Economics

The Primate Diaries

Category archives for Economics

Haiti: Time To Build a Just Society

       Image: Gideon Mendel / The GuardianJournalist William Fisher of the Inter Press Service News Agency has just used my recent work on Haiti for his story on the need for transparency and equality in the development aid that the West provides to Haiti: Journalist Eric Michael Johnson, writing in The Huffington Post, notes that “Haiti…

How Can Haiti Be Sustainable?

As I wrote yesterday in my piece for The Huffington Post, the history of Western financial involvement in Haiti has been one of growing the nation’s textile industry despite the fact that 70% of Haiti’s annual income comes from agriculture. By emphasizing programs such as HOPE and HOPE II, the United States has increased the…

Deconstructing Social Darwinism, Part IV

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 Richard Hofstadter wrote in Social Darwinism in American Thought that this political theory was “one of the leading strains in American conservative thought for more than a generation.” In this series I have shown many of the inconsistencies that exist in the literature on…

Deconstructing Social Darwinism, Part III

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 In Quentin Skinner’s celebrated history The Foundations of Modern Political Thought he writes that: If the history of political theory were to be written essentially as a history of ideologies, one outcome might be a clearer understanding of the links between political theory and…

Deconstructing Social Darwinism, Part II

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4    English sociologist Herbert Spencer coined the term “survival of the fittest” in 1852.As I pointed out in Deconstructing Social Darwinism, Part I scholars have begun to seriously challenge the usefulness of the term as a political theory. For example, Gregory Claeys calls the political…

Deconstructing Social Darwinism – Part I

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 Social Darwinism is one of those concepts that everyone knows what it is but few can define. I myself have sometimes reflexively used the concept without fully knowing the history of the term or its use as a political theory. In this series it…

The Shadow of Scientific Opinion

    Wall Street’s shadow in New York City As the education reformer and philosopher John Dewey once stated, “politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance.” Unlike other critics of scientific communication, it is my contention that as long as we only address the…

The Guardian environment editor John Vidal, who first reported on the “Danish Text” that would seek to eliminate the Kyoto Protocol and allow wealthy nations to maintain double the carbon pollution as poor nations, has filed this report from Copenhagen. The outrage by developing nations was felt again last night as wealthy delegates met secretly…

Darwiniana: Notes on Evolutionary History

“Even the best of modern civilisations appears to me to exhibit a condition of mankind which neither embodies any worthy ideal nor even possesses the merit of stability. I do not hesitate to express the opinion that if there is no hope of a large improvement of the condition of the greater part of the…

The Difference is Jesus

ScienceBlogs has the funniest ads sometimes. This image adorned the right hand side of my screen this morning (maybe now it’s there twice). Intrigued I wanted to know more: Compassion believes it takes more than education, healthcare and social programs to make a difference in the life of a child and help nations escape from…