Author: James Livingston

Smallwood

The small, bright lake shone every morning, even when it rained. You could see the sky without looking toward heaven. All souls were reflected there. I walked its two-mile circumference every day for almost a month. I was in exile, upstate, estranged from my wife, waiting for her to move out of the apartment in the city. Only once was the water roused enough by wind to punctuate the surface with neat white-tipped commas. It was late in my stay. That was when I noticed the withered forest in the lake. The trees were still standing, so I supposed...

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Giacometti at the Guggenheim

Thursday is the Guggenheim’s day off. I can’t tell you how many tourists brayed at the announcement. I was watching them from the shade of the main entrance, waiting for my girlfriend to join me for a private showing of the new Giacometti exhibit at 3:00. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a tourist, too. I’ve been here ten years, and I still can’t measure the immensity of the place. Now the guy who arranged this private showing lives in my building along with other museum curators and more bizarre individuals, opera singers and the like. He builds things, always...

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Confessions of a Race Traitor

On May 31, James Livingston posted an impassioned broadside on Facebook against gentrification. Since then, he has received volumes of critical, and often abusive, emails and comments. This is his reply Having read Aingeal de Nógla’s and Mark Bray’s books on the alt-right, and having witnessed the election of Donald Trump, I should have seen the hate mail coming. I didn’t. It’s Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Since Friday, June 1, I’ve received roughly 70 hate mails for what I said at Facebook about white people, who can’t seem to take a joke or slip the yoke. Just between us,...

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The Trouble with Money

Ever had trouble with money? Like, say, hearing from bill collectors at home and at work? Or bouncing your rent check? Or borrowing money from friends to pay Con Ed? Or watching silently while the repo man tows your car, even though you had enough money in the bank to pay the loan off yesterday? Been there, done that. And I’m the guy who wrote the book on the Federal Reserve. I’m supposed to understand money and banking, debt and liability. And I do, in the abstract. I can explain Say’s Law, or Marx’s theory of value, or Keynes’s...

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Thinking About Corporate Activism

Conservative columnists are deeply concerned because some big corporations have distanced themselves from the NRA in the aftermath of the latest massacre by means of an AR-15. How can these joint-stock companies serve political causes, they ask, blinking innocently, as if corporations hadn’t been legal persons since 1886, with plenty of electoral weight—and as if Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision of 2010, hadn’t given them new standing as individuals with First Amendment protections? I’m here to explain their concerns and turn them to left-wing purposes. But you might as well know going in that, in these times—in my...

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