorcised the demon!” Yeah, right.
The urgency to deal with our real-world oppressors gets put off for…tomorrow, another day… I suspect that’s why the creators of this type of self-deluding, emotional-masturbation entertainment have been known to achieve billionaire status.
That said, our cooperative (and co-opted) evolutionary, narrative-seeking, hierarch-worshipping brain may be our worst enemy.
Be well.



Succinctly exact!