About Yorick’s Blog

Enhancing, Provocative, and Future Tense

Are your prospects likely to improve in the next decade?

How can the state create more jobs?

Is our embrace of democracy realistic?

Does the survival of our race on this planet worry you?

Is capitalism really the best way?

How might the introduction of internet education affect you?

In an age where the surfeit of information is beginning to clog our brains, this blog will focus on what is not being offered or suggested elsewhere. It will examine what is taboo and where denial prevails. Hopefully it will also be engaging.

We live in a world where capitalism is accepted by most advanced societies and  its inhabitants are offered no alternative possibilities; a planet in which no serious politician opposes growth; a time in which the unfettered advance of electronic communication is regarded as sacrosanct; where profits and efficiency prevail over jobs and employment. Ultimately the course being followed is one which daily diminishes the chances of human survival on this environmentally threatened planet. All too many people refuse to accept this final evaluation to humanity’s ultimate peril.

It is with this perspective in mind that I am launching yet another blog to the already 80 million blogs around the world!

This hopefully “Enhancing, Provocative and Future Tense“ effort will look with a different slant at areas which the media may have tackled. And I am not going to pretend  that a perfectible electronic future is in store for us.

CHANGE, with all its uncertainties, seems threatening to the well being of most of us. Yet change is inevitable although its speed is not. We cannot stand still on this rapidly spinning planet. In this unusual era of rapid change we must accept that the new also can be for the better. It has been in this spirit that I edited a series called Prospects for Tomorrow, and have written such books as Towards the Millennium: Optimistic Visions for Change (1996) and Dollars or Democracy (2004)

Global economics have particularly shifted in direction in this new century. Economics seem to “have gone off the rails!” The inability to deal with the facts of economic  life was largely confirmed at the meeting this January in Davos of the more than 2,500 leading figures in global economics. These leaders refused to confront that the internet and computers are fundamentally transforming our economic lives with unknown consequences.

In the 19th Century corporate capitalism delivered new jobs, new opportunities, new resources, and put an end to the bases of the feudalistic structure.

In the 20th Century despite two world wars and a massive global depression, the standard of living for several billions improved substantially.

In the 21st Century we are now faced with a widespread recession and an end to the economic promises that corporate capitalism once offered. Tax avoidance/evasion on a global scale is making the funding of social welfare programs unsustainable. Companies like HSBC, SONY, GE, and Shell  have become  such giants that for fear of the consequences governments cannot allow these corporations to fail.  The desire for ever greater profits through the advance of technology has forced the development of  mobiles, social networks and communication  without any consideration for the possible effects on the younger generation nor for the well-being of society itself.

The vast gap growing between the hyper-rich and the rest of humanity threatens to de-stabilize the semblance of economic equilibrium of the past two centuries.

The ever growing demands, as well as the expectations of seven+ billion people on this planet, are now threatening the prospect of survival of future generations.  Our economic perspective itself has become overwhelmed by its short-termism. Most corporations think in three year terms, politicians in four or five year terms, and few economists dare to look ahead beyond that.  The only plausible conclusion is that the time has come to examine positive and imaginative changes to the darkening prospects currently on offer.

(For a summary of my book on economics, Dollars or Democracy, see the excellent summary which has just been produced by Randy Hayes at Foundation Earth:

http://www.fdnearth.org/essays/capitalism-cant-be-reformed-try-the-incentive-economy/

 

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11 thoughts on “About Yorick’s Blog

  1. Powerful, insightful statements. I am curious to hear if possible remedies to the election-driven tactical short-terminism in democratic economic planning.

  2. Dear Yorick and Helaine, I try to connect you via Yorick’s very intense blog, and I am sorry if I am completely ruining the existing rule of order here. Back to 1996, I spent a summer with you. And now as a madelaine biscuit everything comes to my mind, as I am currently working in Paris, and the Erwin Blumenfeld exhibition provokes this effect. If you may wish to connect with me, I would be more than happy and delighted. My warmest regards, Emese Borza

  3. Dear Yorick, I just was thinking about the Collage “CHARLIE” that your father made in 1920. Isn´t that unbelieably modern, up-to-date, up to today. The whole concept with the word “RELIGION” in it and all the symbols. Finally the title !!! Je suis Charlie !!! Hoping to see you soon, Hex.

  4. Dear Yorick, does writing about egalitarian society, students at Victoria university, Wellington and toheroas jog your memory. Would love to hear from you now that I am back in NZ after 50 years in the U.S. Janet

    • Janet!
      A year after you sent this I suddenly opened up your message. Of course
      I remember you. I shall never, ever forget you! I have lived in Cambridge England for nearly 50 years and now have 2 grandchildren ( living in California)
      and a sculptor wife who has been making wonderful abstract/figurative
      creations.( She has a show on in London right now!)
      I am so pleased you found my blog and would love to hear what has become of you even in these horrible Trumped-up days.

      With a big hug

      Yorick
      fyorickblumenfeld@yahoo.co.uk

  5. Dear yorick its great to read your blog and so close to what i feel and Try to express à little bit on facebook however your Writing is so much clearer so i put your blog on my facebook i hope you and helaine are well Love and kisses to both of you yours mike

  6. Dear Yorick, good to see you at inspiring exhibition last night. If you would like to come to my lecture on Laos in Cambridge on Monday eve 10 Oct it is at Homerton at 7.15.

    Kindest regards
    Denise

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