Thailand; if gold rust, what will iron do?

I was lucky enough to see G.F.Watts' painting of Hope persevering in the Tate yesterday, just before the door to a room of Polish Symbolist artists which has really made me think. If you are in London, go and have a look.

If the economy is contracting by between 6 and 9 per cent, way over predictions, when it has been used to growth; if the global recession has wiped nearly six billion from tourism revenues and endangered between 200,000 and a million jobs; if the only response is to slash interest rates by 225 basis points to venerate and encourage the little gods of banking; why is what is happening in Thailand being described almost universally as 'political' protest against the government?

Perhaps, and not for the first time, Irwin Steltzer (like the old KGB) has stumbled in his analysis on the right insight by means of the wrong explanation. Economics is decoupling from the calculus-based rationalist brainwashing that most student economists go through and becoming political economy, a form of normative, prejudice-based a priori reasoning, as it dies. Those who don't understand are ignoring it and reporting only on the surface of things.

There are arcs of military and political instability in this world. They are on fire. Hitherto strong economies have dried out and are waiting for, or suffering the first lick of, the flames. The invented money has vaporised.

I wonder if we as a species have the sense to proof ourselves with a faith in law, and beliefs capable of generating hope, and a bold attempt to return those things that belong to the people, like utilities, and transport, and sovereignty, to the people, before it is too late. But perhaps I harken back to an energy-rich moment I was born at the end of, when Mind and Faith, Love and Reason, were not made necessarily incompatible with each other or each with everyday affairs.

Our future will involve a choice which must be made very soon. Either we adopt limits upon ourselves, and apply our self-discipline and reason, in which case we may escape what could be waiting; or limits will be applied to us as a civilisation which will be grinding, depressing and, for many, deadly.

It may be that our leaders and the controllers of opinion in our societies will continue to dance around the flames until what is happening in Thailand spreads. What is saddest about the decline of the west, and therefore of the world, is that it is all completely unnecessary.

Here's something about as useful as most mainstream journalism; Fire Coming Out of The Monkey's Head, by the virtual band, Gorillaz. For the avoidance of doubt, it is mental.


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