Monday, September 06, 2010

intellectual journey

The intellectual journey we decide to go on in the end is not a product of the extent of our intelligence or our curiosity about the world. The decisive factors are social class outlook, the time we choose to spend on slow, deep thinking (reading and thinking about book length analysis) and an intangible which could be called "conquering spirit"

A friend sent me this article (Busted: Stories of the Financial Crisis) by Joshua Clover in The Nation.

He starts with Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan then proceeds to Hayek, then Zizek, then reviews an entertaining book about the current economic crisis written by a novelist, John Lanchester:
credit default swap: "It's as if people had used the invention of seat belts as an opportunity to take up drunk driving."
and so on.

But Joshua Clover does not stop there because the analysis is not complete. He goes onto discuss Marx's Capital and modern interpretations by David Harvey, Ben Fine and Alfredo Saad-Filho because the current mainstream analysis is inadequate.
"Not surprisingly, economists cannot borrow, even at low levels of interest, the insights most needed: the basic understanding that capitalism's flaws are internal to its own logic and can't be whisked away by another round of financial regulation or everybody promising to be less of a creep. It is indeed a compulsion, and it ends poorly"
I wonder how many others are taking a similar intellectual journey. It is unusual to see this sort of honest self reflection in the mainstream media.

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