I'm putting these links onto Bearwatch because they're too hot to include on the Broad Oak Blog, where I try to maintain a cooler view of the economy and investment. But pace my attempts at sanity and balance, it may be that the urbane attitude is fatally mistaken, and that matters are approaching a crisis of apocalyptic proportions.
Let's start with an absolutely magnificent rant by Joe Bageant, whose fireball sermon takes as its text the principle that "at ground zero of human species economics [...] the only currency is the calorie" - here he is.
I came upon that link from a comment on this blog, which foresees a new feudalism that begins by victimising the poor and goes on to terrorise the middle class. Again, as we slide into accepting permanent structural unemployment, I begin to doubt the continuance of democracy as I grew up knowing it. On the way, this post tells me things about mainstream Eng Lit icon poet and preacher John Donne that I almost wish it hadn't. And bloggers should take note of the fate of protesters against the Outland-style Virginia Company: "For making “base and detracting” statements against the governor, the Company managers ordered one servant to have his arms broken, his tongue pierced with an awl, and finally to be beaten by a gauntlet of 40 men before being banished from the settlement. For complaining that the Company’s system of justice was unfair, a man named Thomas Hatch was whipped, placed in the pillory, had an ear cut off, and sentenced to an additional seven years of servitude." Read the whole post here.
And in its turn, that came from the sidebar of Jesse, an investment / economics commentator who has been turning (or progressively revealing himself to be) more radical over the last year. His archly-named section "Matières à Réflexion" contains much that is indeed worthy of reflection.
More than once I have quietly challenged James Higham on his "Them" conspiracy theory, but that was to see if he really could prove the links. Perhaps such proof is impossible, just as (thanks to the careful exclusion of fussily minuting civil servants) it is impossible to know exactly what was said by whom at Tony Blair's sofa-style inner Cabinet meetings. Coming from the financial angle, all I can say is that there seems to be growing unease at what many feel to be a crooked manipulation of the entire economic system for the benefit of a rich and powerful elite - to the point where the system may break down altogether. Which, to quote the now tarnished Johne Donne, "makes me end, where I begun": do read Bageant - I think the drink and drugs have merely fuelled his oratory, rather than turned his brain.