Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution

Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution

James Ferguson / Jun 03, 2020

Give a Man a Fish Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution In Give a Man a Fish James Ferguson examines the rise of social welfare programs in southern Africa in which states make cash payments to their low income citizens More than thirty percent of South A

  • Title: Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution
  • Author: James Ferguson
  • ISBN: 9780822358954
  • Page: 276
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In Give a Man a Fish James Ferguson examines the rise of social welfare programs in southern Africa, in which states make cash payments to their low income citizens More than thirty percent of South Africa s population receive such payments, even as pundits elsewhere proclaim the neoliberal death of the welfare state These programs successes at reducing poverty under coIn Give a Man a Fish James Ferguson examines the rise of social welfare programs in southern Africa, in which states make cash payments to their low income citizens More than thirty percent of South Africa s population receive such payments, even as pundits elsewhere proclaim the neoliberal death of the welfare state These programs successes at reducing poverty under conditions of mass unemployment, Ferguson argues, provide an opportunity for rethinking contemporary capitalism and for developing new forms of political mobilization Interested in an emerging politics of distribution, Ferguson shows how new demands for direct income payments including so called basic income require us to reexamine the relation between production and distribution, and to ask new questions about markets, livelihoods, labor, and the future of progressive politics.

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      Posted by:James Ferguson
      Published :2020-03-11T00:29:15+00:00

    About "James Ferguson"

      • James Ferguson

        Librarian Note There is than one author in the database with this name This is James Ferguson.James Ferguson is Susan S and William H Hindle Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University He is the author of Global Shadows Africa in the Neoliberal World Order and the coeditor of Culture, Power, Place Explorations in Critical Anthropology, both also published by Duke University Press.


    188 Comments

    1. Ferguson is a very accessible writer who can illuminate unfamiliar ideas quickly and easily. I got sucked into the introductory chapter and enjoyed the subsequent sections. Unfortunately the book feels repetitive, it is constantly references earlier or later chapters and often summarizes the sections the arguments of those chapters. By the end I felt like I was rereading the book. This being said, the engagement with the "Give a man a fish" idiom is very clear and the argument about the "rightfu [...]


    2. Super interesting book. Although I didn't agree with all his arguments it made me think quite a bit about questions of capitalism, neoliberalism and distribution. He also touches on key debates within liberalism.


    3. "Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime." Ferguson takes issue with this adage, and says it's actually a good idea to give people fish, otherwise they'll never have the means to buy themselves fishing rods, lures and bait. He argues that, at least where the very poor -- those so far out to the margins of the market economy that they're barely participating in it at all -- are concerned, it's a good idea to give them money. Since the economie [...]


    4. Another great book by Ferguson, a meditation on the possibility of a new sort of welfarist politics, rooted not in production, but in everyone in a society getting a "share" -- above all in the form of a basic income grant. He focuses on the rise of such general income support grants in Namibia and South Africa, which go to everyone, including working age males, without regard for employment or means testing. He speculates about the possibility that Universal Basic Income could become the basis [...]


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