Today I opened a bank account. It was fun.

Here’s a taste of a spirited dialogue I had with the clerk, and later, the manager:

- So you’re charging me to deposit money with you?

- Yes, that’s right.

- And when I deposit money, lend you essentially, you give me 0% in interest, but when I borrow money from you I pay you 6.5%??

- Yes, but during the last wave of the pandemic it was 12%…

- It’s a terrible deal in either case!

- Well, in all the other banks it’s the same. …

Many states — now including the UK and US — are beginning to act in ways that contradict not just the neoliberal script, but the crisis management strategies of the global financial crisis. This text explores why.

By Bue Rübner Hansen, @buerubner

Avinguda Meridiana, normally one of Barcelona’s busiest gateways

This is an updated version of a text first published by Novara Media. Updated elements are highlighted in bold.

Things are moving incredibly fast. A week ago, Denmark’s Social Democratic government announced it would cover 75% of the wages of workers who would otherwise be laid off. I had hoped it would give ammunition to those trying to…

Reflections on the experience and rejection of solidarity in the British elections.

The British elections have left many with a deep disheartening disappointment. But rather than mourn dashed expectations, I people will remember their experiences of the election campaign. On election day, Richard Seymour wrote of an experience shared by thousands:

“For those campaigning, there has been a palpable and transformative feeling of comradeship. Among the many causes for mood swings in this election, I am repeatedly struck, felled, brought to tears by unexpected solidarities and sacrifices. … It’s difficult not to believe that the country, or some part of…

The uprising against the convictions of Catalan leaders was predicted. But by rioting, parts of the independence movement has entered uncharted territory.

El Part International Airport, Barcelona, October 14, 2019.

Catalonia has had three days of rioting and blockades. Hundreds of thousands have marched and blocked highways after the Spanish supreme court handed long prison sentences to Catalan leaders involved in the independence referendum and protests of 2017. Teargas spread through Terminal 1 of Barcelona’s international airport, as thousands occupied it and forced the cancellation of more than a hundred flights. An international arrest warrant for the former Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, still in exile, has been issued…

Some reflections on the climate emergency and mental health.

It is pretty insane to knowlingly destroy one’s conditions of life. But it is a curious kind of systemic insanity, the aggregate effect of billions of people carrying on their everyday life making more or less rational economic decisions, like taking jobs in the most destructive and polluting industries. To work to survive and destroy the conditions of survival while doing this is, like I recently wrote, batshit crazy. Yet it is also completely rational. We all got to work, right?

How does this structural madness, and the very specific madness…

Fracking on public land, Burlington PA, by Ralph Wilson.

Obviously most of us need to earn a living. Some of us end up doing the batshit work of destroying the planet.

A few years back, David Graeber coined the term ”bullshit jobs” to speak of pointless, meaningless and socially harmful jobs. These jobs are often boring and unrewarding, and generally could be abolished without a profound social transformation.

While stupid, bullshit jobs they are certainly not insane. Batshit jobs are. Sometimes they are rewarding, financially and professionally, often times people take them out of desperate necessity. What makes them batshit is that they contribute to environmental and climate breakdown.

Since the 1990s, hygge has become central to any attempt to define an otherwise elusive Danish culture.

Hygge” has become a household word in the English language, by way of the lifestyle pages of the New York Times and the Guardian. A Danish word pronounced ”hew-geh,” according to the least hapless pronunciation guide, hygge can be described as the art of “being consciously cozy,” or the innocent pleasure of making oneself comfortable. In 2016, Collins’ Dictionary declared hygge the runner-up Word of the Year, after “Brexit.”

Why do non-Danes even care about hygge? One answer lies in the how-to hygge…

Hvordan blev Danmark monokulturelt? Og hvad kan vi lære om nutidens jyske højredrejning gennem et postkolonialt blik på ”det Sorte Jylland”?

Bue Rübner Hansen

Kort over “Det Sorte Jylland” fra Hugo Matthiesens Den sorte jyde (1940)

Smak! Drengen så ned og blodet løb hastigt til hans kind. Han var stakåndet som læreren, men ude af stand til at udtrykke sin smerte og ydmygelse. Ordene kunne ikke komme, for de måtte ikke komme. Lussingen var et slag mod drengens tale, mod hans dialekt. Og min far sad ved siden af, lettet over, at han som lærersøn talte rigsdansk, og ikke det brede sønderjyske, som bondesønnerne i klassen.

Hele provinsen — og måske særligt “de sorte jyder” — fik engang at vide, at de ikke talte ”rigtig dansk” og derfor ikke var fuldt ud danske…

Bue Rübner Hansen

researcher, writer, editor writing about whatever extends democracy. mostly in #spain #denmark #uk & #europe but eager to provincialize them all

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