Saturday, May 11, 2013

Relinquishing the Future

Strange times when I find myself agreeing with a Marxist:
Finance is to our stagnant societies what the space race and the Cold War were to the Eastern Bloc countries of the 1970s and 80s – a huge cost that the state imposes on its public, with the result that cities and economies start to become tedious processions of the same. Will Davies
ht Marginal Revolution.


  1. Really great word/idiom to use - "procession"... Hits the nail on the head... says so much about the "vital force" that is in the air in these times, that at the end of the day is what makes for our productivity and consumption paradigms... It brings to my mind a similar phrase used by another great socialist, George Orwell. "... the tom-tom beat of a latterday tribalism...". Sure, he was referring to something even darker than the world created today (largely) by very big finance. But strikingly apt in a similar manner ...

  2. Sorry, comment above may not be clear. This might help to clarify:

    JS Mill: "The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it; and a State which postpones the interests of their mental expansion and elevation, to a little more of administrative skill or that semblance of it which practice gives, in the details of business; a State, which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes, will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished; and that the perfection of machinery to which it has sacrificed everything, will in the end avail it nothing, FOR WANT OF THE VITAL POWER WHICH, in order that the machine might work more smoothly, it has preferred to banish. "

    Except, it seems to me that in our times, "the State" that acts on our individual-worth has become (even more so) merely an extension of the will of powerful business and financial interests...

  3. That's a great turn of phrase roc:

    "with small men no great thing can really be accomplished"

    Of course, JS Mill was writing long before the emergence of a welfare state and the culture of dependency that it has created (despite the noble intentions of its founders - but what's new?)

    People see 'welfare state' and stop at the first word. It's the second word that's the catch, and social democrats and left liberals have been only too willing to 'take the market's shilling' when it helped them buy the next election.

    Unfortunately the market (the financial ones anyway) are looking for their money back (and then some).


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