America’s only Political Economy Book Club discusses Candide, Voltaire’s 1759 masterpiece that ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies and philosophers through allegory. As Jean Starobinski notes,”The fast-paced and improbable plot—in which characters narrowly escape death repeatedly, for instance—allows for compounding tragedies to befall the same characters over and over again.”
It’s only a hundred pages or so depending on the translation and format, and is available in English translation free from Project Gutenberg (in several formats) as well as from the Internet Archive, where there is also an audiobook.
PEBC coordinator Bob Matter would appreciate an RSVP, if possible, from those planning to attend.
Right on the streets of every American community, robbery takes place every working day. You might not realize how much value the people of Chicago (and every other community) create, simply by going about our daily activities. What is this wealth, how do we create it, and where does it go?
Originally conceived as a field trip for Progress & Poverty students, this stroll — about 2 km and 90 minutes — presents some answers for those interested in finding out. Additionally, we’ll take a look at recovered loot of a long-ago theft, learn how Thomas Jefferson would have solved the problem of financing Chicago’s public schools, and see an economic development incentive that costs less than nothing. We might stop for snacks along the way (individual settlement).
Detailed sourced notes will be provided. This is now a free tour, no donation required, although we do appreciate (tax-deductible) contributions from those who can afford it and find the event worthwhile.
For information regarding this focus group click here, where you can also request an invitation. Attendance is limited and confirmed reservations will be required.
We’ll discuss Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men. Rousseau sets out to demonstrate how the growth of civilization corrupts man’s natural happiness and freedom by creating artificial inequalities of wealth, power and social privilege. Contending that primitive man was equal to his fellows, Rousseau believed that as societies become more sophisticated, the strongest and most intelligent members of the community gain an unnatural advantage over their weaker brethren, and that constitutions set up to rectify these imbalances through peace and justice in fact do nothing but perpetuate them. Rousseau’s political and social arguments in the Discourse were a hugely influential denunciation of the social conditions of his time and one of the most revolutionary documents of the eighteenth-century.
Henry George was evidently familiar with these ideas but didn’t fully agree with Rousseau.
Political Economy Book Club meetings are free and open to everyone, tho donations to help pay the rent are appreciated. PEBC Coordinator Bob Matter requests an RSVP at the phone number or email above.
An evening with Bob Jene to compare the Georgist fiscal reform to the TARP bailout, “Fair Tax,” Flat Tax, Bush tax cuts and government money creation. A gist of each proposed or attempted solution to the “great recession” will be given including QE I, QE II and QE III. Attendees will rank the proposed remedies on a scale of 1 to 10 based on 8 criteria.
The People of the Abyss (1903) is a book by Jack London (1876-1916) about life in the East End of London in 1902. He wrote this first-hand account by living in the East End for several months, sometimes staying in workhouses or sleeping on the streets. The conditions he experienced and wrote about were the same as those endured by an estimated 500,000 of the contemporary London poor. Decades later, this book inspired George Orwell to write Down and Out in Paris and London.
A bit late to be a contemporary of Henry George, Jack London lived mainly in northern California and was a passionate advocate of workers’ rights. Both London and George were members of Bohemian Grove.
Political Economy Book Club is open to everyone wishing to participate in the discussion, without charge altho donations are appreciated to help pay for rent and snacks. Convenor Bob Matter appreciates an RSVP from those planning to attend.
We’ll gather in a rustic Evanston back yard [you get the exact address when you RSVP] to commemorate Henry George’s 174th birthday (actually he was born September 2, but that’s inconvenient for most working folks). This year, we’re also celebrating a new team supporting School operations. In honor of which, and thanks to the generosity of HGS supporters past and present, everyone who’s completed any HGS course, ever, is welcome to attend without charge. Bring a significant other, or a friend who might find HGS or interest, also no charge. And of course no charge for your minor dependents. We hope to see people who might have taken a course years ago and almost lost touch with us. Come by, meet the new team, and share your ideas.
There will be food, drink, a lot of conversation and maybe some productive argument about how to help our community understand how the economy works, the fundamental principles which can be harnessed to bring prosperity and freedom.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let us know by Friday September 4 whether you’ll be coming. It would be great, but not required, if you can bring something to share. Monetary donations are also extremely welcome, and can be made here, or by check to the School, or at the event.
Henry George’s masterpiece of Political Economy. Unravel the secrets behind inequality and prosperity.
More info here
"The protection of the masses has in all times been the pretense of tyranny."
- Henry George