I've Just Spent Six Months in a Leaky Boat

Saturday, 7 February 2009

If the Golden Rule were generally observed among us, the economy would not last a week. We have made our false economy a false god, and it has made blasphemy of the truth. So I have met the economy in the road, and am expected to yield it right of way. But I will not get over. My reason is that I am a man, and have a better right to the ground than the economy. The economy is no god for me, for I have had too close a look at its wheels. I have seen it at work in the strip mines and coal camps of Kentucky, and I know that it has no moral limits. It has emptied the country of the independent and the proud, and has crowded the cities with the dependent and the abject. It has always sacrificed the small to the large, the personal to the impersonal, the good to the cheap. It has ridden questionable triumphs over the bodies of small farmers and tradesmen and craftsmen. I see it, still, driving my neighbors off their farms into the factories. I see it teaching my students to give themselves a price before they can give themselves a value. Its principle is to waste and destroy the living substance of the world and the birthright of posterity for a monetary profit that is the most flimsy and useless of human artifacts.
~ Wendell Berry

I take heart from people like Wendell Berry. For every made-stupid person who can't see out of the matrix, or doesn't want to, the brave ones fill me with hope 100 times more. For every person who calls the emperor out on the fact that his bum cheeks are hanging out, I have hope, and I feel safer.

Meanwhile, Western governments continue to bail water out of the economic boat by ... spending more money. Which is the shape of the pool they're in, and they can't do much else. The Rudd government plans on giving me 900 bucks in a few weeks' time. It's to stimulate the economy. What will happen is that most people will go and buy something made in Taiwan or, like me (hopefully, in theory), they will use the money to pay bills, like I will to pay my car rego.

(In theory. In practice, I might dip in here and dip in there and spend it on pointless shit until it's all gone. Which is really bad economic management ... but really good paradigmatic, governmental economic management.)

Lurch left. Lurch right. Bail out more water. Fuck the earth. Good plan.

1 comment

  1. some more from Mr. Berry

    "But we must begin by giving up any idea that we can bring about these healings without fundamental changes in the way we think and live. We face a choice that is starkly simple: we must change or be changed. If we fail to change for the better, then we will be changed for the worse. We can not blunder our way into health by the same sad and foolish hopes by which we have blundered into disease. We must see that the standardless aims of industrial communism and industrial capitalism equally have failed. The aims of productivity, profitability, efficiency, limitless growth, limitless wealth, limitless power, limitless mechanization and automation can enrich and empower the few (for awhile), but they will sooner or later ruin us all. The gross national product and the corporate bottom line are utterly meaningless as measure of the prosperity or health of the country."


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