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Equilibrium doesn't imply equal weight, it implies appropriate weights.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 03:29:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I knew you were going to pick me up on that! I still maintain that "balancing" as they use it will be read by the vast majority of people as implying equal weight to be given to each term.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 03:44:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"balancing" is one of those words that are thrown in because they sound nice, not because they mean anything any longer, like "solidarity", "sustainable"...

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 03:46:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, but the GP does take those three objectives as its sound-bite basis (the title of the GP is A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive, and Secure Energy).

I just looked at the French version of the GP, and the meaning of "balancing" (if it means anything!) obviously gave the translator a problem, since at one point it's translated as trouvant l'équilibre (finding the balance, which suggests work to do assigning relative importance to the parts), at another assurant l'équilibre, (ensuring the balance, which suggests it's been found).

The French version of the GP is well-written and competent. The fr questionnaire may have been done by a native speaker, but I doubt it. Surely not by a professional translator, and not even by someone conversant with the GP, from which whole expressions could have been profitably lifted.

I get (more and more) the impression of a cheap PR operation overseen by ideological kommissars.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 04:35:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What they don't realize is that, by saying "balancing" they implicitly acknowledge that sustainability, competitivity and security are competing goals.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 05:22:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's because the only goal is competition.

Everything good happens because of competition. The Invisible Hand will reach down from the data sky and miraculously adjust all inputs and outputs, and soothe all fiscal wrongs.

People here should understand that by now.

With competition sustainability will happen naturally, after most of the infrastructure has crumbled and most of the population has died.

The markets always win in the end.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 08:44:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People here should understand that by now.

So what are we to do? Is there anything we can do other than bitch and moan?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 08:53:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
qv my other comment.

It's an ideological problem and it needs an ideological solution. Currently there's only one narrative in media space, and things won't get better until it has a competitor.

The problem is also that market-think is taught as gospel (sic) on MBA courses and among economists. The answer has to be to get a competing narrative into the collective headspace, not just within the media but also within academia too.

When was the last time you saw a best selling book, or a magazine or newspaper feature questioning the foundations of marketism?

You have to see this for what it is - which is almost a Soviet-style lock down on public discussion of alternatives to The Party. A strong and united blitz of authoritative public statements criticising the Market Position is the only thing that can make a difference.

Old-style street theatre protest is useless, and occasional LTEs won't do more than chip away at the edifice. Linking sympathetic MEPs with intellectual dissent and alternative business interests may be the only approach that has any chance of working.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 09:51:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is also that market-think is taught as gospel (sic) on MBA courses and among economists.

You know, I'm reading "the gospel" (Smith, Ricardo, Mills, Keynes so far) and it doesn't look like the conventional wisdom. Where does the marketista ideology actually come from?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 10:45:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's certainly not in Hayek's Road to Serfdom either. Maybe his other book and writings ... though he'd have to explicitly contradict himself.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 10:52:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, looking at Wikiquote it seems likely that as his paranoia about totalitarianism advanced so did his fundamentalism about "freedom". He's credited with influencing both Thatcher's and Reagan's little experiments.

The Constitution of Liberty is due to be republished in September. Maybe their secrets will be found there.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 11:07:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the name of the game is Anarcho-capitalism.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 11:13:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe not, exactly:

One social structure that is not permissible under anarcho-capitalism is one that attempts to claim greater sovereignty than the individuals that form it. The state is a prime example, but another is the modern corporation -- defined as a legal entity that exists under a different legal code than individuals as a means to shelter the individuals who own and run the corporation from possible legal consequences of acts by the corporation. It is worth noting that Rothbard allows a narrower definition of a corporation: "Corporations are not at all monopolistic privileges; they are free associations of individuals pooling their capital. On the purely free market, such men would simply announce to their creditors that their liability is limited to the capital specifically invested in the corporation ...."[9] However, this is a very narrow definition that only shelters owners from debt by creditors that specifically agree to the arrangement; it also does not shelter other liability, such as from malfeasance or other wrongdoing.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 11:17:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Minarchism, maybe?
Prominent minarchists include Benjamin Constant, Herbert Spencer, Leonard Read, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, James M. Buchanan, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, John Hospers, Robert Nozick, George Reisman.


Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 11:29:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Government should be just big enough to do what we want it to do."
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 11:33:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I could agree with that.

For me, it becomes a debate between left libertarianism and right libertarianism. Neither is free of the risk of degenerating into authoritarian versions in practice.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 11:37:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a historical diary waiting to be written here about how the oil-bust economic melt-down of the 70s combined with what many saw as excessive union power produced a right-wing freebooting capitalist-fundamentalist backlash.

Specifically - Thatcher and Reagan and their peculiar ideas about deregulation.

Once the media were deregulated, it was easy for Murdoch to start spreading his poison and acting as king maker, and for other corporate interests to follow suit. In the UK the miners' strike and the move to Wapping were two big battles in the subsequent class war.

There's also been a lot of influence in the US from frankly wacko billionaires such as Scaife and his Scaife Foundations which have effectively treated US government as a personal for-profit organisation.

There are two levels here. At the Scaife level it's deliberate manipulation of opinion and policy for personal gain. At the lower level there are numerous emotionally stunted chancers and wannabes who love the greed-is-good amorality of freebooting capitalism, and feel that paying taxes is a personal insult.

Under those two levels there's a majority of people who want a quiet life without lethal but stupid panto-wars and crusades, and with a reasonable standard of living offering basics such as education and health care.

The deeper social problem is that the most violently aggressive billionaires and promoters of corporate excellence really do have serious psychological problems. Scaife, Coors and Bush are all former or current alcoholics, and cocaine is the drug of choice among the executive class - so much so that it's considered part of the scenery.

Sane policies are impossible while these people continue to have any significant social influence.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 2nd, 2006 at 01:15:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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