"And so the system broke down, the Empire collapsed, and a long sullen silence settled down over a billion hungry worlds, disturbed only by the pen scratchings of scholars as they labored into the night over smug little treatises on the value of a planned political economy."
- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (what a genius he was!)
But is there a distinction to be made between a planned economy and a managed one?
Left to its own devices, big-money capitalism will tend to consolidate, shut out competition and reap the excessive benefits of monopoly, as Ms Hearn shows here:
Naturally, because organisations develop a life-instinct of their own, they will resist anything that tries to limit them. So part of their budgets will be to influence politicians and the news media in their favour. Look how the EU and its fellow travellers in the UK managed the news in 1975 - the mystery to me is why there was anything like a fair hearing for both sides in 2016.
Somehow, the cat must be belled.
Quite how the US managed to do this in the "Progressive Age" I don't know exactly, though I imagine responsiveness to the people via the machinery of democracy had something to do with it. Hence the introduction of antitrust laws.
But I suppose a lot of work goes in to "managing democracy" these days; perhaps bought tongues and internet trolling will prevent a recurrence of mass antitrust understanding and sentiment.
And the battle continues, not only within countries but between them: fast- moving globalist capital versus captive local populations.
Just as the immigration question is not one of "nobody in" versus "everybody in", perhaps there is a position to hold between no-imports protectionism and unconditional "free trade."
Some of us are so focused on the EU membership question that we are forgetting the same issue is writ much larger in the world as a whole. It must be possible to allow the Third World to rise without destabilising the social fabrics of the developed nations.
To use an analogy, if you have a car, it does not only stop or go, it has a steering wheel and brakes.
I should have thought that the British Labour Party would have understood this - I think it used to, but as an organisation with its intrinsic desire to survive and thrive it decided some time ago to extend its pseudopodia towards the prosperous middle classes, and despite the appointment of a Left leader has not adequately developed its analysis and reformulated its objectives.
Absent a coherent political and economic platform, things are coming to a head: