Monday, 31 October 2011

Summer's End

The hour has gone back and summer is over, even though the days are sunshiny and near perfect.  But they are short and the night is cold, which is more or less what the doom-laden economic news is telling us.

Should we believe it?   Yes.  The jejune economic philosophy of consumption of desirables being interpreted as investment has resulted in effective Greek default on a scale comparable with Poland in the early 1980s - but without  a hope that  recovery can be effected by the dismantling of realised socialism and competent economic governance put in place.  (The Polish experience in the 1970s until the crisis of 1982 is well worth a look - and a gulp of recognition).

Look at the 'letter from 100 economists' and weep.  Keynes's "even the most practical man of affairs is usually in the thrall of the ideas of some long-dead economist" could not be more apposite - but, then, Keynes does apposite spectacularly well, even when it applies to himself.  Anyone with some acquaintance with the personnel of economic academia can see that a new generation of  statist spendthrifts has been spawned by those who believe profoundly that the benefits of capitalism can be harnessed by technology and directed to an ethically justified greater good;  a good and an ethic determined by a (preferably) meritocratically selected governing class.

Morgan Forster gave two cheers for democracy (one for individualism and one for facilitating criticism); the same two cheers can be given for capitalism.   Not perfect, but the best we've got.