Worth a Look: Stone Garden Economics

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Featuring the work of Jurgen Brauer, pioneer of Peace Economics

Articles, Books, Data, Lectures, Photography, Teaching

“Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.”

Excerpt from Bertrand Russell, “The Best Answer to Fanaticism: Liberalism.” New York Times Magazine, 16 December 1951.

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Apr 22

Worth a Look: The Economics of Peace & Security Journal

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The Economics of Peace and Security Journal

Welcome to The Economics of Peace and Security Journal (EPSJ), a publication of Economists for Peace and Security (EPS). Issues are published in April and October. Click the About item in the menu bar to learn more about EPSJ, including our scholarly scope & aims and our history. Please Subscribe to read the two most recent issues of EPSJ. Subscriptions fees are US$25 for EPS members, US$50 for non-member individuals, and US$150 for institutions. All articles and issues become open-access 12 months after initial publication. To enjoy open-access reading, readers nonetheless are required to Register. Registration assists us with documenting the use of the journal. For reproduction and reprint permissions, please contact us at managingeditor@epsjournal.org.uk. EPSJ is indexed with the Journal of Economic Literature (JEL), Research Papers in Economics (RePEc), and is listed in Cabell’s Directories. From 2006 to 2013, RePEc alone shows 26,000 abstract views and 7,000 article downloads. All articles are peer-reviewed.

J Brauer & J P Dunne
Editors, EPSJ

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Apr 22

Berto Jongman: Opportunity Cost of Peace $9.46 Trillion in 2012 –11% of Gross World Product Lost to War

Categories: Peace Intelligence
Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

How Much Is Peace Actually Worth?

According to an emerging branch of economics, approximately $9.46 trillion.

Talia Hagerty

Pacific Standard, 22 April 2014

EXTRACT

The most recent study published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) found that violence cost the world $9.46 trillion in 2012 alone. That’s 11 percent of gross world product. By comparison, the cost of the financial crisis was just 0.5 percent of the 2009 global economy.

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Jurgen Brauer and Paul Dunne, editors of The Economics of Peace and Security Journal and co-authors of Peace Economics: A Macroeconomic Primer for Violence-Afflicted States, define “peace economics” as “the economic study and design of political, economic, and cultural institutions, their interrelations, and their policies to prevent, mitigate, or resolve any type of latent or actual violence or other destructive conflict within and between societies.” In other words, how does peace affect the economy, how does the economy affect peace, and how can we use economic methods to better understand them both? These are not new topics for economics, Brauer says. But the research questions have usually used the word “war” instead of “peace.”

What’s the difference? Simply the absence of violence and war is what researchers call “negative peace.” It’s only part of the picture. “Positive peace” is the presence of the structures, institutions, and attitudes that guarantee a sustainable social system and the freedom from all forms of violence. Measuring the absence of violence is easy enough, relative to its presence, but assessing all the nuances of a sustainable social system is considerably more difficult.

. . . . . . .

With comprehensive and nearly global data on the absence of violence, it becomes possible to test for coinciding social structures. This gives us a picture of positive peace. After statistically analyzing the relationship between GPI scores and approximately 4,700 cross-country data sets, IEP has identified groups of indicators, like life expectancy or telephone lines per 100 people, that it considers the key economic, political, and cultural determinants of peacefulness. IEP calls the resulting eight categories the “Pillars of Peace”: a well functioning government, equitable distribution of resources, free flow of information, a sound business environment, a high level of human capital (e.g., education and health), acceptance of the rights of others, low levels of corruption, and good relations with neighbors.

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Apr 22

SchwartzReport: 37% of Voters Fear the Federal Government

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

37% of Voters Fear the Federal Government
Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen is a right leaning survey operation. I mention this because context matters and a Right leaning poll with these results is worthy of close attention. I think this is telling us that the basis of trust upon which our democracy was based is eroding as quickly as the ice sheet covering Greenland.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Likely U.S. Voters now fear the federal government, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Forty-seven percent (47%) do not, but another 17% are not sure.

Perhaps in part that’s because 54% consider the federal government today a threat to individual liberty rather than a protector. Just 22% see the government as a protector of individual rights, and that’s down from 30% last November. Slightly more (24%) are now undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

As recently as December 2012, voters were evenly divided on this question: 45% said the federal government was a protector of individual rights, while 46% described it as a threat to those rights.

Two-out-of-three voters (67%) view the federal government today as a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. Just 17% disagree, while 15% are undecided.

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Apr 21

Jean Lievens: A Most Revolutionary World — With No Revolution — Extraordinary Photo Essay

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Around the World in 843 Protests: Living the Most Revolutionary Times in History

Bernardo Gutierrez

Occupy.com, 19 April 23014

We sail in an unstable political ocean, surfing bursts of protests and unexpected revolts emerging across the globe: 843 large protests in the last eight years.

If Karl Marx raised his head, he would be absolutely baffled: Revolts are shaking the world, bursting in the most unexpected places, but they rarely take power. The conditions for rebellion are as sharp today as in the nineteenth century, but few protests lead to the literal meaning of revolution, that “violent change in political, economic or social institutions of a nation.”

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Apr 20

Jim Dean: Iranian Defensive Weapons Update — PSYOP or Not, Iran is Not Iraq —

Jim W. Dean

Jim W. Dean

[ Editors Note:  Once again we see a steady stream of evidence coming out of Iran as to how our wonderfully unbrilliant threatening foreign policy has forced them into a “Manhattan Project” level commitment to increase its domestically manufactured defensive weapons systems.

At the top of the list has been missile development following the Russian model, to get the best bang for their buck in defeating air attacks from planes and missiles. I would suspect that they are designing modular upgrades into all of these so they are a parts change upgradable wherever possible.

Iran’s deep scientific bench has been tasked with developing not only state of the art defensive weapons, but even better. This means they are working on the breakthrough fuels for speeds that are needed to defeat standard missile defenses.

With the best Russian missiles, by the time a pilot hears the first beep that he is being tracked, he only has two to three seconds to live, not even enough time to get out of the plane.

Defenses against these will certainly be developed…for getting them one at a time. But especially for ships, having a blizzard of these coming at you will overwhelm its defenses.  Mass production of these reasonably priced weapons will once again create demands for more expensive platforms for our defense contractors to make. But they will not really be for defense, as there are no offensive threats out there.

Our military has been morphed into an offensive one, but they have not told that to the troops, and I doubt they will. They have been reduced to being the muscle for the mega business elites…mercenaries with very nice wrapping paper. They will eventually figure this out, but many won’t mind as long as the checks don’t bounce…

BEGIN IRANIAN PRESS REPORT

Iran-Sayyad2-Hunter-Missile_banner-640x213

A high-ranking Iranian military commander says the Islamic Republic is developing a new version of the powerful and high-precision Sayyad (Hunter) missile to be mounted on indigenous S-200 missile defense systems.

Commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said on Friday that Iranian defense experts are working on the development of Sayyad-3 missile.

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Apr 19

U.S. right wing extremists more deadly than jihadists? CNN plays the bullshit card (again)

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

U.S. right wing extremists more deadly than jihadists?

In fact, since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime).

By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology have killed 23 people in the United States since 9/11.

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Apr 15

Jean Lievens: After Liberalism – Complexity in the Governance of a Networked Global Society

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

After Liberalism – Complexity in the Governance of a Networked Global Society

Hilton Root

World Financial Review

Below, in an excerpt from Dynamics Among Nations: The Evolution of Legitimacy and Development in Modern States, Hilton L. Root argues that the linkages between liberal internationalism and modernization theory fail to provide convincing explanations for variations in governance that can arise from the local pursuit of wealth and power, and discusses how global change processes are being shaped by the properties of networks of interdependent but diverse actors who respond to cues both from their local and their global situations.

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Apr 14

BLM halts seizure of Nevada rancher’s cattle, citing safety concerns

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BLM halts seizure of Nevada rancher’s cattle, citing safety concerns

Fearing for their safety as armed protesters gathered in the Nevada back country, federal officials on Saturday suddenly ended a controversial effort to seize hundreds of cattle that a rancher has kept illegally on public land.

The cattle ranch’s owner, Cliven Bundy, and hundreds of armed supporters had threatened to forcefully keep Bureau of Land Management employees from rounding up the approximately 900 cattle. Nearly 400 of the cattle had been seized during the past week. They were being held nearby and could be sent to Utah, authorities said.

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Apr 12

Mini-Me: Nevada Stand-Off YouTubes from 773,010 Views On Down

Who?  Mini-Me?

Who? Mini-Me?

Huh?

.Ranch Riot!! Bundy Ranch Protesters Tasered by Federal Agents and Attacked by K9′s.

773,010 Views Uniforms with dogs without a clue. Protesters without a clue as well.

Revolution in Nevada to Save Cliven Bundy

34,286 Views Militant call to arms including plans to use force.

URGENT! Nevada militia is mobilizing! Cliven Bundy ranch

22,267 Views White woman, “people are getting fed up” — group going into DC on May 16th.

Waco-Style Confrontation Looms in Nevada!!

15,460 Views Alex Jones’ version of what is going on.

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Apr 11