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Monday, January 23, 2006

Doctrine of Shite.

What do we call a system of beliefs which has millions of adherents, it's own meta-language, proscribed behaviour, ritual, seeks to spread it's influence at the expense of other belief structures, often causing war, and maintains it's tenets in the face of evidence to the contrary?

Religion, right?
  1. I am the The Holy Market, who bringeth thee out of bondage. No form of interaction shalt thou haveth outside me. Nor Virtuous shalt thou considereth anything not for Sale, neither anything which Falsely preventeth Holy Sale.
  2. Thou shalt associateth not the name of The Holy Market with disaster: for The Holy Market shalt holdeth him guilty who denigrateth Its Holy Name.
  3. Observeth the Sabbath day, to keepeth it Holy, as The Holy Market commandeth thee. Six days shalt most of thee Labour, and do all Work thine; but the seventh day a Sabbath is to The Holy Market whenst must thou spendeth thy Surplus in Worship of The Holy Market.
  4. Honoreth thy Father and thy Mother, as The Holy Market commandeth thee; that thy Business may be Profitable and thy Righteousness prolonged in Children thine.
  5. Thou shalt not Murder thy Customers.
  6. Neither shalt thou Adultery committeth; an Abomination it is the Holy Commerce of Marriage to undermineth.
  7. Stealing shalt thou not be caught at.
  8. Nor discovered in False Witness without Holy Profit shalt thou be.
  9. Neither shalt thou ceaseth thy Neighbour's Estate to coveteth.
  10. In all things shalt thou planeth, plotteth, schemeth and, failing these Holy Trinity Three, worketh the Goods of the World to Own, in accordance with The Holy Market.
Why doesn't free market economics fucking work? Because, in a pursuit of profitability, there is no incentive to plan strategically. Investment in infrastructure and research which will be necessary to the progress of a nation in 15/25/50 years costs money now, but shows no return, now. Which is why, whilst we have the cash economy we presently do, it is essential for Government to remain apart from the processes of the market, so that it can mandate spending in those areas business is not equipped to deal with: strategic considerations.

Hopelessly inefficient? Quite possibly. But the alternative is not to make adequate provision for the future at all. Do we imagine that countries in Asia which are developing modern communications infrastructure are waiting around for market forces to cobble together existing systems with small scale new developments? Obviously not. They are installing state of the art systems countrywide, with built in expandability.

What are we in the UK doing? Hanging onto the coat-tails of a desperate US economy which is doomed by it's inability to see beyond oil, which is only going to get more expensive and require more war to secure. Instead of spending billions on infrastructure (and lets have it fucking right, Britain is not a massive place, comprehensive modern information systems infrastructure would be a lot cheaper here than many places) which could be the backbone of a new, post oil, high tech industrial model, the UK Govt. proposes spending billions on the infrastructure of control. Why would it need such control? If we were moving into a prosperous new era, we would be happy.

No. They want it because they know full well that the world is heading for fucking disaster and civil unrest will be the inevitable result. We'll blindly follow the US down its garden path and when the oil runs out, because their corporate elite will have made off with the personal wealth (just like Enron) we'll be even more fucked than them. A victim of the short-sightedness of

The Holy Market.

UPDATE (09:11 06/01/24 GMT): check this (broadband needed) It's from the website of equinox housing co-op. Nod: Existential Angst So, i've messed with 'the commandments' a tad to make my point slightly clearer.

UPDATE (14:02 06/01/27 GMT): Part two! Nod: Michael the tubthumper.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Quixotematic said...

I'm into home brewing. Currently I have about 10 gallons of beer fermenting under my kitchen table.

If you watch yeast for long enough, you begin to see startling parallels between its behaviour and that of free market economies with regards to its approach to consumption of resources and forward planning.

We all know what happens to the yeast in the end.

The difference is that my yeast makes some fairly drinkable pale ales, whereas free market economics tends to produce Fosters Lager.

23/1/06 18:04  
Blogger edjog said...

Mate, i don't drink anymore, but i'm not sure i'll have any blasphemy on here: Fosters isn't lager! In fairness, i'm not sure what it is, but it's not got anything to do with barley as far as i can tell. Have you ever tasted it unchilled? You can taste the sulphur dioxide they've used to stop the ferment. Eeeuurgh! I used to brew really strong stout years ago, almost porter. Took ages but it was good stuff; i had a live yeast culture for about 2 years, even though i was living in vehicles!

Yeah, the analogy's a good one though. What bother's me is that there's no talking sense to religious maniacs. Chromatius has got some good stuff sort of on that theme at "no contact politics". The trouble is though that, with a normal religion, we might expect prosperity and education to disabuse people of the patently unhelpful parts of it, but this one claims to be the only source of that prosperity! It's a toughie: i'll have to think about this one.

23/1/06 18:57  
Blogger Lily said...

Hey, read your comments at Watergate Summer (enigma) so it motivated me to come check you out... excellent rant there, and interesting perspective. Great bloggery.

23/1/06 19:34  
Blogger pocketpunk said...

Fosters does taste like piss .....really fucking nasty stuff...strangely enough i developed a little intolerance to yeast some 5 or 6 years ago ...which has thankfully gone. I call it an intolerance cos i was tested at one of those health food shops(ha!)....i think it was more likely drinking FAR too much real ale and not being strong enough to take the punishment...

23/1/06 19:54  
Blogger pocketpunk said...

shit... i think i missed the point..pass the wine

23/1/06 19:57  
Blogger edjog said...

Welcome Lily, and thanks. Hey Pp, yeah funnily enough it takes more of a constitution to handle constant alcohol abuse than it does heroin, so long as the supply isn't interrupted.

Nobody should get the idea here that i'm advocating a return to mass nationalisation, i'm just saying that you only have to look at the US where it is illegal (Bayh-Dole Act) for the Federal Government to fund anything which is in any way in competition with private enterprise and the utter mess of their domestic economy to realise that unfettered capitalism produces a lot of junk, the short term consumption of which makes a profit and provides jobs, but cannot make provision for enormous national needs.

Now, as i've said before on here, i couldn't care less what happens to the US, it's a shame and all that, and i'd not wish suffering on anybody, but the government over there are so in bed with their corporate masters: there's nothing can be done. In fact, it's more than a shame: the fact that the US has been hijacked by a bunch of deranged/disinterestedly greedy wingnuts is an absolute calumny against those who struggled to build the fucking nation. I mean, The US Constitution is such an inspiring document... and look what they've dragged it into! It's a proper shameful disgrace. Actually, i do care, but if the only way to get rid of the wingnuts is wrack and ruin: so be it.

But that is not yet the case over here. We need to wake up from The American Dream and start planning for what's in Britain's interests.

23/1/06 21:38  
Anonymous some_maineiac said...

edjog, another brilliant post!!!

my cause in the US is the ceaseless rape of the land that goes on and on and on and on....and when one gentle forest has been entirely fucked over and turned to 1-acre squares of palatial, pretentious "McMansions", the landed gentry have sold it to some other poor bloke, who now needs $1,000,000 to buy a house that cost $250K brand new and said gentry have moved on to somwhere else to do the exact same thing...there are "planning" departments in the more well-heeled towns, but they are lackeys to the developers who build these monstrosities because it's Good for the Economy and Creates Jobs

I realize the figures above sound exorbitant, but they are true in the place I used to live (Massachusetts) and there is an underlying ghettoization across the country that applies to the inner cities, of which I have no direct experience, but I know it exists...poor, frustrated people with access to firearms, preying on each other and with nowhere else to go....

24/1/06 14:51  
Anonymous some_maineiac said...

oh, yes, pocketpunk, the fruit of the vine...a few short weeks ago, I might have said "make mine red"

but I ain't like that no more (quote from an American Western starring a master of the genre, Unforgiven)

24/1/06 14:57  
Blogger edjog said...

We've been having something of a dearth of new house building in the Uk, consequently the price of property has increased again recently. So no, those figures don't sound exorbitant at all. If you wanted something similar here, you'd have to pay between 3.5 and 5 million Stirling, depending on the state of the place.

For a million US, you'd be hard pressed to find a property detached from it's neighbours in most of our cities; 3, 4 bedrooms max. An apartment only, or inconvenient/insalubrious location in many.

We've recently ratified European legislation which gives all EU citizens the right to work and settle anywhere in it, but there is also a persistent xenophobia among many Brits. I've wondered if it wasn't a deliberate policy to limit immigration, myself. Immigration's a hot topic over here, "keeping Johnny Foreigner out" is a rallying cry for the right wing of our political scene (similar views to US Democrats for the main part). The 'left' are polarised by the media as "soft on immigration" so i think maybe our Govt, which is ostensibly of the left but actually a wolf in sheeps clothing, haven't tried to keep it's 'left' credentials yet pander to the right, as they have in so many other things. Liberal reformers in some areas certainly, but quite demonstrably selling us down the river overall.

Yeah, unforgiven. I ain't like that no more either, but the rage is still there sometimes.

24/1/06 16:02  
Blogger michael the tubthumper said...

edjog - i never took you for a man to sit and discuss house prices!

24/1/06 16:14  
Blogger edjog said...

1 of my sisters is an IFA, michael3t. I get to hear about them occasionally, but yeah: not my usual bagatelle, you're right!

24/1/06 16:57  

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