What is it to be an individual And why it makes legal sense, while being utter nonsense from almost every other angle....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

That Jagged line

It is one of the conjurations of modernity.
There are two ways things tend to get better independent of ideology.
The first way is that we concentrate on what we are doing - and really think about it. a major change or a debate often then produces positive change simply because it is doing something.
Secondly technologies can change what we do - making it better or at least different which is not better, but could easily cheaper, and widely spread).
the problem then is twofold.
Firstly neither of these ruses are ideology or policy driven. There is nothing a government can do, save from time to time suggest we all concentrate, and all w technology in. the current system of perpetual revolution or markets really will not work, as it becomes merely another reason not to concentrate. Yo cannot artificially produce the debate is the trouble.
Secondly there is a real tension between quantity and quality in any change. we all want quality as it relates to us (better service thank you very much), but of course we want quantity for others so less poverty or disease etc.
In short change gets up in impossibles.
We all know the change is possible and get we cannot really get their- cannot get at it or or to it.
Oh well

any suggestion?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

capitalism is the least bad system...

Trouble is this is at least four very different types of statement
The is an improvable this is the least worse - well maybe....
Or their is the challenge on the level of idealism. I mean the challenge to try to think about a different system. our failure to think beyond the system we all know is flawed is after all a challenge to the imagination (and its failure is our failure to think beyond a box). The statement is then a gambit - you will to be able to imagine a better system: A probable fallacy.
Thirdly there is a statement about practical limitation. The statement runs that even if one can define a better system in the short term the pain getting their is too higher price to pay- or worse will lead you astray, so you never reach your promised land.
Finally there is a hard edged assertion that has prisoner's dilemma written all over it. We need to trust other folk but also nations, to get out of the cell, but if we trusted one another we would now have the current system (which is built on lack of trust, but of course encourages it).
The result is then that the world finds it just too difficult to move beyond the system that happened to be (in part) in charge when one or two powers industrialized (leaving aside whether capitalism and industrialization need it each -- one suspects there is nothing as simple as a yes no here,), as this system then evolved as it expanded to cope with the collapse of the old imperial order (again for very many reasons, including capitalist propaganda, but there is nothing necessary in the timing here).
In short we have understood the triumph of the machine through the capitalist lense from so many angle at the same time, and for so long, that we appear to have lost all hope or dreams of moving beyond its many jagged facets- all we can hope for are adhoc mutations....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Deep rules 2: Gordon Brown is angry

If Cameron public personality is twaddle - he uses vacious words to hide is lack of ideas (a kind of operation margarine!) - Browns equivalent is anger.
but here the operation is clearly running the opposite way. Brown did always strike one as a bully. or a man who simply assumed he was right always, and therefore knew everyone else was idiots. Anger overhung his and every thing he was. his response was always to try to make that anger 'useful'. He would describe himself as being angry about...(the latest example is the failure of the world, including himself, to meet the development targets). The was no doubt at one point told be some marketing fool to use what he was when trying to sell is ideas and himself.
Trouble of course is that it really does not work. We all know that brown is an angry man, and the anger simply overshadows what is is saying. We feel it and not the point he is making. or perhaps (depending on ones mood) one thinks so what if you are angry - how is anger appropriate - it will not solve anything -i am angry about lots of things myself...
he hides the meaningful things under a rubric that actually robs them of their power and passion.
Operation margarine in reverse - unless that is the point e and he is meaning to distract from the issues, to hide the fact he was never good at realizing what he wanted - he merely posed, waving endless numbers around....

It was on of those deep rules 1...'That is why'

In his way I suppose one might sat Cameron is a genius.
He is the master of the platitude.
That is the master of saying nothing much- mouthing platitudes upon cliche upon vacious statement, the kind of thing that is the easiest listening of the and most imbellic stuff of political debate. What makes him (a little) different is firstly that he clearly thinks he is being a man of the people on making these list of platitudes, worse that that he probably thinks he is being profound.I suppose there is nothing wrong that that - given politicians need their platitudes and simplification to get elected, it is for better to have a nitwit in charge that a liar...
Secondly though his use of the phraze that is why, is really very interesting. It comes at the end of lists of rubbish, of platitudes and splices that list either to a list of hopes (usually speeches he has made) or else a clumsy policy.
In short his 'that is why' is clearly imperialistic in its endeavours. it subsumes platitude to either a action of political branding which claims all those things you all think, really is speaking our language; and at the same time converts those platitudes into potential Tory policies.
Now the move is so unsubtle so cack anded that it ought to fail. The trouble of cpurse is the media are currently in love with cameron and threat his saying as if they matter. They allow then the move to go unquestioned and have even adopted the phraze of "David Cameron's idea...' as part of their own vocabulary, and therefore as a natural part of the political debate. the result is hen that our language is gently being warmed in the direction of rightwing uncritical mumbo-jumbo.- A language which says nothing useful (if nothing offensive). The problem of course is that if this is really the language of the next political decade or so (which it will be if it is not challenged somehow), we are going to be able actually address in anything other that jolly hockey stick buck; language deep social and economic problems.
We might have fun being idiots at each other -but is that really the point?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Financial Crisis

It is so strange that we let this happen.
We are clearly loosing sight of all that complex interaction of greedy bankers, greedy savers, greedy governments, and greed people - a greed that felt itself was right - the one that ruined our old world in the name of open ended greed for itself.
Well it was an uncomfortable thought that we all did it (as ever capitalism is saved by our very lack of imagination to think of anything else).
Far better to forget it - and do what we always do; firstly blame the past government (as if it were responsible for the system). We wrap then the tempest of greed, and it accompanying guilts, with the bland phrase 'finical situation'. It is as if it were merely a normal recession or a hiccup - and not (as it felt at the time) a collapse in the fundamental rules of the system. You know the ones- recessions were meant to be created by workers greed, not bankers...
and secondly, we are resorting to that tried and tested method of swinging cuts to teach those who were greedy a lesson. The lesson is itself rather interesting. The people that the current government hits are of course not the richest and the most greedy, but the greedy also rans - on then lies the burden. now there is nothing preventing poor people being greedy, of course they are when encouraged - but is odd that their greed is somehow to be got at, and the greed of bankers is rumbling on untouched.
Once again the problem of course is a failure of imagination.We cannot being to understand what it would e not blame the workers, and help the bankers. That is we simply seem to be utterly unable to understand actually what has happened- we can only cope with it by pretending it was something else.
And what is so strange is all of us seem seem to accept that fact. we do not like it, and yet have no where else to go. so why are we really that daft? or is it that or personal investment, our own greed i to invested in the current system that rich or poor does us rather well (in comparison to other nations)? If so how are we going to cope with what will be the eventual out come of all of this, that we are all poorer in relation to other nations? Or is that the problem we can nothing to system, we have to warily hit out poor and then get on with the dreadful greed stuff, because other nations have bought our capitalist myth, and want their time in the greedy sun; and who reasonably recent our talk of recessions changing the system or even ecology.
If so then we really shackled to our greed, and it no wonder we cannot think of anything new.

School masters ahoy

Is it me - or is Cameron language only of two sorts- reflecting perhaps his two experiences of life.
Firstly he talks often as if he were a prep school master - we are told to pay attention and sit up and think and even to pull our socks up. A language which would be unthinkable in a secondary school seems to have become then norm - it is even passed by a strangely quiessent media as if it meant something. Perhaps it appeals to the prep school boys amongst them? Certainly given their acequessence it makes all political debate strange. he problem is forever framed as f were all were a large stroppy class (say the remove), and all criticism is unjust or merely bad behaviour
His second only apparent strategy is to give names for empty concepts, such as the big society or even cuts to come, and then let reality or others fill the avoid. We are all then invited to habit (and so explain) what' his' idea of big society means or his vision which is a collection of platitude), or his duty (which is the same), or the sharp elbow of the middle classes (and this being a good thing?) while we are all invited to work out what cuts must happen and inhabit a nightmare policy agenda of our own. he keeps mum on both issues - or rather seems to pretend he knows and the rest of us must guess.
It kind of makes debate impossible- for how can one attack an idea that does not yet exist?
more interesting both these strategies will only work at the start of the government - once polices are their and have gone wrong, then they simply will not work. Cameron's ability to survive is then going to require he has more faces than these two. but then one suspects he does- that is after all what makes him such a quintessential political (or prep school master)....
I wonder when us naughty boys will manage get to the prep-school-master shout or 'Sterling Shake'?
But more critically when will he suffer that fate of all prep school masters who use such language - namely the mimic. we will quiet soon learn what he is doing and ape the language back, either in mockery or using it were he does want ti to be used (phrases big society or sharp elbows very easily turn into other things). If so again is he going to scream and shout or ignore it? what does the prep school teacher d? Or will he just lose control of the class he has made for himself.
Hope so.