The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

2021 Fundraiser

I’m fundraising for 2021. The more I raise, the more I will write.


I’m going to keep the goals simple this year.

$5000 – A longer article on the collapse of the USSR, putting everything I’m aware of together. In particular I want to discuss the steps Gorbachev took which seem like either gross stupidity or intentional destruction. The fall of the Soviet Union was studied in great detail by the Chinese Communist Party, and has informed their actions since.

$8,000 – A summary of world system analysis as practiced mainly by Immanuel Wallerstein, with a look at what it means for the future. World system analysis takes capitalism as a world system, and looks at how it has re-ordered the entire relationship of nations, subordinating them to its needs, though about 5 centuries. We can see clearly that most countries today are not sovereign, but subject to the system as a whole, this is true to some extent even of the hegemonic power, the US. Wallerstein thinks this world system is played out, and we’ll look at why. (Wallerstein, like Randall Collins predicted the collapse of the USSR in advance, using his model, when almost all specialists in the USSR did not see it coming.)

$10,000 – A longish look at the theory of revolutions: when they happen and why, drawing on people like Randall Collins and Michael Mann. Most of what they have is based on the experience of Agrarian empires, so I’ll try and extend it a bit to industrial nations, and also look at what it means for a world system to collapse. World systems prior to capitalism didn’t include the entire world (and capitalism didn’t till the mid 19 the century), so we can see what happened, for example, when the Roman Empire collapsed.

$11,500 – An essay on the effect of computer and telecom technology on humanity. Neil Postman, in Technopoly, back in the 1990s predicted it would be bad for most people, and I would argue it has or will be, but we’ll take a look at the ups and down, the affects on economics, geopolitics and daily life. As with writing and printing and firearms, the early results may not be the same as those in the longer term, so we’ll try and figure out some of those.

2021 has been a hard year for many. If you’re worried about food or rent or other necessities, please don’t give. If, on the other hand, you can afford to and value my writing, I’d appreciate it. The year has taken a toll.

Subscriptions will count triple compared to donations.



Open Thread


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 21, 2021

1 Comment

  1. Astrid

    I’m curious if you’ve listened to Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast. It’s really eye opening for me. He covers the 19th century revolutions and the Russian revolution, so that may cover the more industrial end. I wish he would also cover post 1920 revolutions as I think the Chinese revolutions (Opium War to Taiping Rebellion to Boxers to Mingguo republic to the Communists), the final break up of the Spanish empire, the Spanish civil war, and the post WWII decolonializations to be fascinating and very applicable to the current state of the world. Well, Zionism would be interesting too but he’s too smart to every touch that hot potato.

    Technology has meant that I can work from home during a pandemic, order pretty much everything I ever wanted from my phone, use YouTube to learn new skills on the go, watch whatever I want on my 4K TV without commercials… and I’m still not sure it was a good trade-off for me personally. It’s probably worsened some of my OCD tendencies and made me less happy overall. I also feel the loss of privacy, even though I keep a very low profile on social media and have always stayed away from Zuckerberg properties.

    My husband, on the other hand, wouldn’t want to live in and other in the history of the world, even though he acknowledges collapse and annihilation may be soon upon us.

    All there topics sounds great! I hope you raise well over the account needed to work all three!

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