Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Narrow Thinking

Nature's got variety. Human beings lived in the midst of nature's richness --- in all of this "got milk" richness --- for a million years more or less. OK. They communicated by words and by hand gestures. Worked pretty good. They were no dummies either. No; you guys were the smartest things in nature, at least outside of fairies and spirits, and things like that.
     But to comprehend how human spirits (orig: beings) of the current era think, read the Financial Times.  Can you do that? It's that salmon-colored paper that is written from the perspective of the British. Their decision to print on salmon-colored paper was a brilliant decision to print on salmon-colored paper. You jolly well know it was. The thing is actually interesting, too.  The FT can be revelatory, even, when I read it, or rather analyze, thorughly. It's a lot of work, but I find it positively worth reading this way. Or, I should say --- analyzing.
     In the world of the writers of the ft what is considered "good"? What are their "valuations," so to speak. What is their right and wrong of it all? I have to wonder about that, particularly when I see that simply because a given company is not making big profits, the ft writers tend to say that this poor thing is "struggling." Come on, is that the best you can do? Why? Who sets these doctrinal agendas? That is what Noam Chomsky calls the "narrow ideological spectrum."
     So, what in their world is "good"? Profit is good. Well, yeah, I really nailed it there but why is profit good? And---another question---do they actually believe this stuff? That's always a good question, but which we'll never know the answers to. There are so many. I wonder if these writers have different opinions or if they are all the same "business brain," belching out the stale fumes of conformity. (And yes, I know about the "Economist," where personal bylines are not allowed.)
     It is obvious enough that all are just trying to make something true, or good, where no such logic applies. Of course, we could call that "ideology" or "superstructural ideology" if we like but at any rate these newspapers are there, and this is how our world works. This be how the human beings communicate. We shouldn't be too pessivistic or too optimistic---about the value of these human communication endeavors; but rather realistic. They are what they are. Why do they make a positive valuation for, say, strong demand for aluminum? In two separate articles ft tells that market demand is slowing for aluminum and as well for steel. But why is it "good" for demand, and hence output, to be strong? Why isn't it good for demand to be weak-----instead? Why does the world need more aluminum? Why does the world need more steel?
     I don't get where the need comes from: albeit that FT says in two separate articles (Mon, Oct 10, p.15) that demand is slowing for aluminum and steel, ask me if I care. There is an apparent consensus opinion that there needs to be growth. What I do not get is why. Why this apparent consensus opinion that if companies do not grow it is bad? Why is that bad? It makes zero sense. Why not good? I do not get why that is. Isn't buying only the other side of not buying? The Financial Times, and everyone in general, seems to be unseemly (monolithically) stuck on the "growth" concept, where "growth," near as I can discover, is some kind of a technical term for the ability of firms, or individuals in the market, to record a profit. So, this is the mania, then: everyone must grow.
     But what kind of a concept is that? What if it should happen that we do not need as much aluminum? That is not a crime. Neither is it some kind of a natural calamity, or a calamity of nature. Why do we need to dig for ore? It is clear that there is no inherent need to do that. It will eventually wreck earth; that it will do. If capitalism has any value at all, what is the greatness or goodness of it, or even its saving grace, the saving grace, if you like, of capitalism? The capacity to wreck the earth it is not. The capacity to wreck earth? That is not the greatness of it. Why is it necessarily good to remove ores from ground? Why? Ft tells us this material is for markets. It is "...for markets from packaging to construction to aerospace." Oh, I see. And this leads to the next thing. That "...makes it [aluminum] a barometer for the world economy."
      Aluminum has this quality? That's great but I thought it was flexible and light. And I thought it was for tin foil. But its great that aluminum is a barometer, too, and that the great ft has told us about its "barometer" quality.  I guess it is barometer-like for the purpose of illustrating whether the world economy is growing. That would be the linguistic of it. Well, the business culture too has qualities and characteristics. They are a culture that is hooked on their own ignorant and ingrown opinions. Wait a minute here though. (Cartoon of Disney character screeching to halt with emergent dust storm) Doesn't a market system thrive on variety, or on the existence of different individuals, and different products and firms, and, dare I say also, even different opinions? That, Um --- "compete"?
     In Nazi Germany everyone had the same opinion. You had to be like everyone else; and you had to support Hitler. And that was just about the end of it. And that kind of system was called "fascism." That kind of system is totalitarianism, authoritarianism, extremism, and the dominance of one party's ideology over the truth; and, what it is not is actual, reasoned thought --- mankind's basic creative capacity for thought.
     The reporters at FT come out of a certain English, and also world-wide, experience, one that involves money --- money and trade and things like that.
     And they, in turn, somehow represent --- OK, serve --- some kind of capitalistic experience that Britain has had, also a world experience, an aspect of the recent human experience --- of "history."
     But, if they are so smart, why no ability there to see the limits to growth, outside their own little box? Why can't they do it? Because it's a simple concept: an aluminum plant does not NEED to be open, and, if open, does not NEED to be producing at full capacity. There is no NEED for aluminum. It is not aluminum that is needed, and it is not growth that is needed. And if a plant is not needed it can close. Let's not be idiots. I don't think there is any doubt about the matter. Why do we have to become fascists? Is this phase of capitalism just a matter of a different kind of fascism? Fascism in italics.
     If there is no inherent need for growth, why can't we say so? Why is admitting something obvious --- what has been called the "limits to growth" --- not an option? Why does there have to be this insistence on a false idea related to this technical concept called "growth"? I do not know, really.
     Nor can these people, or these reporters, propose (report?) basic changes to the financial structure. Let us say that the kind of capitalism we have had for some time now needs to change. Who will do it? They are  monolithically stuck.
     This inability to propose basic changes to the financial structure is reflected in this news that they issue, the news about the countries of the European community, in trying to change the financial structure. But they cannot do it.

     Europeans are peculiarly ineffectual creatures.

     Sometimes they seem good and perfectly elegant.
     And the rest of the world loves their poetry, and their courtly novels. They have produced a beautiful stream, in terms of literature. Yeah, well some people like it, anyways.
     But they are so ineffectual. They did not do anything to stop Hitler. They knew about it from 1933, and did not do anything. They cannot act as a group, for their own good. The Europeans can only act individually, but this is no fault of persons, per se, i.e. of individuals. Persons, the species itself, are not that stupid.
     Then why are they? -- why are they that stupid? What golden calf are they (FT writers I suppose, if not the leaders of states) bowing down to?


  1. Why do they act as a herd? Does this herd include all of us? Or is there an annointed class, or a psychotic business class? Maybe they need to be demoted or institutionalized, if they're crazy.

  2. There is this gain ---- for the individual pocket book. That exists, and just because this is there, and there is this feeling of gain, they can't see that they are wrong. There is a weird human psychology in all this.