Warum gibt es etwas und nicht nichts? (Why is there something rather than nothing?) - Leibniz

Saturday, September 19, 2009

People get ready

We're going to be splatted by a headlights-on-full-beam, diesel-pluming, horn-honking road-train of debt. Fred Goodwin, CEO at Nomura (i.e. not the RBS wrecker who scuttled to his hideout in France - the private gated resort may be the one between Cannes and Mougins) has used the colourful phrase "clear and present danger" of the British economy. Unfortunately, shouting "Look out!" usually doesn't prevent disaster.

Karl Denninger, still indignant and vengeful but now also beginning to sounding the Cassandra note of inevitable defeat ("We are one cycle away from a collapse - if we're lucky"), graphs debt against GDP for the USA and it's clear that there must be a break in the smooth lines at some point.

And however bad it is for America - a country which periodically falls over, picks itself up, dusts itself down, and starts all over again - it'll be far worse for Britain, a country where the management has never quite lost that 1066 sense of being quite unconnected with the indigenous peasantry subjected to their cruel alien rule. This is why our overlords find it so easy to flee the country to take their place in the new pan-European aristocracy currently under construction, an unlovely amalgam of big-business swindlers, venal politicians and their marketing men. They're allying with old money smart enough to know which side its bread is buttered; history is made in the bedroom and the backroom (“Let others wage wars: you, fortunate Austria, marry”).

There is a long history of England's rulers employing foreign mercenaries (especially Germans) to put down uprisings of the overwrought population, both here in the sixteenth century, and in the American colonies in the eighteenth. In the modern world, where the predominant avatar of Power is money (Bertrand Russell's 1938 book is illuminating on the three-headed helldog), we are being driven off our business smallholdings and made day-labourers for giant enterprises owned abroad or by equally huge collective investments in which the individual shareholders' voices are lost "like tears in rain".

And when the Empire falls, as it must, as all do, the great forgetting will descend. Perhaps we can take comfort in the thought that after the bloody cataclysm, the Dark Ages, so named because untroubled by the scribes and accountants of expansive rulers, were, quietly and anonymously, as sunlit as ours.

7 comments:

Nick Drew said...

our overlords find it so easy to flee the country to take their place in the new pan-European aristocracy currently under construction, an unlovely amalgam of big-business swindlers, venal politicians and their marketing men. They're allying with old money smart enough to know which side its bread is buttered

a fine observation, Sackers

James Higham said...

it'll be far worse for Britain, a country where the management has never quite lost that 1066 sense of being quite unconnected with the indigenous peasantry subjected to their cruel alien rule. This is why our overlords find it so easy to flee the country to take their place in the new pan-European aristocracy currently under construction, an unlovely amalgam of big-business swindlers, venal politicians and their marketing men.

Was it the red wine last night? This is magnificent.

Sackerson said...

Thank you, both. Beer last night, since you ask.

Paddington said...

And the rich do not have a clue how bad it is likely to be. With even moderate interruption of supply lines, most cities, towns and suburbs begin to starve in 2 days. You can't maintain the modern standard of living without a massive infrastructure, which they seem determined to destroy.

You also can't eat money, or gold.

dearieme said...

Mind you, the archaeology suggests that the Dark Ages were unspeakably backward and poor, much worse off than pre-Roman Britain. On that analogy, when industrial civilisation finally collapses, we shall be worse off than our medieval ancestors.

Sackerson said...

Bot once they'd forgotten the soft times under the Romans (enjoyed by chieftains and their ilk only, I believe), the unhappiness of comparison would fade.

Sackerson said...

... and yes, there's no going back by that exact path, because a collapse would mean eating just about everything edible in the country before almost everyone died of starvation and disease. Population collapses overshoot a long way, sometimes all the way.