WESTERN PHILOSOPHY: “What If The World is Actually a Prison? | The Philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer” / Einzelgänger ☮

What if this world is actually one giant prison? When the 19th-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer observed the amount of pain that we experience during our lifetimes, he concluded that it’s not happiness and pleasure we’re after, but a reduction of the ongoing suffering that’s an inherent part of existence.

When we remove the veil of ignorance and behold the harsh reality we live in, we might start to question, as Schopenhauer does, the idea that, I quote, “this world is the successful work of an all-wise, all-good, and, at the same time, all-powerful Being.” For Schopenhauer’s view of the world is one of agony — devoid of divine grace — and it has much more in common with a “penal colony” than with the creation of a benevolent deity. Now, seeing the world as a prison sounds like a recipe for personal misery. Why not adopt a more positive, more hopeful perspective? Why look at it with such pessimism?

Well, Schopenhauer’s idea comes with a twist. Within his pessimistic worldview lies an outlook that could be very beneficial to humanity. Based on his essay On the Sufferings of the World, this video explores Schopenhauer’s pessimistic outlook on life and reveals a secret to be gained from it.

MARXIAN ECONOMICS & POLITICAL ECONOMY: “Ten Years Ago: Defense Spending [10th Anniversary of Economic Update with Richard Wolff]” / Democracy At Work / Richard Wolff ☮

Defense spending was never really a story of military issues. It’s really more of an economic story.

To mark Economic Update’s 10th anniversary year, Professor Wolff is revisiting relevant moments from 10 years ago to explore how capitalism, its defenders, and its critics have all changed.

For the month of April, Prof Wolff takes a look at defense spending, which was at its height in 2011, accounting for 4.5% of the total US GDP. 10 years later, the Biden Administration has announced the final withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, ending the 20 year war without the defeat of the Taliban. But there was a winner: the defense industry.

PHILOSOPHY: “Arthur Schopenhauer: The Darkest Philosopher in History” / Pursuit of Wonder ☮

In this video, we cover the life and philosophy of one histories darkest and most comprehensive philosophers, the original pessimist, Arthur Schopenhauer.

U.S. POLITICS: “What if We Actually Taxed the Rich?” / Robert Reich ☮

Income and wealth are now more concentrated at the top than at any time over the last 80 years, and our unjust tax system is a big reason why. The tax code is rigged for the rich, enabling a handful of wealthy individuals to exert undue influence over our economy and democracy.

Conservatives fret about budget deficits. Well, then, to pay for what the nation needs — ending poverty, universal health care, infrastructure, reversing climate change, investing in communities, and so much more — the super-wealthy have to pay their fair share.

Together, these seven ways of taxing the rich would generate more than $6 trillion over 10 years — enough to tackle the great needs of the nation. As inequality has exploded, our unjust tax system has allowed the richest Americans to hoard wealth, at the expense of the rest of us. It’s not radical to rein in this irresponsibility. It’s radical to let it continue.