December 8th, 2012
|11:37 am - The brutal experiment|
Here's an article in the New York Times expressing pity for the UK as the subject of a 'brutal' experiment to prove that austerity does not work. Anyone with any claim to economic savvy who said it might ever work should hang their head in shame.
It's ugly of me to say 'I told you so'. But it was very hard two years ago, being abused and condescended to by Lib Dems. One Lib Dem (the only person I have ever defriended on livejournal*) called me a 'Nazi' to my face. To my virtual face I mean. I do consider the evidence of the past two years shows that people like me who said it was a disaster coming, were right. We were bloody right. It is no consolation. It is literally no consolation at all.
I don't think what happened two years ago was merely a widespread intellectual error, like the geologists who disbelieved in continental drift. I think it shows that reason is a figleaf hiding murky emotional reaction. I actually think this disjunct between overt reason and hidden motive can be worst among atheist/ rationalist/ SF-Lovin'/ computer nerdy types. I know I am part of that group. I don't exclude myself.
Irrational and cruel and destructive impulses slobber around in the subconscious and all the time we talk louder and louder about intellectual matters and books and university courses. Cleverness is being used to think up pretend reasons for actions which are rooted in unexamined impulses.
In this case I think the powerful desire to be brutal was much more significant than the flimsy theoretical idea that brutality would work.
* I should say, apart from two people who unfriended me first for saying rude things about the Bible and Science. That's not bad is it, three fallings-out in ten years.
|Date:||December 8th, 2012 12:01 pm (UTC)|| |
I want to sit people down and take them through the history of the 1930s. We already *knew* that not only does it not work, it is incredibly destablising.
The conservatives are very good it seems at reaching down into that murky psychic basement and tweaking the knobs. What a horrible and incoherent metaphor, but you get my drift.
I was talking to someone yesterday, a man like me from a poor working class background, and he was all about getting the welfare scroungers. In the face of that I think reason gets blown away like cobwebs.
DAYNA: Don't you ever get tired of being right?
AVON: Only of the rest of you being wrong.
Avon is a big fibber: he enjoyed every minute of it.
|Date:||December 8th, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)|| |
I think recessions aren't accidents, they're strategies. After the manic bubble, the asset-owning minority pull as much of their wealth out of labour employment as they can, and put it somewhere else for a while. Their hope is that this will force wages down. Put that way, it's obvious the last thing they would want is for the government to spoil their private recession with public employment, so of course they want a public recession at the same time as the private one. Lucky for them, by the time the bubble bursts, they've been praised for years as being the engine of growth, and can simply tell the government what to do. Rarely does a Roosevelt come along to say "Rich people hate me; I welcome their hate."
I got up this morning hearing George Osborne or somebody middle class in a suit (could have been Cameron or Clegg, or a Milliband but for the fact that it was defending the Coalition budget). He was shouting about "hard work!" That's all they want hard work, hard hard work, hard working families working hard! New Labour are no better, they think hard work is what everything's about, too, you never stop hearing it. Call me a lazy prole, I don't actually think hard work should be a goal in life. But I think they, the minority, want other people's hard work, cheap. Don't you know there's a labour shortage, and all that?
I totally agree with you. When I complain about people being lead astray I am talking about proles who get duped into supporting this awful process. The rich people who are doing very nicely out of this are not behaving irrationally I suppose.
Though I would say this time I think they are sailing close to the wind, and perhaps letting short term greed overwhelm them, because if the whole system goes down, they go with it.
Actually, the LibDem comment that really rankles from two years ago was "war criminal"(people who voted Labour having previously voted Labour, incidentally). But then, I didn't get on the wrong end of the "Nazi" comment. And yes; it was self-evidently a disaster coming.
And self-evidently a disaster for the Lib Dems as a party as well as for the country. At the time I didn't get it. They had this once in a lifetime window of opportunity, and they just chucked it away. And people saying 'Watch out what you are doing!' were treated like we were nuts. It was the most peculiar time.
|Date:||December 9th, 2012 12:02 am (UTC)|| |
I defriended at least one person in real life at the time. It is starting to hurt personally now, and sneering "at least we were saved from Identity Cards!" Is no fun at all
Yes. It isn't as if I am an uncritical supporter of Labour, and just before the election I wrote something here saying that a Tory govt kept in check by Lib Dem partnership wouldn't be too bad. It is the reality of what happened, not a partisan 'my side at any cost' thing. In fact if the Lib Dems had been different in office they might have been 'my side'. But it just all collapsed like a tinsel facade.