Sunday, February 26, 2023

Speaking of Which

Started early, with the Bobert tweet at the bottom, then the Wirestone piece I picked up from Facebook, because I doubted I'd be able to find them come weekend. Then found Responsible Statecraft's anniversary series on Ukraine (starting with the Kinzer piece), and I was off and running. Also note the mini-essay following the MJT nonsense. I've contemplated collecting a few dozen such ideas under an old Paul Goodman title, Utopian Essays & Practical Proposals. Although it would take a constitutional amendment, this is one of the practical ones.

[PS: Added a couple minor notes on Feb. 27. I should add that the Wichita Eagle's top front page story today was Josef Federman: Israeli settlers rampage after Palestinian gunman kills 2 in West Bank. It's important to stress that this is not a single event, occasioned by a single event. Israeli settlers have been attacking Palestinians with more/less impunity for years now, including in the days leading up to the two settlers being killed. The change since the last election is that settlers who have gotten away with crimes against Palestinians in the past have now been elected to the government, and are using their position to encourage further attacks. For another report, see: Israeli settlers rampage through Palestinian towns in revenge for shooting. When officials incited Russian mobs to attack Jews in Tsarist Russia, the massacres were called Pogroms. The same word is completely appropriate here. The only thing new about the "new government" is that they're making no effort to hide or to sanitize their virulence. Hence, even in Wichita people who once admired and supported Israel are now getting a glimpse of just what the cult of Zionism has become.]

Top story threads:

Trump, DeSantis, et al.: Slow week for Trump, while he's awaiting the Georgia indictments. Meanwhile, DeSantis is pranking as usual, and a couple minor figures have entered the 2024 race.

Marjorie Taylor Greene's National Divorce: Her terminology may have been influenced by having just divorced her husband of 29 years. While I wouldn't presume that her divorce was amicable, it was certainly a lot simpler and cleaner than dividing the Federal Government between Red and Blue States -- especially given that said government has a trillion dollar military operating all around the world, with enough firepower to destroy the world many times over. Given that virtually every nation that has/has been divided has done so in war (including the US in the 1860s), the risk is off the charts.

Greene defends her proposal by saying, "Everyone I talk to says this." Obviously, her circle of acquaintances doesn't amount to much. It clearly excludes the 40% or so Democrats in Red States who would be stranded, including majorities in nearly every actual city. It also ignores Republicans who realize that they're much better off in the United States than they would be in the third-world dystopia that Republican policies lead to -- a contrast that will only grow as Democrats gain effective power in the Blue States, finally free of the dead weight of the Red. (Even now, the Federal government sends considerably more money to Red States than it collects in taxes, a net transfer that presumably would end with division.)

So the first thing that needs to be said about her proposal is that there's no reason to take it seriously. It has no political support beyond the small and delusional right-wing faction that Greene has become the public voice of, and a similarly small faction of the left who are sick and tired of Republican obstruction when we are faced with problems that require bold and imaginative action.

Speaking of which, I've had this idea kicking around for a while, on how to restructure Congress so it actually represents virtually all of the American people (instead of a bare majority, mostly selected by a tiny slice of donors). The idea is that within any congressional district, the top two (or possibly more) vote getters would be elected, with the district's vote a fraction, according to how many votes each candidate received. You could sweeten the pot a bit and round the winner up to a percentage point, and the second (and lesser) votegetters down, so the winner of a close race might get 0.51 votes, and the loser 0.49. But the first big advantage of this system would be that 100% of voters would have an elected representative, whereas under the current system, as many as 49% might not.

There are other advantages. Gerrymanders would cease to matter, because all they would do is shift fractional votes from one district to another. This also significantly reduces the importance (payback) of money in elections. Third parties would complicate things, but not that much. It would matter little whether districts got larger or smaller than at present. You could also calculate vote weights based not on percentages but on actual votes, so districts with high turnout would be better served than ones with low turnout. You could also use actual votes to deal with grossly unequal districts, such as states represented in the Senate. (Which would solve that problem, although eliminating the Senate would also work.)

Israel: I wanted to comment on the Parsi article, then found Beinart, then created a section, which (as usual) snowballed. Elsewhere I offer two definitions of "forever war," but Israel suggests a third: a war that you protract endlessly because you're less interested in the goal than the process. This is practicable only when your enemy is incapable of hitting back effectively. As such, this process resembles hunting more than it does war:

Ukraine War: The one-year anniversary of Russia's Feb. 24, 2022 invasion is bringing out a lot of rear-view mirror gazing, as well as fresh rounds of bluster from Messrs. Biden, Putin, and Zelensky. I pretty much said my piece on this war, or at least its historical context, in my 23 Theses piece back on April 19, but I add to a few of those points below, and reiterate most of them. It is important to stress that one year ago, despite a vast history fraught with errors and atrocities on every side, one person could have prevented this war from happening: Vladimir Putin. But a year later, responsibility for continuing the war largely rests on his opposite counterpart, Joe Biden. I fear he isn't up to the task (although I worry more about the company he keeps).

  • Connor Echols: [02-24] Diplomacy Watch: China's peace plan draws mixed reactions: China presented a proposal, which Zelensky at least had the good sense not to reject out of hand (unlike the US). Echols also wrote: [02-21] How the Ukraine war helped the arms trade go boom.

  • Gregory Afinogenov: [02-24] Peace in Ukraine Isn't Coming Soon: Something here that you rarely (if ever) read elsewhere concerns the internal restructuring of Ukraine to make it more neoliberal, i.e., a better investment for Europe and America. On the other hand, limiting speech and banning parties isn't a particularly good look for Team Democracy. Better known is how Russia has become more repressive.

  • Daniel Bessner: [02-23] How the war in Ukraine has challenged left-wing restrainers. One of the more problematic pieces this week from the Quincy Institute's Responsible Statecraft, where the idea that the US should exercise considerable restraint in dealing with the world is foundational -- while the website appeals to both left and right, the focus on restraint is intrinsically conservative (even when mouthed by Obama as "don't do stupid shit"). To refer to "left restrainers" is not only infelicitous, it also shortchanges the diversity of opinion on the left. Aside from left-rooted converts to massive armed support for Ukraine (like Bernie Sanders aide Matt Duss, who figures so large in this article -- partly because Bessner's definition of the left is tied to the Sanders campaign -- that if lefties had to have licenses, his would be suspended), I can count at least four left-oriented position groups: the pacifists (Medea Benjamin might be an example), who see all warring sides as wrong, even if they have trouble figuring out how to disengage them; the international law visionaries (Phyllis Bennis is prominent here); advocates of international solidarity (deriving from the old communist left, where the solution to war is revolution by workers on both sides; I don't have a prominent current example); and the anti-imperialists, who see Zelensky as a tool of the same old imperialism, and therefore hope that Putin can thwart the west (Max Blumenthal is an example; if I could, I'd suspend the licenses of this group as well). And, of course, there are hybrids and in-betweeners as well. I draw on all four, but I don't see how the first three allow one any measure of sympathy or support for Putin.

  • Eli Clifton: [02-24] Ukraine War is great for the portfolio, as defense stocks enjoy a banner year: "The top five US weapons firms outperformed major Wall Street indexes in the last year, mostly on the backs of American taxpayers."

  • Andrew Cockburn: [02-22] We were promised 'economic shock and awe' against Russia: "But one year after its brutal invasion of Ukraine, Moscow looks poised to weather the worst of Western sanctions." Just last week Biden was talking about new, even more crippling sanctions. But one clear lesson from the last year is that sanctions have had minimal impact on Russia. Nor is there any reason to expect that further sanctions will make any difference. I was skeptical a year ago, and even more so now. But while sanctions have a miserably poor record of motivating desired political behavior, the one thing they really do is express the desire to hurt a country. So not only did they fail to end the war; they continue to give Russians a reason to fight on.

  • Jonathan Guyer: [02-21] Biden and Putin's dueling speeches show why the end of the Ukraine war is a long way off. Both sides feel the need to show strength and determination, without betraying any doubt as to the rightness of their cause, or allowing the possibility of compromise. Guyer thought about this a bit more, and wrote: [02-24] How Ukraine could become America's next forever war. "Next" is something of a misnomer, given that it's already happening. However, the phrase is telling. It could mean one of two things: one is that you're fighting against a foe that cannot be defeated and will never give up, in which case your only out is to find some accommodation; the other is that you're really confused about your goals, so it's easier to keep fighting than to reconsider. Vietnam is an example of the former; the Global War on Terror the latter. Russia in Ukraine has elements of both: neither side can be defeated, so the war has turned into a game of chicken; meanwhile both sides have gotten so wrapped up in their own propaganda neither can see a way to back down.

  • Ellen Ioanes: [02-26] Here's what arming Ukraine could look like in the future: France, Germany, and the UK have floated a proposal to arm Ukraine on their own, independent of American control.

  • Fred Kaplan: [02-21] The Game Putin Is Really Playing by Threatening a Nuclear Weapons Treaty, on Putin's declaration that Russia is suspending its participation in the New START nuclear arms treaty; and [02-24] How the Ukraine War Is Likely to End. As he rules out a "total war solution," "end" can only mean some sort of agreement, for which he offers little grounds for hope.

  • Stephen Kinzer: [02-21] Putin & Zelensky: Sinners and saints who fit our historic narrative: "Think about why the West wants to invoke WWII and the Cold War here, and then ask whether it's been productive." Actually, the "West" started invoking WWII in the runup to Bush's Iraq War, probably because Vietnam didn't poll so well. I doubt it's a coincidence that two of the loudest anti-Russia hawks in academia (Anne Applebaum and Timothy Snyder) have books to sell you about Stalin's atrocities in Ukraine, while others (like Michael McFaul) have careers in think tanks subsidized by the war machine. Meanwhile, recycling Cold War propaganda against Putin works because he's Russian and no one who matters cares about the differences. Zelensky's Churchill act also works, because he knows it's just a role, so he can ignore most of Churchill's career, and not get called on it. As Kinzer points out: "As far back as 1873, an American cartoonist depicted Russia as a hairy monster vying with a handsome Uncle Sam for control of the world. That archetype resonates across generations. Like most populations, Americans are easily mobilized to hate whatever country we are told to hate. If that country is Russia, we have generations of psychic preparation."

  • Charles A Kupchan: [02-24] US-West must prepare for a diplomatic endgame in Ukraine: The only possible endgame is diplomatic, but that means offering Putin some kind of graceful exit -- something the armchair generals in Washington and Brussels seem to be having too much fun to contemplate.

  • Marlene Laruelle: [02-25] This is far from over: Sobering lessons from Ukraine. These aren't organized very nicely, so let me offer my own:

    • Russia has totally burnt its bridges to the West. NATO is stronger than ever, and while it's not a real threat to Russia, it is an insult, and won't be going away. Russia is presumably still popular in the separatist regions, but they've totally lost the rest of Ukraine. Even if they negotiate an end to sanctions, it will be a long time before they recover lost business with Europe.
    • Ukraine, minus any parts that vote to stay with Russia, will be tightly integrated into the EU.
    • Militarily, there has been a huge home-field advantage, which doesn't bode well for Ukrainian hopes to retake Russian ethnic areas. The big Russian advantages (air power, strategic depth) haven't been very effective, while discipline, morale, and logistic support have been weaknesses. Western arms have allowed Ukraine to move from a guerrilla defensive operation to more conventional operations, but territorial gains have been minor. The result is unwinnable for both sides.
    • The US has so little credibility in the Global South that it has failed to isolate Russia and strangle it economically. The utility of sanctions as a weapon is seriously in doubt.
    • The costs of continued military operations on both sides are high and growing. While the West is better able to afford them, there is no reason to expect that Russia will be starved out of the war any time soon.
    • The toll on the Ukrainian people is, of course, immense, with millions of refugees in Europe and Russia. Much of Ukraine is being turned into a complete wasteland.
    • While the risk of nuclear war is small, it demands respect, and that means that both sides need to curtail their ambitions. We have seen little indication of that in this anniversary's rhetoric.
  • Anatol Lieven: [02-20] Russia was defeated in the first three weeks: Basically true, both militarily and politically. Russia's offensive in the south from Crimea was actually pretty effective, although short of capturing Odesa it made little difference. But their blitzkrieg toward Kyiv and Kharkiv stalled, turning into a "40-mile-long traffic jam" that became easy pickings for Ukraine. I'm skeptical that even had Russia troops captured Kyiv, the west half of Ukraine would have folded, so it was just a matter of time before Putin realized he bit off more than he could chew. And politically, Putin gave NATO something it hadn't had since 1992: a reason to exist. There was never a chance that western hawks who had kept the organization on life support wouldn't jump on the opportunity to fight (especially as they could do so through proxies). The problem since then is that the Russian defeat, which Putin would be hard-pressed not to admit, still hasn't been as total as the victory the resurgent NATO powers crave. If only the warmongers understood that there is no such thing as victory in war. The only decision is when do you cut your losses? And the only answer is the sooner the better.

  • Aryeh Neier: [02-24] Will the West Be Serious About Crimes Against Humanity This Time? "In the 1990s, the Western powers were slow to move against Serbian butcher Slobodan Milosevic. We can't make that mistake again." Yes we can, and sure we will. Milosevic and several of his henchmen are the only ones who had to face the ICC, because they were the only ones who fell out of power with no one to protect them. Putin may be worse, but he'll never face the ICC, because even if Russia puts him out to pasture, he won't be vulnerable like that, and no one else is going to be able to touch him. Same, I might add, for Henry Kissinger, and a long list of others. I came to grips with this with Richard Nixon, who never got anything like the punishment he deserved, but once he was driven from power and shamed, anything more ceased to matter. Besides, if you want to get serious about "crimes against humanity," you have to catch them much sooner than when they get mixed up in war. The time to stop Hitler wasn't when he crossed some line at Wannsee or even Kristallnacht but when (or before) he came to power.

  • Vijay Prashad: [02-26] The global South refuses pressure to side with the West on Russia: Actually, most have voted to condemn Russia's invasion, but very few have agreed to enforce economic sanctions against Russia.

  • William Ruger: [02-23] 'Ukraine maximalists' on the Right still dominate. But for how long? Ever since Arthur Vandenberg in 1948, Democrats could always count on overwhelming Republican support for foreign wars, with some Republicans (like Barry Goldwater and John McCain) reliably overexcited. Meanwhile, the Democratic rank-and-file tended to become more dovish, encouraging Republicans to pile on, painting Democrats as spineless appeasers even as their leaders overcompensated with macho posturing (none more than Hillary Clinton). The prowar consensus has held up on Ukraine, with Democrats especially reluctant to break ranks -- part loyalty to Biden, part because they've been sold the line that Putin (not unlike Trump) is a sworn enemy of democracy. On the other hand, a few Republicans (most notably Trump) are wavering, for various reasons -- the worst being that some (e.g., Josh Hawley) would rather go to war with China, followed closely by the ones who like Putin as a fellow fascist. What worries me is that unless Biden can steer this war toward a diplomatic conclusion, the Democratic Party will be so mired in the war machinery that they'll never be able to deliver on their core promises, and Republican do-nothingism will seem like the saner course.

  • Alex Shephard: [02-23] Republicans Are Ready to Abandon Ukraine: "The GOP is turning against continued support for Ukrainians fighting off a Russian invasion." As I noted above, some are hedging their bets, but most Republicans love the arms merchants too much to throw cold water on their party. Republicans will, of course, abandon Ukraine as soon as the war is over and the US is called on to rebuild a country which sacrificed everything so our war gamers could think they were "degrading" the Russian military threat.

  • Robert Wright: [02-23] The Ukraine Archives: Summaries and links to a remarkable series of pieces on the war, going back to Jan 24, 2022: "How cognitive empathy could have prevented the Ukraine crisis" -- did you know there was a crisis a full month before invasion?

  • Joe Lauria: [02-24] More Evidence Emerges That US Wanted Russia to Invade: Slant here is anti-American (some evidence for that) and pro-Russian (more of a stretch). It is, of course, likely that some American deep state-types decided early on that Putin was less pliant than Yeltsin and should be viewed as a threat (or could be propped up as one), so they came up with a scheme to flip Ukraine and use that as leverage to entrap Putin. I've always thought that pro-western lobbying in Ukraine had less to do with US strategic interests than with European business, as the rewards there were much closer to home, but sure, Victoria Nuland, and all that. Whether 2014 counts as a coup or a popular uprising is open to debate: the presence of plotters (including Nuland) doesn't preclude the latter. One may also debate the extent to which the 2014 separatist uprisings in Crimea and Donbas were spontaneous or orchestrated from Moscow, although it didn't take long before Putin was calling the shots.

    In any case, subsequent elections legitimated the shift in power (no doubt more than would have been the case had Crimea and Donbas not split off). What's much murkier is the political machinations after Zelensky ran on a peace platform, then ultimately emerged as Ukraine's top warrior. In particular, no one that I'm aware of has written up a thorough diplomatic history from Zelensky's election to the invasion, but it's safe to say that the Biden administration encouraged Zelinsky to demand more, and that Putin grew increasingly alarmed. I doubt this was meant to provoke an invasion (as Lauria claims), but it was certainly meant to corner Russia. We've seen some evidence (not provided here) that Putin tried diplomacy before resorting to force: there are reports of the US and UK lobbying Zelensky to reject Russian overtures. The US also went to great lengths to publicize the Russian troop buildup, and to threaten sanctions and other retaliation. At the time, I noted that the US risked goading Putin to attack. I don't know that to have been their intent, but they were surprisingly well prepared when Putin made his move.

    Still, regardless of any American designs -- something one should always be skeptical of, given how poorly past designs have played out -- it was Putin, for reasons wholly of his own, who deliberately walked into this "trap." Lauria concludes, "the question is whether Russia can extricate itself from the U.S. strategy of insurgency and economic war." I doubt that he can, and not because he's ideologically wedded to KGB-recidivism, to atavistic dreams of reviving imperial glory, or the sheer nihilism of ending western civilization, but because bullies can't stand to back-peddle, and because politicians -- and that's what he really is -- get so easily trapped in the rhetoric that initially gained them success. He needs to find a new game, but I doubt he has the imagination for that.

    The real question going forward is whether Biden and/or Zelensky can see clear to let Russia loose. No one can afford a "forever war," no matter how much pleasure you take in making your enemy squirm.

Other stories:

Christine Ahn: [02-22] When Jimmy Carter went to North Korea: "Ever the peacemaker, he met with Kim Il Sung in 1994 and helped freeze Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program for over a decade." The secret of Carter's success was that he met with them personally, and he agreed to reasonable proposals. The Clinton administration was shamed into accepting his fait accompli, but in due course reneged on its promises and sabotaged the deal, which was finally buried by Bush, and in due course by North Korea testing nuclear bombs and missiles. Trump's brief flirtation with Kim Jong Un produced a lull in the testing, which might have been formalized into an end to hostilities, but Trump's underlings (e.g., John Bolton and Mike Pompeo) made sure that didn't happen either.

For more on Korea, see:

Brooks Barnes: [02-23] The Billionaire's Daughter Knows What You're Thinking: Elizabeth Koch, daughter of Charles Koch, the second generation feudal lord of Wichita. Cited because it may be interesting, but I haven't invested the time to tell you why. So I'll pass this over to Ian Millhiser: "A fascinating window into what becomes of a useless person who never had to worry about anything important her entire life. And a strong policy argument for higher estate taxes."

Thomas Floyd/Michael Cavna: [02-25] 'Dilbert' dropped by The Post, other papers, after cartoonist's racist rant. Noted because I've read "Dilbert" for a long time, but only because it was there in the paper. Long ago, it was occasionally clever or observant about office culture, but it started to lose its moorings when Adams quit his day job, leaving him to recycle his clichés. My wife quit reading it years ago, and I doubt I'll miss it much. Should the strip be canceled? That's something I'd almost never do, not least because he doesn't deserve to martyr himself (which may well have been his intent, as he no doubt believes the "woke mob" is out to get him). Besides, his statements, at least as quoted in the article, are more stupid than inflammatory (not that I'm not much of a stickler on either count). How could anyone construct a poll with a question like "are you ok with white people" and expect straight, meaningful answers? On the other hand, how could anyone jump to his conclusions without being a dangerously deranged racist?

[PS: The Wichita Eagle ran "Dilbert" on Sunday, but canceled the strip as of Monday. They replaced it with something called "Pooch Café," which, yes, is marginally funnier. On the other hand, has any comic strip in the last 10-20 years done more than "Dilbert" to make white guys look clueless and/or stupid?]

I didn't go looking for anything to tack onto this, but then there was this:

Shirin Ghaffary: [02-21] Social media used to be free. Not anymore. As Facebook joints Twitter in trying to squeeze more money out of their users, as if they weren't imposing enough already. Granted, the push is mostly aimed at businesses, which are already used to paying for publicity, but at some point the platforms will start to bleed users, and that the value of that publicity will depreciate. Thing is, it would be possible to publicly fund social media platforms that provide the desired connectivity without harvesting data and trying to monetize it through advertising. And they would be less of a drain on society than the current monopolistic rackets.

Clare Malone: [02-25] Watching Tucker Carlson for work: "You don't know Fox News until you are watching it for a job."

Ian Millhiser:

Timothy Noah: [02-21] How the GOP Lost Its Brain: "Today's Republican Party is driven by egos and power rivalries, not ideas. The GOP once had ideas -- lots of them. The problem was that they were unpopular and bad." Isn't the answer obvious? At some point, unpopular and bad ideas become liabilities. And besides, they never were anything but props for hitting on some irrationally emotional point -- one they've since found they can jump to with hysterics endlessly repeated by their propaganda machine. Turns out all those brains were merely atavistic.

Evan Osnos: [02-26] Sliding toward a new Cold War: Russia and Ukraine come up, but this is mostly about China, which is by far the more serious force. Still, this is remarkably short on reasons why China might be considered a threat. They just, you know, are, mostly because we understand so very little about them, or for that matter ourselves. Osnos turns to George Kennan for guidance, quoting a new biography that Kennan "spent the four years from 1944 to 1948 promoting the Cold War, he devoted the subsequent forty to undoing what he and others had wrought." The point should be obvious: starting wars is much easier than ending them.

Nathan J Robinson: [02-23] Why the Right Hates Social Security (And How They Plan to Destroy It): Interview with Alex Lawson, of Social Security Works.

Derek Willis: [02-24] After a Decade of Tracking Politicians' Deleted Tweets, Politwoops Is No More: "Service changers after Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter have rendered it impossible for us to continue tracking these tweets."

Clay Wirestone: [02-09] 'No future!' If Rep. Kristey Williams has her way, there won't be a next generation of Kansans: "Destroying public education will drive parents, students and teachers out of the Sunflower State for good." First, let's dial the hyperbole back a bit, and dispense with the Johnny Rotten analogies. The Republican chair of K-12 Education is pushing a voucher bill, designed to siphon public education money into private schools, with "little or no oversight on expenditures, little to no oversight for student achievement." Choice sounds like a good thing, and one can argue that having to compete for students should make schools work harder to satisfy students and parents. But does it really work like that? For starters, it's the rule rather than the exception that privatization of public services leads to more cost while returning less value. This is part profit-seeking (which includes a strong impulse toward fraud, unless it is checked by regulation, which itself adds to the overhead), and part due to the lost efficiencies of scale (including more specialized teachers, less administrative overhead, shared technology, lots of things, but not necessarily larger classroom size). Second, vouchers divide public support for public schools, worsening current underfunding. Third, if vouchers don't cover the whole cost of private schooling (which isn't likely, given its inefficiency), they increase religious isolation and class-stratification (which has always been a selling point for elite private schools; but they're not the ones driving this agenda, as their clients always have been able to afford paying their own way).

Still, the advocates of voucher programs are remarkably myopic. In looking to exempt their children from the taint of public schooling (be it secular and/or non-elitist), they blithely ignore the others, who they consign to run-down, under-resourced schools that teach little and increasingly resemble detainment centers -- until their inmates escape and struggle to survive in a world that has shown them nothing but disdain. If, then, they turn to crime, they can finally look forward to the public finally spending serious money on them, in the guise of punishment. Even if they don't, most will never gain the skills that we need to run an increasingly complex and fragile economy. What a waste.

By the way, there are specific Kansas angles here, some mentioned in the article. In recent years, Johnson County has grown largely based on the reputation of its public school system (compared to the Missouri suburbs around Kansas City). The author is worried that wrecking public schools in Kansas will reverse that trend, resulting in a mass exodus (although having once fled Missouri, I'm not so sure they want to head back). A possibly bigger problem is rural Kansas, which has already lost so many people that school districts are struggling just to hold on, let alone to adapt to times that require more and better education.

James Thompson forwarded this Twitter interchange:

Lauren Bobert: One thing you can be sure of - I'll never go woke.

Leslieoo7: I'm sure of that. To be woke requires awareness, an enlightened mind, exposure to different cultures and different types of people. It requires maturity to realize that not everyone looks like you or thinks like you and that's okay.

Woke is the antonym of ignorance.

Michael Thrower offered a list of "10 Great Very Short Econ Books" (≤ 200 pages) [thread]:

  1. Diane Coyle: GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History
  2. Albert O Hirschman: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States -- how consumers influence firms
  3. Jesper Roine: Pocket Piketty: A Handy Guide to Capital in the Twenty-First Century
  4. Eric Lonergan/Mark Blyth: Angrynomics
  5. Joan Robinson: An Essay in Marxian Economics
  6. Avner Offer: Understanding the Private-Public Divide: Markets, Governments, and Time Horizons -- argues that state can plan long-term where markets can't.
  7. Alex Cobham: The Uncounted -- how statistics can be distorted by power relations.
  8. Richard A Easterlin: An Economist's Lessons on Happiness: Farewell Dismal Science.
  9. Dean Baker: The Conservative Nanny State
  10. Lee Elliot Major/Stephen Machin: Social Mobility: What Do We Know and What Should We Do About . . . ?

Ask a question, or send a comment.