Put a price on nature? We must stop this neoliberal road to ruin | George Monbiot

The failure of the markets hasn’t stopped the rise of the gobbledygook-filled Nature Capital Agenda. We can.

This is the transcript of George Monbiot’s SPERI Annual Lecture, hosted by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Sheffield.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing the death of both the theory and the practice of neoliberal capitalism. This is the doctrine which holds that the market can resolve almost all social, economic and political problems. It holds that people are best served, and their prosperity is best advanced, by the minimum of intervention and spending by the state. It contends that we can maximise the general social interest through the pursuit of self-interest.

To illustrate the spectacular crashing and burning of that doctrine, let me tell you the sad tale of a man called Matt Ridley. He was a columnist on the Daily Telegraph until he became – and I think this tells us something about the meritocratic pretensions of neoliberalism – the hereditary chair of Northern Rock: a building society that became a bank. His father had been chair of Northern Rock before him, which appears to have been his sole qualification.

While he was a columnist on the Telegraph he wrote the following, in 1996:

“[the government] is a self-seeking flea on the backs of the more productive people of this world. … governments do not run countries, they parasitize them.”

He argued that taxes, bail-outs, regulations, subsidies, interventions of any kind are an unwarranted restraint on market freedom. When he became chairman of Northern Rock, Ridley was able to put some of these ideas into practice. You can see the results today on your bank statements.

….(read full transcript).

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“The Pricing of Everything” by George Monbiot

SPERIshefuni

Published on May 7, 2014

SPERI Annual Lecture by George Monbiot: “The Pricing of Everything” at the Octagon in Sheffield on 29th April 2014

Put a price on nature? We must stop this neoliberal road to ruin
The failure of the markets hasn’t stopped the rise of the gobbledygook-filled Nature Capital Agenda. We can

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MSNBC’s Sole Palestinian Voice Rula Jebreal Takes on Pro-Israeli Gov’t Bias at Network & in US Media


democracynow

Published on Jul 23, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – A week after public outrage helped force NBC’s reversal of a decision to pull veteran reporter Ayman Moyheldin out of Gaza, the sole Palestinian contributor to sister network MSNBC has publicly criticized its coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. “We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue,” Rula Jebreal said Monday on MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow Daily, citing a disproportionate amount of Palestinian voices and a preponderance of Israeli government officials and supporters. Jebreal joins us to discuss her decision to speak out against MSNBC and her broader criticism of the corporate media’s Israel-Palestine coverage. An author and political analyst who worked for many years as a broadcast journalist in Italy, Jebreal also shares her personal story as a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, who is married to a Jewish man, and has a Jewish sister.

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In 2012 – Sheldon Adelson dropped at least $150 million into the American political system. This year – he’s reportedly planning to spend another $100 million on the best politicians money can buy. Isn’t it time we stopped rich brats like Adelson from buying up our democracy?

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