Print Story Cismetropolitan
By TheophileEscargot (Wed Feb 14, 2018 at 11:51:40 PM EST) Reading, MLP, OBLF, ODGF (all tags)
What I'm Reading: "Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?", "The Furthest Station". OBLF. Links.

What I'm Reading
Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? by Katrine Marcal. Feminist critique of modern economics and neoliberalism. Quite powerfully written, it tells a story of how we became obsessed with "Economic Man" and the ideology that self-interest is all-important.

Has an interesting insight into the way that Adam Smith and others wanted to "conserve" the resource of love into a feminised domestic realm, while the world of formal work was to be a masculinised arena of competition. A more recent development is to try to apply "economic" thought to the domestic realm as well.

While it's well-done, it does repeat a lot of other standard critiques: a lot of the material like the criticism of unrealistic assumptions; over-emphasizing GDP; paying too much attention to models and not enough to data, is already pretty familiar. As a tool of persuasion, one problem is that the economic establishment likes to claim that it's fundamentally reformed itself since the 2008 crisis while actually changing very little. (Example). In theory, the problems with economic thought are being addressed, albeit on the periphery of behavioural economics etc.

The book does have some powerful passages:

When we are all rational individuals, questions like race, class and sex become irrelevant. Why, we are all free. Like the woman in the Congo. She who agrees to militia men having sex with her in exchange for three tins of food. Or the woman in Chile. She who works as a fruit picker even though the exposure to pesticides will lead to nerve damage in the child she will give birth to two years later. Or the woman in Morocco. She who takes a job in a factory and then has to force her oldest daughter to quit school so she can care for her siblings. They always have a complete overview of the consequences of their actions. They always make the best possible decisions.

Freedom's just another word, indeed it's just another word.

Economists are convinced that they are modelling the deepest causes of human behaviour. Their critics are only scratching the surface -- if you torture the data enough, eventually it will reveal the truth: everything is economic man.

One logic. One world. One way of being.

The answer to the title is that Adam Smith's mother cooked all his dinners (Smith never married) presumably out of love rather than self-interest. Otherwise Marcal does seem a bit harsh on Smith, who was nothing like as dogmatically right-wing as his followers.

Overall, a good read, but it won't persuade the opposition. Review, review, review, review.

What I'm Reading
The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch. Novella in the Peter Grant / Rivers of London series with the wizard copper investigating ghost sightings on the Metropolitan Line. I enjoyed this a lot, more so than the last novel. The length is enough for a bit of plotting and London lore without getting repetitive, Worth picking up if you like the series.

Weight seems OK. A couple of pounds below target but that might be dehyrdation in the last readings.


Socioeconomics. Outsourcer Mitie might have problems. Why don't executives go to prison anymore?

Random. 18th century insults. All 290 Star Wars Movies Officially in Production Right Now .

< To The Emperor! | Necessary Lies >
Cismetropolitan | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)
a good read, but it won't persuade the opposition by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 08:08:28 AM EST
Has anyone been persuaded of anything over the last 20 years?

Maybe some people could be persuaded if  Oprah/whatever influential celebrity recorded it as an audiobook.

That's just age related dementia (nt) by ucblockhead (4.00 / 4) #3 Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 11:39:38 AM EST

[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Lib dems by Merekat (4.00 / 3) #5 Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 03:44:08 PM EST
...couldn’t dominate or oppress a jam making competition in middle england.

[ Parent ]
The Furthest Station... by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 03:18:12 PM EST
Am I getting old and tight or does £7 seem a bit much for a novella?

It was by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #6 Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 03:45:18 PM EST
I was a bit grumpytil I remembered that’s what a sandwich costs here and this gave longer satisfaction. That said, I think he’s lost the way.

[ Parent ]
It does by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 2) #7 Thu Feb 15, 2018 at 11:09:52 PM EST
The copy I read was a library book.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Cismetropolitan | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)