Month: June 2009

A Marxist Approach to IAS

In Marx’s critique of political economy Das Kapital, commodity fetishism denotes the (quasi-religious) mystification of human relations that are said to arise out of the growth of market trade, when social relationships between people are expressed as, mediated by, and transformed into, objectified relationships between things. The things are commodities and money.

Commodity fetishism is not unique to capitalist societies, since commodity trade has occurred in one way or another for thousands of years; but in Marx’s opinion, commodity fetishism became pervasive especially in capitalist society, because this kind of society is based almost totally on the “production of commodities by means of commodities”. read more

Marriage Funnies

One hundred years ago, conservatives argued against my grandparents getting married on the grounds that they were from different religions. The conservatives rested their case on 3,459 year old essay called the ancient Bible.

Thankfully, my grandparents’ love won the fight.

When my parents were getting married, in some states it was illegal for people to get married who had different skin color. Conservatives again quoted the ancient Bible  in their legal court opinions(!):

“Almighty God created the races, white, black, yellow, Malay, and red and placed them on separate continents, and but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend the races to mix.” – Judge Bazile, Caroline County, VA, 1965. read more

The “Come To My Event” Problem

How can you get people to come to your thing?
Are you a politician who wants to have a full house at a fundraiser?
Are you launching a website and want it to ‘take off’?

Some network theorists would tell you that you need to genuinely reach a maven and thus achieve that elusive tipping point.

Key:

Clients sometimes ask folks like me how to get a lot of people to love their [whatever] so that they can fork over $.

Well, strategists like me can quack about actor network theory and post-ANT, and clustering along shared affinities all we want, but let’s be honest… as evidenced in the above clip, rule #1: Your shits gotta be good. read more

Michael James Kavanagh

Michael Kavanagh is the 2009 winner of the RFK international journalism award.

The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award honors those who report on issues that reflect Robert F. Kennedy’s concerns including human rights, social justice and the power of individual action in the United States and around the world.

Led by a committee of six independent journalists, the Awards are judged by more than fifty journalists each year. It has become the largest program of its kind and one of few in which the winners are determined solely by their peers. read more