The Land Belongs to God

Speech to the Union Theological Seminary, Columbia. The focus of my talk today will be Jesus' first sermon and the long background behind it that helps explain what he was talking about and what he sought to bring about. I've been associated with Harvard University's Peabody Museum for over thirty years in Babylonian economic archeology. And for more than twenty years I've headed a group out of Harvard, the International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies (ISCANEE), writing a new economic history of the ancient Near East. The five colloquia volumes that we've published began in 1994. We decided we have to re-write the history to free it from the modern ideological preconceptions that have distorted much popular understanding. When I began to study Sumer and Babylonia in the 1980s, there wasn't ...

The Economic Crisis & Crisis Theory II

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This panel explored causes of the Great Recession and the continuing economic sluggishness since the recession’s ended, as well as how the left can respond to this situation. In keeping with the conference theme, panelists addressed what different analyses and theories imply about the kind of socioeconomic change that is called for. Alan Freeman spoke on “Consumption, Profit and Finance: why can’t the left get it right?” He will explore why so many academic left thinkers persistently avoid normal methods of enquiry after truth. Focusing on Marx’s theory of crisis, the share of wages in US income, and the relation between finance and profitability as examples, he will discuss how prejudice and the desire to find “evidence” to support a political line take first place over the use of logic and ...

Left Forum: Austerity Isnt Working

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I am speaking in two panels at the Left Forum - I hope you can join us. Austerity isn't Working, Can Keynesian Reforms Save the System?
 Saturday, 8th of June 10:00am-11:50am Pace University, New York City
 Room: W613 Abstract: Three contributions on the question, Is a Reformist Solution Possible? Hillel Ticktin looks at the conflict between the Keynesians and those who favor a return to 19th Century capitalism; Michael Hudson asks whether Austerity is simply a European mis-step or is the Class War Back in Business, and Robert Brenner analyzes the roots of the crisis looking at Finance and the Real Economy. Suzi Weissman chairs/moderates. Chair, Speakers: Suzi Weissman -- Saint Mary's College of CA and KPFK Los Angeles, Hillel Ticktin -- Editor, Critique Journal, Michael Hudson -- University of Missouri, Kansas City, Robert Brenner ...