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Showing posts from March 27, 2011

funny capitalism

There is a funny little op ed piece in the Guardian by Dominic Rushe on the ratings agencies. Moodys, Standard and Poor and Fitch have all threatened not to rate European economies if they are held liable for faulty ratings. Supposedly, this will be a disaster. Who, after all, will loan to Greece if Moodys isn’t the angel at the lender’s ear, whispering the point spreads based on – well, it is hard to say what it is based on. It could be based on the national debt, and the ‘lack of political will’ to cut back on deficits. But during a downturn, deficits are in fact the weapon of choice for managing an economy that is under capacity until biz cycle magic strikes and the private sector (that much misnamed mishmash of corporations and small businesses) comes roaring back. Roaring, by the way, is a finance journalism word, meant to evoke lions and such, turning the pinheads in pinstripes into masters of the universe. Of course, they are really simply rentseekers who have found nothing be

style, nihilism, substitution

Notes: Three lines of thought. a. The first is the need for style. In the 18th century, the 17th century battles over style were, seemingly, at an end. The principles of good writing, or the plain style, seemed as clear as the principles that governed reason. Enlightened self-interest and enlightened communication were of the same metal. But the vogue for sensibility and the Romantic movement at the end of the 18th century turned the ideal of enlightened communication on its head. Rather, communication under the sign of sensibility was a search for style. b. One of the key moments in Jacobi’s letter to Fichte is an exercise in style – a willed confusion, instead of the accidental confusion of the willed clarity that motivated transcendental philosophy. The latter, for all its clauses and pauses, was accumulative. But Jacobi’s style is anything but accumulative. Nor is it critical in the normal way – that is, taking apart the conclusions and analysis of Fichte. Rather, it is ludicr