Kaill McNeil: Alter-Narratives 9/4/2021


Today’s Topic: As Labor Day approaches, Let’s play an inter-generational game of Telephone with history and economics.

New Machines

By Kaill McNeil

Cycles and Shifts

History is a cycle of paradigm shifts. The reality of any era based  largely on context. Such a view goes a long way to explain how philosophies from centuries past still resonate. Particularly in diluted, misunderstood modern forms, like and inter-generational game of Telephone. As the new social media Cold War, between neo-Communism (as in China), and tenacious defenders of capitalism (such David Koch) will attest.

Without Understanding

In today’s warfare, keyboard warriors, often spill onto the streets, defending their chosen ideology, often without fully understanding it. Going by the rhetoric flying through the ether, bread-lines, gulags, Auschwitz, and the Berlin Wall have been erased from the record. Whereas the only kind of Capitalism that seems to currently exist is Laissez-Faire, guided by the Adam Smith’s imagined ‘Invisible Hand.’ effectively striking the contribution of any other economic theorists, not least John Maynard Keynes. It is notable that Keynes was a lone voice in the wilderness, arguing against the disastrous punitive measures levied on the Weimar Republic in 1919 at the end of World War I. Those punitive measure were in a large part resp0nsible for World War II a short twenty years later. Continue reading

Digital Revolution: Kinda Awesome

Digital Revolution: Kinda Awesome     

Trevor K. McNeil


Going Digital

Everything is going online, the so-called “Digital Revolution” generally considered to be as significant as the Industrial Revolution. For good or ill, more things are moving online from correspondence to media. The terms “old media” and “new media” going from cultural terms to more significant distinctions.

On the Bright Side

One of the positive impacts of the shift to New Media, and the general reduction in production costs, is the opening up of popular media to traditionally marginalized groups. People are more able to make their own media, free of the censorship, stigma and traditionalist bullshit still rife in the studio system. The sort of attitudes that would have female nominees banned from the red carpet for not wearing high heels.

Continue reading

OPINION: A New Economic Model

OPINION: A New Economic Model

The rust belt cities of the United States are reminders of the dead and dying ndustrial Revolution

OPINION: A New Economic Model

By Trevor McNeil

Standards Of Study

Strange as it might seem, there is a standard in the study of history that sources used should be the most recent. This is because new things are being discovered all the time and what we knew about a particular event or context in 2001, can be radically different than what is now known in 2021. Philosophy and more theoretical disciplines have no such standard. Which is the only way to account for the continuance of some of the less applicable ideas. Economic theory is no exception.

One, Or The Other

Looking at the modern political landscape, and one would be left with the impression that there are only two ways of doing an economy. Laissez-faire capitalism as laid out by Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations and communism, as dictated, no surprise there, by Karl Marx, in several, mostly unreadable books. Wars have been fought over these ideas, and continue to be cause of strife and division to this day. Despite most people not really understanding what they are.


As evidenced by the slogan, on the communist side, “smash capitalism” without specifying which of the three primary schools of capitalism to which they are referring. On the other hand, those who support a free-market capitalism have been blinkered enough to refer to nations such as Norway as “communist.” An absolutely hilarious accusation considering the system is most accurately described as a “corporate democracy.” It is a little known fact that the main reason so many Norwegians speak such good English, roughly 80% of the population being fluent, is the nations massive export industry, the majority of the buyers being from English-speaking nations.

Old Ideas, New World

Basically both schools of thought are wrong in my humble opinion. At least in terms of modern society, root cause of their obsolescence being the time when the ideas were formulated. The Wealth of Nations was written soon after the kick-off of the Industrial Revolution, and was at least partly an attempt to explain it. The Communist Manifesto was written in 1848, and was one of the main criticisms of the effects of the Industrial Revolution and a low-key rebuke to Smith.

The Unforeseeable 

They are both important documents in terms of understanding basic economic theory, and how we got to where we are. Neither, however, have any real bearing on modern society. Neither Smith nor Marx could possibly predict nor comprehend the massive change technology has made in the last couple of centuries. To the point that the rise of the Information Age is largely seen as a Digital Revolution, on par with the Industrial Revolution in terms of its overall impact. The production based economies in which both Smith and Marx were writing, either no longer exist or are rapidly dying. The term “disruptor” coined specifically to refer to this process.


In the post-Digital Age, with old industry corroding into rust belts and an increasing number of people working for themselves, particularly online, how does one now engage with the new reality? Might I suggest a hybrid approach, similar to that practiced by the Calvinists. In this system, there is an emphases on service-based businesses, usually run by an individual or family, working as hard as they can to make as much money as they can to put back into the business. Paying the employees, if there are any, more, while putting money into the economy and providing a needed service to their fellow citizens, and taking care of their own needs. Just a thought.