blogorrhoea
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
 
WHAT I (WAS) READING

Some sad tale that starts on the ground floor of this squat 34-storey building where:
- people get cloned in quantities and of qualities that suit 'social stability';
- they're conditioned to consume what contemporary industry produces, to fear reading and to refrain from pausing to smell the roses; and
- they're given narrow educations that stress the technical and elide the contextual, on grounds that particulars make for virtue and happiness whilst generalities are intellectually necessary evils.

And this all occurs in a world where:
- quantified 'utility' is the be-all and end-all of public policy;
- English is doing away with all other languages;
- human sexuality is confined to soul-deadening, thought-avoiding, electronically-mediated and generally commercial recreation; and
- huge electric fences have been erected so as to make of civilised society a gated community, safe from the savages without;

Well, a bloke can only take so much and I've slammed the tome shut for the last time. Dismarrhoea of this order even I can do without. I can find it in my heart to forgive the author his bleak disposition, though, as I remember seeing on the jacket that he'd written the thing in 1931.

I mean, a generation of blue-sky technoboosting Wall St hacks had just got their latest orgy of utopian predictions sadly wrong and there'd been a stock market crash that had left the economy stagnating in a depressing sink of excess capacity, corporate and residential debt and bankruptcy, and unemployment, poverty and scapegoating were stalking the world. All the certitudes of economic wisdom had disappeared in a puff of empirical refutation, but so sacred a technocratic guild had economists become that we made a depression of a recession by imposing the austerity measures their liturgies demanded. Huge transport and communications mergers had exacerbated debt levels without doing a thing for profit levels. Technocrats in Moscow had induced famine on grounds that short-term pain was the price of long-term gain, whilst technocrats at the Bank of England lectured on the evils of public works, welfarism and unions. As economic desperation mounted, interest rates fell to their lowest level for 22 years. The world's reserve currency looked set to lose 30% of its value.

The siren-call of totalitarian demagogues was drawing crowds amongst the desperate, the marginalised, the abused and the expropriated.

The lesson of the Great War, that technological advance is not all beer and skittles had been forgotten by the major military powers, who were repudiating arms limitation agreements and presiding over proliferation. The RAF was even dropping bombs on Iraq.

So lets's not be hard on the author, eh? I mean, living in a world like that would make anyone fear for the future.
 
political economic and cultural observations in the register of dismal dilettantism

ARCHIVES
06/30/2002 - 07/07/2002 / 07/14/2002 - 07/21/2002 / 07/21/2002 - 07/28/2002 / 08/04/2002 - 08/11/2002 / 08/11/2002 - 08/18/2002 / 08/18/2002 - 08/25/2002 / 08/25/2002 - 09/01/2002 / 09/01/2002 - 09/08/2002 / 09/08/2002 - 09/15/2002 / 09/15/2002 - 09/22/2002 / 09/22/2002 - 09/29/2002 / 10/13/2002 - 10/20/2002 / 10/20/2002 - 10/27/2002 / 10/27/2002 - 11/03/2002 / 11/03/2002 - 11/10/2002 / 11/24/2002 - 12/01/2002 / 12/01/2002 - 12/08/2002 / 12/08/2002 - 12/15/2002 / 12/15/2002 - 12/22/2002 / 12/22/2002 - 12/29/2002 / 12/29/2002 - 01/05/2003 / 01/05/2003 - 01/12/2003 / 01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003 / 02/02/2003 - 02/09/2003 / 02/09/2003 - 02/16/2003 / 02/16/2003 - 02/23/2003 / 02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003 / 03/02/2003 - 03/09/2003 / 03/09/2003 - 03/16/2003 / 03/16/2003 - 03/23/2003 / 03/23/2003 - 03/30/2003 / 03/30/2003 - 04/06/2003 / 04/06/2003 - 04/13/2003 / 04/13/2003 - 04/20/2003 / 04/20/2003 - 04/27/2003 / 04/27/2003 - 05/04/2003 / 05/04/2003 - 05/11/2003 / 05/18/2003 - 05/25/2003 / 05/25/2003 - 06/01/2003 / 06/01/2003 - 06/08/2003 / 06/08/2003 - 06/15/2003 / 06/15/2003 - 06/22/2003 / 06/22/2003 - 06/29/2003 / 06/29/2003 - 07/06/2003 / 07/06/2003 - 07/13/2003 / 07/13/2003 - 07/20/2003 / 07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003 / 07/27/2003 - 08/03/2003 / 08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003 / 08/10/2003 - 08/17/2003 / 08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003 / 08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003 / 09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003 / 09/14/2003 - 09/21/2003 / 09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003 / 10/05/2003 - 10/12/2003 / 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 / 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 / 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 / 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 / 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 / 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 / 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 / 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 / 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 / 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 / 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 / 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 / 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 / 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 / 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 / 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 / 06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004 / 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 / 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 / 08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004 / 08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004 / 09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004 / 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 / 09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004 / 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 / 10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004 / 10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004 / 10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004 / 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 / 11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004 / 11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004 / 01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005 / 03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005 /


links
The Road to Surfdom
Sauer-Thompson's Public Opinion
John Quiggin
William Burroughs' Baboon
Tugboat Potemkin
SheSellsSanctuary
Southerly Buster
Barista
Back Pages
Cast Iron Balcony
No Sanity Clause
Jeremy Williams
Mr Zilla goes to Washington
Troppo Armadillo
Dolebludger
Virulent Memes
Lakatoi
Vigilant TV
Whom Gods Destroy
Tim Lambert
Keks
Lan Down Under
Cross Words
Paul Watson
A Media Dragon
Mt Disappointment
Spin Starts Here
What's New Pussycat
Even Dictators Have Friends
Riot ACT

The UnAustralian
Antipodean Journal
No Right Turn
NZPols

After Grog Blog
Ubersportingpundit
Supermercado Project
Michael Jennings
Bargarz
AE Brain
The Daily Slander
FridaySixPM

Crooked Timber
Pedantry
Fist Full Of Euros
Xymphora
NormBlog
Ken MacLeod
Socialism in an Age of Waiting
D-Squared
K Marx The Spot
Reasons to be Impossible
Histologion
Sitting On A Fence
The Common Man
Wis[s]e Words

Max Sawicky
Nathan Newman
Whiskey Bar
Noam Chomsky's Turning The Tide
Brad DeLong
Juan Cole's Informed Comment
Josh Marshall's Talking Points
Conceptual Guerilla
Discourse.Net
Interesting Times
Coherence Theory of Truth
The Modulator
Critical Montages
Scott McLemee
Doug Kellner's Blogleft
Daily Dystopian
Demosthenes
Ethel The Blog
Body & Soul
Daily Kos
Alas, A Blog
Sisyphus Shrugged
Skippy The Bush Kangaroo
Uggabugga
Slacktivist
Idols Of The Market Place
Talking Dog
Exposing The Right
The Poor Man
Busy Busy Busy
Estimated Prophet
Big Picnic
Steve Perry
Pen Elayne
Hammerdown
Electrolite
I Protest
Reach'MHigh
Sassafrass Log
Orcinus
Wampum
CalPundit
Public Domain Progress
Dystopia
War In Context
TBogg
Flagrancy To Reason
High Desert Skeptic
Braganza
Magpie Blog
Sadly No
TalkLeft
Arms And The Man
Back To Iraq
JR Mooneyham
a buddha's memes

Salam Pax
Riverbend

Cursor
The Agonist
BuzzFlash
TomPaine.com
Common Dreams
Arts & Letters Daily
The Memory Hole
Counterspin Central
TomDispatch
The Smoking Gun
UnMedia
Tapped
Tim Porter's First Draft
Cooped Up
Take Back The [US} Media
Media Whores Online
PR Watch
News Hounds
Lawrence Lessig
Kim Weatherall
JournOz
Danny Yee's Pathologically Polymathic

The Loom
The Green Man
Sauer-Thompson's Philosophy
Marstonalia
Experimental Philosophy
Orange Philosophy
Half the Sins of Mankind
Quiggin's Modern Thought Dictionary

General Glut's Globblog
Goodbye Maggie
Angry Bear
Bonobo Land
Hegemoney
Ross Gittins' Archive
Econoblog
Institutional Economics
Knowledge Problem

Margo Kingston
OnLineOpinion
Australian Policy Online
Heap Of Junk for Code
Joanna Sheldon's Tadorne
Silentio
Boynton
Pinocchio Theory
Tripe Soup
Scribble
Joe Duemer's Reading and Writing
Wood's Lot
Tom Tomorrow
Purse Lip Square Jaw
Michael Berube
Mikarrhea
Yorkshire Soul
Blogging About Blogging
Fragments

Jay's Lefty Internet Resource s
Progressive Gold
Lefty Review
Liberal Oasis
Link Crusader
link
Powered by Blogger