what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Be very afraid!

I’m pleased that my readers have chosen, without any encouragement from me, to elevate a 2 year old post about the financial crisis to top of today’s pops. Perhaps you had, telepathically picked up my study last week of FT journalist Gillian Tett’s 2009 book Fool’s Gold about how the toxic new financial instruments were invented in the 1990s and how they subverted our social systems. One of the LRB reviewers summarises her book very well here (apologies if this is behind a firewall)
One of my favourite (rather manic) bloggers has a typically caustic description of this period - and then moves to some prescriptions -
The new movements we need now (and I’m increasingly drifting away from anything ‘political’) should be underpinned by these five very simple ideas:
1. Small, creative and vulnerable must triumph against big, monied and powerful
2. The co-operative side of our species nature must be given a larger role in the shape of mutuality
3. The centralised, bureaucratic State must have its influence reduced in favour of communitarian entrepreneurial ideas
4. Globalist mercantilism must be abandoned in favour of self-sufficiency and limited trade
5. Education must teach more civics, offer more personal challenge, and give an equal role to socio-cultural subjects
Despite the rhetoric of the past 5 years, the excesses of the banking class continue – indeed intensify. And point to a new phase of collapse - with eurocrats leading the way in setting the scene for wholesale robbery of what’s left of middle-class people like me. Shades of Weimar! Who said history never repeats itself??

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