Money Trouble

Can this exploitative economic system be saved?

Now that we have decided the Enlightenment was a mistake, how long will it be before we come to the same conclusion about capitalism? As Voltaire was rumored to have said, “Sans la sauce un homme est perdu, mais le même homme peut se perdre dans la sauce.” Wise words indeed, and ones which resonate down to our very age. Anyway, here’s a long-ass piece from a recent issue of the Times Literary Supplement that takes a look at capitalism in crisis (although, to be honest, when is it not? What a drama queen, capitalism) and what is to be done.

You will very surely argue against certain premises of this piece, while equally strongly asserting that other aspects are absolutely correct. Or maybe not, maybe you’re some hip young renegade who only takes time away from typing “Bernie would have won” under tweets by people you disagree with to loudly deny that there was ever any worthwhile element to capitalism. And who is to say you’re wrong? (I mean, lots of people, but whatever, if the Internet has taught us anything it’s that no one ever admits they are wrong or sticks around long enough to learn that someone has even suggested that they might be.) Either way, I want to second this review’s recommendation of Marc Levinson’s An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy, which argues that the supercharged economy from the end of World War II up until 1973 was an irreproducible anomaly and everything that anyone has tried to do to juice it since has been a bunch of economic [extreme “jerking off” motion], the failure of which has unfortunately resulted (not without help from people who have a vested interest in this being the case) in a distrust of government as an agent of social change. I am someone whose limited general intelligence and particular lack of facility with numbers means that he can only grasp simple economic concepts when described in relation to blowjobs, and even I found this book easy enough to understand; you will surely get a lot more out of it.

Alternately you could just wait for the fires to come, they surely won’t be long now. I mean, capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction, those fuckers are sure to sprout any second, right?