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Activist #MMT - podcast

Feb 27, 2022

Welcome to episode 110 of Activist #MMT. Today's part two of my two-part conversation with Jackson Winter, on the 2001 edition of Karl Polanyi's 1944 book, The Great Transformation. This is also part two of a larger four-part series on the book. Jackson is co-writer and editor for PEGS Institute, which is a project to demystify and explain some commonly misunderstood realities of the modern world. Here's their YouTube channel.

Parts one and two with Jackson is two smart layperson MMTers trying to come to terms with the depth of what we just read, and connecting it to our lives and MMT. Parts three and four are with Asad Zaman, a PhD economist with many lectures, papers, and posts on the topic (links to which you can find in the show notes to part one with Professor Zaman, next week).

(A list of the "audio chapters" in this episode can be found at the bottom of this post. A link to all four parts in the series can be found in part one.)

I'll summarize the book in next week's introduction. Even experienced MMTers can't know this stuff. You think you understand the foundation of our economy and society, but you don't. As described in The Great Transformation, there's another foundation underneath it.

(Before we start the interview, I'm making an announcement at the request of a patron, and that is: the podcast Pod Save America, which is hosted by former Obama staffers, has millions of followers, many of who like to think of themselves as progressives. Unfortunately, although the hosts say many smart things, they still live solidly in a pay-for, scarcity, zero-sum world. Please consider contacting the hosts via Twitter and urging them to interview an MMT guest such as Stephanie Kelton, Warren Mosler, Bill Mitchell, and Randy Wray. The Twitter handles for the podcast and its hosts can be found in the show notes, and in the social media shares for this episode. Thanks for your help in spreading the word!

Here at the Twitter handles for Pod Save America [@PodSaveAmerica] and its hosts: Dan Pfiffer: [@danpfeiffer], Jon Favreau: [@jonfavs], Tommy Vietor: [@tvietor08], Jon Lovett: [@jonlovett])

And now, let's get right back to my conversation with Jackson Winter. Enjoy.

Audio chapters

  • 4:31 - Choosing to commodify other humans is a gamble that you won't become one of them
  • 7:37 - The gold standard was the glue that held the (belligerent and greedy) world together
  • 13:53 - Individual balance of power
  • 17:41 - Fascism is a consequence of the neglect and deprivation of neoliberalism
  • 20:41 - Thinking of a better economic and political system (and if we should)
  • 27:17 - Unregulated versus regulated teenager
  • 29:58 - Childhood memories and how we change
  • 31:59 - Protecting privilege, at all levels
  • 38:35 - We're all doing tiny little evils (because it's necessary in order to survive), that add up to a lot of evil.
  • 43:22 - Haute finance and arms dealers (I win capitalism)
  • 46:15 - My upcoming online course with Asad Zaman
  • 48:11 - Closing thoughts
  • 50:41 - Polanyi was a proto-MMTer
  • 52:48 - Goodbyes
  • 57:06 - Duplicate of introduction, but with no background music