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Half a century of debt-fueled growth? As an exercise in revisionist history it's workable, but those of us in the reality-bsed community cannot help but note that Thatcherism has only spent thirty years - closer to a quarter century than a half - on its thirdworldization project.

As for the idea of a city state, show me one that's sustainably self-sufficient in food and energy, then maybe we can talk. Until such time, I rather like having food and electricity, so I'll pass on the city-state as the principal organisational unit of society. Incidentally, advocates of the city-state may wish to bone up on the reason most city states spent a quite inordinate fraction of their discretionary value added on building walls, towers and parapets.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 04:58:15 PM EST
City states traditionally had their hinterlands.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 05:02:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maginot lines...

If there is war cities need walls, so do states. Or dreams of global entities...

All interesting things were thought in city states in ancient Greece...

Democracy invented there...

by cagatacos on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 05:04:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If there is war cities need walls, so do states.

States need walls?... Never mind that, if there is war, there is conquest.

All interesting things were thought in city states in ancient Greece...

And then the city-sates kept attempting conquering each other until all were conquered by Rome. And before that, they spawned a short-lived emperor who reached as far as India.

Meanwhile, students of Chinese history will swear that all interesting thoughts arose there, in what were de-facto nation states and then a single empire.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 05:12:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I always thought that Athens had a good pr job about having invented democracy.

It was hardly one person one vote. It began as more of a committee of oligarchs; the vote was widened to property owning farmers simply for factional purposes. But at no point could one say that even the majority of men in athens had the vote, let alone the population.

Who had the first democracy ? France or the USA, I suspect the English only started lauding Greece to deflect the credit away from rivals.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 05:17:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't this a Renaissance idea?

In other words, there was no Greece when the emphasis on classical Athens took hold in Europe. so it couldn't be Athens and Greece who were doing the PR.

Nonetheless, it may have been scholars such as Marcus Musurus who laid the groundwork for the rediscovery of the classics prior to the Renaissance. He was Greek.

by Upstate NY on Tue Sep 27th, 2011 at 02:27:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Renaissance had lots of Greek thinkers, exiles from the fallen Byzantium to the cities of northern Italy. We should not neglect Romes role in the PR either as Rome created an idealised Greece that it had inherited.

But there is a thruth to Athens PR too, as Athens had lots of written material from its thinkers, it tended to survive better then the oral traditions Plato claimed was supreme to the lazy written word.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Sep 27th, 2011 at 02:49:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No city-state has ever produced the equipment required for a modern hospital, let alone an experimental physics lab.

"All interesting ideas" may be going a bridge too far, unless you have a very nonstandard definition of "interesting."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 27th, 2011 at 04:07:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Until city states aren't economically self-sufficient, there is not only the risk of a devastating natural disaster, war, and shortage of imported goods, but also that of a race to the bottom.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 05:15:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Half a century of debt-fueled growth? As an exercise in revisionist history it's workable, but those of us in the reality-bsed community cannot help but note that Thatcherism has only spent thirty years - closer to a quarter century than a half - on its thirdworldization project.

Apparently that's becoming part of the conventional wisdom, too. From Satyajit Das on Eurointelligence: Economic Stall Speed (28 September 2011)

The most likely outcome is a protracted period of low, slow growth, analogous to Japan's Ushinawareta Jūnen - the lost decade or two. The best case is a slow decline in living standards and wealth as the excesses of the past are paid for. The risk of instability is very high; a more violent correction and a breakdown in markets like 2008 or worse are possible. Frequent bouts of panic and volatility as the global economy deleverages -reduces debt- are likely. Problems created gradually over more than the last three decades can only be corrected slowly and painfully.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 28th, 2011 at 06:53:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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