jason hickel

jason hickel.png

intro’d to Jason via twitter rec.. as similar to the rules..

taking him in here first..

may 2016 – To Eradicate Poverty We Have to Radically Reorganize the Global Economy

1\ define extent to which most min econ rights remain unfulfilled.. ie: say now fewer than 1 bill living on less than 1/25/day… far too low for even basic human survival.. ie: india..just above this line..60% underweight; niger.. just above line..infant mortality risk 20%.. 3x world avg… if 1.25 not enough..can’t claim that lifting people above this line means bringing out of poverty…

peter edward: in order to achieve 70 yrs… need 3.5 more.. about 5 dollars/day.. very min

unless we bag money.. no? ie: radical econ ness

2 min – what happens if measure according to ethical poverty line… now not just 1 bill via un.. but rather about 4.3 bill.. 60% of world pop.. and has been rising since 1980…. and this is highly conservative.. so 60% remain avoidably unfulfilled..

4 min – i argue that govt of rich countries that created/sustain this inbalance/order.. are violating rights of world’s poor.. have corres responsibility to seek to re org the order.. so that as many as possible have access toward well being.. .. 3.1 trill annually to bring 4.3 bill… up to $5/day line

5 min – ideas for re org of system

realizing human rights does appear to acquire of reduction in global quality.. once poor regain.. rich can gain more..


6 min – we can’t increase consumption indefinitely.. rich world consume 3x fair share..

if we want to ratchet up income of poor.. we have to ratchet down the rich..

7 min – challenge of 21st cent… how to max human development while bringing eco footprint back down in sustainable levels..

human devel.. not human monies..

conclusion: *in absence of some kind of miraculous decoupling of incomes from resource use/waste.. which has no sign of happening in any meaningful way..the human rights framework requires not just slight reduction of global ineq.. but actual material shrinkage of richest countries.. which amounts to total re org..

* whoa.. perhaps why we haven’t yet.. not imaginative enough.. not brave enough to call out how we’ve been doing things (ie: measuring transactions) as the ridiculous… thing.

a nother way

for (blank)’s sake

hosting life bits  via self talk as data et al

then here..

july 2015 – Why microfinance fails:

then here:

no net pos impact from micro finance… in some instances does help certain individuals.. but across board doesn’t.. and some cases worse.. ie: spending money on consumption.. borrowers then unable to fund.. debt ensues.. if do succeed.. usually displacement.. most often businesses fail.. no customer base for them..

3 min – a lot of micro finance lenders are banks.. not so much a charitable endeavor that most of us are thinking..

5 min – no question that micro can work for some.. can lead to empowerment in some situations.. rather that it is a definitive empowering tool… jury is still out… worse when not about to repay..

6 min – one problem.. mico finance regards poverty as a problem that exists out there… on not needing micro loans.. but a fair system..

7 min – causes of poverty.. 1980s structural adjustment programs were pushed on global s countries.. to this day remains most single cause of poverty in developing world... lost 5 bill dollars/year…  it was good for banks.. but awful for poor countries.

if we’re serious about solving problem of global poverty.. have to look at basic unfairness of global econ and how that’s producing poverty in first place..


The Rules (@TheRulesOrg) tweeted at 5:42 AM – 15 Feb 2017 :

Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries https://t.co/SPgiKOap8U #povertyiscreated #whosdevelopingwhom (http://twitter.com/TheRulesOrg/status/831846028915511296?s=17)

They tallied up all of the financial resources that get transferred between rich countries and poor countries each year: not just aid, foreign investment and trade flows (as previous studies have done) but also non-financial transfers such as debt cancellation, unrequited transfers like workers’ remittances, and unrecorded capital flight (more of this later).


What they discovered is that the flow of money from rich countries to poor countries pales in comparison to the flow that runs in the other direction.

In 2012, the last year of recorded data, developing countries received a total of $1.3tn, including all aid, investment, and income from abroad. But that same year some $3.3tn flowed out of them. In other words, developing countries sent $2tn more to the rest of the world than they received. If we look at all years since 1980, these net outflows add up to an eye-popping total of $16.3tn – that’s how much money has been drained out of the global south over the past few decades.


Basically, corporations – foreign and domestic alike – report false prices on their trade invoices in order to spirit money out of developing countries directly into tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions, a practice known as “trade misinvoicing”. Usually the goal is to evade taxes, but sometimes this practice is used to launder money or circumvent capital controls. In 2012, developing countries lost $700bn through trade misinvoicing, which outstripped aid receipts that year by a factor of five.

Multinational companies also steal money from developing countries through “same-invoice faking”shifting profits illegally between their own subsidiaries by mutually faking trade invoice prices on both sides.


In other words, for every $1 of aid that developing countries receive, they lose $24 in net outflows.


The aid narrative begins to seem a bit naïve when we take these reverse flows into account. It becomes clear that aid does little but mask the maldistribution of resources around the world. It makes the takers seem like givers, granting them a kind of moral high ground while preventing those of us who care about global poverty from understanding how the system really works.

Poor countries don’t need charity. They need justice. And justice is not difficult to deliver. We could write off the excess debts of poor countries, …


We know how to fix the problem. But doing so would run up against the interests of powerful banks and corporations that extract significant material benefit from the existing system.



Hi everyone. In case you’re interested, my new book is available for pre-order on Amazon. amazon.co.uk/Divide-Brief-G…

poverty doesn’t just exist, it has been created.

something much more radical is needed – a revolution in our way of thinking.

begs we disengage from making up money.. a nother way

find/follow Jason:

link twitter

Anthropologist at the London School of Economics // Writing in The Guardian & Al Jazeera // Global political economy and development with a view from the South


poverty ness


via Martin and Jason


Why is development failing? This brings us to what the Gates’ letter omits.  The letter focuses so unwaveringly on foreign aid that you’d be forgiven for believing that charity is all that’s needed to address poverty. We hear nothing of the systemic forces that drive poverty and inequality in the first place, such as – to name just two relevant examples – tax evasion and avoidance, and intellectual property rights.

let’s go deeper

ie: roots of healing.. via a nother way sans money/property/having ness

For all its candor and color, here, in black and white, is what the annual letter doesn’t tell you: that our global economic system is designed in such a way as to channel our planet’s wealth into the hands of a tiny elite. The proof? The eight richest men in the world – of whom Bill Gates is one, even after donating $30 billion to the foundation – have more personal wealth than the poorest half of the world’s population combined.

Changing that system at its root – by *stopping illicit financial flows, shutting down tax havens, creating a fairer trade system, battling climate change and helping to build resilient local economies and communities – would require those with power and wealth to dismantle the very machine that created their privilege. That sounds unattainable but if the Greek roots of the word philanthropy literally mean for “**the love of humanity” surely such drastic change that would benefit people and planet is the point

*how about making finance/tax/exchange ness irrelevant..

**let’s go more drastic..


another via Martin and Jason

Martin Kirk (@martinkirk_co) tweeted at 4:52 AM – 12 Jul 2017 :

Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem? https://t.co/p3NTTOTIuL (http://twitter.com/martinkirk_co/status/885089421082734592?s=17)

..there’s something fundamentally flawed about a system that has a prime directive to churn nature and humans into capital

ours is a system that is programmed to subordinate life to the imperative of profit.

millennials aren’t bogged down by these dusty old binaries. For them the matter is simple: They can see that capitalism isn’t working for the majority of humanity, and they’re ready to invent something better.

Our leaders will tell us that these ideas are not feasible, but what is not feasible is the assumption that we can carry on with the status quo

a nother way  ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..


Johann Hari (@johannhari101) tweeted at 4:47 PM on Thu, Aug 10, 2017:
The brilliant @jasonhickel explains how our addiction to economic growth is killing us https://t.co/aRIpKrPHIm

let’s try truly disengaging from gdp .. from any measuring of transactions..

ie: radical econ via short bp


sept 2017 – another via Martin and Jason


@TheNextSystem Thought you might like this, incl. the namecheck. Thanks for all your great work! fastcompany.com/40454254/dont-…

Capitalism has become a dogma, and dogmas die very slowly and very reluctantly. ..to question it can trigger a visceral reaction; it can feel like an attack not just on common sense but on our personal identities.

It would be a sad and defeated world that simply accepted the prebaked assumption that capitalism (or socialism, or communism) represents the last stage of human thought; our ingenuity exhausted.

The path to a better future will be cut by regular people being curious and open enough to challenge the wisdom received from our schools, our parents, and our governments, and look at the world with fresh eyes.


We’ve been debating whether #hungerispolitical. @jasonhickel #GHI2017 https://t.co/mn8LZSp0h5

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/ConcernUK/status/919990585452199936

hunger is not a natural phenom.. it’s a political one


if not said otherwise.. these are quotes from Jason


Why is microfinance failing to reduce poverty? Check out our broadcast debate on Roundtable. youtube.com/watch?v=U_lgCL…

godfather of the micro loan – muhammad yunus wanting to create a world w/o poverty


borrowing money doesn’t deal w root cause..

30 yrs on.. and yunis micro finance success.. reviews are split

(after saying.. true.. microfin has helped some.. but have to zoom out).. net impact against poverty of microfinance is zero – jason

scale of effectiveness.. but nothing counterfactual.. more than 80% of beneficiaries are women.. a gender dimension to who is succeeding.. my point is that the success of microfinance is due to the work of women.. – Dr Kate Maclean @dr_kate99

the way microfin works is a groups of women who trust each other.. Kate

for every story of success.. there’s a story of deep failure.. so impact is zero.. why.. because don’t have enough money.. using money for consumption.. how do we get money into pockets of poor people… debt not working.. so why not cash transfers.. – Jason

18 min – i think the principle of micro fin is fine.. it’s not a solution to poverty.. the structural drivers of impoverishment… yunis peace prize is important point..

they give nobel peace prizes to people who do not ultimately threaten the status quo of existing arrangements of economic and political power.

others get assassinated.. Yunis gets a peace prize because he validates our sense of being able to save the world as rich countries/individuals.. to save the world from poverty w/o any threat to our own privilege.. for keeping their own status in the liberal econ.. and that’s fundamentally a problem i think – Jason

not saying Yunis is a bad person at all

nobel peace prize

this is great.. just not sure how the principle of micro fin is fine.. and how money/cash is fine.. i mean if we’re trying to create a nother way that doesn’t perpetuate oppression

the same kind of exploitation.. that women have to do more work voluntarily .. hasn’t changed.. – Kate

poverty is political problem.. imbalances of power in global econ.. micro fin may help.. may not.. but ultimately it’s a distraction from the real causes of the problem we’re trying to address.. going to require sacrifice on part of rich countries who presently control global econ

or.. disengagement from money/measuring.. ie: a nother way


Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 4:49 AM – 6 Nov 2017 :

Thanks to the folks at Brave New Europe for this very thoughtful review of The Divide: https://t.co/on2U2dcHXm (http://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/927503230380232704?s=17)

The idea caught the imagination of citizens of wealthy nations, not only confirming their superiority ethics and efficiency as advanced economies, but offering them the opportunity to exercise Christian charity.

Current examples are Bill Gate’s foundation, “which profits from an intellectual-property regime that locks life-saving medicines and essential technologies behind outlandish patent paywalls”, or Bono, who has prolifically used the tax haven system “that siphons revenues out of global South countries”. It is the old American Robber Baron philanthropy in hipster garb.

The Author then goes over to myth busting mode.

Hickel concludes with a raft of suggestions for changing this skewered system. Many of these, such as recovering the commons, ..


dao ness ish


Cryptocurrencies are a potentially crucial transition mechanism. But Bitcoin is a disaster of outrageous volatility. Here’s a solution – maybe? makerdao.com

why do we need to measure transactions..?

don’t we have the means to not..?

tech as it could be


on steven

Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 7:07 AM on Tue, Feb 27, 2018:
Steven Pinker’s new book is American mansplaining at its finest. Are you suffering from global warming? Ecological collapse? Dispossession? Drones? Stop complaining… you’re earning $1.25 per day!  Everything is awesome!

I’m struck by how much of Pinker’s narrative of Progress relies on claims about how global poverty and hunger have decreased dramatically. Sadly, neither claim is true. But he conveniently doesn’t bother engaging with the scholarship on this. @sapinker

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/969602638009511936


Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 5:32 AM – 15 Mar 2018 :

Ideas are proliferating like a thousand butterflies. What once seemed impossible now seems imminent. https://t.co/QzTsFsW0eG #ucustrikes #UCU #USStrike #ussstrikes @ucu @GoldsmithsUCU @UCL_UCU (http://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/974247010621632512?s=17)

But we’ve also been thinking way beyond pensions.  Pensions are the last thing on our minds now.  What we’re really after is nothing short of reclaiming our universities from the banal and reductive logic of neoliberal capitalism – including the uberization of lecturers, the CEO-ification of managers, and the customerization of students.  Because really, what’s at stake here is the public university itself.  Across the country, staff and students are forming groups, sharing ideas, discussing strategy, even staging occupations toward the goal of making our universities fairer, more caring, more democratic places.    We’re not content to weed around the edges of this broken system.  We’re going straight to the heart of it.. t

perhaps it’s time to go straight to the heart of us.. ie: city as school/uni.. as the day

not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake

reading undercommons

After the pensions dispute is over, the status quo will no longer be an option.  Our employers are kidding themselves if they assume otherwise.  Ideas are proliferating like a thousand butterflies.  What once seemed impossible now seems imminent.



For more on why #capitalism is causing the ecological crisis, check out our interview with anthropologist @jasonhickel https://t.co/0KbHj8dgNi

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/UpstreamPodcast/status/993547132161282049

10 min – degrowth does not mean voluntary impoverishment.. rather.. shrinking of footprint.. costa rica doing well at this

11 min – challenge of 21st cent: aim at sustainability while improving well being

12 min – climate change causing rise in violence.. and.. climate change as a violence

14 min – get mugged.. there is recourse.. victim of climate change.. no recourse

15 min – tom shoes as capitalism selling us the feeling we are resisting it.. so gets co opted into consumption itself..

17 min – naomi klein.. only reuse and recycle have gained.. to reduce consumption is not compatible w capitalism.. so that is where the real challenge lies

21 mi – paul mason’s idea of postcapitalism (new potential) seems more compelling than socialism (old school)

22 min – so reliant on idea of aid.. ie: rich to poor countries.. this narrative is dominance and obscures what’s really happening.. rich became rich by making poor countries poor.. ie: colonialism.. destroyed indigenous econs et al.. de developed large portion of the world..t

25 min – using gdp to show growth.. sometimes helpful


27 min – we have to puncture that conclusion that rich countries are givers of aid

29 min – tinkering around w fossil fuels and aid isn’t going to cut it


On the phenomenon of assholery in academia, and how to defeat it. https://t.co/2GRs79jA5T
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1014863713294315521

even assumed nice anthros (i’m thinking graeber, wesch, hickel. ..) can’t listen to all the people.. that’s why we need a diff approach/mech/means.. that can.. ie: 2 convos as infra

as it could be


Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 3:48 PM on Thu, Jul 05, 2018:
“If all nations in the world were to pursue the highest HDI (which is of course presently the plan), we would develop ourselves into ecological collapse.” https://t.co/SPrgf8v86o

HDI is calculated as the average of three different indicators: life expectancy index, education index, and income (where 1 = GNI per capita of $75,000, on a logarithmic scale). Of course, it makes perfect sense to compare life expectancy and education against EF.  But *it does not make sense to compare income against EF.. t

ef = ecological footprint

none of those three make sense.. to an undisturbed ecosystem

The reason is because income, like GDP, is almost inextricably linked to EF.  While it is possible to achieve enormous gains in life expectancy and education with relatively little EF, it is not possible to grow average income up to $75,000 without vastly outstripping biocapacity.

the way we’re doing ed and life expectancy are directly linked as well..

begs holmgren indigenous law..  where we play out rev of everyday life.. (of alive people).. ie: 2 convos as infra

as it could be

We need a better measure, one better suited for the Anthropocene..t

rather no measure.. suited for eduaimoniative surplus..

let’s focus on getting to a meadows undisturbed ecosystem

Consider this thought experiment..t

consider this one: short; short bp; short bit; ..

Nearly 30 years on, it’s time for a better measure – one that will aid rather than hinder us in our efforts to build a more ecological model of development.

again.. am thinking it’s all the measuring that’s messed with us.. time to let go..


on Dambisa Moyo

“Dambisa Moyo has a lot of fans these days.  When she appeared at a recent Oxford Debate the crowd was packed with admiring students eager to take her side … But as heroes go, she’s a strange choice” — @jasonhickel
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/africasacountry/status/1017372066717331456

But as heroes go, she’s a strange choice – a millionaire who sits on the boards of major Western banks and extractive companies, including Barclays, Chevron, and Barrick Gold.  Peel away the slick image and you find that her ideas stray little from the dusty old neoliberal mantras so endlessly recycled by establishment elites in the US and Europe.  Yet the Western media can’t seem to get enough of her – and perhaps that’s precisely why

Moyo’s new book, Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth, is a perfect case in point.  If you’ve heard of it, it’s probably because of the controversy over her outrageous idea that we should “fix” democracy by introducing a system of weighted voting, whereby the votes of people who have specific qualifications and higher levels of education would count more than the votes of those who don’t.  Maybe it was always just a PR gimmick – a way to get media attention. But while critics obsess over the voting thing, the rest of Moyo’s book has gone unchallenged.  And that’s where the real trouble lies.

Indeed, this is why she proposes weighted voting: because she thinks these ordinary folks don’t know what’s best for them, and we can’t trust them to decide on important matters of economics.

The real issue with this book is that Moyo fundamentally misdiagnoses the problem.  She accuses democracy of being short-termist.  But it’s not democracy that’s short-termist – it’s capitalism.  The logic of capitalism is to seek short-term gains at the expense of more important things: workers’ welfare, people’s health, the ecosystems on which we depend.

there’s a deeper problem.. let’s go there..

just when we most need fresh thinking, Moyo urges us to double down on the status quo. Meanwhile, the voices of real thinkers across the African continent – ..never find a platform in the global media.

begs a mech to listen to all the voices.. everyday..

ie: 2 convos as infra

as it could be



Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 5:42 AM on Thu, Aug 30, 2018:
“The morally relevant metric of progress against poverty is neither absolute numbers nor proportions, but rather the extent of global poverty compared to our capacity to end it.  By that metric, we are doing worse than ever before in history.”  https://t.co/LUtcMhBQwo#globaldev

There is a third approach, however, proposed by Yale philosopher Thomas Pogge.  Pogge argues that the morally relevant metric of progress against poverty is neither absolute numbers nor proportions, but rather the extent of global poverty compared to our capacity to end it.  By that metric, he says, we are doing worse than at any time in history.


Pogge is right: by this metric, poverty is worse now than ever before.  Our world is replete with unprecedented riches, and yet we cannot ensure that everyone has a decent basic share of it.  Morally, we have regressed as a civilization.

We live in an age where more than 4 billion people – some 60% of the human population – live on less than what is required for meeting basic human needs.  This is a ringing indictment of the global economy by any standard.  But it is particularly unjust given that their suffering could be ended with only 4% of the income of the world’s richest quintile.

*I’ll be working on refining this method further, testing different thresholds, and exploring national-level results.  If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them either through my contact form or in the comments below.

if only .. you could hear me.. as it could be..


Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 8:53 AM on Tue, Sep 04, 2018:
There’s a dominant narrative out there that says global inequality has been getting better since the 1980s.  But it’s not quite so simple.  In absolute terms, global inequality is in fact getting significantly worse. https://t.co/k86cqRrZci


Jason Hickel (@jasonhickel) tweeted at 4:38 AM on Wed, Sep 19, 2018:
Our addiction to economic growth is killing us…
Let’s imagine our way toward a #postgrowth future. https://t.co/VaHQRM1zit

our addiction to measuring things is killing us

econ model that promotes human flourishing in harmony w planet: commoning – sans measuring things


SustainabilityAgenda (@sustain_agenda) tweeted at 6:06 AM – 11 Oct 2018 :
Last year on the Sustainability Agenda we talked to @TonyJuniper who told us that the real threat to the #environment that no one talks about is #inequality
We take this conversation further in a eye-opening conversation with Dr @jasonhickel Listen here: https://t.co/IQY5lSqNZh(http://twitter.com/sustain_agenda/status/1050356844424818688?s=17)

9 min – poverty decrease.. that pinker, gates et al claim.. has only happened in one place.. china.. if take china out of the equation. and doesn’t exist

12 min – on 5% of new income goes to 60% of poor.. so growth is not a means to eradicate poverty.. have to do 175x amount to make an affect.. which would ecologically kill the planet (paraphrase)

13 min – something about the ineq built into growth that is the problem

16 min – we need to move from charity to justice.. ie: debt cancellation

20 min – gdp growth has been driving ecological degradation

21 min – sdg’s call for growth.. how to reconcile firm objective for econ growth w confirm for sustainability

23 min – absolute decoupling of gdp from resource use is not possible

52 min – we’re not calling for degrowth.. some poor countries are going to need to grow.. we need the growth to be pro poor.. now .. fast majority of income growth goes to richest..

54 min – the solution is to evolve past capitalism to something better.. find a way to evolve into a better way of being human

56 min – we need to speed our consciousness along


the divide.. dang.. first few chapters.. ginormous


“And that is exactly what people find so terrifying about the question of reparations.  It’s not that they fear the prospect of paying.  It is that even just thinking about what is owed reveals the hard truth: that what is owed, is everything.”  https://t.co/XiL16aDBKc

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1051402893272764416

moten abolition law: i also know that what it is that is supposed to be repaired is irreparable.. it can’t be repaired. the only thing we can do is tear this shit down completely and build something new. – Fred Moten

a nother wayroots of healing