1. Keith Hart (economic anthropologist), RIP Cultural Anthropology
  2. Do you feel lucky, punk? Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias
  3. From nation-states to interstellar civilization Nick Nielsen, Grand Strategy Annex
  4. Under the Virus’s Cloak, Trump Pursues Long-Sought Policies” NYT

BC’s weekend reads

  1. Introducing… Jesus and Mo
  2. On private property and the commons
  3. Why Merkel’s Kindness to Asylum Seekers Could Reflect a German Soft Spot for Islam
  4. Why I find the Mthwakazi monarchy restoration unjustified
  5. September (a song about me)
  6. From the Far Right to the Far Left
  7. Beyond Neoliberalism (book review)

Around the Web

  1. The Globalization of Apartheid from anthropologist Keith Hart. I have a critique (as well as lots of praise) in process.
  2. Kapital for the Twenty-First Century: A review of Thomas Piketty’s new book by James K Galbraith.
  3. The Many Problems with “Equal Pay”: Legal scholar Richard Epstein brings his usually clarity to the table
  4. Taxes Are Much Higher Than You Think: A great op-ed from Nobel Prize winner Edward Prescott and UCLA economist Lee Ohanian in the Wall Street Journal
  5. An open letter to President Obama from a prominent center-Left economist (and Democratic Party member): Give Us Back Our Statistical Data
  6. Scratching the Surface: Some proposals for campaign finance reform from a law professor guest blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy


A brief (but very good) history of West Africa

Just in time for the weekend:

What took the place of the colonial trading economy was an over-centralized political system, with the state adding the roles of banker, industrialist and landlord to that of merchant monopolist and bureaucratic provider. A dispersed population of small farmers constituted its material base and, with the state apparatus weighing down so heavily on a captive peasantry, something had to give.

There is much, much more here. From the economic anthropologist Keith Hart. Happy Friday to all.

African development and mismeasuring economies (two separate topics)

Sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ve been much busier than I wanted to be. I’ve been reading an essay by an economic anthropologist (Keith Hart) on African development that is definitely worth your time, though be sure to grab a cup of coffee first.

I liked this blog post from economist Ed Dolan on GDP versus GDP per capita measurements (I myself like to use the GDP (PPP) per capita measurement).

Addendum: Be sure to read Warren’s blog post on informal economies in the post-colonial world before reading the economic anthropologist’s essay. Warren’s post is a great primer for the topic.

Around the Web

  1. Reading Tocqueville in Qatar and at Georgetown
  2. Colonialism and Anti-Colonialism: Blame Nationalism for Both
  3. The Issue of Selective Prosecution
  4. Eric Prince: Out of Blackwater and into China; The WSJ‘s weekend interview with the founder of Blackwater is particularly good. If you hit a paywall, just copy and paste the title and enter it into your Google search bar. Click on the first link and voila.
  5. A short history of economic anthropology (grab a cup of coffee first)
  6. The market may be colorblind, but politics isn’t: Race, class and economic opportunity